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Silk Road: 7 days Xining to Dunhuang (incl Pingshanhu)

Silk Road Trip Xining to Dunhuang (incl Pingshanhu)

Trip Details:

Depends on the number of people.
Contact us by Wechat or email ( for a quotation.

7 Days


Xining, Chaka & Qinghai Lake, Zhangye: Pingshanhu, Rainbow Mt & Mati temple, Jiayuguan, and Dunhuang

Type: Sightseeing (no hike)
Dates: Choose your own date 😊

An incredible 7 days following the ancient Silk Road, to discover China’s hidden wonders and culture.

No matter when you go, be prepared for some amazing sceneries and beautiful discoveries 🤩


🌈Amazing sceneries: Rainbow Mountain, Pingshanhu, Qinghai and Chaka Salt Lake, Gobi Desert...

🐪 Fun experiences: Sleep in a Yurt, ride a camel...

🤩Culture: Meet Buddhist monks and nomads, and visit the Tibetan temple...

⛺️ Historic: Silk Road, Western Great Wall, historic city of Dunhuang, Mogao Grottoes (366 AD)


Comprehensive itinerary for a Harbin tour, highlighting key attractions like the Ice and Snow Festival, Siberian Tiger Park, and historical sites.

Day 1

Arrival - Xining

Highlight: Ta'er Monastery

Today is arrival day 😊 We suggest arriving in Xining by 12:15 as we have some visits planned in the afternoon!

After the airport pickup, we'll head to the hotel for the check-in (~40 min drive). You'll then have a bit of free time for lunch.

~14:30, we'll head to Ta'er Monastery - also known as Kumbum Monastery (~1h drive). It is one of the two most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries outside Tibet itself. It presents a beautiful landscape of both Han and Tibetan architecture temples and residences nestled in the peaceful hills of Xining's suburbs.

~18:00, we will drive back to Xining (~1h drive), where we will stay overnight.

Free time in the evening.

🚗 Transportation: Private Car (2-3h drive)

🛌 Accommodation: Hotel in Xining

🍚 Meals: None

⛰ Altitude: 2261m

Day 2

Xining > Chaka Lake

Highlight: Chaka Salt Lake

~8:00, we will drive to Chaka Salt Lake (~5h drive). It is one of several salt lakes in the Quidam basin.

~13:00 we will arrive and have our lunch break.

~14:00-18:00, we will visit Chaka Lake

Chaka is unique because it has both solid and liquid salt, which makes the scenery particularly beautiful. Many people rename this lake the “Mirror of the Sky” because the snow-white bed of the lake contrasts with the deep blue of the lake, giving it a mirror-like impression. 📸 Prepare your camera!

Free time in the evening.

🚗 Transportation: Private Car (~5h drive)

🛌 Accommodation: Hotel in Chaka

🍚 Meals: Breakfast

⛰ Altitude: 3059m

Day 3

Chaka Lake Qinghai Lake > Xining >  Zhangye

Highlight: Qinghai Lake

~8:00, we will drive to Qinghai Lake (~2/3h drive) which is the largest saline lake in China.  We will find nice spots on the way to wander and admire the beautiful views of the lake, mountains, and grassland. If you're interested, you can have a bike ride at Qinghai Lake.

After lunch (~12:00-13:00) we will drive back to Xining (~2/3h drive) and take the train to Zhangye (2h ride) where we will spend the night.

Free time in the evening.

🚗 Transportation: Private Car (5-6h drive) & Train (2h)

🛌 Accommodation: Hotel in Zhangye

🍚 Meals: Breakfast

⛰ Altitude: 1400m

Day 4


Highlight: Mati Temple, Pingshanhu

~8:00, we will drive to Mati Temple (~1h30 drive) for a nice visit. Mati temple was built in the Jin Dynasty. It is said to be a series of horseshoe prints left by the legendary heaven horse, which then became the treasure of the temple.

After lunch (~12:00-13:00), we will head to Pingshanhu Danxia (~2h30 drive). We will have a chill hike at Pingshanhu Danxia. As one of the best off-the-beaten-path adventures in the region, the Grand Canyon has a wild natural beauty that is both grand and beautiful.

~18:30 We will then drive back (~1h30) to do the check-in (~20:00). Tonight, we are staying in a very special accommodation: a traditional Kaoshan Tent, similar to a Yurt! Free time in the evening.

