Central Asia & Chinese Turkestan - 6 "stans" - Silk Road Tour

Duration: 22 days.
Season: April - October
Countries: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Chinese Turkestan and Kazakhstan. Historical and cultural tour
Tour description:

The Great Silk Road or the royal path of trade - an amazing mankind creation, the transcontinental highways, connecting the ancient civilizations of East and West, serving not only the interaction beneficial trade relations of peoples, but also inter-penetration of religions, cultures, scientific and technical achievements. In the reality, this is not a road that we want to discuss, but it is about many people who however mostly crossed via Central Asia. If the name of "Silk Road" was well known, because the precious stuff of the most prestigious product made in China and was transported by caravans. Other commodities like spices, jewelry, amber, glass was also took via this path. All religions practiced on both sides of the world have crossed too on this route which has proved particularly beneficial for the propagation of Islam and Buddhism. It was also a route taken by diplomats, spies, and thieves attracted a steady stream of convoys laden with riches. One of the main starting points of the Silk Road was Chang'an, today's Xi'an, the ancient capital of China. From here the caravans headed via Gansu corridor to Xinjiang, then via highway routes of Karakorum and Pamir to reach into the steppes and deserts of Central Asia, they were long halts in oases cities, where was caravanserais and was a good possibilities to meet and exchange goods with merchants arriving from Iran and the Arab world. The Silk Road was destined to become not only an expensive trade, but the crossroad of two different civilizations - east and west with very specific cultural traditions, religious beliefs, scientific and technical achievements. 

"Asia Travel Discoveries" will help you to see the magnificent architectures, the stunning scenic nature of these edges. You will feel a hot desert wind, will see the dazzling mountains, hear the noise of mountain streams and marvel beauty of the nature. 

Itinerary: Ashgabat Mary Kunya Urgench KhivaBukharaSamarkandTashkentKhujand Dushanbe Bishkek Issyk Kul Tamchi Naryn Tash RabatTorugart PassKashgar Urumchi Almaty.

Pax quantity in group

Price of the tour per pax in USD, 3-4* star option

2

5005

3-4

4167

5-6

3498

7-9

3238

10-12

3135

13-15

3057

16-18

2940

19-20

2885

Additional payment for sgl supp.

665

This price includes:

  • Visa support letters
  • Hotel accommodation (double room sharing)
  • In Tashrabat (Kyrgyzstan) accommodation in the yurts( 4-5 pax)
  • Full Board Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)* 
  • Bottled water (1 l per person per day) 
  • All Land Transfers with A/C 
  • Internal Flights (Ashgabat – MaryDashoguz , KhujandDushanbe and DushanbeBishkek , Kashgar - Urumqi – Almaty
  • Guided sightseeings 
  • Entrance Fees 
  • Folk-show in Bukhara “NDB” madrassah 
  • Folk-show in Kashgar. 

Short program: 

Day 1. Fly to Ashgabat (Turkmenistan ).

Day 2. Ashgabat - Nissa - Ashgabat

Day 3. Ashgabat Mary Ashgabat.

Day 4. Ashgabat Dashoguz Kunya UrgenchKhiva (Uzbekistan).

Day 5. Khiva.

Day 6. KhivaBukhara

Day 7. Bukhara

Day 8. Bukhara

Day 9. Bukhara - Samarkand

Day 10. Samarkand - Tashkent

Day 11. TashkentKhujend (Tajikistan). 

Day 12. Khujend Istarafshan Dushanbe.

Day 13. Dushanbe

Day 14. Dushanbe Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan ) - Cholpon Ata. 

Day 15. Cholpon AtaNaryn - Tashrabat

Day 16. Tashrabat Torugart PassKashgar (China, Chinese Turkestan ). 

Day 17. Kashgar

Day 18. Kashgar - Urumqi

Day 19. Urumqi Almaty (Kazakhstan ). 

Day 20. Almaty

Day 21. Almaty - Departure. 

Tour program Day-by-Day:

Day 1. Fly to Ashgabat . On arrival transfer to hotel

Day 2. Ashgabat. Arrival to Ashgabat. Visit of the capital of Turkmenistan and the ruins of Old Nissa. 

