Road to Samarkand
From $8,680 - 26 Days, Fully Inclusive from selected Australian cities
The most renowned overland trading route of ancient civilisations was the Silk Road, crossing rugged, mountainous and desert areas where tales were told of mystical cities, lively open-air bazaars and a seemingly endless hive of activity. Historically, the Silk Road was a remote and arduous path and one can only imagine the kind of difficulties those who travelled this renowned road had to overcome. It spanned from China’s former imperial capital, Xian, westward through to Europe.
With so much to see and experience, this journey will take you along the Silk Road from Kashgar in China to some of the most amazing ancient cities such as Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, one of Central Asia’s oldest settlements. Along the way you will discover breathtaking sights, view beautiful Islamic architecture and see some of the most captivating scenery you will ever encounter.
DAYS 1-2: AUSTRALIA TO URUMQI
Fly overnight with China Southern Airlines to Urumqi (via Guangzhou) for an overnight stay.
DAY 3: URUMQI TO KASHGAR
Visit Tian Chi (Heavenly Lake), a large pristine lake, and enjoy breathtaking views of the crystal-clear lake surrounded by alpine meadows and mountains. Next, see the International Bazaar and the local markets. This evening fly to Kashgar, an ancient market town, once the flourishing centre of the Silk Road trading route.
DAY 4: KASHGAR
Explore the elegantly tiled Abakh Hoja Tomb, the Id Kah Mosque and the old alleys that intertwine around Id Kah Square.
DAY 5: KASHGAR TO NARYN
Travel from China into Kyrgyzstan across the Tian Shan Range (Heavenly Mountain) to Torugart Pass where you cross the border into Kyrgyzstan. Continue to the Tash Rabat Caravanserai en route to Naryn.
DAY 6: NARYN TO KOCHKOR VILLAGE
Leave Naryn and travel to Kochkor Village. Enjoy a traditional lunch at a Ger before watching a ‘shyrdak’ demonstration (making of Kyrgyz wool carpets).
DAY 7: KOCHKOR VILLAGE TO KARAKOL
Travel to Karakol, visiting Bokonbayevo Village en route. Enjoy lunch with a local family and watch a demonstration of eagle hunting.
DAY 8: KARAKOL
Rise early this morning and visit the colourful Sunday animal market, the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral and a Chinese mosque. Enjoy an easy afternoon hike in Jety-Orguz and the Valley of Flowers.
DAY 9: KARAKOL TO CHOLPON-ATA
See the Przhevalskii Museum before continuing to Cholpon-Ata.
DAY 10: CHOLPON-ATA
Explore the petroglyphs of ibex, wolves and deer etched into glacial stone. Also visit the Ethnographical Museum and Grigoriev Gorge. Later, relax on an afternoon cruise on Issy Kul, a lake which is surrounded by beautiful snowcapped peaks.
DAY 11: CHOLPON-ATA TO BISHKEK
Drive to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan and a city of wide boulevards and marble-faced public buildings combined with numerous Soviet-style apartment blocks. En route visit the Burana Tower, a monument created in the 11th Century and still intact today. Later visit Ala Archa National Park.
DAY 12: BISHKEK TO TASHKENT
Rise early and have a brief visit to Ala Too Square and Oak Park. Afterwards board a morning flight to Tashkent. Visit the Majestic 16th Century Kukeldash Medressa, Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum, Khan Medressa, Khast Imom Complex and Moyie Mubarek Library Museum.
DAY 13: TASHKENT TO KHIVA
This morning explore Chorsu Bazaar, the Crying Mother Monument, and the Museum of Applied Arts. Fly to Urgench and drive to the ancient city of Khiva, for a three night stay.
DAY 14: KHIVA
This morning explore the small city of Khiva including the Kuhna Ark Fortress and wander around the many medressahs, mosques and minarets within the ancient city walls.
DAY 15: KHIVA
Visit the ruins of Elliq-Qala, an impressive fort complex dating back to the 4th Century BC and enjoy lunch at a yurt camp. Remainder of the day is at your own leisure.
DAY 16: KHIVA TO BUKHARA
Travel to Bukhara, Central Asia’s most sacred city with a history of over 2,500 years.
DAYS 17-18: BUKHARA
Explore the Ark Fortress, Chor Minor, a medressa with four minarets, and Kalon Minaret. Tomorrow, visit the Labi-Hauz Plaza and the summer residence of the last Bukharan Emirs.
DAY 19: BUKHARA TO SAMARKAND
Travel to Samarkand, the second largest city of Uzbekistan. This UNESCO World Heritage listed site is where the Silk Road diverged east to China, south to India and west to Persia.
DAYS 20-21: SAMARKAND
Over the next two days explore the historical sites of Samarkand, including Shakhrisabz, the Timur’s Guri Amir Mausoleum and the Reigistan Square, the most spectacular architectural ensemble in Central Asia. Also visit the She Dor Medressa, the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-IZinda and the Ulug Beg Observatory.
DAY 22: SAMARKAND TO TASHKENT
Leave Samarkand and travel to Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan, passing through the Tamerlane Gates en route.
DAY 23: TASHKENT TO BEIJING
Explore Tashkent, including Independence Square, the Crying Mother Monument, Chorsu Bazaar, the Amir Timur Maydoni and Broadway Entertainment Street. Later this evening fly overnight to Beijing, the capital city of China.
DAY 24: BEIJING
Arrive into Beijing early and enjoy the morning free at your leisure. This afternoon visit Beihai Park one of the oldest and best-preserved ancient imperial gardens in China. You will also visit Jinshan Park, from where you may have a clear view of Beijing city (weather permitting).
DAY 25: DEPART BEIJING
This morning is free at your leisure before you are transferred to Beijing airport to board your overnight flight to Australia (via Guangzhou).
DAY 26: ARRIVE AUSTRALIA
Arrive home today.
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Important Note: Above prices include Fuel surcharges and tipping of $457 (correct as at Jul 2014 and subject to change). Please note the Tipping amount of USD135 (AUD147) is payable on arrival in China.
Though status is regularly updated, availability above is indicative only, not live and hence does not guarantee that space is available on your selected tour when you or your agent calls Wendy Wu Tours to book. Booking early is the only way to ensure availability of your selected departure date.
Wish to extend your stay in Beijing? Why not explore the historical sights Beijing has to offer? See our Beijing Short Stay.
Additional fees and taxes may apply.