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Western & Northern China Overland Kashgar - Beijing

Trip Overview

This 38 day overland tour journeys from Kashgar to Beijing through China
38 DAYS THROUGH China
RATING:
of 2 reviews
PRICE FROM:
$4,195 (USD) + 1,230 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
38 days
TRANSPORT:
Overland expedition vehicle, Public bus, Taxi, Boat, Metro
CREW:
2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary, 1 local crew in certain areas
ACCOM:
5%
95%
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:
TRIP CODE:
EGB
DEPOSIT:
$350 USD

Highlights

  Guided tour of Xi'an's world famous Terracotta Warriors

  Wild camp near an adobe section of the Great Wall near Jiayuguan

  Guided tour of the Mogao caves, Dunhuang

  Explore the colourful natural phenomenon of the Rainbow Mountains

  Cross the northern end of the Tibetan Plateau

  Explore Xiahe - one of Tibets most historic cities

  See Bingling Si's vast Buddha statue and outstanding cave sculptures

  Explore the stunningly beautiful Mt. Kongtong and its temples

  Stay overnight in a Lijiashan cliff-side guesthouse built into a cave

  Visit the beautiful and ornate Black Dragon temple near Lijiashan

  SHOW MORE HIGHLIGHTS  

Itinerary

Day 1 - Kashgar ( 18th May 2019 )

Border Information: if joining in Kashgar, you will most likely enter China at Kashgar Airport (IATA code: KHG).

Welcome to Kashgar, one of the ancient trading posts on the Silk Route! If you are joining in Kashgar, you are free to explore the city, and there will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm. Please do not be alarmed if there is no welcome note at the hotel on your arrival, as this is often a travelling day for the tour leader and they will often arrive in Kashgar mid-afternoon.

If you are arriving by truck to Kashgar, we will drive from Lake Karakul and the Karakoram Highway back to the city, arriving mid afternoon.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kashgar before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kashgar.

In Kashgar we will stay in a hotel with good facilities.

Day 2-3 - Kashgar ( 19th May 2019 to 20th May 2019 )

Today we will visit the animal market just outside of town, and then the famous Kashgar Sunday Bazaar.

The following day we will have a free day to explore the town, the central Id Kah Mosque and its surrounding square, while your crew finalise the customs procedures for our truck to continue further into China.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore Kashgar's Sunday market and Animal market.

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the Id Kah Mosque, the finest example of Islamic architecture in Kashgar and the centre of religious life in the city

CNY 20

Discover the history of the ancient Silk Road at Kashgar's Silk Road Museum

CNY 15

Visit the mausoleum of the 17th-century religious leader Afaq Khoja, considered the holiest site in Xinjiang Province

CNY 15
Day 4-5 - Aksu, Bayanbulak ( 21st May 2019 to 22nd May 2019 )

Our journey through China begins as we leave Kashgar and head east through the Taklamakan Desert! Our crossing of the desert usually takes 3 days/2 nights, and we plan to stay in local hotels en route.

Estimated Drive Times - 8-9 hours each day (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Day 6-7 - Heavenly Lake ( 23rd May 2019 to 24th May 2019 )

Today we will complete our drive through the Taklamakan Desert and arrive at Heavenly Lake, a beautiful lake set in the Tian Shan mountains.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

We will stay here for 2 nights, and will have many opportunities to relax in the incredible scenery and walk around the lake.

In Heavenly Lake we will stay in local yurts with very basic facilities.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Enjoy a tranquil yurt stay at the beautiful Heavenly Lake

Included in Kitty
Day 8-9 - Turpan ( 25th May 2019 to 26th May 2019 )

Today we will travel to the oasis town of Turpan, where we stay for 2 days exploring the surrounding sites including the famous Jiaohe ruins.

In Turpan we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Exploration of the oasis and the Jiaohe ruins at Turpan

Included in Kitty

Learn about the Karez water system, the ingenious method of irrigating the area that was developed by the Han Dynasty and allowed Turpan to flourish as an oasis town

Included in Kitty
See the striking red sandstone landscape of the Flaming Mountains near Turpan
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

See the Emin Minaret, a beautiful Uighur mosque built in the 18th century which is the tallest minaret in China
CNY 30
Explore the ancient oasis city of Gaochang, once a bustling trading trading centre along the Silk Road
CNY 40
Day 10-11 - Dunhuang ( 27th May 2019 to 28th May 2019 )

Today we will have an early start and a big drive to the city of Dunhuang.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours.

