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Silk Route

Ashgabat - Xi'an

56 DAYS THROUGH China, Kyrgyzstan (+ 2 more countries)
RATING:
PRICE FROM:
Was: $6,000 USD + 1,750 KITTY USD
Now: $4,800 (USD) + 1,750 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
56 days
TRANSPORT:
Overland expedition vehicle, Jeep, Public bus, Russian bus, Boat
CREW:
2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary, 1 local crew
ACCOM:
20%
80%
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:
TRIP CODE:
EHX
DEPOSIT:
$500 USD

Highlights

  Explore the unique Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour

  Wild camp near the 'Door to Hell' Darvaza Crater

  Overnight in the Kyzylkum Desert staying in yurts

  Guided tour of the historic city of Samarkand and surrounding area

  Overland through Uzbekistan's Fergana Valley in local transport

  See the silk-weavers of the Fergana Valley

  3 days overlanding through the stunning Kyrgyz Fergana Valley

  Stay in traditional felt yurts at the incredible Song KÃÖl Lake

  Experience the daily life of the Kyrgyz mountain shepherds

  See a demonstration from a traditional eagle hunter near Kochkor

  SHOW MORE HIGHLIGHTS  

Itinerary

Day 1 - Xi'an ( 5th Jun 2019 )

Border Information: if joining in Xi'an, you will most likely enter China at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (IATA code: XIY).

Welcome to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'! We will have a free day to explore the city, it's famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Xi'an before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Xi'an.

In Xi'an we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the ornate 14th-century Bell and Drum towers, which originally marked the sunrise and sunset

CNY 40

Wander through the atmospheric Muslim Quarter and visit the Xi'an Great Mosque, the first mosque constructed in China

CNY 30

Learn about the fascinating history of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an at the Shaanxi History Museum, without doubt one of the finest museums in China

CNY 30

Visit the mind-blowing Tomb of Emporer Jingdi of the Han Dynasty, containing 50,000 doll-sized terracotta figures

CNY 90
Visit the Forest of Stelae Museum, a collection of 3000 stone tablets of Chinese calligraphy that has been collected here since 1057
CNY 50

Walk or cycle around the Ming Dynasty Xi'an City Wall, the largest city wall in the world

CNY 80

Visit the impressive Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an's most famous landmark dating from the Tang and Ming Dynasties

CNY 80
Visit the huge former Tang Dynasty royal palace of Daming, and explore its vast parks and gardens
Free
Day 2 - Xi'an ( 6th Jun 2019 )

This morning we head out of Xi'an on the truck to the site of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, where we have an included visit and a guided tour.

We will return to Xi'an for the afternoon, where we'll have a free afternoon to further explore this incredible city.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the world-famous site of the Terracotta Warriors, an army of 8000 life-size figures built to protect the Emporer Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife

Included in Kitty
Day 3-4 - Pingliang ( 7th Jun 2019 to 8th Jun 2019 )

Today we will drive to the small town of Pingliang at the base of the Mount Kongtong, one of the holiest mountains in Chinese Taoism.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day we will have an included visit to Mount Kongtong, and will have the full day to explore the temples and walk and explore the pilgrimage routes on the mountain. 

In Pingliang we will stay in a decent local hotel.

Please note that if the group and leader prefer to split the drive between Turpan and Dunhuang over 2 days, there will only be 1 night in Pingliang and a half-day exploration of Mount Kongtong.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the stunningly beautiful Mt. Kongtong and its temples

Included in Kitty
Day 5 - Lanzhou ( 9th Jun 2019 )

Today we will head to the chaotic capital city of Gansu province, Lanzhou. We will have some free time this evening to explore the city.

In Lanzhou we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 6-7 - Xiahe ( 10th Jun 2019 to 11th Jun 2019 )

Today we set off to the enchanting Tibetan town of Xiahe where we spend the next 2 nights. We will have an included visit to the incredble Bingling Si Buddha Caves en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

The next few days are free to explore this beautiful town and surrounding grasslands. We can take a guided visit to the Labrang Monastery where Tibetan monks can be seen doing their daily rituals and chants. There may also be a chance to go trekking, horse riding or exploring the surrounding grasslands, visiting Tibetan families and perhaps trying the local Yak butter tea.