Early arrival to Ashgabat. Accommodation at hotel. Rest. Breakfast. After breakfast drive through the city center to Old Nisa (18 km). Nisa fortress once was one of the residences of the Parthian Empire (247 BC-253 AD), stretching from the Kopetdag all the way across to the Persian Gulf and Anatolia. Visit the National Museum of Ashgabat (Do not work on Tuesday), which is known by its most important historical and ethnographic treasures. More than 500,000 exhibits are displayed here. We also visit Ashgabat's Carpet Museum (Do not work on Saturday,Sunday). The museum has a large, impressive collection of antique carpets and one of the giant carpets is on display. Then we shall visit a Carpet Workshop within the museum where newly carpets are under process. Dinner. Overnight in hotel. 

Day 3. Ashgabat – Mary-Ashgabat 

Morning flight to Mary. Today we'll visit the old city of Merv. Visit the unique series of cities, not built on top of each other, as is so often the case, for instance at Damascus or Jerusalem, but constructed on adjacent virgin sites. The sites of the ancient town Erk-Kala (the fortress- citadel), Gyaur-Kala, Sultan-Kala, Abdulla-khan-Kala correspond to the different periods of Mervs' existence. The monuments we will tour and walk through are the Great and Little Kiz Kalas, the Kiz Bibi mausoleum, the magnificent Mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar, the Palace and keshk in the Shahriar Ark or Royal Citadel, the mosque of Yusuf Hamadani, the Timuridiwans or Askhab, and the Mausoleum of Muhammad ibn Zaud. Return to Mary. Visit Middle Age Mosque of Talhatan and Mary regional Museum. Take evening flight back to Ashgabat. Overnight in hotel.

Day 4. Ashgabat – Dashoguz – Kunya Urgench – Khiva (Uzbekistan = 2 stan).

Breakfast. Morning transfer to the airport and flight to Dashoguz. Arrival to Dashoguz, transfer to Kunya-Urgench (120km/1.5h). Sightseeing tour in Kunya Urgench, visit: Portal of Caravansaray, Mamur Minaret, II Arslan Mausoleum, Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum, Academy of Horezm, kutlug Timur Minaret, Turabek Hanum Mausoleum. After sightseeing return to Dashoguz. Transfer to border check point Dashoguz. Border formalities on both sides. Continue to Khiva. Arrival to Khiva, check in to the hotel. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in hotel. 

Day 5. Khiva.

Khivathe most ancient and unique city-museum under open sky. Monuments here are located close to each other, inside the walls of Ichan Qala internal city: UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will see the following monuments: Allakulikhan Madrassah(XVIII – XIX cc), Muhammad Amin Khan Madrassah (XIX c), Kalta Minor, Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Islom Khoja Minaret, Juma Mosque, Toshhovli and other.

Overnight in hotel. 

Day 6. Khiva – Bukhara. 

Breakfast . Transfer to Bukhara via Kyzyl-Kum desert (475 km, 7-8 hrs). En route – stop close to Amudarya river to take a pictures and on a one of the Chaykhana – tea house for picnic-lunch . Arrival to Bukhara and accommodation in hotel. Walking tour in old party of city. Dinner in some of madrassahs. Overnight in hotel. 

Day 7. Bukhara. 

Breakfast.

Bukhara is the real Oriental fairy-tale, city with small romantic streets, which unsurpassed has preserved the beauty and charm of the ancient walls.

Monuments here are located close to each other and that’s why sightseeing tour will be organized without use of vehicle.

Today you will see: Samanids’ dynasty mausoleum (IX-X cc), Chashma-Ayub burial-vault (XIV-XIX cc), Kalon ensemble, Madrassah Miri-Arab, Madrassah Ulugbek and Abdulazizkhan, Lyabi Hauz complex (XVI-XVII), Kukeldash Madrassah (1568), Arc Fortress (VI-VIIcc), Chor-Minor Madrassah.

Don’t forget to visit trade domes of ancient Bukhara bazaar-even in case you won’t buy any souvenir or Bukhara ancient adornment (that is highly unlikely) you will get many pleasant impressions and gain extensive insight about Orient and its inhabitants.

Overight in hotel.

Day 8. Bukhara - Samarkand. 

