Road to Samarkand
From $8,870 - 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 abounded 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.
DAYS 1-2: AUSTRALIA TO URUMQI
Fly overnight with China Southern Airlines to Urumqi for an overnight stay. In the afternoon, visit the International Bazaar and the local markets.
DAY 3: URUMQI TO KASHGAR
Travel to Tian Chi (Heavenly Lake), a pristine lake nestled in the foothills of the Tianshan Mountains. With melted snow as its source, Heavenly Lake has crystal-clear water. 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 through 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. Stop at 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
CHON-KEMIN VALLEY Explore the Przhevalskii Museum and Semenov Gorge before continuing to Cholpon-Ata. Relax on an afternoon cruise on Issy Kul. Explore the petroglyphs of ibex, wolves and deer etched into glacial stone. Continue to Ashu in the Chon-Kemin Valley.
DAY 10: CHON-KEMIN VALLEY
Today take in the real life of Kyrgyz people in Ashu village.
DAY 11: CHON-KEMIN VALLEY TO
BISHKEK Drive to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, visiting the Burana Tower en route. Later, visit Ala Too Square and Oak Park. This evening, enjoy a folklore performance during dinner.
DAY 12: BISHKEK TO TASHKENT
This morning take a leisurely hike in Ala Archa National Park. This evening fly to Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan.
DAY 13: TASHKENT TO KHIVA
Fly to Urgench and drive to the ancient city of Khiva for a three night stay.
DAY 14: KHIVA
Explore the walled inner town called the Itchan Kala. See the Kukhna Ark Fortress, the turquoise-tiled Islom-Huja, Amir-Tur Medressa and Tash Hauli Palace.
DAY 15: KHIVA
Visit the ruins of Elliq-Qala, an impressive fort complex, and enjoy lunch at a yurt camp below the ruins of Toprak Qala.
DAY 16: KHIVA TO BUKHARA
Travel to Bukhara, Central Asia’s most sacred city with a history spanning over 2,500 years.
DAYS 17-18: BUKHARA
Explore the Ark Fortress, Bolo Hauz Mosque, Chor Minor and Kalon Minaret. Tomorrow, visit the Lyabi-Hauz Plaza and the summer residence of the last Bukharan Emirs. Enjoy a cultural folk performance this evening.
DAY 19: BUKHARA TO SAMARKAND
Travel to Samarkand, the site where the Silk Road diverged east to China, south to India and west to Persia, stopping in the historic town of Shakhrisabz en route.
DAYS 20-21: SAMARKAND
Over the next two days explore the historical sites of Samarkand, including Timur’s Guri Amir Mausoleum and Registan Square. Also visit the She Dor Medressa, Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-I-Zinda, Ulugh Beg Observatory and a paper-making workshop.
DAY 22: SAMARKAND TO
TASHKENT Return to Tashkent by road. You will pass through the Tamerlane Gates en route. Visit the majestic 16th-century Kukeldash Medressa, Kaffal Shashi Mausoleum, Khan Medressa, Khast Imam Complex and Moyie Mubarek Library Museum. Later, wander the Chorsu Bazaar and explore the Crying Mother Monument.
DAY 23: TASHKENT TO BEIJING
Explore Tashkent, including Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square, 1966 earthquake memorial, Amir Timur Maydoni, the Russian-style Alisher Navoi Theatre and Broadway Street. This evening fly overnight to Beijing.
DAY 24: BEIJING
Arrive into Beijing early and enjoy the morning free at your leisure. This afternoon visit Beihai Park, one of the most ancient imperial gardens in China, and Jingshan Park, for views across the Forbidden City.
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.
DAY 26: ARRIVE AUSTRALIA
Arrive home today.
Dates & Prices
China Southern Airlines - Above prices include fuel surcharges and tipping of $457. Please note the Tipping amount of USD135 (AUD147) is payable on arrival in Central Asia.
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.