Route along the Great Silk Road – Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan – Kyrgyzstan – China (Kashgar)

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Itinerary:

UZBEKISTAN: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva

TURKMENISTAN: Dashoguz – Kunya-Urgench – Ashgabat – Mari – Merv – Turkmenabat

UZBEKISTAN: Bukhara – Nurata – Aidarkul – Samarkand – Tashkent

KYRGYZSTAN: Bishkek – Kochkor – Lake Son-Kul – Tash-Rabat –

CHINA: Kashgar – Urumqi – Xian – Beijing

Accomodation: 3- 4-star hotels, yurts, guest houses

Transport: plane, train, minibus, car

Following the routes of the Great Silk Road it is possible to cross several deserts, take rest in the shades of green oases which have been offering their cool rest to tired travelers for centuries. Travelling along the Silk Road one can conquer snowy mountain peaks, cross several large rivers and visit magnificent cities that have reached their flourish thanks to the development of trade between East and West. The route that crosses Xinjiang and Sogdiana, and connects China and Persia can be rightfully considered to be one of the most beautiful. We will travel with you on ancient caravan roads which like blood arteries, for centuries have linked East and West. Many conquerors of the past, such as Alexander the Great and Amir Temur traveled these roads. Treasures of trade caravans, knowledge of great scientists and thinkers, religious beliefs, cultural traditions and craft skills of different peoples have enriched the oases of Kashgar, central Uzbekistan and the Fergana Valley for centuries. Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand are fine proof of the former splendor preserved in their architecture to the present day. Enjoy some of the oldest towns of the world with ancient citadels in Uzbekistan and Turkmentistan, visit colourful bazaars and mausoleums, admire spectacular landscapes of Kyrgyzstan and mysterious China and discover the Great Silk Road!

TOUR PROGRAM

Arrival to Tashkent by international flight. Welcome to Uzbekistan! Guide and driver from MARAKANDA TRAVEL will meet you at the airport. Transfer to hotel and accommodation. Rest after a long flight. Night at hotel of Tashkent.

After breakfast tour of the city: Hazrati-Imam architectural complex – Barak Khan madrasah (16 c.), Kaffal Shashi (15 c.), Kukeldash madrasah (16c.), Juma mosque (9 c.), a giant eastern Chorsu bazaar on the right side of Chorsu Square, Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square. Overnight at hotel of Tashkent.

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport at 5:45 a.m. for the local flight to Urgench. Arrival in Urgench and transfer to Khiva (35 km). Accommodation in hotel. City tour: Juma Mosque (16 c.). Its roof rests on 212 wooden columns. The fortress of Kunya Ark (XVII c.) with its administrative buildings, powder factory, vessels and mosques; The Pahlavan-Mahmoud mausoleum (XIV-XIX c.), which is the most colourful mausoleum decorated with blue tiles. Visit to Islam Hodja madrasah. Its minaret with observation platform (XVII c.) is  the tallest building in Khiva. The Kalta Minor minaret, Allakulihan madrasah, Nurullah Bai Palace  and Isfandiyar Khan residence palace. Lunch in a national house. We continue to explore Ichan Kala. In the evening take a stroll atop the ancient city walls or wander through the historic streets of the old town. Night at hotel of Khiva.

Transfer to Turkmen border. Meeting at the border with Turkmen guide and driver. Transfer to Konye-Urgench. Located on the Amudarya, this town was one of the largest cities on the Great Silk Road. The date of its foundation is not known to archeologists, but the preserved ruins of the fortress “Kirk mullah” were dated to the beginning of the Achaemenid period. The 12th and 13th centuries were the “golden” period of the city, when it surpassed all other cities in Central Asia (with the exception of Bukhara) in terms of population and living standards. In 1221 Genghis Khan razed the whole city to the ground. Later the city was gradually reconstructed, but the sudden change of course of the Amu Darya river and the new conquest of the city by Amir Temur in 1370 forced the population of Konye-Urgench to leave the city forever. Since 2005 the ruins of Old Urgench have been protected and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. A tour of the city and return to Dashoguz for a flight to Ashgabat. Arrival in Ashgabat, accommodation and dinner in the hotel.

Breakfast at the hotel. A tour of Ashgabat with a visit to Independence Park, the Ertogrul Gazi Mosque, the National Museum of Turkmenistan, the Turkmenbashi Mosque. Visit archaeological excavations Nisa, which were included in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage in 2007. These archeological sites illustrate the interaction of different cultures on this territory. The Parthian Empire was one of the most powerful and influential civilizations of the ancient world, a brilliant rival of Rome, preventing its further expansion to the east. Nisa, the capital of the Parthian empire, is still a vivid symbol of its power. Return to Ashgabat. Overnight at hotel of Ashgabad.

Breakfast. Flight to Mari at 06:40 or 10:00 am. Tour of the historic sites of Merv. The ancient city of Merv (Persian- Marv) brings together several ancient cities that have been formed and destroyed here during 2.5 millennia. Oasis was formed by the branch channel of the Murgab River. The total area of cities is more than 1000 hectares. In 1999 the UN placed Merv on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Explore the local attractions: monuments of Alexandria and Antioch Margiana, Sultan Kala, mausoleum of Sultan Ahmad Sanjar, mausoleums of Mohammed ibn Zayed and Yusuf Hamadami, Gyz Kala fortress. After lunch transfer to Talhatan Baba, a holy place for numerous pilgrims, where we will visit 11th century mausoleum and madrasah of Baba Ahun. Dinner. Overnight at hotel.

