The Silk Road

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Silk Road - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Kumbum Monastery

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The magnificent Kumbum Monastery lies 25 km (15 miles) southwest of Xining. One of the six great monasteries of the Tibetan Buddhist sect known...Read More

  • 2. Labrang Monastery

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    In the remote town of Xiahe, the monastery is a little piece of Tibet along the Gansu-Qinghai border. A world away from Lanzhou, Xiahe has...Read More

  • 3. Mogao Grottoes


    The magnificent Buddhist grottoes, considered by some to be the most famous in China, lie southeast of Dunhuang. At least 40 of the 700 caves...Read More

  • 4. Small Goose Pagoda

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Once part of the 7th-century Jianfu Temple, this 13-tier pagoda was built by Empress Wu Zetian in 707 to honor her predecessor, Emperor Gao...Read More

  • 5. Thousand Buddha Temple and Grottoes

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    One of the best day trips is the Thousand Buddha Temple and Grottoes, about 80 km (50 miles) from Lanzhou. More commonly known by its Chinese...Read More

  • 6. Banpo Matriarchal Clan Village

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    About 5 km (3 miles) east of the city are the remains of a 6,000-year-old Yangshao village, including living quarters, a pottery-making center...Read More

  • 7. Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    In a breathtaking valley inside the Flaming Mountains is this ancient temple complex, built between the 5th and 7th century by slaves whose...Read More

  • 8. Dongguan Mosque

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This is one of the largest mosques in all of China and illustrates the ethnic diversity of Xining. Built in the 14th century, its green and...Read More

  • 9. Famen Temple

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Originally built in the 3rd century AD, the temple was the site of an amazing find during renovations in 1981. A sacred crypt housing four of...Read More

  • 10. Great Mosque

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This lushly landscaped mosque with four graceful courtyards may have been established as early as AD 742, during the Tang Dynasty, but the remaining...Read More

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  • 11. Id Kah Mosque

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Start your tour of the city with a visit to the center of Muslim life in Kashgar. One of the largest mosques in China, the ornate structure...Read More

  • 12. Tulou Temple

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Xining's most important site is the Taoist Tulou Temple or North Monastery, at the northwest end of town. Construction on this series of mountainside...Read More

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