🚗 Transportation: Private Car (~5h30 drive)

🛌 Accommodation: Kaoshan Tent in Zhangye

🍚 Meals: Breakfast

⛰ Altitude: 1400m

Day 5

Zhangye > Jiayuguan 

Highlight: Rainbow Mountain & Western end of the Great Wall 

~8:00, we will visit Danxia Landform Geological Park, aka the "Rainbow Mountain!" 🌈 These famous Chinese mountains are known for their colors that mimic a rainbow painted over the tops of rolling mountains. 🤩 Amazing! If you're wondering where these colors come from, it's basically layered sandstone and minerals built up over millions of years; when tectonic plates moved, the colors began to appear. 

After lunch (~12:00-13:00), we will drive to  Jiayuguan City (~2.5h drive), in northwestern Gansu Province. It has a history of more than 600 years and is famous for the Jiayuguan Fort as well as the western end of the Great Wall. 

~15:30-17:00, we will visit the Jiayuguan fort. If you're interested in knowing more about the history and culture of the Great Wall you can even visit the Great Wall Museum there. Very interesting and comprehensive (optional). 

~17:30-19:00, we will go to the hanging Great Wall and walk through the Western Part of the Great Wall, up and down the wall. Can you believe that this part was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)? 

Free time in the evening.

🚗 Transportation: Private Car (~2.5h drive)

🛌 Accommodation: Hotel in Jiayuguan

🍚 Meals: Breakfast

⛰ Altitude: 1462m

Day 6

Jiayuguan > Dunhuang

Highlight: Dunhuang, Mogao Grottoes

~8:00, we will drive to Dunhuang (a 4-5h drive) which was a major stop on the ancient Silk Road and is best known for the nearby Mogao Caves.

~13:00-13:30, we will have our lunch break.

~14:00-17:00, we will do the Mogao Grottoes visit.

These caves were carved by hand (the first one in AD 366) as places of Buddhist meditation and worship and contain the world's largest collection of Buddhist art. Not surprisingly, they have been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and are great artistic and religious wonders of the World.

Free time in the evening.

We recommend going to the Shazhou night market. This is the perfect place to try local specialties (such as Yellow Noodle,  Dunhuang Rang Pi, Apricot Peel Water...) and buy some local craft & souvenirs.

🚗 Transportation: Private Car  (4-5h drive)

🛌 Accommodation: Hotel in Dunhuang

🍚 Meals: Breakfast

⛰ Altitude: 1138m

Day 7

Dunhuang & Departure

Highlight: Echoing Sand Mountain & Crescent Lake

~8:00, we will drive (~30min drive) to the Echoing Sand Mountain and the Crescent-shaped Lake - an oasis in the Gobi desert. Get ready for boundless desert, mysterious sand-echoing, breathtaking desert cape, and azure blue sky. There, you can choose to ride a camel (at extra cost) following part of the Ancient Silk Road. 

~11:00, It is now time to drive to the airport and go back home, head full of wonderful memories! 

🚗 Transportation: Private car

🛌 Accommodation: /

🍚 Meals: Breakfast

⛰ Altitude: 1138m

*Note that this itinerary is for referral only. Actual timing might be flexible depending on the weather or other organizational factors.


Get a glimpse of the the Tour Experience!

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The price will depend on the number of people you have. Contact us for a quotation 😊


- 1 Airport pickup on day 1
- 1 Airport drop off on day 7 at ~12h
- On-site private transportation with AC
- Train from Xining to Zhangye, 2nd class seat
- English-speaking local guides (one for the Qinghai area and another for the Gansu area)
- Accommodation: Comfortable hotels (4-star hotels except in Qinghai Lake and Zhangye Kaoshan Yurt). 2 persons sharing one room.
- Meals: daily breakfast
- Entrance fee listed in the itinerary
- Water: 2 bottles per person per day
- Travel Insurance


Choose your own date


- Flights arriving at Xining / leaving from Dunhuang
- Meals not mentioned (lunches and dinners)
- Personal expenses and tips to the guide and driver
- Invoice

- Single room occupancy: to be confirmed
- Train upgrade: first-class train tickets (day 3)
- Hotel upgrade: 5* hotels or best available
- Extra activities: boating, camel riding, culture show, etc.

Cancellation Fee

Cancellation fee (per person)
- Between booking and 15 days prior to departure: 300 RMB
- Between 15 and 5 days prior to departure: 2000 RMB
- Between 4 and 1 days prior to departure: 50% of the price
- On departure day or no-show: 100% of the price

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy
If the weather is really bad and represents a risk for people's safety, or there is any government restriction, we could cancel the trip up to 1 day in advance. The deposit would be fully refunded. Note that we are NOT responsible for flight cancellation fees. This would need to be dealt with the airline company directly.

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