Travel China's Silk Road with experts from the U.S. - China Institute


Over 14 days you will explore, learn, make connections, and meet the experts dedicating their lives to the preservation of this history and intangible cultural heritage.




DAY 1: arrive in shanghai

Arrive in Shanghai and meet your tour leaders and fellow travelers at a welcome reception and dinner.

Day 2: shanghai

Experience ancient and modern all in one day by exploring the Yu Garden from the Ming Dynasty and thousands of years of history at the Shanghai Museum. At night, check out Xintiandi, Shanghai's exclusive pedestrian only shopping, eating, and entertainment area.

day 3: shanghai to hangzhou

Understand the birth of modern U.S. - China relations and the backbone of the most important bilateral relationship in the world today. In the morning explore The Bund and see some of the most important places where the U.S. - China bond has grown stronger. In the afternoon board China's world class high-speed railway to your next destination, Hangzhou (D3103).

day 4: hangzhou

Deepen your understanding of the prized material that gave the Silk Road it's name at the National Silk Museum. Wander on the waters of West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that gives base to Hangzhou's legacy as "Heaven on Earth" and explore Lingyin Temple, one of the largest Buddhist temples in China, founded in 328 BCE.

day 5: hangzhou

Spend the morning walking among the Longjing Tea Fields, home to some of the most prized tea leaves in the world. You will sample the teas and learn about the history of another highly desired commodity traded along the Silk Road. In the afternoon visit the Song Yao Museum which showcases the epitome of porcelain production in China during the Southern Song Dynasty. Dinner will be held at the Museum of Hangzhou Cuisine before a performance of The Romance of the Song Dynasty Show.

day 6: hangzhou

Travelers have the option to spend a day exploring Hangzhou on their own or join the group for a visit to Liangzhu Archaeological Site, where the prehistoric Liangzhu Culture (3400-2250 BCE) was named, to see the earliest and largest walled city to date found in China. Among the discoveries here have been many exquisite pieces of jade which is another valued treasure in China. The afternoon will take the group to the Grand Canal, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and truly a marvel of engineering on a scale almost unimaginable of the time.


  • Accommodations: 4-5 star hotels
  • Transportation: trains, planes, private coach
  • Intensity Level: Easy
  • Meals: Most meals included
  • Price: $7,800 per person in double room
  • $8,600 per person in single room


  • All accommodations
  • All domestic transportation in China
  • Many meals (as noted in the brochure)
  • All lecture, activity, and entrance fees
  • In depth at the Terracotta Army & Mogao Caves

not included

  • International airfare
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Traveler's insurance

please see brochure for detailed list of what is and is not included


John Forrest
Assistant Director, Business Services
U.S. - China Institute at Bryant University
(401) 232-6884

day 7: hangzhou to xi'an

One week into the journey, an early morning flight will take the group to the hub of Silk Road activity (MU2292/HU7862). After checking into the hotel and resting, visit the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda where many of the treasures that Monk Xuan Zang (602-664 AD) collected on his 17 year journey to the west were kept after his return to China. The evening will include a performance portraying culture from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).

day 8: xi'an

Start the day on top of Xi'an's ancient city wall and look out over what was once the largest city in the world. Sample local specialties at lunch followed by a visit to the Shaanxi History Museum, home of some of ancient China's most treasured relics. For dinner, the group will enjoy Old Sun's House, originally opened in 1898.

day 9: xi'an

Sure to be a highlight of this journey, we will take you to visit Qin Shi Huang's Terracotta Army at a special restoration area of the museum. Our friends at the Shaanxi Archaeological Institute have invited us to enjoy this special experience with them to get an up close look at one of the world's most mesmerizing archaeological discoveries of the past 50 years.

day 10: xi'an

Travelers have the option to spend a day exploring Xi'an on their own or join the tour leaders and visit the Great Mosque of Xi'an. It is a place that truly represents engagement with the world and the east-west exchange of ideas as it is truly a place of worship for those of the Islamic faith but built in the style of Chinese architecture.

day 11: xi'an to jiayuguan

An early morning flight will take the group to China's far western regions and into the iconic landscape of the Gobi Desert that so many people associate with the Silk Road.

day 12: jiayuguan

Visit an area of the Great Wall that none of your friends can say that they have been to. Jiayuguan was once China's western most outpost during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), lying at the edge of civilization. It is today the most intact remaining military garrison along the Great Wall. In the afternoon, visit tombs dating from the Wei and Jin Dynasties (3rd - 5th century CE) that are home to many brightly colored frescoes that give insight to life during that time period.

day 13: jiayuguan to dunhuang

The group will travel by bus to Dunhuang in the morning alongside a stretch of Great Wall dating to the Han and Tang dynasties. After checking into the hotel and resting, the group will visit the Singing Sand Dunes and Cresent Lake which will provide further insight into the importance of these desert oasis towns located along China's ancient Silk Road.

day 14: Dunhuang

The climax of the journey will be the group's special access tour of the Mogao Caves just outside of Dunhuang. Dating as far back as the 4th century, these caves were built by travelers along the Silk Road who believed the construction of such caves would help them on their treacherous journeys. Through our friends at the Dunhuang Research Academy, we will provide you with special access to the caves and to those people who are making it their life's work to preserve the history and cultural heritage of the caves. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, the caves are home to some of the finest examples of Buddhist art in the world and have amazing stories to go along with them.

day 15: dunhuang to beijing

An early morning flight will take the group to Beijing where we will check into the hotel and the group will disperse.


 B = breakfast; L = lunch; D = dinner

B = breakfast; L = lunch; D = dinner



John Forrest
Assistant Director, Business Services
U.S.-China Institute at Bryant University
(401) 232-6884