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Silk Road Experience Tour

August 2018

Aug 20th - Sep 12th 2018
24 Days
3,195

At a glance
Ashgabat Khiva Bukhara Samarqand Tashkent Bishkek Kyzyl Suu Naryn Kashgar Hotan Kuqa Turpan Urumqi

Ever wanted to travel to one of the least travelled parts of the world? Sick of the queues to see all the major attractions? Want to get bragging rights over your friends? Then join us for our Silk Road Summer Combo Tour through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uyghur China! This promises to be the jewel in the crown of our summer season!

We will start in one of the most surreal cities on earth – Ashgabat, where we’ll take in the sites of what can only be called a real-life Sim City. From there we head to Avaza, the completely unused and almost deserted five-star beach resort, which also happens to be near one of the most amazing canyons in the world – Yangykala. We then journey to the mesmerising ‘Gates of Hell’ where we camp for the night next to the fiery crater.

Crossing the land border into Uzbekistan we’ll find ourselves in the centre of the Silk Road. After exploring the beautiful old cities of Khiva and Bukhara, we’ll go to Samarqand and see the famous Registan, before venturing to Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s vibrant capital city, the highlight of which will surely be Tashkentland, Central Asia’s answer to Disneyland.

The next section of the tour takes us to Bishkek for Kyrgyzstan’s Independence Day, beginning with the Buzkashi Horse Games (or “dead goat polo”) in the National Hippodrome in Bishkek. After experiencing some amazing national music, dance and food during the celebrations, we’ll leave Bishkek, and make our way into the phenomenal countryside of Kyrgyzstan, experiencing mountains and lakes and having the unique opportunity to spend a couple of nights sleeping in traditional yurts.

Despite Kyrgyzstan’s natural beauty and nomadic culture though, we can’t forget that like the rest of Central Asia, this amazing country was part of the Soviet Union and there are still some fascinating relics of this to be explored. On the shore of Lake Issyk Kol, we’ll have the chance to visit an old Soviet heavy water factory, a Soviet brewery that is now responsible for Kyrgyzstan’s best-selling beer and an exclusive outing to the Soviet Meteorology Station.

Crossing the border into China, we’ll begin exploring this part of China that a lot of people don’t even realise exists, Uyghur Xinjiang, following the Silk Road from the ancient city of Kashgar, which is closer geographically to Tehran and Damascus than to Beijing, and the site where traditional Uyghur life hits the Chinese state head-on. As well as visiting the old town and main bazaar, we can’t miss out on the huge statue of Chairman Mao in People’s Square.

Leaving Kashgar, we hit the southern Silk Road trail, skirting around the Taklamakan Desert. Passing through small Uyghur towns, we’ll stop in the oasis town of Hotan, famed for its jade and silk, and Kuqa’s amazing Thousand Buddha caves, reminding us that before the spread of Islam, southern Xinjiang was the place where Buddhism entered China. And before heading to Urumqi where the tour ends, we’ll make our final stop in Turpan, China’s Death Valley, the lowest and hottest place in China.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Inclusive of

  • LOI and registration in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
  • All transport according to the itinerary
  • Local English speaking guides in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan
  • Western guide throughout
  • Accommodation according to itinerary in twin/double share, except on days 13, 14 & 15 where we will be sharing a yurt with each other
  • Entrance fees to all sites outlined on the itinerary
  • Breakfast every day
  • Lunch and dinner on days 13, 14 & 15 and dinner on days 6 & 16, and all meals in China

Exclusive of

  • Travel arrangements to Ashgabat at the start of the tour, and Urumqi at the end of the tour
  • Visas for Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and China
  • Visas or LOI’s for Kyrgyzstan. Most Western passport holders can now enter Kyrgyzstan for 60 days without a visa, but if you don’t fall into this category we can advise you separately.
  • Meals other than those stipulated (allow up to $10 per meal)
  • Drinks at meals
  • Single supplement for accommodation ($205 + China, not available in the yurts on days 4,5 & 6)
  • Tips for guides (not obligatory, and up to your personal discretion)
  • Any other personal expenses such as souvenirs
  • Travel insurance

If you have any questions or queries about Silk Road Experience Tour, drop us a line at info@globalvillagetours.ie

Price

€3,195

Length

23 Nights,
24 Days

At a glance

  • Ashgabat
  • Khiva
  • Bukhara
  • Samarqand
  • Tashkent
  • Bishkek
  • Kyzyl Suu
  • Naryn
  • Kashgar
  • Hotan
  • Kuqa
  • Turpan
  • Urumqi
Back to Group Tours

Silk Road Experience Tour

August 2018

Aug 20th - Sep 12th 2018
24 Days
3,195

Ever wanted to travel to one of the least travelled parts of the world? Sick of the queues to see all the major attractions? Want to get bragging rights over your friends? Then join us for our Silk Road Summer Combo Tour through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uyghur China! This promises to be the jewel in the crown of our summer season!