In Xiahe we will stay in a local Tibetan-owned hotel.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

2 night detour to the Tibetan town of Xiahe, one of the main pilgrimage sites for Tibetan Buddhists

CNY 40

Climb up onto the lower slopes of the remote Tibetan Plateau

Free
Take a day trip up into the Sangke or Ganjia grasslands of the lower Tibetan Plateau surrounding Xiahe
CNY 400
Day 8 - Liujiaxia, Bingling Si ( 12th Jun 2019 )

Today we will leave Xiahe behind us to reach the small city of Liujiaxia. We will have an included visit to the incredible Bingling Si Buddha Caves en route.

In Liujiaxia we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

See the vast Buddha statue and the outstanding Buddhist cave sculptures at the fabulous Bingling Si gorge

Included in Kitty
Day 9 - Zhangye ( 13th Jun 2019 )

Today we will drive to the incredible Zhangye Danxia Rainbow Mountains - we'll spend some time exploring the region before heading off to wild camp nearby.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the incredible and colourful natural phenomenon of the Zhangye Danxia Rainbow Mountains

Included in Kitty
Day 10 - Jiayuguan ( 14th Jun 2019 )

Today we continue our journey with a drive to Jiayuguan, where we will have an included visit to the Jiayuguan Fort - the most western point of the Great Wall of China. Please note that the Great Wall here is abode, unlike the more famous stone sections further east.

We will wild camp near an adobe section of the Great Wall near Jiayuguan.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Journey down the Gansu Corridor to Jiayuguan Fort, our first stop at the Great Wall

Included in Kitty
Day 11-12 - Dunhuang ( 15th Jun 2019 to 16th Jun 2019 )

Today we will continue our journey westwards to reach the city of Dunhuang.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we will have an included visit to the awe-inspiring Mogao Buddha Caves in the morning. We will then have a free afternoon to explore this amazing town and it’s surroundings - there are possibilities for camel rides along the sand dunes and bicycle rides out to the nearby White Goose Pagoda!

In Dunhuang we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Guided tour of the Mogao caves, Dunhuang

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Stopover and time to explore historic Dunhuang

CNY 20

Take a camel ride to Crescent Moon Lake, Dunhuang

CNY 120
Day 13-14 - Turpan ( 17th Jun 2019 to 18th Jun 2019 )

Today we will have an early start and a big drive to the oasis town of Turpan.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 hours.

Please note that sometimes it may be preferred by the group and the leader to split this drive over 2 days, wild camping in between - in this case we will have 1 less night in Pingliang towards the beginning of the trip.

On the following day we will have a free day to exploring the surrounding sites including the famous Jiaohe ruins.

In Turpan we will stay in a local hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Exploration of the oasis and the Jiaohe ruins at Turpan

Included in Kitty

Learn about the Karez water system, the ingenious method of irrigating the area that was developed by the Han Dynasty and allowed Turpan to flourish as an oasis town

Included in Kitty
See the striking red sandstone landscape of the Flaming Mountains near Turpan
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

See the Emin Minaret, a beautiful Uighur mosque built in the 18th century which is the tallest minaret in China
CNY 30
Explore the ancient oasis city of Gaochang, once a bustling trading trading centre along the Silk Road
CNY 40
Day 15-16 - Heavenly Lake ( 19th Jun 2019 to 20th Jun 2019 )

Today we will continue on to Heavenly Lake, a beautiful lake set in the Tian Shan mountains.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

We will stay here for 2 nights, and will have many opportunities to relax in the incredible scenery and walk around the lake.

In Heavenly Lake we will stay in local yurts with very basic facilities.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Enjoy a tranquil yurt stay at the beautiful Heavenly Lake

Included in Kitty
Day 17-18 - Bayanbulak, Aksu ( 21st Jun 2019 to 22nd Jun 2019 )

Today our journey continues westwards through the Taklamakan Desert. Our crossing of the desert usually takes 3 days/2 nights, and we plan to stay in local hotels near Korla or Bayanbulak on our first night and Aksu on our second.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours each day.

Day 19-21 - Kashgar ( 23rd Jun 2019 to 25th Jun 2019 )

Today we complete our journey to the far west of China, arriving in Kashgar, once one of the ancient trading posts on the Silk Route! 

