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MIR Corporation has unveiled a new itinerary that will take travelers on a journey across Western China to retrace the path of ancient traders and adventurers on the Silk Road.

The 18-day China’s Silk Road & Tibet: Route of Monks and Merchants tour will start in 2,000-year-old Kashgar, the fabled city that greeted Marco Polo as he entered the Middle Kingdom, before moving on to Turpan, an oasis on the northern Silk Road where sweet wine grapes are cultivated and irrigated using a 2,000-year-old gravity-fed system. Here, guests will explore the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, begun in 366 AD, and investigate the underground tombs of Astana. Next on the itinerary is a trip to Liu Yuan, the gateway to Dunhuang, where the Mogao Buddhist Caves were created. Guests can admire the frescoes and painted statues of this UNESCO-listed site before taking a short camel ride at the foot of Echoing Sands Mountain. Xining, located high on the Tibetan Plateau in remote Qinghai Province, is the next stop on the journey. Here, guests will have the opportunity to visit the Ta’er Monastery and learn about ancient Tibet at the Tibetan Medicine and Culture Museum. The last six days of the trip will be spent between Lhasea, Gyantse, and Shigatse. Highlights will include visiting Gyantse’s turquoise Yamdrok Lake, Shigatse’s gold-roofed Tashilhunpo Monastery, founded by the first Dalai Lama, and Lhasa’s UNESCO-listed Potala Palace.

Departing on May 10 and Oct. 11, 2019, pricing for this tour starts at $6,795 pp. For more information, visit mircorp.com.

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