Please note that sometimes it may be preferred by the group and the leader to split this drive over 2 days, wild camping in between - in this case we will have 1 less night in Pingliang towards the end of the trip.

The following day we will have an included visit to the awe-inspiring Mogao Buddha Caves in the morning. We will then have a free afternoon to explore this amazing town and it’s surroundings - there are possibilities for camel rides along the sand dunes and bicycle rides out to the nearby White Goose Pagoda!

In Dunhuang we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Guided tour of the Mogao caves, Dunhuang

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Stopover and time to explore historic Dunhuang

CNY 20

Take a camel ride to Crescent Moon Lake, Dunhuang

CNY 120
Day 12 - Jiayuguan ( 29th May 2019 )

Today we continue our journey with a drive to Jiayuguan, where we will have an included visit to the Jiayuguan Fort - the most western point of the Great Wall of China. Please note the Great Wall in this area is adobe, unlike the more famous stone sections further to the east.

We will wild camp near an adobe section of the Great Wall near Jiayuguan.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Journey down the Gansu Corridor to Jiayuguan Fort, our first stop at the Great Wall

Included in Kitty
Day 13 - Zhangye ( 30th May 2019 )

Today we will drive to the incredible Zhangye Danxia Rainbow Mountains - we'll spend some time exploring the region before heading off to wild camp nearby.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the incredible and colourful natural phenomenon of the Zhangye Danxia Rainbow Mountains

Included in Kitty
Day 14 - Liujiaxia ( 31st May 2019 )

Today we will drive onto the lower slopes of the remote Tibetan plateau and reach the small city of Liujiaxia. 

In Liujiaxia we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

Day 15-17 - Xiahe, Bingling Si ( 1st Jun 2019 to 3rd Jun 2019 )

Today we set off to the enchanting Tibetan town of Xiahe where we spend the next 3 nights. We will have an included visit to the incredible Bingling Si Buddha Caves en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

The next few days are free to explore this beautiful town and surrounding grasslands. We can take a guided visit to the Labrang Monastery where Tibetan monks can be seen doing their daily rituals and chants. There may also be a chance to go trekking, horse riding or exploring the surrounding grasslands, visiting Tibetan families and perhaps trying the local Yak butter tea.

In Xiahe we will stay in a local Tibetan-owned hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

See the vast Buddha statue and the outstanding Buddhist cave sculptures at the fabulous Bingling Si gorge

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Climb up onto the lower slopes of the remote Tibetan Plateau

Free

2 night detour to the Tibetan town of Xiahe, one of the main pilgrimage sites for Tibetan Buddhists

CNY 40
Take a day trip up into the Sangke or Ganjia grasslands of the lower Tibetan Plateau surrounding Xiahe
CNY 400
Day 18 - Lanzhou ( 4th Jun 2019 )

Today we will leave Xiahe and head to the chaotic capital city of Gansu province, Lanzhou. We will have some free time this evening to explore the city.

In Lanzhou we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

Day 19-20 - Pingliang ( 5th Jun 2019 to 6th Jun 2019 )

Today we will drive to the small town of Pingliang at the base of the Mount Kongtong, one of the holiest mountains in Chinese Taoism.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

The following day we will have an included visit to Mount Kongtong, and will have the full day to explore the temples and walk and explore the pilgrimage routes on the mountain. 

In Pingliang we will stay in a decent local hotel.

Please note that if the drive between Turpan and Dunhuang was split over 2 days, there will only be 1 night in Pingliang and a half-day exploration of Mount Kongtong.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the stunningly beautiful Mt. Kongtong and its temples

Included in Kitty
Day 21 - Xi'an ( 7th Jun 2019 )

Today we will journey to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'! We will have a free afternoon to fully explore the city, it's famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

In Xi'an we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 22 - Xi'an ( 8th Jun 2019 )

Border Information: if joining in Xi'an, you will most likely enter China at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (IATA code: XIY).

