Trade Economics Tour in China
Overseas Adventures & Economics Studies Along the Silk Road
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Your overseas adventures begin here, in Xi’an, at the eastern end of the Silk Road. This ancient capital at the crossroads of the Silk Road trading network was the meeting place for diverse cultures, religions, and intellectual exchanges. Over the next few days, you’ll discover a unique cultural heritage along the Silk Road of China.
At the airport in Xi’an, you will meet your knowledgeable guide who will take you to your hotel. Settle in, relax, meet your fellow travelers, and if time allows, begin to explore this ancient city at your leisure. To make for a more enjoyable and fun trip, be sure to acquaint yourself with the manners and customs of the area for a better understanding of the people.
You’ll explore the city more in-depth tomorrow with your guide!
This morning’s journey takes you to see one of the most significant archeological sites in the world, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Terra-Cotta Warriors and Horses. Considered one of the Eight Great Wonders of the World, more than 7,000 life-size figures of warriors and horses arranged for battle are here.
See the spectacular tower of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Small Wild Goose Pagoda this afternoon, right next to the largest fountain in Asia! The pagodas are over 1,000 years old and are designed to protect ancient Buddhist writings. Enjoy the nearby Shaanxi History Museum which contains a massive amount of history covering over a million years on its 16 acres.
Afterward, admire the Great Mosque of Xi’an, one of the oldest and largest mosques in China. Built mostly during the Ming Dynasty, the walls throughout the complex have writings in both Chinese and Arabic, another example of the cultural exchange that took place along the Silk Road as Arab merchants introduced Islam along their travels and eventually settled in China.
Xi’an was originally a walled city, so begin your day walking or biking to explore the Xi’an City Wall, the oldest surviving ancient wall in China. Your guide will help you understand the remarkable history of its inner and outer walls, moat, tunnels, and watchtowers.
Later, you will go to the airport for your flight to Dunhuang, the gateway to the Xinjiang Region. Along the way to the airport, you’ll stop for a visit to China’s only underground museum, Hangyangling, the burial site for Emperor Jingdi and his wife, dating back over 2,000 years.
Welcome to Dunhuang, an essential stop on the Silk Road at the edge of the Gobi Desert. You’ll spend the morning at Mogao Grottoes, considered the best of China’s four grottos with its thousands of Buddhist images and statues. Known as the Thousand Buddhist Caves, they contain a richness of valuables that preserve shrines of Buddhist art, murals, and sculptures. There are 735 caves preserved here!
After lunch, visit Crescent Moon Lake, which was named for its crescent-shaped pool of spring water between the incredible dunes. From here, ride a camel through the sand dunes to Sounding Sand Mountain, named for the sounds of the wind. The Mingsha (Singing Sand) Dunes makes a singing sound and magically erases everyone’s footprints each night. There are a lot of sounds in this place! Have fun in this fantastic playground of dunes, dune buggies, sand surfing, and paragliding.
Tonight, you’ll be on a 10-hour journey on a comfortable, first-class sleeper train to Turpan!
When you arrive at the train station, your guide will drive you to Turpan to begin your cultural tour of the ruins of the ancient city of Idikut, built in the 1st century B.C.
After exploring the city, you’ll move on to the timeless village of Toyuq where you will visit several local families in this friendly Uighur community and enjoy lunch in the home of one of the families. The village maintains its traditional atmosphere and is an ideal place to get to know the real people and lifestyle of those who live here.
After lunch, admire the famous Buddha paintings and murals of Bizeklik Thousand Buddha Caves that lie under Flaming Mountain; people claim the mountain to be the hottest and driest section of the Silk Road and in China. The local saying is that “flying birds even a thousand miles away dare not to come.” Despite destruction by thieves, there are still remnants of the caves’ past glory to give you a sense of its religious importance.
At the Turpan Museum, you’ll find a valuable collection of relics from across the Turpin Basin, including dinosaur fossils and dinosaur eggs and local mummies, along with old documents in different languages revealing the ongoing cultural exchange that took place along the Silk Road.
Today, explore more of Turpan, this oasis along the Silk Road, before driving to Urumqi. Imagine a long-ago time as you explore the ruins of buildings, temples, and homes in the ancient city Yargul.
Then visit the world famous Karez underground irrigation system. It is considered one of the three great projects in China, along with the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. Experience the wisdom behind this ancient system. It allows water to flow freely, cleanly, automatically, and at a low cost ─ an incredibly valuable asset to the people.
As your journey on the Silk Road comes to an end, you’ll fly home from the Urumqui Airport today. Located at the foot of Tianshan (Heavenly Mountain Range ), Urumqui is a land of incredible natural beauty. If you have time before your flight, or if you’re staying over for an extra night, take the drive to Heavenly Lake for a boat trip and learn of their myths and legends, or perhaps drive to the South Pasture, a land of yurts and yaks and horses and sheep grazing peacefully.
Memories of this unique adventure will stay with you, and perhaps you will return one day to explore another path along the extensive trade route of the Silk Road.
Your overseas adventures on the Silk Road will lead you on a journey along the world’s oldest and most important trade route and unveil a rich cultural exploration into the heart of China and its past. Step into the past travels of ancient traders, amidst an intricate network of diverse cultures and religions, as you enjoy spectacular scenery and delicious local food. Discover grottoes, ruins, striking architecture, dramatic mountains, singing sand dunes, and camels. Come along and see where the past and present come together as the Chinese government seeks to create a new silk road!
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