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Silk Route between Xi'an and Ulaanbaatar

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  • Orkhon Valley
  • Bulgan
  • Kharkhorin
  • Ulaanbaatar
  • Sainshand
  • Khövsgöl Lake
  • Lijiashan
  • Datong
  • Pingyao
  • Choir
  • Yan'an
  • Tsetserleg
  • Mörön
  • Xi'an
  • Wutai Shan
  • Tsenkher
  • Jinshanling
  • Khorgo Volcano
  • Chuulut Canyon
  • Erlian
  • Chengde
  • Beijing
  • Ögii Lake
  • Amarbayasgalant Monastery

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 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. From Beijing we will journey into the hauntingly-beautiful and desolate plains of Mongolia, arriving at the fascinating city of Ulaanbaatar. From Ulaanbaatar we will head west through the central region of Mongolia, past the fascinating Erdene Zuu monastery to the phenomenal natural beauty of the Orkhon Valley and the Tsenkher hot springs. We then make the stunning journey north to the remote and spectacular Khoevsgoel Lake before heading back towards the capital. The country is an overlander's paradise, with challenging roads, stunning scenery such as desolate rolling plains, glistening lakes and beautiful forests in which we can wild camp anywhere we like, and a unique and welcoming culture. Join us on this unforgettable epic overlanding experience on the Silk Road and Mongolia!

  • Day 1 Xi'an

    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.

    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

  • Day 2 Xi'an

    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.

    Visit the ornate 14th-century Bell and Drum towers, which originally marked the sunrise and sunset - Cost: CNY 40
    Wander through the atmospheric Muslim Quarter and visit the Xi'an Great Mosque, the first mosque constructed in China - Cost: 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 - Cost: CNY 30
    Visit the mind-blowing Tomb of Emporer Jingdi of the Han Dynasty, containing 50,000 doll-sized terracotta figures - Cost: CNY 90
    Walk or cycle around the Ming Dynasty Xi'an City Wall, the largest city wall in the world - Cost: CNY 80
    Visit the impressive Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an's most famous landmark dating from the Tang and Ming Dynasties - Cost: CNY 80
    Visit the Forest of Stelae Museum, a collection of 3000 stone tablets of Chinese calligraphy that has been collected here since 1057 - Cost: CNY 50

  • Day 3 Yan'an

    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!).

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

  • Day 4 Lijiashan

    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.

    Stay overnight in a local guesthouse built into a cave, in the cliff-side village of Lijiashan

  • Day 5 to 7 Pingyao

    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.

    Visit the beautiful and ornate Black Dragon temple near Lijiashan
    Freely explore the old town of Pingyao, a well preserved walled city that offers a fantastic glimpse into 'Old China'

    Visit the incredible Shuanglin Temple near Pingyao, with its 2000 colourful sculptures of various gods and warriors - Cost: CNY 25
    Visit the 10th-century Zhenguo Temple, one of the oldest wooden buildings in China - Cost: CNY 25
    Take a day trip out to the impressive Wang family compound and the Zhang Bi underground village near Pingyao - Cost: CNY 205
    Take a day trip to the photogenic Mian Shan Mountain Resort, and explore the incredible array of buildings and scenery there - Cost: CNY 160

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Overland expedition vehicle.