24 DAYS ●
Journey through the heart of Central Asia crossing starkly beautiful deserts and magnificent mountain landscapes. Discover ancient cities full of intricate Islamic architecture, thriving bazaars and a mystical old-world atmosphere, all inextricably linked with the legends of the Silk Road
Explore the diverse architecture of this oasis city
Cross these magnificent Heavenly Mountains
Discover the ancient and pre-Soviet styles of this intriguing city
Be mesmerised by this UNESCO city
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 overnight to the city of Urumqi. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Escape to the tranquility of Tian Chi Heavenly Lake, a crystal clear body of water formed in a crater atop Baekdu Mountain. In the evening fly to the remote city of Kashgar, the heart of the Silk Road.
Its skyline punctured by minarets, Kashgar feels a million miles from anywhere. Although now a modern city, the sights and sounds of Kashgar’s streets have remained unchanged for millennia, as it remains as much of an integral trading post as in its Silk Road heyday. Today’s visits include Abakh Hoja Tomb, Id Kah Mosque and the atmospheric alleyways around Id Kah Square.
Cross the border into Kyrgyzstan through the magnificent Tian Shan Heavenly Mountains. Making our way over the Torugart Pass to Naryn, stop en route at the 15th century Caravanserai at Tash Rabat.
Drive to Kochkor Village and enjoy a traditional lunch at a ger camp. The next day continue to Karakol via Bokonbayevo village on the shores of Lake Issyk Kul, where the locals will demonstrate their skill at hunting with eagles.
Soak up the atmosphere of the bustling animal market before examining diverse religious influences with visits to the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral and the Chinese mosque. Take an afternoon stroll in Jety-Orguz and through the beautiful Valley of Flowers. The next day 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.
Today take in the real life of Kyrgyz people in Ashu village.
Drive to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital, a city of wide, leafy boulevards which contrast with the Soviet-era architecture. En route visit the 11th century Burana Tower, an intricate minaret out in the countryside.This afternoon there is an option to visit spectacular Ala Archa National Park or enjoy the time at your leisure.
This morning take a leisurely hike in Ala Archa National Park. This evening fly to Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan.
Fly to Nukus and visit Savitskiy museum before exploring Mizdahkan, an Islamic complex in Hojeli Village.
Discover the magnificent desert fortress of Chalpik Kala, Kizil Kala Fortress, Toprak Kala Fortress, Ayaz Kala and Kryrkkyz Kala. Arrive in Khiva.
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 medressahs, mosques and minarets within the ancient city walls, as well as the magnificent 17th century Kuhna Ark Fortress.
After a day’s drive across the Kyzyi Kumdesert arrive at the holiest city in Central Asia, Bukhara. Bukhara has been built up over thousands of years, with an atmospheric old centre and some pre-Soviet era architecture. Spend two days seeing the sights, with visits to the Ark Fortress, Chor Minor, Kalon Minaret, Labi-Hauz Plaza and the summer residence of the last Bukharan Emirs.
Perhaps the most notable name in Silk Road history Samarkand is a UNESCO World Heritage city with an evocative skyline of domes and minarets and a mystical presence. Drive to the city via Shakhrisabz, the birthplace of the great historical leader,Tamerlane. Spend two days exploring some of the many historical sites of Samarkand including the Registan, Sher Dor Medressa, the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-I-Zinda and the Ulugh Beg Observatory.
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.
Explore famous sights around Tashkentincluding the 1966 earthquake memorial, Independence and Bunyodkor squares, Alishedr Navoi Theatre and the Amir Timur Maydoni before exploring Broadway Street. Spend the night in Tashkent.
Wake early this morning for your flight to the UK arriving the same day.
Wendy Wu Tours inspect all of our 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. If the hotels listed below for your tour are not available on your chosen departure date, hotels of a similar standard will be used.
The Bintuan Grand Hotel located in Urumqi city centre offers spacious rooms with city views, en-suite bathrooms, complimentary toiletries, satellite television and a minibar. The hotel has 2 onsite restaurants, as well as a fitness center, a sauna and a spa....Read more
The Tianyuan International Hotel, located in the city centre of Kashi, has traditionally adorned en-suite rooms with modern amenities, including tea making facilities, a minibar, free Wifi and complimentary newspapers and toiletries. The hotel’s onsite restaurant serves local Chinese dishes. There is also a spa onsite....Read more
Guest House "Khan-Tengri" is considered to be one of the best guest houses in Naryn. It’s located in a quiet district of Naryn where you can feel the warm atmosphere of Kyrgyz hospitality. The guest house has 25 en-suite comfortable rooms, all featuring cable TV and furniture. The internet and bar are other facilities provided.
Green Yard Hotel is conveniently located in the centre of Karakol, a short distance from the famous Issyk-Kul Lake and ski-resort. The hotel features spacious en-suite rooms, fitted with modern amenities including a flat-screen TV, wardrobe and desk. Free toiletries and a hairdryer are also available in a bathroom. Guests can also relax in the sauna and massage parlour....Read more
Wangfu Hotel is located inside the Lijiang Old Town and it is good retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. 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.
A visa is required by all nationalities. A visa should be arranged in advance of travel. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form.
To call the UK the international access code is 0044. Mobile phones are quite popular in China and you will find high quality coverage. SMS and call rates can be expensive: we recommend that you contact your mobile supplier for more details. Some of our hotels have WIFI in the rooms and some will only have it in the lobby. There may be additional charges. Many websites, including Google, Facebook and Twitter are banned and inaccessible in China. If you need to access your email via Gmail whilst in China, please use an alternative email account whilst in the country.
Tipping while on holiday is common in most parts of the world and China is no exception. In order to avoid any inconvenience Wendy Wu Tours operates a tipping policy where a stated amount is given to your national escort at the beginning of your tour and tips are distributed to local guides and drivers throughout your tour. Yangtze cruise companies operate a service charge policy and this is paid separately when boarding the vessel. We indicate tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.
Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure, and China has a vast array of shopping opportunities for those who love to seek out a bargain. In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs. We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy.
The cost of meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes western dishes. As is traditional in China, lunch and dinner consist of small dishes of local cuisine which are placed on a ‘Lazy Susan’ for everyone to share. If you would like to drink beer, soft drink or bottled water with your meals, payment is to be made directly to the restaurant staff. If you have booked a tour that does not include all meals, your local guides will be able to recommend where to eat. Any food/diet requests MUST be specified at the time of booking.
Wendy Wu Tours inspect all of our 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. Hotels in China are bound by Government laws which mean that air conditioning is switched on nationally in May and the central heating in November (this may vary slightly depending on the region).
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 the UK'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. Wendy Wu and the team look forward to welcoming you to Asia soon!
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