28 DAYS ●
Immerse Yourself Tour
Take a journey along 2,000-plus-years of Central Asian Silk Road
history. Discover Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, through stunning scenery in the footsteps of great explorers and conquerors.
Our Ancient Lands of Central Asia itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.
Fly to Guangzhou with China Southern Airlines for an overnight stay.
Fly to Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat translates to 'city of love' in Arabic. (B,L,D)
Over the next two days, explore ancient Ashgabat. Visit the ruins of the Fortress of Nisa, stroll through the Park of Independence before visiting the impressive Ertugrul Gazi mosque. Admire the National Museum of History and Ethnography, and National Carpet Museum. Wander the colourful Russian bazaar and visit a stud farm to meet the 'winged' Akhal- Tekes horses. (B,L,D)
Embark on an exciting desert drive to Darvaza Crater. The crater is an 80m natural gas crater that has been alight for over 40 years and named by locals as the 'Gates of Hell' for its continuous orange flames. Camp beside the flickering crater this evening. (B,L,D)
Rise early and travel to Kunya-Urgench, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was once the capital of the medieval Khorezmshah Empire. Explore the 14th century mausoleum of Turabek Khanum, the minaret of Kutlug Timur, the mausoleum of Sultan Tekesh, the fabled al-Mamun's Academy of Sciences, and mausoleum of Il-Arslan. Cross the border to Khiva, Uzbekistan. (B,L,D)
The ancient city of Khiva has a long and turbulent history as part of the Silk Road and a slave trading post. This fascinating destination is lovely to explore – wander around the many madrassahs, mosques and minarets within the ancient city walls. (B,L,D)
Travel to Bukhara across the famous Kyzy Kum Desert. (B,L,D)
Bukhara is the holiest city in Central Asia. Explore the historic sites including Labi-Hauz Plaza, madrassahs, mosques and minarets. Stop by the 17th century Ark Fortress and Bolo Hauz Mosque. (B,L,D)
Journey to Samarkand, a UNESCO World Heritage city with an evocative skyline of domes and minarets. (B,L,D)
Wander through Registan Square. See some beautiful madrassahs – the Tillya-Kori and the Sher Dor. Visit Gur Amir Mausoleum, Bibi-Khanym Mosque, the Silk Road bazaar and Shah-I-Zindanecropolis. (B,L,D)
Explore Ulugh Beg Observatory and pay a visit to the ancient settlement of Afrosiab. Head to Konigil village to visit a mulberry paper-making workshop. Return to Samarkand and board your train to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. (B,L,D)
This morning, visit Tashkent's old town sites including, Barak Khana Seminary, Tila Shaikh mosque, Chorsu Bazaar and Kukeldash Madrassah. In the afternoon, visit the Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square and Amir Temur Square. (B,L,D)
Set out overland to Tajikistan. Cross the border and drive to Khujand, possibly an early settlement by Alexander the Great. Tour Pushkin Square, Kamoli Khudjandi Square, Timur Malik's Fortress and Sugd Museum, Muslihiddin memorial complex, Panjshanbe Bazaar and Arbob Palace. (B,L,D)
Drive to Panjikent via Istaravshan town. Located in the northern foothills of the Turkistan mountain range, Istaravshan is one of the oldest cities in Tajikistan, having existed for more than 2,500 years. Sightseeing will include Mugtepa Fortress, Kok Gumbaz 15th Timurid Mosque, Sar-i-Mazor complex. Visit a local bazaar to see local metalworkers and woodworkers. Later, continue to Panjikent in the Zerafshan Valley. (B,L,D)
Explore Rudaki Historic-Ethnographic Museum and an ancient Panjikent settlement. Enjoy lunch in a traditional Chaikhana, where you can taste the local delicacy, plov. Continue to Dushanbe and take in the beautiful Iskanderkul lake en route. (B,L,D)
Visit the monument of Ismoili Somoni and Rudaki Park. Continue to Hissar to see the ancient fortress. Explore Madrassah Kuhna, the Museum of Tajik Way of Life. (B,L,D)
Visit the famous Museum of National Antiquities. Later, fly to Almaty, Kazakhstan. (B,L,D)
A busy day of sightseeing awaits! Learn about the history of Kazakhstan at the Central State Museum. Stroll through Republic Square and visit the Abai Opera and Ballet Theatre, Central mosque, the Green market and the President's residence. You will also visit Zenkov Cathedral and the Museum of National Musical Instruments. In the afternoon, drive to Medeo to see the famous skating rink set in a stunning valley location. (B,L,D)
Travel to Karakol via Charyn. Visit the magnificent Charyn Canyon. Descend into the canyon, to the Valley of Castles for a light hike. Continue to Karakol. (B,L,D)
Visit a Chinese mosque and the striking Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral. In the afternoon, travel to the Valley of the Flowers and Jety-Oguz for a light hike through the magnificent canyon. Watch an eagle hunting show. (B,L,D)
