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Silk Route

Bishkek - Xi'an

27 DAYS THROUGH China, Kyrgyzstan
RATING:
PRICE FROM:
Was: $3,075 USD + 780 KITTY USD
Now: $2,460 (USD) + 780 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
27 days
TRANSPORT:
Overland expedition vehicle, Public bus, Boat
CREW:
2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary, 1 local crew
ACCOM:
10%
90%
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:
TRIP CODE:
EEX
DEPOSIT:
$350 USD

Highlights

  Wild camp near an adobe section of the Great Wall near Jiayuguan

  Explore the colourful natural phenomenon of the Rainbow Mountains

  Explore the stunningly beautiful Mt. Kongtong and its temples

  Visit the ancient Silk Road caravanserai at Tash Rabat

  Guided tour of Xi'an's world famous Terracotta Warriors

  Stay overnight in a traditional yurt owned by Kyrgyz and Tajik families

  Exploration of the oasis and the Jiaohe ruins at Turpan

  Guided tour of the Mogao caves, Dunhuang

  Cross the northern end of the Tibetan Plateau

  Explore Xiahe - one of Tibets most historic cities

  SHOW MORE HIGHLIGHTS  

Itinerary

Day 1 - Bishkek ( 13th May 2019 )

For everyone that is continuing with us to China, there will be quick pre-departure meeting at 10:00am in order to explain the next 6 days until Kashgar, and your leader will collect the kitty for this linking section.

The remainder of the day is free to explore the relaxed and atmospheric city of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.

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

Hotel for the night: Hotel Asia Mountains
Hotel Asia Mountains
1a Lineinaja St
Bishkek 720021
Kyrgyzstan
Tel: +996 312 694 075

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
Day 2 - Kochkor ( 14th May 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 - 3-4 hours.

Please note that if the group has no new people joining in Bishkek, we may choose to stay instead in a guesthouse in the small town of Naryn (a further 2 hour drive beyond Kochkor). This is so that we don't repeat Kochkor unnecessarily and can have more time to explore the area of Tash Rabat the following day.

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 3 - Tash Rabat ( 15th May 2019 )

Today we continue our journey south 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.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (from Kochkor).

Daily Activities

Included Activities

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

Included in Kitty
Day 4 - Kashgar ( 16th May 2019 )

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

Today we will have a full day drive over the 3752m Torugart Pass, crossing into China and heading down to the Uighur city of Kashgar.

In Kashgar we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 5 - Kashgar ( 17th May 2019 )

Today we will have free time to explore the city of Kashgar and partake in any optional activities

Tonight we will stay in a good quality 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
Day 6 - Kashgar ( 18th May 2019 )

Border Information: if joining in Kashgar, you will most likely enter China at Kashgar Airport (IATA code: KHG).

Welcome to Kashgar, one of the ancient trading posts on the Silk Route! If you are joining in Kashgar, you are free to explore the city, and there will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm. Please do not be alarmed if there is no welcome note at the hotel on your arrival, as this is often a travelling day for the tour leader and they will often arrive in Kashgar mid-afternoon.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kashgar 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 Kashgar.

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

Daily Activities

Included Activities

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

Included in Kitty
Day 7-8 - Kashgar ( 19th May 2019 to 20th May 2019 )

Today we will visit the animal market just outside of town, and then the famous Kashgar Sunday Bazaar.

We will also have an included visit to Shiptons Arch - the largest natural arch in the world! 

The following day we will have a free day to explore the town, the central Id Kah Mosque and its surrounding square, while your crew finalise the customs procedures for our truck to continue further into China.

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 9-10 - Aksu, Bayanbulak ( 21st May 2019 to 22nd May 2019 )

Our journey through China begins as we leave Kashgar and head east through the Taklamakan Desert! Our crossing of the desert usually takes 3 days/2 nights, and we plan to stay in local hotels en route.

Estimated Drive Times - 8-9 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!).

Day 11-12 - Heavenly Lake ( 23rd May 2019 to 24th May 2019 )

Today we will complete our drive through the Taklamakan Desert and arrive at Heavenly Lake, a beautiful lake set in the Tian Shan mountains.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 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 13-14 - Turpan ( 25th May 2019 to 26th May 2019 )

Today we will travel to the oasis town of Turpan, where we stay for 2 days exploring the surrounding sites including the famous Jiaohe ruins.

In Turpan we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

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 - Dunhuang ( 27th May 2019 to 28th May 2019 )

Today we will have an early start and a big drive to the city of Dunhuang.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 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 end of the trip.

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 17 - Jiayuguan ( 29th May 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 the Great Wall in this area is adobe, unlike the more famous stone sections further to the east.

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

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

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

Included in Kitty
Day 18 - Zhangye ( 30th May 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 - 3-5 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

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

Included in Kitty
Day 19 - Liujiaxia ( 31st May 2019 )

Today we will drive onto the lower slopes of the remote Tibetan plateau and reach the small city of Liujiaxia. 

In Liujiaxia we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

Day 20-22 - Xiahe, Bingling Si ( 1st Jun 2019 to 3rd Jun 2019 )

Today we set off to the enchanting Tibetan town of Xiahe where we spend the next 3 nights. We will have an included visit to the incredible Bingling Si Buddha Caves en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 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

Included Activities

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

Included in Kitty
Optional Activities

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

Climb up onto the lower slopes of the remote Tibetan Plateau

Free

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

CNY 40
Take a day trip up into the Sangke or Ganjia grasslands of the lower Tibetan Plateau surrounding Xiahe
CNY 400
Day 23 - Lanzhou ( 4th Jun 2019 )

Today we will leave Xiahe and 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 - 4-6 hours.

Day 24-25 - Pingliang ( 5th Jun 2019 to 6th 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.

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 drive between Turpan and Dunhuang was split 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 26 - Xi'an ( 7th Jun 2019 )

Today we will journey 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 afternoon to fully explore the city, it's famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

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

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 27 - Xi'an ( 8th Jun 2019 )

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

This morning we head ouf 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.

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Xi'an. 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.

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
Optional Activities

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

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

CNY 80

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

CNY 40

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

CNY 80
Visit the Forest of Stelae Museum, a collection of 3000 stone tablets of Chinese calligraphy that has been collected here since 1057
CNY 50
Visit the huge former Tang Dynasty royal palace of Daming, and explore its vast parks and gardens
Free

DATES & PRICES

This group overland journey has multiple departures.
Please refine your search by selecting your preferred dates of travel.

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Trip Notes
Departing: 13 May 2019
Returning: 8 Jun 2019
Duration: 27 days
Route: Bishkek - Xi'an
$2,460 USD + $780 Kitty (USD)
Was $3075.00 - Save $615
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 5 Jun 2019
Returning: 1 Jul 2019
Duration: 27 days
Route: Xi'an - Bishkek
$2,460 USD + $830 Kitty (USD)
Was $3075.00 - Save $615
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 24 Jun 2019
Returning: 20 Jul 2019
Duration: 27 days
Route: Bishkek - Xi'an
$2,460 USD + $780 Kitty (USD)
Was $3075.00 - Save $615
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 24 Jul 2019
Returning: 19 Aug 2019
Duration: 27 days
Route: Xi'an - Bishkek
$2,460 USD + $830 Kitty (USD)
Was $3075.00 - Save $615
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
limited
Departing: 19 Aug 2019
Returning: 14 Sep 2019
Duration: 27 days
Route: Bishkek - Xi'an
$2,464 USD + $780 Kitty (USD)
Was $3080.00 - Save $616
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 4 Sep 2019
Returning: 30 Sep 2019
Duration: 27 days
Route: Xi'an - Bishkek
$2,464 USD + $830 Kitty (USD)
Was $3080.00 - Save $616
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 3 Jun 2020
Returning: 29 Jun 2020
Duration: 27 days
Route: Xi'an - Bishkek
$3,260 USD + $830 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 29 Jun 2020
Returning: 25 Jul 2020
Duration: 27 days
Route: Bishkek - Xi'an
$3,260 USD + $780 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 29 Jul 2020
Returning: 24 Aug 2020
Duration: 27 days
Route: Xi'an - Bishkek
$3,260 USD + $830 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 19 Aug 2020
Returning: 14 Sep 2020
Duration: 27 days
Route: Xi'an - Bishkek
$3,260 USD + $830 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 24 Aug 2020
Returning: 19 Sep 2020
Duration: 27 days
Route: Bishkek - Xi'an
$3,260 USD + $780 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
* Sale price is for a limited time only and is subject to change at any time.

WHAT OUR PASSENGERS SAY

Made entirely wonderful by Gino, Jim and Claire.
Kathryn Jane W
The design of the vehicle was well thought-out - as for camping and cooking, we had everything we needed!
Timothy Mark D