- 29th May 2021 – 11th Jun 2021
- 13 Nights / 14 Days
- 4500 km
- INR 4,75,000 + 5% GST Per Person
(EMI Option Available)
Nihao! Time to familiarize yourself with a little Chinese as you fly to Chengdu, the starting point of your Silk Route Drive. Check-in at the hotel and rest for the day as you gear up to begin your two-week-long road trip through the Silk Route in China. You will get enough time to acclimatize to your surroundings, meet your fellow participants and get used to all things Chinese before you hit the road. You will meet the expedition leader and crew members who will take you through a brief orientation, answer all your questions and hand over all the relevant documents required for the journey before you embark on one of the most memorable drives of your life!
Today is a free day to explore the sights and sounds of the exciting city of Chengdu. It would be a crime to come to Chengdu, and not visit those black and white bundles of overflowing cuteness! Yes, you guessed it right - we are talking about Giant Pandas. Did you know that 80% of the world’s Giant Pandas live in Chengdu? Chances are that you are not going to visit Chengdu that often in life, so why not make the most of it? Also, visit the famous “Wide and Narrow” street and explore the unique cultures, traditions, street food and a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, all in one place. In the evening, get to know your fellow participants as you wine & dine together!
Your first driving day in China is going to be a memorable one as it is going to treat you with remarkable scenery, mountain roads and chances are that you might encounter some snow as we drive towards the Tibetan village of Rouergai, a small town located high up in the mountains at an altitude above 12000 ft. The drive from Chengdu to Rouergai is full of gorgeous landscapes, and just when you are getting used to driving as part of the convoy, you will find yourself lured by the charms of the beautiful countryside of China. As we start climbing the mountains, keep your camera ready to capture the gorgeous landscapes of this isolated part of China. The most thrilling part of the day begins when we reach Ruoergai.
Ruoergai, a Tibetan town that falls on the eastern perimeter of the Tibetan Plateau, is in southwest China in a remote corner of the Sichuan province. If you open any map, chances are you will not find Ruoergai in it. It is tiny, isolated and almost disconnected from the rest of the world. Go out for a stroll in Ruoergai where you will meet friendly locals who are likely to ask you for a selfie and will be more than happy to show you around their idyllic town. The flat and vast Ruoergai grassland looks like a green carpet under the blue sky, with the back paved highway leading you to the end of the sky. Tibetan villages and yaks add much vitality on this carpet.
Today, we will start early and drive towards Xining, the largest and the capital city of the mesmerising Qinghai province. It will be a long day on the road, but you will find solace in the fluffy white clouds, untainted blue sky, and vast grasslands. We will stop for lunch en route Langmusi or Xiahe depending upon our progress, and the number of photo stops we take along the way. The peaceful drive will give you ample opportunity to appreciate the beautiful, idyllic and isolated countryside of the Qinghai Province as we drive towards Xining. Once in Xining, if you are willing, jaunt your way to Dongguan mosque, one of the biggest mosques in northwest China with a history of more than 600 years!
It is going to be another long day on the road, so we are going to make an early start. Today is going to be another special day on the road so take a deep breath and enjoy the spectacular views as we cross the “Qilian Mountains”, which literally translates to “heavenly mountain”, en route Jiayuguan. Qilian Mountains are located on the border of Qinghai and Gansu provinces in west-central China. Qilian grassland is 300 km from Xining and would take five-six hours to get there. The mountains can rise as high as 19000 ft, and if you look in the distance, you will spot snow-covered mountain tops while driving along livestock herds grazing in the well-watered valleys.
Today is going to be one of those days that you will remember for the rest of your life because you are going to climb the Great Wall of China as you visit the Jiayuguan Great Wall, the vital pass to the world’s oldest trading route. Do you know it took 168 years to complete the wall? Well, now you know! You may have seen the Great Wall of China from the east, but unlike millions of tourists, you are going to become a part of that rare group of travellers who have witnessed the Western end of the thousand kilometres long Great Wall of China! After exploring the Great Wall and the Jiayuguan Pass for half-day, we will proceed towards our next destination, i.e. Dunhuang.
