Warm welcome by local guide (you can choose the language).
You will have a short health test to confirm that you are able to drive a car safely.
Applying Chinese driving license at traffic police station with your passport, original driving license and health examination table.
The traffic police office will take one day to prepare your new temporary Chinese driving license, so you could have a leisure day in Chengdu. Hanging out and exploring the city by yourself. People’s park may be a good place to visit local people’s life, drinking Kung fu tea and playing Tai chi. Jinli is a nice place to catch night view of the city.
Guangyuan is famous for Jianmen Pass, which is famous not only for the beauty of its steep slopes, but for its strategic importance in ancient times. As the traditional Chinese saying goes, “If one man guards the pass, ten thousand are unable to get through”. Jianmen Pass is one of the most important gateways to Sichuan.
Day 4 Guangyuan – Xi’an (450km, 7 hours driving)
Heading to the famous ancient city Xi’an. Muslim street is full of delicious Xi’an food.
Xi’an is the starting point of Silk road and has many historical sites worth to see here. Get up early in the morning, go to Terracotta Army.
Visit Giant goose pagoda and Shaanxi provincial Museum in the afternoon.
Driving to the west after Xi’an city.
Tianshui city is famous for the Maijishan Grottes, the people named the mountain ‘Maiji’ because it resembles a stack of wheat straw (mai meaning wheat, and ji meaning stack). On the sheer cliff that marks the southwest side of Maiji Mountain, people have labored for centuries carving niches and caves, giving rise to what is known today as the Maijishan Grottoes.
Drive a bit out of silk road to Xiahe city, the Labrang monastery in Xiahe city is a secret hidden Tibetan Buddhism monastery. There will be sutra practising every morning around 11:00pm.
Tongren is the Thangka Art Center in Tibetan area, you could see the how the monks draw Thangka. Shangwutun and Xiawutun monastery are two important monasteries in Tongren county too.
The Qinghai Lake is not only one of the largest inland lakes in China but also an extraordinary saltwater lake at an altitude of over 3,000 meters. As a paradise for birdwatchers and cyclists, the blue water is fascinating. Around the lake, ethnic groups villages are there to remind the culture mix of Qinghai region.
Driving along the Qilian mountain range side, you will pass Menyuan Hui Autonomous area, the rape flower blossom in July is very beautiful here.
Visit Mati temple (Horse hoof temple) in Minle, Mati Temple has gathered the culture, the landscape, and the religious together. A series of horse shoe prints are visible there. It is said that several horses left their footprints there when drinking water. As a result, the temple was named for the horseshoe prints, which are the treasure of the temple.
As an important commercial port on the ancient Silk Road, Zhangye has rich historic sites and amazing natural sceneries. The famous tourist attractions in the city include the Wooden Pagoda Temple, Danxia National Geological Park, Bell and Drum Tower, Shandan Buddha Temple and Shandan Horse Farm, and Giant Buddha Temple.
Visit Jiayuguan Great Wall Scenic Area, including Great Wall, Hanging Great Wall and the first Pier of the Great Wall.
For language sepaking gui in Dunhuang Mogao cave, you need to explain to the tickets office lady. It will spend 2 to 3 hours in Mogao cave.
Visit Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Lake in the afternoon.
Enter Xinjiang province since today, you will meet lots of police checking point along the way.
The highway in Xinjiang is wide and with a few vehicles driving on it.
Turpan city, which is also known as Huo Zhou (a place as hot as fire), is the hottest place in China. The annual average temperature is 14C (57.2F). The city name, which means ‘the lowest place’ in the Uygur language and ‘the fertile land’ in Turki.
You could enjoy fresh melons, grapes in summer here.
You will drive to today’s destination Urumqi, on the way, you could see massive wind mills.
highlights of 3 provinces
Yunnan and Tibet, ancient tea horse road
China National Highway 317
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