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

We will spend 3 nights in Kashgar, during which time there will be lots of opportunity to explore the city and its central Id Kah Mosque. We will also have an included visit to the animal market just outside of town, and then the famous Kashgar Sunday Bazaar.

In Kashgar we will stay in a hotel with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore Kashgar's Sunday market and Animal market.

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit the Id Kah Mosque, the finest example of Islamic architecture in Kashgar and the centre of religious life in the city

CNY 20

Discover the history of the ancient Silk Road at Kashgar's Silk Road Museum

CNY 15

Visit the mausoleum of the 17th-century religious leader Afaq Khoja, considered the holiest site in Xinjiang Province

CNY 15
Day 22 - Kashgar ( 26th Jun 2019 )

For everyone that is continuing with us to Kyrgyzstan, there will be quick pre-departure meeting in the early morning in order to explain the next 6 days until Bishkek, and your leader will collect the kitty for this linking section.

In the afternoon we will do an included visit to Shiptons Arch - the largest natural arch in the world!

Tonight we will stay in a good quality local hotel

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Take in the spectacular mountain scenery on our drive along the Karakorum Highway to Lake Karakol

Included in Kitty
Stay overnight in a traditional yurt owned by Kyrgyz and Tajik families near the beautiful Lake Karakol, set amongst the 7500m-high mountains of the Tian Shan range
Included in Kitty

Explore Kashgar's Sunday market and Animal market.

Included in Kitty

Hike up to Shiptons Arch - the largest natural arch in the world. 

Included in Kitty
Day 23-24 - Tash Rabat ( 27th Jun 2019 to 28th Jun 2019 )

Border Information: Exit China at Torugart, enter Kyrgyzstan at Torugart.

Today we will have a full day drive over the 3752m Torugart Pass into the magical mountain kingdom of Kyrgyzstan! We will head just over the border to Tash Rabat, once a key staging post on the Silk Road close to the Kyrgyzstan-China border. During our time here we will visit an ancient caravanserai and have some time to explore the surrounding area.

In Tash Rabat we will wild camp. In cold weather (or if simply the group prefers and there is availability), we may choose to stay in local nomadic yurts that are set up for guests near the caravanserai, sleeping 8-10 people per yurt.

We will spend 2 nights in Tash Rabat. On the second day we will have time to explore the local area. 

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the ancient Silk Road caravanserai at Tash Rabat, close to the Kyrgyzstan-China border

Included in Kitty
Cross into Kyrgyzstan via the stunning and remote Torugart Pass in the Tian Shan Mountains
Included in Kitty
Day 25 - Kochkor ( 29th Jun 2019 )

Today we drive to the small village of Kochkor, where we stay in local family-run guesthouses and enjoy traditional Kyrgyz hospitality!

Whilst here we will visit a small museum and women's felt making cooperative that produces 'shyrdaks', the felt carpets for which Kyrgyzstan is renowned. We may also have the opportunity here to see some excellent local musicians playing traditional Kyrgyz folk music and to see how a yurt is put up!

In Kochkor we will stay in family-run guesthouses, accommodating up to 8 guests in each home.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Please note that if nobody from this group is leaving in Bishkek, we may choose to stay instead in a guesthouse in the small town of Naryn (a 2-3 hour drive from Tash Rabat). This is so that we don't repeat Kochkor unnecessarily on the next section and can have more time to explore the area of Tash Rabat this morning.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Overnight homestay at a traditional rural Kyrgyz village

Included in Kitty

See the traditional felt workshops or Kochkor and learn about how Kyrgyz carpets and hats are typically made here

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit a folklore demonstration near Kockhor where you can learn all about the handicrafts of the area, see a fantastic outdoor concert of traditional music and help to erect a yurt!
KGS 1000
Day 26 - Bishkek ( 30th Jun 2019 )

Today we have a short drive to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. The remainder of the day is free to explore the relaxed and atmospheric city.

In Bishkek we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (from Kochkor).

Day 27 - Bishkek ( 1st Jul 2019 )

Border Information: if joining in Bishkek, you will most likely enter Kyrgyzstan at Bishkek Manas International Airport (IATA code: FRU).