Breakfast . Today we have sightseeing tour out of city.You will see summer palace of Bukhara emir Sitorai-Mokhikhosa (XIX c), Bakhaadin Nakshbandi complex and Chor-minor madrassah. Lunch. After lunch transfer to Samarkand (295 km). Samarkand – the Pearl of Orient and mythical, evocative name of one of the key trading cities of the ancient Silk Road. With a history dating back 2700 years, the city became famous as the capital of the vast state created by Tamerlaine and later ruled by his grandson Ulugbek in the 14th and 15th centuries. En route visit of the ruins of ancient CaravanseraiRabat Malik and Sardoba. Arrival to Samarkand. Accommodation. Overnight in hotel.

Day 9. Samarkand.

Breakfast. Full day sightseeing tour in “Eden of the Orient”- that name was given to Samarkand by the philosophers and poets of the past. You will see this famous city in all its beauty: visit Registan square (XVII c) including Ulugbek Madrassah (1417-1420), Sher-Dor Madrassah (1619-1636), Tillya-Kori (1647-1660) Madrassah, Gur-Emir mausoleum, visit of ensemble of Shakh-i-Zinda mausoleums, oriental bazaar Siyab and Bibikhanum Mosque (XV c).. Overnight in hotel. 

Day 10. Samarkand - Tashkent. 

Breakfast. Drive to Tashkent (330 km). Arrival and accommodation. Sightseeing program of the capital of Uzbekistan. It is one of the largest cities in Central Asia and there are about 3 million inhabitants. It has a history of more than 2 thousand years. Visit to Kukaldash Madrassah, Local Bazaar Chorsu, Barrak Khan madrassah, Tilla Shaykh mosque, Abu Bakr Kaffal Shashi mausoleum. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in hotel.

Day 11. Tashkent – Khujand (Tajikistan= 3 stan). 

Early breakfast. Drive to Uzbekistan/Tajikistan border “Oybek” (100 km). After border formalities drive to Khujand (65 km). On arrival check in to the hotel. Lunch at local restaurant. Visit of Khujand city; the local museum, oriental bazaar and Khujend fortress - according to Greek historians, in 329 B.C. Alexander the Great founded a fortress on the River Tanais or Yaksart (present-day Syr Darya River), which formed a natural border for his empire. Overnight in hotel. 

Day 12. Khujand – Istarafshan – Dushanbe. 

Breakfast. Drive to Istarafshan (100 km one way). Sightseeing of Istarafshan: visiting to Mugtepa, Kuk-Gumbaz. Drive back to Khujand airport. Fly to Dushanbe – the capital of Tajikistan, is situated 'in the centre of the Hissar valley more than 800m above sea level. Meeting at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight in hotel. 

Day 13. Dushanbe. 

Breakfast. Drive to visit of Hissor historical reserve. Where we will visit the ruins of Hissor fortress - which was constructed in the 13th Century, old madrassah (XVI c), New madrassah Caravanserai (XVI c), Mosque Sangin, Mausoleum of Mahdumi A’zam (XVI c). Return to Dushanbe. Lunch at local restaurant. Discover of the capital. Visit of Victory Park and Museum of Antiquities. Dinner and overnight in hotel. 

Day 14. Bishkek – CholponAta. 

Arrival to Bishkek from Dushanbe in airport “Manas”, transfer to the city to discover the capital; visit the Central Museum, the Panfilov park and the bazaar. Lunch at local restaurant. After lunch transfer to Issyk Kul Lakethe pearl of Kyrgyzstan, on the north shore. Accommodation at Raduga hotel in Cholpon-Ata village(260km). Walking on lake side. Dinner. Overnight at hotel

Day 15. CholponAta – Naryn - Tashrabat. 

After early breakfast drive to Tashrabat yurt camp via Naryn town (460 km). In the evening excursion to Tash-Rabat caravanserai, fortress of 15 century. Overnight in yurts. 

Day 16. Tashrabat – Torugart Pass – Kashgar (China, Chinese Turkestan = 5 stan). 

After early breakfast route to Torugart, the border between Kyrgyzstan and China (80 km). Cross the border. Meet by Chinese guide and driver. Transfer to Kashgar (170 km). Accommodation upon your arrival. Rest. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in hotel.

