Why you should visit the Silk Road
- Absorb the sights, sounds and smells of the Sunday market at Kashgar
- Climb up the rock face at Maijishan to the hanging temple using ladders and platforms
- Visit the Tibetan town of Xiahe and the Labrang Monastery
- Experience different ethnic groups, cultures and traditions from the Chinese Han people to the Uighurs and Kazakhs
Our specialists' ‘Must Do’
Our China specialist Paul, has travelled along various sections of the Silk Road. He suggests travelling up the Yellow River by speedboat to Bing Ling Si Buddhist Grottoes. Take time to walk into the hills behind for true peace and quiet.
Travel the Silk Route by Luxury Train
Travelling from Moscow to Beijing (or vice versa), it is now possible to journey the silk route on board the luxurious Golden Eagle Train. Crossing five countries, from Russia, through Central Asia and ending in China, this holiday is a really magical way to soak up the history, ancient sites and fabulous architecture of this ancient trading route.
A little more about the Silk Road
The Silk Road was the most well known international trade route for the Chinese Empire. Starting at Chang An, or Xian as it is known today, the Silk Road meandered across China, skirting the Taklamakan Desert to Kashgar and then across the Tien Shan mountains into Central Asia or south across the Karakorum mountains into Pakistan and Persia (Iran).
Today, travellers can follow this ancient route for themselves, stopping along the way to explore the many sites of interest. Visit the Longmen caves near Luoyang and the hanging temple at Maijishan, explore the lost cities of the Taklamakan desert or travel to Shaolin Monastery, famous for its martial arts. Jiayuguan is the most westerly point on the Great Wall of China some 2,000 miles from its East coast origins, while the oasis town of Turpan is the second lowest place on earth.
At Dunhuang see the Mogao Grottoes and ride camels into the desert at sunset while, in Kashgar, a centre for international trade and visited by Marco Polo on his epic journey, the sounds, sights and smells of the Sunday Market are a must. Explore the history of this famous trade route on our tour of the Silk Route starting in Kyrgyzstan and ending in Xian.
When to go the the Silk Road
The best time for a holiday to China and to visit the Chinese section of The Silk Route is Spring and Autumn for the simple reason that this is when the weather is at its best. Summer can also be a good time to visit, but be warned it can get very hot!