6 Extraordinary Sites Along Historic Silk Road

While the historic Silk Road needs no introduction, it really boast a wealth of exotic and amazing cities and tourist sites all along, of long history, profound culture, peculiar mountainous landscape, stretches of desert vast grasslands, as well as some finest examples of human art. Check out these 6 extraordinary destinations along Silk Road for a life-time experience in China!

12-day Silk Road Adventure by China Orient Express (Beijing to Urumqi)

Silk Road

Silk Road

Terra Cotta Warriors in Xian

Ancient Xian is the China’s capital city, and the starting point of legendary Silk Old on the East. Today Xian still boasts numerous relics, while Terra Cotta Warriors Museum is the most famous one. The museum has been divided into several parts, with three 3 pits accommodating thousands of life-sized terra-cotta warriors and vividly horses and chariots of Qin Dynasty (221BC-207BC). It is famed as the world’s eighth wonder.

Mount Maiji Grottoes in Tianshui

No matter whether you have heard about Mount Maiji Grottoes or not, it bears being recommended. First excavated in Later Qin of the Sixteen Kingdoms period (384AD-417AD), Mount Maiji Grottoe is one of the top four famous Buddhist grottoes In china. Maijishan Grottoes preserves 194 grottoes, with 7,200 pieces of clay or stone statues and mural paintings stretching over 1,300 square meters. Mount Maiji Grottoes resembles a huge honeycomb and is known as an ” Oriental Statues museum”.

Jiayuguan Pass & Overhanging Great Wall

While Great Wall is a must-see sight in China, Jiayuguan Pass & Overhanging Great Wall are the similar constructions along old Silk Road. Jiayuguan Pass is known as the western starting point of a section of the Great Wall of the Ming Dynasty (1368AD-1644AD), and the best preserved of the Great Wall’s ancient military fortresses. Seven miles away, overhanging Great Wall is another important defensive work in Jiangyuguan City.

Crescent Lake & Singing Sand Mountain in Dunhuang

Crescent Lake and Singing Sand Mountains together create a fantastic scene in the wild desert of Silk Road. The Crescent Lake is an oasis Gobi desert, surrounded by numerous sand dunes. And the sand dunes gradually gown into a sands mountain. Singing Sand Mountain is so named for the sound of the wind being whipping off the dunes.

Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang

The Mogao Grottoes find itself 25 km southeast of downtown Dunhuang, and is known as the world’s greatest treasure house of Buddhist art. Therefore, it is also named the Caves of Thousand Buddhas, with its construction beginning in 366 AD, and 492 grottoes contain 45,000 square meters of murals and more than 2415 painted sculptures still existing today.

Heavenly Lake & Tianshan Mountain in Xinjiang

Mt Tianshan stands at a an elevation of around 5000 meters, and was listed a UNESCO world natural heritage site in 2013. While Tianchi Lake (Heavenly Lake) is deep-blue lake hided away in snow-capped Tianshan Mountain and surrounded by hills covered with fir trees and grazed by horses. It will be a unique yet relaxed experience to take a boat on Tianchi Lake.

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8 Off-the-beaten-track sights along Ancient Silk Road

China’s Silk Road refers to a network of ancient trade routes crossing Asia from China to Europe, and now becomes an epic journey among adventurous travelers dreaming of the off-the-beaten-track sights hiding in the sand dunes of desert, vast stretches of mountains and exotic cities all along. Travel along the ancient Silk Road with the off-the-beaten-track sights, you will throughout history and back to over 1000 years ago – caravans came and went, regions arrived in China with important relics…

Easytourchina itineraries following the Silk Road
15-day China Silk Road Discovery
15-day Silk Road Adventure at Soft Grade
12-day Essence of the Silk Road Tour

Qinghai Lake and Bird Island – In Mongolian, Qinghai Lake is called Kukuruo’er, and in Tibetan, Cuowenbo, both of which mean blue sea. It is the largest salt-water lake in China lying 3,200 meters above sea level, and embraced by high mountains. At its northeast end are the “Bird Islands”, where countless migrating birds fly in and out. Visitors can hear the warbles of birds from miles away.

Mount Maiji Grottoes – the 1500-year-old Mount Maiji Grottoes were first built in Later Qin of Sixteen States (384-417), and now boasts 194 grottoes linked by zigzagging jutting plank roads, with 7,200 pieces of clay statues and stone carvings and more than 1,300 sq meters of frescoes.

Zhangye Danxia Landform – Zhangye’s unique Danxia landform with a total area of approximately 410 square kilometers do create a very strong visual shock for adventurous travelers. Admire the Danxia cliffs, stone walls, pillars and peaks, eroded caves, table mountain terrain…

Jiayuguan Fort – 7 km southwest of Jiayuguan city, Jiayugyan Fort is the west end of the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty. It is the most magnificent and best-preserved ancient military fort in China. Climb atop on Jiayuguan Fort for sweeping views! The Overhanging Great Wall nearby is also a great draw for travelers along the Silk Road.

Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang – Mogao Grottoes is the greatest treasure house of Buddhist art with innumerous sculptures, murals and manuscripts, and a glittering pearl that adorns the Silk Road.

Mingsha Dune & Crescent Lake –Minghsha Dune (or Singing Sand Mountains) is the first in a series of thousands of dunes that make up the Taklamakan Desert. And the Crescent Lake is an oasis Gobi desert lies at the foot of Minghsha Dune. Legend has that people have never seen Crescent Lake covered by sand, despite thousands of years of sand erosion.

Turpan Grape Valley – In the oasis city of Turpan, a vast areas of grapes valley is a paradise to keep away the surrounding desert heat. Feast on all kinds of grapes, and sip a fresh glass of white wine made by Uygur people.

Great Wall of Han Dynasty – located in Dunhuang, the walls were 1000 years earlier than the Great Wall of Ming Dynasty that we usually talk about and made of local sand and weed. However, it is now in danger! Only a few broken sections and several towers distorted beyond recognition are standing still, due to nature erosion and artificial damage.