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Great Silk Road Tour

Posted: Admin

Date: 2010-02-21

Great Silk Road Tour - Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China

Day 1 : Leaving CPH with SU/TK

Day 2: Tashkent arrive by SU03.40/ TK04.00

Meeting and assistance on arrival
Transfer to the Hotel
Morning rest at leisure
Lunch at local restaurant
Afternoon sightseeing tour of Tashkent half day visit old town Kaffal Shashi mausoleum, Barak Khan Medrassah, Tilla Sheih Mosque, Chorsu Bazar, Applied Art Museum, Amir Temur square.

Museum of Applied Arts

There is an excellent display of traditional art crafts housed in the residence of Tzarist Diplomat Alexander Polovtsev who ordered this building to be built to his choice for the traditional Uzbek decor and style in 1898.
The exhibits include Uzbek needle work in famous embroidery of Suzanas, the stamp Work on cotton. There is a nice collection of ceramics from different parts of Uzbekistan. Other collections include musical instruments, the miniature boxes, wood carving and Ganch work is very nicely displayed.

Dinner in the Local Restaurant
Overnight in Hotel

Day 3: Tashkent Urgench HY 1051 07:00/08:40 Khiva 30 km

Morning transfer to the airport for flight to Urgench
On arrival to Urgench short drive to Khiva 30 km
Check in to hotel

Note Khiva is the museum under the open sky in the inner city Ichan Kala no transport, whole day will be just walking tour

Khiva city tour full day: visit Ichan Kala, Kalta Minor, Kunya Ark, Madrassah Rakhimkhon, Mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud, Climb Islam Khodja minaret and enjoy view of whole ancient Khiva, Friday mosque and Tashauli Palace/harem.
Lunch at a local restaurant
Short Folk show in Abdullahan Medrassah listen traditional Khoresmian music and enjoy local dances
Dinner and overnight in Hotel

About Khiva

The excellent brick architecture in Khiva has earned her place among the Heritage Cities of the world. Khiva was the seat of former khanate of Khiva which came into prominence after the capital city of Khorezm was abandoned lying some two hundred kilometers in present day Turkmenistan. Khiva was a well fortified city with strong mud rampant at each interval built against the invading hordes of Turkmen tribals. The Khanate of Khiva lasted until the end of 19th century when the invading armies of Czarist Russia took its toll on the slave markets of the khanate, thereby annexing it to the Russian empire. The city is a very good example of a living city among its marvelous monuments making it a museum. The administrative quarters of the former Khan, the numerous madrass, mausoleums and mosques is the reminiscence of the Arabian nights

Day 4: Transfer Khiva Bukhara 460 km

Morning drive to Bukhara via famous Kizil Kum desert (Red sands)
See desert flora and fauna: unique saksaul trees and other desert vegetation, different kind mammals. Stop at Amudarya river bank

Picnic lunch en route
Dinner and overnight at Hotel

Day 5: Bukhara

Full day sightseeing tour: visit Lab-i-khauz, madrassah Nadirkhon Devanbegi, Khanaga, Mogaki Attari mosque, Poi Kalon minaret and mosque, Madrassahs Aziz Khan and Ulugbek
Lunch at hotel
Afternoon visit Ark Fortress, Balakhauz mosque, mausoleum of Ismail Samanid, Chashma Ayub
Dinner with Folk show at Nodirkhon Divanbegi Medrassah

About Bukhara

Bukhara province is situated in the south-west of the Republic of Uzbekistan. It borders with Turkmenistan, Navoi, Khorezm, Kashkadaria regions of Uzbekistan. The total territory is 44 000 square km. The region is situated in the fertile valley of Zarafshan river on the high of 226 meters above the sea level. 1/3 of the territory is under Kizil-Kum desert.

