Travel along the legendary Silk Road from Kashgar to Beijing

Discover a land of vast open landscapes, timeless treasures and ancient civilisations on this overland odyssey from Kyrgyzstan to Xi’an along the legendary Silk Road. Travel from the heights of the Kyrgyz mountains, over the legendary Torugart Pass through the Taklamakan Desert and into the lush countryside of the Gansu Corridor. Discover places seldom visited, from the breathtaking Buddhist artwork in the Mogao Caves to deserted stretches of China’s Great Wall. Get to know the wild landscapes, secluded oases, fascinating cultures and welcoming people who inhabit this legendary route along the Silk Road.

Kashgar, China
Beijing, China
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 18
Group size
Min 4, Max 19
Carbon offset
1 558kg pp per trip


  • Climb over a deserted section of the Great Wall
  • Admire the breathtaking Mogao Caves
  • Cross the infamous and dramatic Torugart Pass
  • See the 2,000-year-old army of Terracotta Warriors
  • Discover the enchantment of Tibetan influenced Xiahe
  • Stay with a local Kyrgyz family
  • Follow the legendary Silk Road
  • Cross the dramatic Torugart Pass
  • Camp out in the Taklamakan Desert
  • Learn the secrets of Chinese silk production


Travel to the westernmost end of China and visit Kashgar, an exotic fusion of Chinese, Uzbek and Kyrgyz. Wander the streets that weave through the old town and discover the markets and bazaars of this diverse city.
Leave Kashgar and head to the outskirts of the enormous Taklamakan Desert. Travelling into seemingly unchartered terrain, spend two days on an overland adventure.
Travel towards the Tian Shan mountain range, and arrive at the pristine Heavenly Lake. Located at the top of a mountain - and in the middle of a desert - this is a remote spot, perfect for relaxation.
Escape the desert sands in the laidback town of Turpan.
Continue the Overland adventure towards the ancient Silk Road town of Dunhuang. Spend the night wild camping beneath the desert stars.
Arrive in Dunhuang and relax in this Gansu oasis trading town. Visit the nearby Mogao Caves and discover their breathtaking Buddhist art.
Drive to Jiayuguan and discover deserted sections of the Great Wall.
At the crossroads of Qinghai and Gangsu, arrive at Liujiaxia. Visit the Bingling Si Buddhist grottoes to see intricate cliff-side carvings.
Travel to the Tibetan monastery town of Xiahe, often described as one of the most enchanting places to visit in China.
Relax beside the rushing waters of the Yellow River.
Arrive in the beautiful town on Pingliang, nestled into the verdant Kongtong Mountains. There are lovely shop-lined streets waiting to be explored or hike up Mount Kongton for stunning views and lush scenery.
Admire the 2,000-year-old army of Terracotta Warriors, discovered by farmers in 1976. Spend a free day exploring; perhaps visit the Bell and Drum Towers or wander through the night market, soaking in the intoxicating sights, smells and sounds.
Visit the Revolution Museum and see where the 12,500 km Long Walk came to a rest in historic Yan'An.
Spend a memorable night in a cavehouse in Lijiashan. This 550-year-old village is still home to over 600 families and scales nine stories.
Explore the ancient city of Pingyao, an atmospheric walled town that exudes the ambience of old-world China.
Make the pilgrimage to Wutai Shan and join thousands of years of travellers who have come from all over China and Mongolia to experience what is believed to be the earthly abode of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. Experience beautiful Himalayan art and lush mountain scenery.
Marvel at the Hanging Monastery and explore the World Heritage-listed Yungang Grottoes.
Take a walk along the monumental Great Wall as it snakes its way through rolling hills as far as the eye can see.
Stroll through the lush Shanzhuang gardens in the footsteps of past Emperors who holidayed here. Take in the rich heritage of Chengde by bicycle or admire Mongolian and Tibetan influences in local temples and monasteries.
End the tour by joining the buzzing hive that is Beijing. Visit the Forbidden City to admire imperial architecture or the sprawling Summer Palace on the banks of Kunming Lake.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


Overland vehicle
Bush camp (no facilities) (4 nights), Camping (with facilities) (2 nights), Cave house (1 night), Guesthouse (2 nights), Hotel (26 nights), Yurt (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Beijing - Forbidden City
  • Chengde - Bisu Shanzhuang
  • Chengde - Puning Temple
  • Datong - Hanging Monastery
  • Datong - Yungang Grottoes
  • Entrance Jiayuguan fort
  • Great Wall, Entrance, Jinshanling section, Beijing
  • Lijiashan - Black Dragon Temple
  • Wutai Shan - Taihui Temple Cluster
  • Xi'an - Terracotta Warriors guided tour
  • Yan'an - Revolution Museum & CCP Headquarters site


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Important notes

Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes