• On this adventurous tour, follow in the footsteps of the merchants who travelled both to and from China, bearing philosophies and inventions as well as a rich variety of products
• Visit some of the most spectacular ruins in China, from the Mogao Caves at Dunhuang to the Thousand Buddha Caves at Bezeklik and the ancient oasis city of Gaochang
• Explore the wonders of Beijing and Xi’an, including the Terracotta Army and the Great Wall
sinologist and Chinese speaker who has been visiting China since 1976
Depart London Heathrow 1640 on British Airways for overnight flight to Beijing.
Arrive Beijing 0930. Orientation tour visiting the Temple of Heaven and the ‘hutongs’ (old residential quarters of Beijing). Two nights at the Beijing Bamboo Garden Hotel. Evening introductory lecture.
Morning: Tiananmen Square for Forbidden City (largest palace complex in the world and seat of supreme power for over five centuries) and the National Museum of China. Free afternoon.
Morning flight to Xi’an (the caravanserai for travellers on the Silk Road during the Tang Dynasty as well as the capital). Transfer to Titan Times Hotel for two nights via the Shaanxi History Museum (Tang Dynasty Frescoes), the old city wall, Drum and Bell Towers and Great Mosque. Evening lecture.
Morning: Terracotta Army excavations, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and the Forest of Stone Steles Museum. Free afternoon and evening.
Morning: visit the Han Yang Ling Tomb excavations, before transferring to airport for flight to Dunhuang. Afternoon: Mingsha Dune and the Lake of the Crescent Moon. Overnight stay at the Dunhuang Hotel.
Dunhuang: Mogao Buddhist Grottoes (the earliest date from the fourth and fifth centuries). Early evening: board the train to Turfan, crossing from Gansu province into Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Arrive at the oasis town of Turfan and check into Huozhou Hotel for three nights.
Visits including Jiaohe ancient ruins, Yimin Mosque, and the traditional underwater system known as ‘karez’ which originates in the Flaming Mountains visible on the horizon.
Whole day excursion to see the Bezeklik (Thousand Buddha) Grottoes, the sandy ruins of the city of Gaochang, and ancient cemetery of Astana.
Depart Turfan for Korla (400km drive with views of black sand dunes and Tian Shan mountains; includes stops en route). Arrive Korla and check into the Loulan Hotel for overnight stay.
Continue along the Desert Highway to Kuche (important staging post on the Silk Road) via the Cave of One Thousand Buddhas at Kizil. Transfer to the Kuche Grand Hotel for overnight stay.
Whole day desert drive (with stops en route) to Khotan (Hetian) on the southern extremes of the Taklamakan. Two nights at the Xihu Yindu Hotel.
Full day in Khotan: Cultural Museum and the ruins at Rawak. See paper-making by hand, silk-weaving mill and local bazaar.
Depart for Kashgar via Shache (Yarkand) for external view of the mosque and visit to the tombs of Amanishaban and the king of Yarkand. Two nights at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kashgar.
Visits in Kashgar, including the famous Sunday market and Id Kah Mosque.
Morning visit to Abahoja’s tomb and the old city. Afternoon flight to Beijing via Urumchi. Free evening. Two nights at the Brickyard Retreat, at Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, North East Beijing.
Free morning followed by early afternoon visit to the Great Wall at Mutianyu (the rugged nature of the surroundings and the frequency and style of the watch-towers suggest that this was strategically a very important part of the Wall).
Depart Beijing 1210 on British Airways, arriving Heathrow 1510.
13 Oct — 30 Oct 2019
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It made a wonderful introduction to the past, present and future of China and we came home with much to think about. Thank you!
For customers who wish to make their own travel arrangements, ACE are pleased to be able to offer a flight reduction of:
return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, fourteen lunches (some packed), fourteen dinners with soft drinks, beer or Chinese tea, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
visa, travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £690.