Overnight: Private Deluxe Hotel

Day 6: Bukhara

Half day excursion to Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa, the summer residence of the former emir of Bukhara where you can see unique mixture of traditional Russian style of architecture harmoniously mixed with local oriental traditions. Famous thrown white hall decorated with carved alabaster resembles halls in Petergof Palace in the suburb of St Petersburg
Lunch at traditional local restaurant in Bukhara
Afternoon excursion to Bahauddin Naqshbandi Mausolem famous sufi spiritual leader of this region in 14th century Return to Bukhara and enjoy walking among old Bukharian streets
Dinner at local restaurant
Overnight: Private Deluxe Hotel

Day 7:Transfer Bukhara Shakhrisabz Samarkand 368 km

Morning drive to Samarkand en route excursion to Shakhrisabz the birthplace of the Great Amir Temur visit Ak Saroy Palace ruins, Dorus Tilavat seminary, Kok Gumbaz mosque, Dorus Saidat and the Friday mosque
Lunch at traditional Uzbek House
Late afternoon proceed to Samarkand
On arrival transfer to Hotel
Dinner at local restaurant
Overnight: Private Deluxe Hotel

About Shakhrisabz

Is the second city close connected with the name of Amir Timur and his descendants. Here Timur was born in 1336 and here he wanted to be buried. In 2003 the city celebrated 2700 anniversary. Timur considered his native town as the second capital and he ordered to build here one of his greatest palaces which got the name Ak-Saray. Unfortunately we can see now only the rests of this magnificent building but even these rests make an unforgettable impression due to richness and diversity of decor.

Day 8: Samarkand

Full day Sightseeing in Samarkand
Visit Registan Square to see three beautiful madrassahs, Gur Emir - mausoleum of Great Tamerlane
Lunch at local restaurant
Afternoon see Bibi Khanum mosque, the Silk Road bazar and Shahi Zinda necropolis and Silk Road bazaar nearby
Dinner at local restaurant
Overnight:Private Deluxe Hotel

About Samarkand

Samarkand - is one of the most ancient cities. The History of Samarkand is about 2750 years. The first mentions of it concern to 329 BC then it had name Marakanda. In the 14-15th centuries Samarkand was capital of the mighty state of Timurid, and from 1924 till 1930 capital of the republic of Uzbekistan.

Day 9: Samarkand Tashkent 330 km

Morning visit Afrosiab museum and site and Ulugbeks observatory located in the entrance to Samarkand
Lunch at local restaurant
Afternoon drive to Tashkent
Depends on season possible to visit Opera or Ballet performance this evening Optional cost of the ticket from 5 to 10 USD per person. Theater Building itself is very beautiful inside.
Farewell dinner with the glass of local wine at one of the good Tashkent restaurant
Overnight in Hotel

Day 10: Tashkent Bishkek HY 775 15:45-18:10

Tashkent city tour: Mustakillik (Independence) Square in the heart of Tashkent and famous Tashkent Metro (underground) decorated with local marble and granit like an underground palaces, visit Amir Temur squire, Opera Navoi Theatre squire
Lunch at local restaurant
Transfer to the airport to take flight to Bishkek
On arrival transfer to Hotel
Dinner at local restaurant

Overnight in the local Hotel

Day 11: Bishkek - Karakol (400 km)

Early morning brief sightseeing of Bishkek city Morning transfer to Karakol town along the Northern part of the lake Issyk-Kul
En route visit Burana Tower

Issik Kul

Issyk-Kul means hot lake because it never freezes in winter. Located 1609 m above the sea level, Issyk-Kul is the second largest mountainous lake in the world after Titicaca. There are thermal springs and mud bath centers on the lake. There is a wide variety of resorts, with excellent beaches and fantastic clear water for swimming. Ancient cities existed here along the Great Silk Road, before the Mongolian Invasion, and their ruins still contain many secrets. Stone inscriptions up to 6 thousand years old are spread around the region and can be easily viewed in Cholpon-Ata Open Air Museum of Petroglyphs.