There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting.

The rest of the day is free for you to explore this relaxed and atmospheric city.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Bishkek before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Bishkek.

In Bishkek we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

*Important note - do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*

*Another important note - please be aware that all itineraries in Kyrgyzstan are highly weather-dependent. The itinerary described in these notes are a statement of best intention, but we must approach each trip in Kyrgyzstan with a large degree of flexibility, as our leaders and local guides will have to 'play things by ear' according to the local conditions and weather. In low season certain routes become impossible and it may become far too cold to camp - in all cases there are fantastic and well-tried alternatives in place which means we can always run an excellent and comprehensive trip here, but please do not treat the exact details of the itinerary listed here as gospel - thanks for your understanding!*

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Begin our journey in picturesque Bishkek

Free

Freely explore the vast Osh Bazaar, Bishkek's largest market

Free
Explore Bishkek's past at the State Historical Museum on Ala-Too Square
KGS 150

Civilisation again, in the picturesque city of Bishkek

KGS 60
Day 28-29 - Ala Archa, Chong Kemin Valley ( 2nd Jul 2019 to 3rd Jul 2019 )

The next 2 days will need to be fairly flexible. Many of the group will apply for Uzbekistan visas in Bishkek. However, the Uzbek Embassy opening times will often vary and therefore our itinerary will need to remain flexible over the next 2 days to accommodate this.

As a general guide, we will most likely spend our first night camping in stunning mountainous Ala Archa National Park near to Bishkek. We will then return to Bishkek on the following day in order to submit our visa applications. Once this is process is complete we will continue to Chong Kemin National Park, where we will have free time to explore and hike in this beautiful area, or to get involved in an optional white water rafting excursion if time allows.

In Chong Kemin and Ala Archa we will wild camp. If it is too cold or simply preferred by the group, we may choose to camp in the grounds of a guesthouse in Ashu, a village in the Chong Kemin valley, where there could be the possibility to upgrade to rooms.

Estimated Drive Times - 3-5 hours each day (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Get off the beaten track with 3 nights wild camping and a leisurely overland journey through the stunning mountains and National Parks of Kyrgyzstan

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Explore the beautiful Chong Kemin valley on horseback

KGS 300

Head out on a white-water rafting adventure through the stunning Chong Kemin valley

KGS 1800
Walk around the incredible scenery of the Chong Kemin valley
Free

Wild camping and hiking in the beauty of Ala Archa Gorge

Free
Day 30 - Karakol, Cholpon Ata ( 4th Jul 2019 )

Today we will drive to the northern shore of Lake Issyk Köl and visit the ancient petroglyphs at Cholpon Ata. We will then continue to the Russian-style town of Karakol, where we will have a free evening to explore and relax!

In Karakol we will stay in a decent local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Tourist time: pedalos, sand, sun. On Lake Issyk-Kul, it?s a time warp

Included in Kitty
Day 31-32 - Jeti Oguz Valley ( 5th Jul 2019 to 6th Jul 2019 )

Today we drive up into the mountains to the alpine trekking region of Jeti Oguz.

The next day we will have a free day to hike in the incredible scenery here, or take an optional horse ride with some of the local nomads!

In Jeti Oguz we will camp close to a local family yurt.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

Please note that on trips in the low season we may not be able to camp in Jeti Oguz due to low temperatures. If this is the case, we will take a stunning and incredible drive up a mountain in a Russian 4x4 truck to Altyn Arashan, a hot spring development in a stunning alpine setting, staying in dormitory accommodation. We will then stay for 1 night in a local hotel at the base of Jeti Oguz Valley (allowing time for some day walks).

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Trek into the wilds of the Jeti-Oghuz Gorge on the edge of the Tian Shan mountains

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Explore the incredible mountain landscapes of the Jeti Oguz Valley by horseback

KGS 800
Day 33 - Kochkor ( 7th Jul 2019 )

Today we drive to the small village of Kochkor, where we stay in local family-run guesthouses and enjoy traditional Kyrgyz hospitality! En route we will have an included demonstation from a local 'eagle hunter'.