Welcome to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'!

There will be a group meeting today at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.

This afternoon we head out of Xi'an on the truck to the site of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, where we have an included visit and a guided tour.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Xi'an before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Xi'an.

In Xi'an we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the world-famous site of the Terracotta Warriors, an army of 8000 life-size figures built to protect the Emporer Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife

Included in Kitty
Day 23 - Xi'an ( 9th Jun 2019 )

Today we will have a free day to explore the city of Xi'an, it's famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the ornate 14th-century Bell and Drum towers, which originally marked the sunrise and sunset

CNY 40

Wander through the atmospheric Muslim Quarter and visit the Xi'an Great Mosque, the first mosque constructed in China

CNY 30

Learn about the fascinating history of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an at the Shaanxi History Museum, without doubt one of the finest museums in China

CNY 30

Visit the mind-blowing Tomb of Emporer Jingdi of the Han Dynasty, containing 50,000 doll-sized terracotta figures

CNY 90

Walk or cycle around the Ming Dynasty Xi'an City Wall, the largest city wall in the world

CNY 80

Visit the impressive Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an's most famous landmark dating from the Tang and Ming Dynasties

CNY 80
Visit the Forest of Stelae Museum, a collection of 3000 stone tablets of Chinese calligraphy that has been collected here since 1057
CNY 50
Day 24 - Yan'an ( 10th Jun 2019 )

Today we make our way to the city of Yan'an. Yan'an is famous for being the ending point for those on the 'Long March', and became the CCP headquarters for a brief period. During our time here we have an included visit to the Revolutionary Museum and the CCP Headquarters site.

In Yan'an we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the Revolution Museum and the Yangjialing Headquarters site, the former headquarters of Mao Tse Tung's Communist Party during the revolution

Included in Kitty
Day 25 - Lijiashan ( 11th Jun 2019 )

Today we continue our journey to visit the ancient village of Lijiashan, famed for settlement of cave dwellers and still home to more than 600 families.

In Lijiashan we will stay in a cave room, run by a local family and set up for guests.

Please note that some caves include a traditional 'Kang Stove bed'. The Kang bed is a hollow platform made from bricks that is used both as a bed and as a work area, these are common in remote villages in Northern China. In winter a coal fire can be lit under the bed, providing a huge amount of warmth day and night and it is very common for the whole family to sleep on one large bed. This means there may be times that members of the group may have to share 1 large bed with others in the group.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities
Stay overnight in a local guesthouse built into a cave, in the cliff-side village of Lijiashan
Included in Kitty
Day 26-28 - Pingyao, Lijiashan ( 12th Jun 2019 to 14th Jun 2019 )

We will set off early this morning for an included visit to the Black Dragon Temple just outside of Lijiashan. We will then drive to China's best-preserved ancient walled town, Pingyao.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

We will stay for 3 nights in Pingyao, giving us plenty of time to explore this ancient town and surrounding sites such as the Mian Shan Mountain Resort and the Zhangbi Underground City.

In Pingyao we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the beautiful and ornate Black Dragon temple near Lijiashan

Included in Kitty

Freely explore the old town of Pingyao, a well preserved walled city that offers a fantastic glimpse into 'Old China'

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the incredible Shuanglin Temple near Pingyao, with its 2000 colourful sculptures of various gods and warriors

CNY 25

Visit the 10th-century Zhenguo Temple, one of the oldest wooden buildings in China

CNY 25
Take a day trip out to the impressive Wang family compound and the Zhang Bi underground village near Pingyao
CNY 205
Take a day trip to the photogenic Mian Shan Mountain Resort, and explore the incredible array of buildings and scenery there
CNY 160
Day 29-30 - Wutai Shan ( 15th Jun 2019 to 16th Jun 2019 )

This morning we continue to the stunning mountainous area known as Wutai Shan, one of the holiest sites of Chinese Buddhism and a major centre of pilgrimage in the country.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore the area and visit its incredible array of temples and religious sites.

