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Silk Route between Kashgar and Beijing

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  • Xi'an
  • Xiahe
  • Datong
  • Kashgar
  • Pingyao
  • Lanzhou Market
  • Turpan
  • Zhangye
  • Beijing
  • Chengde
  • Liujiaxia
  • Dunhuang
  • Lijiashan
  • Aksu
  • Yan'an
  • Jinshanling
  • Pingliang
  • Wutai Shan
  • Jiayuguan
  • Heavenly Lake
  • Bayanbulak

Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. Starting in the fascinating city of Kashgar, we'll head through the isolated Taklamakan Desert and the oasis of Turpan to the incredible Buddha caves of Mogao in China's remote western provinces. We'll overland past the western end of the Great Wall of China to the Tibetan town of Xiahe, before descending past the Bingling Si Buddha caves and the temples of Mount Kongtong to arrive at the colossal historic city of Xi'an, home of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors. We will continue through the cave village of Lijiashan to the traditional old town of Pingyao. We will move on to the Buddhist temples of Wutai Shan and to the phenomenal Buddha caves of Yungang. We will visit the breathtaking Great Wall of China before heading to the old imperial summer retreat of Chengde, then finally head to the bustling capital of Beijing, home to the famous Forbidden City and countless other highlights. Join us on this unforgettable epic overlanding experience on the Silk Road!

  • Day 1 Kashgar

    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 to 3 Kashgar

    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.

    Explore Kashgar's Sunday market and Animal market.

    Visit the Id Kah Mosque, the finest example of Islamic architecture in Kashgar and the centre of religious life in the city - Cost: CNY 20
    Discover the history of the ancient Silk Road at Kashgar's Silk Road Museum - Cost: CNY 15
    Visit the mausoleum of the 17th-century religious leader Afaq Khoja, considered the holiest site in Xinjiang Province - Cost: CNY 15

  • Day 4 to 5 Aksu

    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 wild camp near Aksu on our first night and near Korla or Bayanbulak on our second. Please note that occasionally the police insist that we do not camp in times of political tension - in this case we will stay in local hotels in the small towns 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 to 7 Heavenly Lake

    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.

    Enjoy a tranquil yurt stay at the beautiful Heavenly Lake

  • Day 8 to 9 Turpan

    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.

    Exploration of the oasis and the Jiaohe ruins at Turpan
    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
    See the striking red sandstone landscape of the Flaming Mountains near Turpan

    See the Emin Minaret, a beautiful Uighur mosque built in the 18th century which is the tallest minaret in China - Cost: CNY 30
    Explore the ancient oasis city of Gaochang, once a bustling trading trading centre along the Silk Road - Cost: CNY 40

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Overland expedition vehicle.