Burana Tower

This 10th century tower is just outside Tokmok, 13 kilometers from the main road. The word Burana is trough to derive from the Turkic word for minaret, munara. The renovation of tower you see today, banded with intricate brickwork, was completed in 1974. the ruined structure, originally 45 meters tall, was further weakened by Russian settlers, who stripped the tower of bricks as they could reach. The Burana tower marks the original site of the Karakhanid town of Balasagun, founded in 960. The loose-knit Turkic Karakhanid empire sprawled over much of central Asia, covering an area larger than modern India, and had another elegant capital at Maravannahr, now Ozgon, and a Highly cultured and scientific centre at Kashgar. The Silk Routes, sprinting through the valley, deposited a flotsam of trade and knowledge at Balasagun and busy trading town blossomed.

Lunch en route at local restaurant
On arrival to Karakul check in the Hotel
Dinner and Overnight in the Hotel

Day 12: Karakol

Early morning sightseeing in Karakol: visit Museum and Memorial Complex of the famous Russian traveller, researcher, scientist Nikolay Przhevalskiy (discovered China, Xinjiang, Turkestan died in Karakol on 1888) and Russian Orthodox Cathedral made from wood on a brick base in 1895, famous Dungan Mosque (Completed in 1910 it was built entirely without nails using an uncommon grey-blue brick. Instead of a minaret, the mosque has a wooden pagoda).
Afternoon half day excursion to Djeti Oghuz gorge walking around.
Picnic lunch there
Evening return back to Karakol
Dinner and overnight in the Hotel

Day 13: Karakol Naryn - 332 km

Morning transfer to Naryn enjoy views of Issyk-Kul Lake and surrounding mountains, en route visit Kochkor village lucn at local Kyrgyz house.
Visit local workshops engaged in production of different kind of hand made productions from local felt. Great opportunity to see everyday life of local Kyrgyz people.
Proceed to Naryn
On arrival transfer to Hotel Celestial Mountain Inn Dinner and overnight in the Hotel

Day 14: Drive through Naryn- Tourgart pass - 240 km Kashgar 170 km

Early morning (05:00 am) transfer to Torugart pas, clients must be ready for bumping road sometimes really bad conditions, en route see wonderful magic Tash Rabat

Tash Rabat

Tash Rabat, a stone fortress, with the altitude of about 3500 m above sea-level. Tash Rabat is located 80km from Torugart and 90km from Naryn. It is a carefully restored stone building that once housed an inn on the Great Silk Road. This caravanserai was occupied in the 10th century. The origins of the caravanserai, which underwent some restoration work in the 1980s, are not clear. Today the caravanserai is a square, rather squat-looking building that is much bigger than it appears from the outside because it digs deep into the hillside behind. Inside there is a domed central chamber leading to the remains of 30 dank cold rooms including, opposite the entrance, the khans own quarters. One chamber contains two underground dungeons, one of which has been filled in and another, which is apparently 10 meters deep. There is also a well and supposedly an old tunnel, possibly leading to a look-out point. The chambers on either side of the entrance each have a broad, raised ledge, which is said to be a communal bed used by the caravanserais soldiers, who were garrisoned here to protect against bandits.

Change transportation and guide on Torugart border.
Proceed to Kashgar with lunch box
Arrive Kashgar around 05:00 06:00 pm local time
Dinner and overnight in Hotel

Day 15: Kashgar

Full day sightseeing in Kashgar
Visit the largest mosque in China Idkah mosque (1442), Apak Khojas Tomb the holiest place in Xinjiang for Sufis (1640), handicraft street, old parts of the town
Lunch at local restaurant
Afternoon visit located nearby Uygur traditional village Opal to see Mausoleum of the well known 11 c. Uygur philologist Mohammed Kashgeri
Dinner at local restaurant
Overnight in Hotel