Day 17. Kashgar. 

Breakfast. Visit of "the pearl on the Ancient Silk Road". Kashgar was once the key trading post bridging the East and the West on the Silk Road, with Muslim architecture and the exotic feel of the Silk Road era. We will visit to the Id Kah Mosque fronted by the busy square., the largest in China that built in 1442, the Abakh Hoja Tomb, built in 1640, it is reminiscent of the Central Asian artistic style of Samarkand of Isfahan. The site is also known as the Xiang Fei (Fragrant Concubine) Tomb in memory of Abakh Khoja's granddaughter, Iparhan, who was the Fragrant Concubine of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty. roam through the colorful natinal street that assembled rich and verity workshop of making uyghur’s handcrafts. Finally visiting Kashgar ancient town, which contains a large group of Uygur residential houses. The Old Town city is now home to 630 homes with more than 2450 people, all of whom are Muslims. The town has a history of over 2,000 years. It was said that Banchao, Eastern Han's envoy to the Western Region once stayed here on his way. It was a summer palace during the Kalahan Dynasty. Overnight.

Day 18. Kashgar - Urumqi. 

Breakfast. In the morning you have a visit of the famous Sunday Market. Streets near this big market are choked on Sundays with farmers and buyers arriving by donkey cart, truck, bicycle, horseback, use, motorbike or on foot, with their animals. It's loud, lively and cheerful as they arrive, eat breakfast, set up their animals and check out the action. Cattle, sheep (they definitely look different), goats, donkeys, horses have their own sections; sellers show their animals are "good eaters"(most go as livestock not meat) and the entire experience is fascinating and fun. You will also visit the exciting animal market, where they barter and bargain for goats, cows and donkeys. Lunch. Transfer to the airport. Fly to the capital of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China. Accommodation. We end our today’s travel is to visit the lively market at Erdaoqiao, where anything from Uygur handicrafts, silk carpets to fruits and kebabs are sold. We will also visit the Old Town area, where we will see how Uygurs live in today's modern capital. Dinner. Overnight in hotel . 

Day 19. Urumqi – Almaty (Kazakhstan = 6 stan). 

Breakfast. In the morning we visit the Xinjiang Minority Peoples' Museum which is definitely worth a visit. This museum houses an impressive collection of exhibits, covering artifacts and relics from more than 12 minority groups. the lay out and presentation of the exhibits is imaginative and the preserved bodies of men, women and babies found in tombs in Xinjiang, along with the 3000 year old mummies, make for insightful (if a little spooky) visit! Lunch at traditional Uygur restaurant. Transfer to the airport. Fly to Almaty. Arrival. Meet by Kazakh guide and driver. Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation. Rest. Dinner. Overnight in hotel.

Day 20. Almaty. 

Breakfast. City tour including the Central museum of history, Panfilov memorial park, Zenkov cathedral, memorial complex, Central square, monument of Independence etc. Excursion to the mountain area, visit of Medeo ice-skating rink, 1691m, ski-resort “Chymbulak” 2200-2800m. Dinner in jurt complex-“Kazakh Aul”, tasting of national cuisine. Overnight in hotel . 

Hotels:

 Ashgabat (2 night)

 Ak Altyn or similar

 Mary (1 night)

 Yrsgal or similar

 Khiva (2 nights)

 Malika Khiva or similar

 Bukhara (3 nights)

 Asia Bukhara or similar

 Samarkand (1 night)

 Malika Samarkand or similar

 Tashkent  (1 night)

 Asia Tashkent or similar

 Khujand (1 night)

 Sogd or similar

 Dushanbe (2 nights)

 Istiqlol or similar

 Issyk Kul (1 night)

 Royal Beach or similar

 Tashrabat  (1 night)

 Yurt

 Kashgar (2 nights)

 Yambu or similar

 Urumqi (1 night)

 Wahaha or similar

 Almaty (2 nights)

 Kazzhol or similar

Price excludes:

 Tips in hotels, to the guides and drivers

 Any extra expenses in hotels

 Video and photo camera charges

 Immigration fee on Turkmenistan border ($12)

 

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