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The Silk Road Travel Tips

Silk Road travel tips in China and trip advices provide best seasons to visit, Xinjiang Time, tips for staying safe, tips for your packing, tips for the locals, top attractions and more along the route.

1. Best Seasons to Visit the Silk Road

According to the experience of our local tour guides, May and October are the best time to travel along the Silk Road. The summer can be too hot, and the winter is freezing.

Especially during May, the scenery is the most beautiful: the average temperature along the route is around 15℃ and the accumulated winter snow on the plateau begins to melt; The grass is turning green.

Read more about the weather along the China Silk Road.

Crescent Lake

2. Silk Road Local Time

Pay attention to the standard time. Officially, Xinjiang is on the same time zone as the other rest of China, Beijing Time. The Xinjiang locals follow Xinjiang Urumqi Time (UTC+6) at all works of life, except the schedules of flights, trains in Beijing Time (UTC+B).

Xinjiang Time is 2 hours behind the standard Beijing Time.
For example: 10:00am Beijing Time = 8:00am Xinjiang Time.

3. Tips for Staying Safe

China is probably one of the safest countries to travel, but you should still keep travel wisely and your valuables safe all times.
a. In your hotels, leave your valuables in the safe box.
b. Be very careful in the crowed, especially in Xinjiang's bazaars, bus and train stations.
c. Keep your money in a money pocket inside your clothing when you are on the road.
d. Check your notes to the keeper's face when you pay for accommodation in a smaller restaurants or shops. They may change your notes to a counterfeit one when you don't pay attention to.

Taklamakan Desert

4. Tips for Your Packing

Because the Silk Road traverses the diversified geography, the climate has various types: dry, dandy, windy… Please check again your packs and make sure that you bring the items below:
a. Long pants should be worn by both sexes whenever in sunny, windy and sandy days, complying with the Muslim sensibilities.
b. Solid and comfortable shoes for hiking and walking. Thick-soled shoes, high-cut shoes with hard tread, sports shoes or low-heeled shoes are your best choice.
c. Enough clothes for keeping you warm. Woolen layers, jacket, thick coat are essential protection against the piercing winds and cold.
d. Hats, sunglasses, sunblocking cream, lip balm for protect you from scorching sun and windburns.
e. Enough water for avoiding dehydration and food for supplying power.
f. Other necessities: rain gear, camera, electric torch, maps, medicines…

Notes: all travelers should also be prepared for dust storms, especially in Turpan, which often begin in the early afternoon and last for several hours.

Bargain in Sunday Bazaar

5. Tips for Communicating with the Locals

a. Please follow the local religious customs, habits, living styles and especially taboos. For example: short trousers, waistcoat and hats are impolite to the Muslims.
b. When you visit a local ethnic family and the host treats you with their local food, you are impolite if you refuse it. If you are really reluctant, thank your host and say a reasonable explanation.
c. No decision, no bargain in Xinjiang area. When you want to bargain with someone, it means you decide to buy.
d. If you want to ask for directions in Xinjiang, you can ask from the children who say Chinese or English better than adults.

Xinjiang Dance

6. Top Attractions on the China Silk Road

A. Shaanxi

Xian ( the starting point ): Terracotta Warriors, Xian Ancient City Wall, Shaanxi Provincial Historical Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda...

B. Gansu ( Hexi Corridor)

Lanzhou: Binglingsi Monastery, Gansu Provincial Museum, Five Spring Mountain Park, Xiahe Labrang Monastery…
Jiayuguan: Jiayuguan Pass
Dunhuang: Mogao Grottoes, Echoing-Sand Dune, Crescent Lake

C. Xinjiang

Urumqi: Tianshan Mountain, Heavely Lake
Turpan: Jiaohe Ancient Ruins, Karez Wells, Grape Valley, Flaming Mountains, Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves
Minfeng: Diversifolious Poplar Forest, Taklamakan Desert
Kashgar ( the ending point ): Sunday Bazaar, Id Kah Mosque, Abakh Khoja Tomb, Karakuli Lake

Heavenly Lake

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Have a question about your Silk Road trip planning? Simply tell us your travel ideas and we will handle the rest. No deposit is needed until you are totally satisfied with all tour plan details.

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