Day 16: Kashgar /Urumqi CZ 6806 2030/2210

Morning visit colorful unique chaotic Great Sunday bazaar where you will see numerous sections: silk and cotton, knives, hats, pots and pans, fresh vegetables and fruits, carpets and jewellery, there is a separate livestock and horse section located 6 km from the main market.
Lunch at local restaurant
Afternoon excursion to the Mor Stupa (3BC) which is the remnant of the big Buddhist temple, located 30 km northeast of Kashgar and picturesque Atush village nearby see unique Sultan Mausoleum decorated with violet marble, visit local uygur families.
Dinner at local restaurant with Uygur folk show
Evening flight to Urumqi
On arrival transfer to Hotel
Overnight in the Hotel

Day 17: Urumqi-Turpan 200 km

Morning excursion to Xinjiang regional museum to see archaeological treasures from the Silk Road and Xinjiangs minority cultures. A display of well-preserved 3000 year old mummies, excavated from Loulan at Takla Makan desert, completes the exhibition.

Later transfer to Turpan
On arrival check in to hotel
Lunch at local restaurant
Excursion to Jiaohe ancient city - Jiaohe ruins dates from 1st BC and flourished around 5th AD. Much of the city structure is understandable with well laid out city plan the administrative section to housing settlement and to the secular parts with surviving Stupa ruins. It was part of Tang Dynasty in 7th AD continued under successive domination till 13th AD when the Mongols destroyed the city. Later visit the notable Emin Minaret (44 meters high, completed in 1778) and Mosque.
Afternoon transfer to Urumqi
At the end of the day visit famous Grape valley (12 km) is a pleasant park with vineyards and fruit trees, there are special places for relaxing and eating the grapes and melons. Grapes were introduced to Turpan over 2000 years ago.
Dinner at the Grape Valley restaurant
Overnight in the Hotel

Day 18: Turpan Dunhuang T218 22:40/10:48

Full day sightseeing in Turpan
Early morning visit picturesque Tuyoq ancient village (70 km) to see the oldest in Turpan area Buddhist caves dated back to the 4th c. Visit local Uygur families enjoy beautiful mountain and grapes sceneries.
Lunch at local Uygur house
Later visit the impressive ruins at Gaochang ancient city (47 km), built in the 2nd c. BC, it became the capital of the Kingdom of Gaochang under the Han dynasty, destroyed around 14th century, take a donkey cart taxi to venture deep into this famous ancient site. Get inside of Astana Tombs to see well preserved mummies and unique wall paintings dated back to 2AD.
Later visit the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves (56 km) on the flanks of the Flaming Mountains, there are 67 caves dating from 317 to 1368, Bezeklik was an important center for Buddhist worship.
These are superb murals many depicting Buddhist Sutras and Jatakas which were the part of Hinayana and Mahayana beliefs. Bezekliq caves were part of Gaochang Kingdom present day ruins of Gaochang.
Dinner at local Turpan restaurant
Transfer to the railway station to take train to Dunhuang
Overnight train

Day 19: Dunhuang

On arrival trip to the Mogao Caves the worlds richest treasure-trove of Buddhist manuscripts, wall paintings and statuary dated back to 4th up to 14th century onwards; created during nine dynasties they mark the height of Buddhist art.
Lunch at Dunhuang local restaurant
Afternoon visit the nearby Mingsha (Singing) Sand Dunes and Crescent Lake.
Enjoy sunset view at the best desert scenery that travelers can see along the entire length of the Silk Road.
Dinner and overnight in Hotel

Day 20: Dunhuang Beijing CA 1288 11:40-14:40

Morning at leisure
Transfer to the airport to take flight to Beijing
On arrival transfer to Hotel
Optional tour to Great Wall
Overnight in Hotel

Day 21: Exit Beijing

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General Information

Capital Tashkent
Official languages Uzbek
Recognised regional languages Karakalpak
Government Presidential republic
Area 447,400 km2
Population 27,372,000
Currency Uzbekistan som
Time zone UZT (UTC+5)
Internet TLD .uz
Calling code 998

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