23 DAYS ●
Go Beyond Tour
Journey through the heart of Central Asia crossing beautiful deserts and mountain landscapes. Discover ancient cities full of intricate Islamic architecture,
thriving bazaars and a mystical old-world atmosphere, all linked with the legends of the Silk Road.
Cruise on beautiful Lake Issyk Kul
Discover the ancient and pre-Soviet styles of this intriguing city
Be mesmerised by this UNESCO city
Explore the ancient city of Khiva
Our Road to Samarkand 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 the city of Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan. The rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. In the evening, enjoy a traditional folklore show during dinner.
This afternoon, drive south to Ala Archa National Park where you will stop at the park’s base camp. From here, your guide will take you on a 1 hour leisurely hike through the National Park whilst you take in the picturesque scenery of snow-capped mountains and freshwater rivers.
This morning, you will visit the 12th Century Burana Tower and enjoy the breath-taking views along the road as you continue another 3 hours to Cholpon-Ata. The town is located at the northern shore of Lake Issyk Kul and is known for its large open-air collection of petroglyphs of ibex, wolves and deer etched into glacial stone that date back to the 8th century. Afterwards, cruise on Lake Issyk Kul and view the stunning, alpine scenery.
Continue this morning with a 3-hour drive to the Russian town of Karakol and check in for a two-night stay. First visit the picturesque Semenov Gorge to enjoy a gentle hike at the gorge. This afternoon you will visit the interesting Przhevalskii Museum and examine the region’s diverse religious influences with visits to the striking Holy Trinity Orthodox Church and the Chinese mosque from the outside as visits inside are not always guaranteed.
Rise early and travel to the outskirts of town for the unforgettable Karakol Sunday Animal Market. In the afternoon, travel to the Valley of Flowers and Jety-Oguz Gorge where you can enjoy a light hike through the magnificent canyon of red sandstone. Later, visit Irdyk village to see a local mosque and enjoy a home-cooked dinner with a local Dungan family.
Leaving early, visit Kyzyl-Suu village to see the yurt installation. Travel to Barskoon Gorge to see waterfall named ‘Tears of Leopard’. The gorge is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the Issyk Kul area. Travel to visit Skazka Canyon, also known as Fairy Tale Canyon. Continue around 2 hours to Bokonbaevo Village and watch a demonstration of Eagle Hunting. In the afternoon, enjoy free time wandering through the picturesque village of Bokonbaevo and relax on Lake Issyk Kul.
In the late morning, enjoy the breath-taking views along the road as you continue 3 hours to Naryn. Whilst crossing the Dolon Pass the altitude will reach 3,030m. Arrive at the Tash Rabat's historic caravanserai set in a peaceful valley setting where the only habitation is a series of seasonal yurt-camps, where you will spend the night. Enjoy a walk around the mountains surrounding Tash Rabat before transferring to Kochkor, the centre of Kyrgyz national felt handicrafts.
This morning, visit a local workshop in Kochkor and see the manufacturing of the traditional Kyrgyz wool carpets, called ‘shyrdak’. Explore a small local market in the centre of the village and visit a local co-op that provides training for local women in traditional handicrafts.
There is free time in the morning to explore more of Kochkor. Arrive at the Chong Kemin National Park in the mid-afternoon. Chong Kemin is a quiet valley with small villages surrounded by magnificent mountains and a fir forest. Take in the daily life in Ashu Village and witness horseback games, a nomadic tradition and custom of the Kyrgyz people.
This morning, transfer the 2 hours to the Bishkek airport for your late afternoon flight to Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan. On arrival, transfer to your hotel, check in and enjoy dinner.
In the morning, journey back in time exploring Tashkent’s town sights; Barak Khan Madrassah and Kukeldash Madrassah and Tila Shaikh mosque and their archives – known for rare copies of the Koran. Stop at Chorsu Bazaar – the oldest market in Tashkent. see Independence Square and Amir Timur Maydoni. Your last stop will be to the Tashkent Metro, with its opulently decorated marble, granite and chandeliers.
In the afternoon, transfer the 5 hours to the pleasant city of Uzbek city of Fergana.
