Chinese Silk Road Taklamakan Adventure

The Silk Road has long passed into lore and legend. Connecting China with the unknown lands to the west, it once spanned great swathes of Central Asia, crossing nearly 6,500 kilometres of burning deserts and high mountain passes.

This exceptional adventure takes us through some of the most culturally and geographically diverse landscapes along the Chinese section of the Silk Road; travelling through the harsh Taklamakan Desert to pick up both the more regularly travelled northern route, as well as the less travelled southern section. We’ll begin in Xian, home to the fabulous Terracotta Warriors and the easternmost point of the Silk Road, before moving on to explore the ancient cities that lay along its course. Along the way we will visit Tibetan Monasteries and ancient ruins, take in the Great Wall at Jiayuguan and explore the ancient Buddhist caves at Dunhuang. We continue on to Turpan, one of the lowest points on earth, and famous for its backdrop of the Flaming Mountains. Our journey then continues through Kuqa and Aksu to our desert camp outside Makit.

Our tour finishes in the fabled town of Kashgar – the meeting point of both northern and southern routes - and the end of this remarkable odyssey.


  • Discover the ancient trading outposts of China’s northern and southern Silk Roads
  • Visit the Terracotta Army in Xi’an and the Great Wall at remote Jiayuguan
  • Explore the great Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of Labrang at Xiahe
  • Visit the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang and the historic Silk Road city of Turpan
  • Camp out overnight in the Taklamakan Desert

Tour Includes:

  • Full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides and drivers
  • 16 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 16 dinners (typically in local restaurants where viable)
  • Drinking water throughout
  • All transport (minibuses, overnight trains)
  • 16 nights' accommodation (12 in hotels, 3 on overnight trains in soft sleepers and 1 desert camp)
  • All entrance fees, sightseeing, excursions and activities as per the itinerary *A carbon-offsetting contribution to Carbon Clear (if booking international flights through WF office)


*Please note that the itinerary for the 2016 departure varies slightly from the 2017 version. Please see individual dossiers for details.

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Plan an overnight train journey in your itinerary as they run on time and are comfortable.

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