You have earned a rest day so ditch the car and take a walk! If you are itching to go out and explore the city, we recommend that you spend the day visiting the Mogao Caves. The mere fact that the world’s earliest printed dated book-Diamond Sutra was discovered here should be enough to tick this place off your bucket list. But if you would rather do something far adventurous, then walk towards the dunes of the Gobi Desert and spend the entire day enjoying various activities such as dune bashing on a bike or a jeep, camel safari, quad biking in the sand or simply find an isolated spot to enjoy a sunrise or a sunset over the Gobi Desert.
Aren’t early morning drives the best? Today, we are going to drive the longest distance of our expedition as we cover 800 km from Dunhuang to Turpan. As we approach Turpan, we will also enter the Xinjiang Province. Officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, it is a provincial-level autonomous region of China in the northwest of the country. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and the 8th largest country subdivision in the world, spanning over 1.6 million sq. km. You will find it interesting to learn that Xinjiang borders eight countries, including Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Brace yourself for more security checks as you enter a unique and a truly unexplored part of the world.
Compared to the day before, today’s drive is going to feel like a walk in the park. We will start the day at leisure and make you try the scrumptious kebabs of Turpan before we hit the road. We promise you that the kebabs of Turpan are going the be the best that you will eat in your lifetime! After eating to our heart’s content, we will hit the road and drive towards Kuerle. As they say, the true charm of the city and places can only be learned by those who see it with their own eyes and feel it with their own heart. One thing is for sure that you wouldn’t wish to miss out on the exotic ‘fragrant pears’ grown around Kuerle.
Today we will drive from Kuerle to Aksu, and en route, we will visit the ancient town of Kuche. If we have time, will also visit the Tianshan Grand Canyon Scenic Area to take in the spectacular landscape of China’s answer to the Grand Canyon of USA. The mysterious Tianshan Grand Canyon is a canyon near Keziliya mountain formed by wind and rain over billions of years. But depending upon weather and the amount of time spent at checkpoints on the highways, the crew will take a final call about visiting the Canyon. Continue driving through the vast expanses of Xinjiang province, passing more obscure Silk Road stops and simply soak in the remoteness of this unique part of the world.
Today is going to be another long driving day as we spend around 10 hours on the road, so make sure you have enough songs on your playlists to keep you entertained. Todays’ drive will give us a good look at the lifestyle of those who live in the sparsely populated areas of western China, and we will get an idea of what it might have been like to travel the Silk Road in days gone by-in air-conditioned comfort, of course. Today is also going to be the last driving day of our expedition through China so make the most of this day and cherish every moment as we inch closer to Kashgar, the final destination of our two-week-long expedition in China.
Kashgar is a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in China’s far west. It was a stop on the Silk Route, with its history stretching over 2000 years. Today it’s known for the Kashgar Sunday Bazaar, a daily market crammed with pashminas, spices, fur caps and more. Visiting Kashgar is a chance to travel back in time. We saved a day in your itinerary to make sure you have ample time to enjoy many charming places here, like Abakh Khoja tomb, Three Immortals Buddhist caves, Stone city, Karakul lake, etc. One of the main attractions of Kashgar is the Id Kahmosque – one of the largest mosques in China. A visit here is a must not only for its beauty and religious sentiments but also for its grandeur.
Two weeks have gone by already and its’ time to go back home. The expedition concludes this morning, and you bid goodbye to your travel companions. A self-drive expedition through the Silk Route in China is not something that many travellers can claim to have experienced. It is often said that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations, and the last two weeks on the road in China will echo this sentiment in your hearts and your minds for many years to come. But, if you are still yearning to explore more and wish to extend your programme in China for a few more days, we will be happy to assist you in making all the necessary arrangements.
INR 4,75,000 + 5% GST Per Person (EMI Option Available)