Whilst here we will visit a small museum and women's felt making cooperative that produces 'shyrdaks', the felt carpets for which Kyrgyzstan is renowned. We may also have the opportunity here to see some excellent local musicians playing traditional Kyrgyz folk music and to see how a yurt is put up!

In Kochkor we will stay in family-run guesthouses, accommodating up to 8 guests in each home.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Overnight homestay at a traditional rural Kyrgyz village

Included in Kitty

See the traditional felt workshops or Kochkor and learn about how Kyrgyz carpets and hats are typically made here

Included in Kitty
See an incredible demonstration from a traditional eagle hunter near Kochkor
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit a folklore demonstration near Kockhor where you can learn all about the handicrafts of the area, see a fantastic outdoor concert of traditional music and help to erect a yurt!
KGS 1000
Day 34-35 - Song Köl Lake ( 8th Jul 2019 to 9th Jul 2019 )

Today we will drive to the incredible Song Köl Lake, where we will spend the next two nights.

We will have free time here to explore the area, and to enjoy some optional activities including hiking or horse-riding! 

At Song Köl we will stay in traditional felt yurts.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-7 hours.

Please note that trips during the low season will not be able to visit Song Köl Lake, as temperatures will be below freezing, the road will be snowed over, and there will be no yurts to stay in! Instead we will likely stay in yurts on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Köl.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Experience the daily life of the Kyrgyz mountain shepherds.

Included in Kitty
Day 36-38 - Kyrgyz Fergana Valley ( 10th Jul 2019 to 12th Jul 2019 )

We will spend the next 3 days overlanding through the stunning and remote Kyrgyz Fergana Valley, stopping often to admire the views and perhaps take some impromptu hikes in the hills and countryside.

During these days we plan to wild camp en route. Please note that trips running in low season (May to mid-June and October to November), we may not be able to camp if temperatures are too low, in which case we will stay in local guesthouses along the route instead.

Estimated Drive Times - 4-8 hours each day.

 

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Get off the beaten track with 3 nights wild camping and a leisurely overland journey through the stunning mountains and National Parks of Kyrgyzstan

Included in Kitty
Day 39 - Arslanbob ( 13th Jul 2019 )

Today we will complete our drive to Arslanbob in Kyrgyzstan's Fergana Valley - if we have had a slow journey in the previous days with lots of stops, we may choose to stay in the closer town of Jalalabad instead.

In Arslanbob we will stay overnight in a local family-run guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

Day 40 - Fergana Valley ( 14th Jul 2019 )

Border information: Exit Kyrgyzstan at Dustlik, enter Uzbekistan at Andijon.

Today we will have a full day's drive across the Uzbek border to the eastern city of Fergana.

In Fergana we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Overland through Uzbekistan's Fergana Valley including historic Kokand and Fergana City

UZS 3000

Explore the impressive 19th-century Juma Mosque in Kokand in the stunning Fergana Valley

UZS 17500

See the silk-weavers of the Fergana Valley at the Yodgorlik Silk Factory

Free
Day 41 - Tashkent ( 15th Jul 2019 )

This morning we travel in local transport to Kokand, where we will have the oppurtunity to visit the Khudayar Khan's Palace and the nearby Margilan Silk Factory before completing the journey over the Kamchik Pass to Tashkent, the Uzbek capital.

The truck must pass over the Kamchik Pass without passengers and will rejoin us this evening in Tashkent.

In Tashkent we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 42 - Tashkent ( 16th Jul 2019 )

Border Information: if joining in Tashkent, you will most likely enter Uzbekistan at Tashkent International Airport (IATA code: TAS).

There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting.

We will then have a free afternoon to explore the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tashkent before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tashkent.

In Tashkent we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

*Important note - any tobacco products are practically illegal in Turkmenistan, so please do not bring them or use them in Turkmenistan. Also please do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Explore urbane Tashkent and experience a surreal cabaret dinner

Free

Visit the nightclubs and Imperial Russian-style cabaret restaurants of Tashkent

Free
Visit the religious centre of Tashkent at Hast Imam Square and see the Uthman Koran, believed to be the world's oldest extant copy of the Koran
USD 5
Day 43 - Samarkand ( 17th Jul 2019 )

Today our journey begins with a drive to the fascinating ancient city of Samarkand, where we will stay for the next 3 nights.