Rise early and travel to the magnificent Kumpeta Sunday Bazaar in the town of Margilon. Immerse yourself in the colours, sounds and smells of Central Asia’s best market. Visit the interesting Yodgorlik silk road centre, possibly the finest on the old Silk Road trade route from Beijing to Istanbul. Later, enjoy a guided tour of Kokand seeing the impressive Khan’s Palace and Jami Mosque Museum. Drive to a small village to the house of a local craftsman, to visit a traditional Kyrgyz family who manufacture traditional woollen carpets. Finally, stop off at the Rishton Ceramics Museum to learn about the pottery industry and arrive in Fergana where you will visit Akhmad Al-Fergani Park and the town centre.
After a morning at leisure, enjoy a late morning transfer to Tashkent. On arrival in the late afternoon, transfer to your hotel and check in. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax in your hotel.
Transfer to the Tashkent train station for train to Samarkand. Arrive in Samarkand and check into your hotel. Today, explore some of the most significant sites in Samarkand and its city centre involving approximately 6 hours of leisurely walking. In the morning, visit Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum and Registan Square, which was for many centuries the heart of Samarkand. Wander through a local market and visit the Shah-I-Zinda mausoleum
This morning, you have free time to relax or explore more of central Samarkand. You can relax in your hotel or spend some more time soaking up the atmosphere of the Registan. In the afternoon, spend 3 hours of leisurely walking, visiting the Ulugh Beg Observatory to see the 'stars above Samarkand', a papermaking workshop and the Bibi-Khanum Friday Mosque.
Transfer to the Samarkand for your journey to Bukhara. Arrive in Bukhara and check into your hotel. Today explore the many interesting sites within this incredible city, one of the most famous names of medieval Islam. Gaze at the unique and legend filled Kalon Minaret. After exploring the Ark of Bukhara, visit the Bolo Hauz Mosque. Later this afternoon, visit the mausoleum of Ismail Samanid and the ornate Aziz Khan and Ulugbek Madrassahs. Have dinner in the scenic Lyabi-Haus area close to the old Jewish quarter. After dinner walk through the markets and shop for decorative clothing and traditional Uzbek crafts. There’s a wealth of small craft studios tucked into the ancient nearby madrassas and trading domes.
This morning visit the summer residence of the last Emir at Sitora-i Mohi Khosa and drive to the pottery town Gijduvan, located approximately 60km from Bukhara. Explore the city for one and a half hours and visit a ceramic centre. Return to Bukhara in the mid -afternoon where the rest of the day is free.
Transfer to Khiva in the early morning.
Travelling the 480kms through the desert, view the changing scenery from saksaul trees to the Amudarya riverbank as you travel. Upon arrival check into your hotel for a two-night stay.
Khiva is made for walking. It is compact, well maintained, lived in and basks in beautiful desert light. Visit Kukhna Ark Fortress, the turquoise-tiled Islom-Khodja, the mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud. These are all located within the walled inner town called the Itchan Kala, which was the first site in Uzbekistan to achieve recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage listed site in 1990. Later visit Madrassah Rakhimkhon where studies in religion, astronomy, geography and mathematics took place, the Kalta Minor Minaret and the 19th century Tash Hauli Palace decorated in fine china blue tile work.
Today you have a free time to wander through the Khiva old town before transferring to the Urgench airport for your flight to Tashkent.
Have a farewell group dinner before checking in for your overnight flight to Dubai.
On arrival in Dubai you will connect to your flight to Australia returning home the same or following day.
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. Government laws in China require air conditioning be switched on nationally in May and central heating in November (this may vary slightly depending on the region). View Hotels Here
Most nationalities require a visa when travelling to China. Travellers should arrange visas well in advance of departure. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your visa 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.
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.
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. The Yangtze River cruise service charge is paid when embarking. 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.
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.
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or too unusual. Breakfast at your hotel includes local and western dishes. In remote areas, we suggest embracing local specialities. Lunch and dinner consists of shared dishes. Meals generally finish with fruit to clean the palate. Drinks such as beer, soft drinks or bottled water are at your own expense locally. Beer is drunk in small glasses; not large glasses that you may be used to.
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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