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This epic journey explores the colorful, historic caravan route that was the first channel of trade and cultural exchange between the east and the west. Browse through Urumqi’s bazaar and visit Heavenly Lake with its nomad settlements. Walk the streets of Turfan sheltered by grape arbors and view the Karez, an incredible underground irrigation system. Explore Jiaohe’s ancient city ruins and Kucha’s Friday Bazaar. Admire the deep blue color from lapis lazuli that decorates the walls of the Kizil Grottoes. Myths and legends come to life at Kashgar’s lively open-air markets where the spirit of this once rich trading route still lives on. Meet the Uygur traders while they furiously barter for silks, spices and camels in the greatest market in all of Central Asia!
Pass breathtaking scenery to picturesque Karakul Lake in the shadow of the Pamir Mountains. Traverse the great Gobi desert to oasis towns with mud walled villages that appear little changed. At Khotan view the silk producing mulberry groves. In Dunhuang be astounded by the Thousand Buddha Caves filled with beautifully painted murals, sculptures and statuary – amongst the world’s best preserved and most extensive collection of ancient Buddhist cave art. Another highlight is a visit to the cliff side caves at Bingling si with its numerous caves and impressive artwork. Explore Shanghai – an interesting city of contrasts with cutting edge art and architecture, trendy pubs and restaurants that sit side by side with the old Jewish quarter, classical gardens and historic teahouses.
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