We will start in one of the most surreal cities on earth – Ashgabat, where we’ll take in the sites of what can only be called a real-life Sim City. From there we head to Avaza, the completely unused and almost deserted five-star beach resort, which also happens to be near one of the most amazing canyons in the world – Yangykala. We then journey to the mesmerising ‘Gates of Hell’ where we camp for the night next to the fiery crater.

Crossing the land border into Uzbekistan we’ll find ourselves in the centre of the Silk Road. After exploring the beautiful old cities of Khiva and Bukhara, we’ll go to Samarqand and see the famous Registan, before venturing to Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s vibrant capital city, the highlight of which will surely be Tashkentland, Central Asia’s answer to Disneyland.

The next section of the tour takes us to Bishkek for Kyrgyzstan’s Independence Day, beginning with the Buzkashi Horse Games (or “dead goat polo”) in the National Hippodrome in Bishkek. After experiencing some amazing national music, dance and food during the celebrations, we’ll leave Bishkek, and make our way into the phenomenal countryside of Kyrgyzstan, experiencing mountains and lakes and having the unique opportunity to spend a couple of nights sleeping in traditional yurts.

Despite Kyrgyzstan’s natural beauty and nomadic culture though, we can’t forget that like the rest of Central Asia, this amazing country was part of the Soviet Union and there are still some fascinating relics of this to be explored. On the shore of Lake Issyk Kol, we’ll have the chance to visit an old Soviet heavy water factory, a Soviet brewery that is now responsible for Kyrgyzstan’s best-selling beer and an exclusive outing to the Soviet Meteorology Station.

Crossing the border into China, we’ll begin exploring this part of China that a lot of people don’t even realise exists, Uyghur Xinjiang, following the Silk Road from the ancient city of Kashgar, which is closer geographically to Tehran and Damascus than to Beijing, and the site where traditional Uyghur life hits the Chinese state head-on. As well as visiting the old town and main bazaar, we can’t miss out on the huge statue of Chairman Mao in People’s Square.

Leaving Kashgar, we hit the southern Silk Road trail, skirting around the Taklamakan Desert. Passing through small Uyghur towns, we’ll stop in the oasis town of Hotan, famed for its jade and silk, and Kuqa’s amazing Thousand Buddha caves, reminding us that before the spread of Islam, southern Xinjiang was the place where Buddhism entered China. And before heading to Urumqi where the tour ends, we’ll make our final stop in Turpan, China’s Death Valley, the lowest and hottest place in China.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Gates of Hell, the 70m crater which as a result of a failed Soviet gas exploration, has been on fire since 1971.
  • The dazzling white and gold city centre of Ashgabat. Everywhere you look imposing marble buildings are being put up, covering the desert in a sea of sparkling gold and white.
  • Avaza, the glamorous beachside resort town, equipped with a golf course, two yacht clubs, dozens of 5-star hotels, canal boats, but totally void of people.
  • The Registan, a beautifully restored medrassah complex in Samarqand, complete with Uzbekistan’s iconic blue tiles, it’s like taking a step back in time when you explore it.
  • Kyrgyzstan’s Independence Day military parade, taking place in Bishkek’s main square, a spectacularly wide boulevard designed just for this kind of thing. You’ll feel like you’re back in the Soviet Union as you watch military units, tanks and rockets and even an airshow.
  • Kok Boru – known in Afghanistan and Tajikistan as Buzkashi, and sometimes described as “dead goat polo”, this violent but mesmerising sport is played on horseback, the point of the game is to get the dead goat into your opposition’s goal. Not for the faint-hearted, but one of the most exciting spectator sports around.
  • Exploring abandoned Soviet buildings on the shores of Isaak Kol, the second largest alpine lake in the world. There’s a heavy water factory, a scout camp facility that was used by the Young Pioneers, and an old coal plant, all just sitting there ready to be explored.

At a glance
Ashgabat Khiva Bukhara Samarqand Tashkent Bishkek Kyzyl Suu Naryn Kashgar Hotan Kuqa Turpan Urumqi

Inclusive of

  • LOI and registration in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
  • All transport according to the itinerary
  • Local English speaking guides in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan
  • Western guide throughout
  • Accommodation according to itinerary in twin/double share, except on days 13, 14 & 15 where we will be sharing a yurt with each other
  • Entrance fees to all sites outlined on the itinerary
  • Breakfast every day
  • Lunch and dinner on days 13, 14 & 15 and dinner on days 6 & 16, and all meals in China

Exclusive of

  • Travel arrangements to Ashgabat at the start of the tour, and Urumqi at the end of the tour
  • Visas for Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and China
  • Visas or LOI’s for Kyrgyzstan. Most Western passport holders can now enter Kyrgyzstan for 60 days without a visa, but if you don’t fall into this category we can advise you separately.
  • Meals other than those stipulated (allow up to $10 per meal)
  • Drinks at meals
  • Single supplement for accommodation ($205 + China, not available in the yurts on days 4,5 & 6)
  • Tips for guides (not obligatory, and up to your personal discretion)
  • Any other personal expenses such as souvenirs
  • Travel insurance

If you have any questions or queries about Silk Road Experience Tour, drop us a line at info@globalvillagetours.ie