In Samarkand we will stay in a good hotel on the outskirts of town.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Day 44-45 - Samarkand ( 18th Jul 2019 to 19th Jul 2019 )

Today we will have a guided tour of the incredible historic city of Samarkand and the surrounding area, including the Registan, Ulug Beg Observatory, Bibi-Khanym Mosque and Shah-I-Zinda.

On our second day, we will have a free day to further explore the beautiful city and its surroundings.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Learn about the area's scientific heritage with a visit to the 15th-century Ulug Beg Observatory, once the finest observatory in the Islamic world

Included in Kitty

Visit the Guri-Amir Mausoleum, the final resting place of the Turko-Mongol conqueror Timur

Included in Kitty

Explore the stunning plaza of The Registan, a world-famous and iconic symbol of Central Asia

Included in Kitty

Discover the ruins of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, once one of the largest mosques in the world and the jewel in Timur's empire

Included in Kitty

See the beautiful and moving ancient mausoleum of Shah-I-Zinda

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Visit to Shakhrisabz city

USD 20
Wander through the markets and carpet vendors of Samarkand, and marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of the local carpet weavers
Free
Day 46 - Nurata ( 20th Jul 2019 )

Today we will drive into the Kyzylkhum Desert near the town of Nurata. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to take a swim in Lake Ajdar Kul and head out on an optional camel ride into the desert!

In the Kyzylkhum Desert we will stay in a desert yurt camp.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Overnight in the Kyzylkum Desert staying in yurts.

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Take a short camel ride around the sand dunes of the Kyzylkhum Desert
UZS 5000
Day 47 - Bukhara ( 21st Jul 2019 )

Today we will drive to the beautiful city of Bukhara, where will spend the next 3 nights. Our drive will take us via the desert town of Nurata, which we will have a brief stop. 

In Bukhara we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

Day 48-49 - Bukhara ( 22nd Jul 2019 to 23rd Jul 2019 )

Today we will have a guided tour of Bukhara and the surrounding area, including the Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Kalon Mosque, Zindon Prison and the Ark Fortress.

On our second day here, we will have a free day to further explore this incredible historic city and its surroundings.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the city's oldest Islamic monument, the 10th-century mausoleum of Ismail Samanid, the founder of the Samanid Dynasty

Included in Kitty

Discover the ruins of the ancient 5th-century fortress of the Bukhara Ark

Included in Kitty

Explore the colossal Kalon Mosque and Minaret, which has survived without restoration for 850 years and impressed Genghis Khan so much that he ordered the building to be spared

Included in Kitty
Visit the magnificent 16th-centrury architectural ensemble surrounding the Lyab-i Hauz ponds, once the city's principal source of water
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

See the Indian-style Char Minar Minarets, four towers nestled in a maze of alleyways in downtown Bukhara

Free

Visit the gruesome museum at the old prison of Zindon

UZS 4500
Watch an entertaining evening puppet show, featuring many local Uzbek and Tajik poems and songs
USD 5
Day 50-51 - Khiva ( 24th Jul 2019 to 25th Jul 2019 )

Today we have a full day drive to the incredible historic town of Khiva. 

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

On the next day, we have a guided tour of the ancient city of Khiva during the morning. In the afternoon we will have plenty of free time to further explore this wonderfully preserved Khanate town.

In Khiva we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Daily Activities

Included Activities
See the beautiful turquoise Kalta Minor Minaret, one of the iconic symbols of Khiva
Included in Kitty
Visit the Mohammed Rakhim Khan Madrassa, a museum dedicated to the Khan that surrendered to the Russians in 1873
Included in Kitty
Explore the incredibly photogenic blue palace of Tash Khovli in Khiva
Included in Kitty
Learn all about the Khoezm culture and handicrafts at the Islam Hodja Madrassa, Khiva's newest monument
Included in Kitty
Explore the incredible Juma Mosque and the 12th century fortress of the Kukhna Ark
Included in Kitty
Visit the mausoleum of Pahlavon Mohammed, the legendary 14th-century poet, philosopher, wrestler, and patron saint of Khiva
Included in Kitty
Day 52 - Kunye Urgench ( 26th Jul 2019 )

Border Information: Exit Uzbekistan at Nijazov, enter Turkmenistan at Shovot.

