The Old Silk Road From Xian to Kashgar from 21-30th October 2020


I have been fascinated by the stories and myths of the Silk Road since I was young. I had always wanted to journey along this Ancient Silk Road. About 10 years ago, I journeyed along the Silk Road for the first time starting from Xian, China. I have since travelled along the North and South of the Taklimakan Desert for more than 5 times ending up in Kashgar. 

There are two mountain passes from Kashgar, the Torugart Pass in the Tian Shan Mountains leading from China to Central Asia via Kyrgyzstan. I have journeyed through this Pass all the way to Dushanbe in Tajikistan. This is the route that Marco Polo took in his travels to China. The other route is through Khunjerab Pass through the Karakorum Mountains via the Karakorum highway to Pakistan and then to India. The famous Tang Dynasty Monk went through this Pass to India to look for Buddhist scriptures.  

The journey

Many of my friends have asked me to organise another Ancient Silk Road Trip in China. It must be a short trip but not sacrificing the important places and experiences which had moulded the Silk Road. This was a challenge because the Silk Road is notoriously long and tedious to navigate.

The plan is now to commute by flight from town to town. We will arrive at Xian, the beginning of the Silk Road journey. From here, we will fly to Kashgar (the most important Oasis town along the Silk Road before exiting China to Central Asia and India)). From Kashgar, we will fly to Urumqi (the capital of Xinjiang). We will commute from Urumqi to Turpan by bus (another important Oasis town before the road splits between going through the north or south of the Taklimakan Desert). Turpan is only about 2 hours drive from Urumqi. We will fly again from Urumqi to Dunhuang (an Oasis town where the footprints of the Silk Road were written in stone, the Mogao Grottoes). Finally, we will fly from Dunhuang back to Xian.

Two stage shows, one in Dunhuang called Encore Dunhuang which depicts the history of Silk Road and another show in Urumqi which introduces the culture of the Uighur people are included.

Wherever possible, we will stay at 4-5 star hotels.

Important Towns and Cities to Visit

  1. Xian – the Ancient Silk Road has a beginning. From here it spreads to Central Asia, India and Europe.
  2. Dunhuang – an Oasis town on the Hexi Corridor where the journey of the Silk Road and Buddhism was written in stone.
  3. Kashgar – the last Oasis town on the Silk Road in China. From here travellers would split for those wishing to go to Central Asia, Europe or India.
  4. Turpan – an Oasis town before facing the vast and deadly Taklimakan Desert.
  5. Urumqi – the modern capital of Xinjiang.

How to go to Xian?

AirAsia offers the most convenient way of flying directly from Kuala Lumpur to Xian.

Difficulty of Trip

This is an easy trip. There is not much walking involved other than walking to shooting locations. Please note that there is a 20kg limit to luggage allowance for domestic flights. Power banks should not exceed 10,000 mAh.


It is Autumn along the Silk Road. The temperatures range from -5 to 20 o C. Please be prepared for these temperature fluctuations.

Meeting place

We will meet at Xian


You can find halal, vegetarian and other food all along the Silk Road.

Chinese Visa

Our Chinese Travel Agent will assist in issuing letter of invitation and other documents necessary for the application of the Chinese Visa. Visa Fees are not included.


21st Oct (Wed) – Day 1: Arrive at Xian (no meals)

  • Pick-up at Xian Airport
  • Check-in hotel
  • Stay at Xian Hotel

22nd Oct (Thur) – Day 2: Xian (B,L,)

  • Breakfast
  • Visit Yuan village, an old village in Xian in the morning
  • Visit Xian’s City Wall. This wall was built in 1370.
  • Visit Muslim street in the evening
  • Stay at Xian Hotel

23rd Oct (Fri) – Day 3: Xian -Kashgar (B,L,D)

  • Breakfast
  • Muslim Quarters and Grand Mosque
  • Transfer to airport for afternoon flight to Kashgar.
  • Check-in to Kashgar Hotel.
  • Dinner at Kashgar’s restaurant
  • Visit Kashgar’s night market
  • Stay at Kashgar Hotel

24th Oct (Sat) – Day 4: Kashgar (B,L)

  • Breakfast
  • Visit Kashgar’s Old Town
  • Lunch with a local family
  • Visit Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China.

25th Oct (Sun) Day 5: Kashgar – Urumqi (B,L)

  • Early breakfast
  • Visit the famous Sunday Animal Market which was in operation since the Silk Road Days.
  • Transfer to airport for flight to Urumqi
  • Cultural Stage Show
  • Stay at Urumqi Hotel

26th Oct (Mon) Day 6: Urumqi- Turpan (B,L)

  • Early breakfast
  • Drive to Turpan (about 3 hours)
  • Visit Tuyugou, an ancient village that is still being used
  • Lunch with the locals
  • Stay at Turpan

27th Oct (Tue) Day 7: Turpan (B,L)

  • Breakfast
  • Visit the Karez irrigation system built during the Silk Road days.
  • Lunch
  • Drive back to Urumqi
  • Visit Xinjiang Museum where the relics of the Silk Road and the preserved mummies of the Taklimakan Desert are kept
  • Visit Urumqi’s famous Bazaar.
  • Stay at Urumqi

28th (Wed) Oct Day 8: – Urumqi to Dunhuang (B,L)

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer to airport for morning flight to Dunhuang
  • Lunch and check-in hotel
  • Stage Show – Encore Dunhuang, it is about the history of the Silk Road.
  • Stay at Dunhuang Hotel

29th (Thu) Day 9: Dunhuang. (B,L)

  • Early or packed breakfast
  • Visit Crescent Moon Lake and Sing Sand Dunes in the morning for sunrise
  • Lunch
  • Visit Mogao Grottoes
  • Visit Dunhuang Night Market.
  • Stay at Dunhuang Hotel

30th (Fri) Day 10: Dunhuang -Xi’an- Departure (B,L)

  • Breakfast
  • Take early morning flight to Xian
  • Lunch
  • Last minute shopping at Muslim Quarters
  • Shower at a local hotel near the airport. We will book a few rooms for day use and share for showers and freshening up before taking the night flight home.
  • Transfer to Airport.

Photo Gallery

Cafe, Kashgar
Desert Mummies, Xinjiang
Grand Mosque, Xian. This is the oldest mosque in China
Id Kah Mosque, Kashgar. The biggest mosque in china
Tuyugao Ancient Village, Turpan
The children
Faces of Xinjiang
Hand made noodles, Turpan
Lunch with a local family, Turpan
Making of Naan bread
Street food
The largest and oldest animal trading market since the Silk Road Days, Kashgar.
Grand Bazaar, Urumqi