Travel to Chon Kemin valley. En route explore the unique Museum of Nikolai Przhevalskii. Visit the Semenov Gorge and drive along the shore of Issyk Kul. In Cholpon-ata, explore the petroglyphs that date back to the 8th century. Chon- Kemin is a unique, pristine nature reserve. (B,L,D)
Take a peaceful walk through the foothills and village. After lunch, continue to Bishkek. En route, stop by the Burana Tower. In Bishkek, tour the Manas Monument and Ala Too Square. (B,L,D)
Fly to Urumqi. This afternoon is at leisure. (B,L,D)
Enjoy the tranquillity of Tian Chi (Heavenly Lake). (B,L,D)
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Urumqi airport to board your flight to Australia, arriving home to same or following day. (B)
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. Our tour prices are from prices based on per person, twin share and are subject to the availability of specific economy class fare levels. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal.
Wendy Wu Tours inspects all hotels to ensure they meet the high levels of service, which we require for our guests. We pick the right hotel for the specific destination, meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family-run guesthouse in a smaller town. Chosen hotels are also chosen for ease of navigation around tourist sights.
When travelling in Central Asia embrace the local cuisine where possible, as western and exclusively vegetarian options are often not available.
Food derives from what is in season and has influences from the Middle East and Turkic countries. Commonly seen foods are mutton, chicken, yoghurts, legumes, mild spices, noodles, kebabs, naan and rice. Please ensure you specify dietary requirements at the time of booking. We suggest mentioning them to the National Escort/Local Guides on arrival. They will do their utmost to cater to any special requests, such as vegetarian meals or foods to avoid in the case of allergies.
Shopping is a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure. In keeping with most people’s interests while on holiday, your tour includes a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. Included are visits to establishments that provide locally produced goods, unique to your destination. Witness the creation of these products, and see first-hand how their production supports the local economy. As most travellers like to take home souvenirs, we ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity.
Tipping is not commonplace in Australia. In Asia however, it is anticipated that a tip be given to reward good service. With that in mind, we have a tipping system for our group tours. Each passenger ‘tips’ a set amount to the National Escort at the start of the tour or on arrival in each country. They then distribute this as appropriate. We advise tipping amounts in your final documentation.
Tipping is appreciated for Private and Tailor-Made travel. In your final documents, we include guidelines for tipping when travelling independently.
While travelling overseas, the Wendy Wu Tours contact number during business hours is +61 2 9224 8888.
Emergency Assistance (24-hours) is 0044 1888 288 288.
You will find mobile phone coverage to be quite high throughout Asia. We recommend contacting your mobile carrier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated call and data costs before you leave Australia. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi, which usually comes at a cost.
All nationalities require a visa when travelling to countries in Central Asia. Travellers should arrange visas well in advance of departure. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your visas in the price of your tour. We handle the entire application process – all you need to do is complete the paperwork and send your passport to us eight weeks prior to departure. We are always on hand to help you with any queries you may have while completing the application form.
At Wendy Wu Tours we are all avid adventurers, constantly seeking out the best ways for you to experience Asia. That's why we are Asia experts and Australia's leading Asia tour operator - our customer reviews and numerous awards say it all. This website is all about showcasing both Asia's top sights and its magnificent hidden gems; about the plethora of different types of authentic and exciting experiences that we can offer you; and about giving you the very best holiday, whether it's your first visit or your 10th.
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Wendy Wu Tours offers the best selection of tours to Asia.
Wendy Wu Classic, Immerse Yourself & Deluxe Collection Tours, Private and Tailor-Made Tours to Asia from Australia, New Zealand,
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