This morning we will drive across the border into Turkmenistan, visit the markets in the border town of Dashoguz, and explore the Kunye Urgench ruins towards the end of the day.

We will wild camp in the deserts near Kunye Urgench tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Overland into the green Oxus Valley to the ancient ruined city of Kunye Urgench

Included in Kitty
Day 53 - Darvaza ( 27th Jul 2019 )

Today we continue south through the Karakum Desert. We will have an included side trip to the amazing flaming Darvaza Gas Crater (also known as the 'Door to Hell'!).

We will wild camp in the deserts near Darvaza Crater tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities
See the bizarre and incredible burning gas crater at Darvasa, popularly known as the 'Door to Hell'
Included in Kitty
Day 54 - Ashgabat ( 28th Jul 2019 )

Today we will complete our drive to the interesting capital of Ashgabat, usually arriving mid-afternoon.

In Ashgabat we will stay in a decent quality local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 55 - Ashgabat ( 29th Jul 2019 )

Today we will have an included tour of the city of Ashgabat using local minibuses. 

Daily Activities

Included Activities
Explore the unique and bizarre Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour of the city
Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Learn about the history and culture of Turkmenistan at the huge National Museum in Ashgabat
USD 10
Day 56 - Ashgabat ( 30th Jul 2019 )

Border Information: if finishing in Ashgabat, you wil most likely exit Turkmenistan at Ashgabat International Airport (IATA code: ASB).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Ashgabat. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

DATES & PRICES

This group overland journey has multiple departures.
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Trip Notes
Departing: 14 Apr 2019
Returning: 8 Jun 2019
Duration: 56 days
Route: Ashgabat - Xi'an
$4,800 USD + $1,670 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $500 USD
closed
FULLY BOOKED
Departing: 26 May 2019
Returning: 20 Jul 2019
Duration: 56 days
Route: Ashgabat - Xi'an
$4,800 USD + $1,670 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $500 USD
closed
FULLY BOOKED
Departing: 5 Jun 2019
Returning: 30 Jul 2019
Duration: 56 days
Route: Xi'an - Ashgabat
$4,800 USD + $1,750 Kitty (USD)
Was $6000.00 - Save $1200
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $500 USD
available
Departing: 21 Jul 2019
Returning: 14 Sep 2019
Duration: 56 days
Route: Ashgabat - Xi'an
$4,804 USD + $1,670 Kitty (USD)
Was $6005.00 - Save $1201
Deposit: $500 USD
available
Departing: 24 Jul 2019
Returning: 17 Sep 2019
Duration: 56 days
Route: Xi'an - Ashgabat
$4,812 USD + $1,750 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $500 USD
closed
FULLY BOOKED
Departing: 4 Sep 2019
Returning: 29 Oct 2019
Duration: 56 days
Route: Xi'an - Ashgabat
$4,816 USD + $1,750 Kitty (USD)
Was $6020.00 - Save $1204
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $500 USD
available
Departing: 31 May 2020
Returning: 25 Jul 2020
Duration: 56 days
Route: Ashgabat - Xi'an
$6,485 USD + $1,670 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $500 USD
available
Departing: 3 Jun 2020
Returning: 28 Jul 2020
Duration: 56 days
Route: Xi'an - Ashgabat
$6,485 USD + $1,750 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $500 USD
available
Departing: 26 Jul 2020
Returning: 19 Sep 2020
Duration: 56 days
Route: Ashgabat - Xi'an
$6,485 USD + $1,670 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $500 USD
available
Departing: 29 Jul 2020
Returning: 22 Sep 2020
Duration: 56 days
Route: Xi'an - Ashgabat
$6,485 USD + $1,750 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $500 USD
available
Departing: 19 Aug 2020
Returning: 13 Oct 2020
Duration: 56 days
Route: Xi'an - Ashgabat
$6,485 USD + $1,750 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $500 USD
available
* Sale price is for a limited time only and is subject to change at any time.

WHAT OUR PASSENGERS SAY

Enjoyed most the mountains of Krygystan
Martyn D
The best way to visit these very isolated places
David S