In Wutai Shan we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the myriad of temples at Wutai Shan, one of the Four Sacred Mountains of Chinese Buddhism

Included in Kitty
Day 31-32 - Datong ( 17th Jun 2019 to 18th Jun 2019 )

Today we will drive to the city of Datong. We will have an included visit to the incredible Hanging Monastery en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following day we will head out of Datong in the truck on an included visit to the awe-inspiring Yungang Buddha Caves. 

In Datong we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

2 nights to explore Datong's Hanging Monastery and the stunning Yungang Caves

Included in Kitty
Explore the phenomenal site of the Yungang Caves, a network of 252 caves containing over 51,000 incredibly crafted sculptures of Buddha from the 5th and 6th centuries
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

See the beautiful and ornate Nine Dragon Screen, a screen of glazed tiles depicting nine multi-coloured interweaving dragons
CNY 10
Day 33 - Jinshanling ( 19th Jun 2019 )

This morning we will drive to one of the world's most incredible sights - the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China! We will have time this afternoon and the following morning to thoroughly explore and walk along the Great Wall.

In Jinshanling we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Fully explore the awe-inspiring Great Wall of China at Jinshanling, one of the most spectacular stone sections of the wall

Included in Kitty
Day 34-35 - Chengde ( 20th Jun 2019 to 21st Jun 2019 )

This morning we will spend some more time exploring the Great Wall of China. We will then continue with a short drive to the city of Chengde.

Estimated Drive Time - 1-2 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore the Puning Temple and the famous Imperial Summer Resort.

In Chengde we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities
Explore the incredible Imperial Summer Resort in Chengde, a vast park with a variety of gardens, pagodas, temples and palaces from various regions of China
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

See the beautiful Putuo Zongcheng Temple, modelled after the famous Potala Palace in Tibet
CNY 80
Day 36-37 - Beijing ( 22nd Jun 2019 to 23rd Jun 2019 )

Today we complete our journey to China's chaotic and evocative capital, Beijing!

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will head out on the Beijing metro to the city centre's famous Tiananmen Square, which we will walk through and then take a tour of the Forbidden City. We will then have a free afternoon to fully explore the many sights, sounds and flavours of Beijing.

In Beijing we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Guided visit to the Forbidden City in Beijing

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Discover all about the varied and interesting history of China at the National Museum, with its huge collection of over a million artifacts

Free

Head out to see an acrobatic or martial arts show in Beijing, always an incredible mix of athleticism and choreography

CNY 250

Explore the Ming Tombs

CNY 60
Explore the vast Temple of Heaven, once the site of an annual religious ceremony conducted by the Emporer to pray for a good harvest
CNY 10
Visit the beautiful Tibetan-style Lama Temple (Yonghe Temple) in Beijing
Free

See the iconic modern 'Bird's Nest' Stadium, the centrepiece of the 2008 Olympic Games

CNY 50
Day 38 - Beijing ( 24th Jun 2019 )

Border Information: if leaving in Beijing, you will most likely exit China at Beijing Capital International Airport (IATA code: PEK).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Beijing. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

DATES & PRICES

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Trip Notes
Departing: 18 May 2019
Returning: 24 Jun 2019
Duration: 38 days
Route: Kashgar - Beijing
$4,195 USD + $1,230 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 8 Jul 2019
Returning: 14 Aug 2019
Duration: 38 days
Route: Beijing - Kashgar
$4,195 USD + $1,240 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
closed
FULLY BOOKED
Departing: 19 Aug 2019
Returning: 25 Sep 2019
Duration: 38 days
Route: Beijing - Kashgar
$4,195 USD + $1,240 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 13 Jul 2020
Returning: 19 Aug 2020
Duration: 38 days
Route: Beijing - Kashgar
$4,245 USD + $1,240 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 3 Aug 2020
Returning: 9 Sep 2020
Duration: 38 days
Route: Beijing - Kashgar
$4,245 USD + $1,240 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available

REVIEWS FROM OUR PASSENGERS

It is hard to pin down one highlight but the Heavenly Lake was a hit.
Ásdís Þ
This was my favorite dragoman trip so far, and my 3rd of many more. The dynamics between the group members, and the teamwork of the crew were the very best leadership dynamics I have yet to experience while overlanding.
Amanda G