Breakfast. Transfer to Turkmenabad to Uzbek border. Then our route runs directly to Bukhara. In the afternoon arrival in one the most esteemed cities of Islamic civilization. Accommodation in the hotel. Free time. A walk to a Jewish quarter. Overnight at hotel of Bukhara.

After breakfast explore Bukhara with your guide.Visit the central part of the city: complex of Poikalon (XII—XVI c), architectural ensemble of “Masjidi Kalon”, “Miri Arab” madrasah and  minaret (46 m). Ulugbek Madrasah (1417) was the earliest of three commissioned by the enlightened Timurid ruler. Abdulaziz Khan Madrasah (1652). Trading Domes including Toki Zargaron, Toki Telpak Furushon and Toki Saraffon. Tim of Abdullakhan (1577) and one of the most elegant trade halls. Faizulla Khodjaev House (XIX c) — a 150-year old house of the Bukhara merchant. Magoki Attori mosque, Labi-Hauz (XVI—XVII c) — a complex with Nodir Devon Begi madrasah. Ark Fortress (VI — XIX c) — in the Middle Ages it was a whole town with the Emir’s family house with wives, mosques, mint place, government institutes, store rooms, a prison and a square for public executions, Bolo Haus Ensemble, Samanid mausoleum (IXc)- the first brick building shaped as a cube covered with dome with unrepeatable geometrical brickwork design, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum. Overnight at hotel of Bukhara.

After breakfast drive to Nurata (170km). On the way we will stop in Gijduvan (45 km) and visit the world-famous workshop of ceramist Abdullo and look at rock drawings. A tour of the ancient city of Nurata will begin with the fortress of Alexander the Great. This small town is located between the high Nuratau Mountains and hot Kyzyl Kum desert. You will visit the sacred spring “Chachma,” with a thousand sacred fish and see the ruins of the ancient fortress. In this area you can find”Kyariz” – ancient irrigation systems that provide the Nurata valley with water . Lunch at a national house in Nurata. Continue the journey to Aidarkul (50 km). Riding camels and dinner listening to the folk songs of Kazakh Akin around the fire in the open air. Spending the night in yurts. The yurts are equipped with all necessary amenities: shower, kitchen, etc.

After breakfast a trip to Lake Aidarkul. Explore the shore of the lake and see the variety of local flora and fauna. Departure to Samarkand. On the way you will have an opportunity to visit small villages, cotton fields and vineyards. On arrival in Samarkand hotel accommodation and rest. After lunch at a local restaurant, a small tour of the city: visit Registran Square and Gur Emir-Tamerlan ‘s tomb. Night at the hotel of Samarkand.

Breakfast. Continue excursion in Samarkand: visit archeological museum Afrosiab and Ulugbek Observatory. Ulugbek was the grandson of Amir Timur, the ruler of Samarkand and the great scientist of the Middle Ages. Visit Shahi-Zinda complex. It is a magnificent ensemble of mausoleums of Samarkand nobility. Visit Bibi-Khanum mosque which is one of the most important monuments of Samarkand. Many folk legends are connected with its construction. Afterwards we will go to Siab bazaar where you can buy oriental sweets, fresh fruit and national souvenirs. At 16:45 transfer to the railway station. The high-speed train “Afrosiab” leaves Samarkand at 18:00 (300 km) and arrives in Tashkent at 20:10. Transfer to hotel. Night at hotel of Tashkent.

Free time in Tashkent. In the evening – flight to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Meeting and transfer from airport to hotel for check-in. Dinner at restaurant. Overnight at hotel of Bishkek.

The morning in Bishkek will begin with a city tour. We will visit Ala Too Square, Kurmanzhan Datka Square and the famous Osh bazaar. After lunch a brief visit to the Burana Tower and then transfer to the village of Kochkor, where we will visit the felt workshop. Here local women will tell and show us all the stages of making carpets from felt. Yurts are usually decorated with such textiles. Dinner and overnight stay with Kyrgyz family.

In the morning transfer to Son-Kul Lake, located high in the mountains between the Son-Kul and Moldo ranges, at a height of 3,016 m above sea level. During the summer period local nomads with herds of rams or horses can be met on the shore of the lake. Always friendly to guests, they will tell you about the peculiarities of nomadic life. Dinner and overnight at a yurt camp.

Transfer to Tash Rabat architectural complex located near the Chinese border. Originally founded in the 10th century as a Nestorian monastery, subsequently it was turned into a caravanserai and a transfer point for merchants and travelers of the Great Silk Road. Dinner and overnight at a yurt camp.

After breakfast drive to the Torugart mountain pass (3752 m), a border post between Kyrgyzstan and China. Meeting with representatives of the Chinese tourist company on the border. Transfer to Kashgar. On the way we can see some small villages. Lunch. Upon arrival accommodation in a hotel built on the site of an old Russian embassy and of great historical significance. Dinner at a local restaurant. Night in hotel.

This day is dedicated to sightseeing of main attractions of Kashgar. Visit to Uighur Cemetery, Eid Kah Mosque and Hodji Abah Mausoleum. After lunch we will go to the ancient city of Gaotai, to the market of handicrafts. Dinner with Uighur family. Night in hotel.

Flight via Urumchi to Xian. Meeting and transfer to hotel. Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel of Xian.

Today the object of our close attention will be one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century – the famous Terracotta Army, which has about 6,000 clay warriors buried underground for many centuries. After lunch, we will visit the large Pagoda of wild geese and the Forest of Stone Steles Museum. Afterwards we will look into the Muslim quarter. The night train will take us to Beijing. Night in the train.

From the railway station the driver and guide will take us straight to the center of the Chinese capital, where you visit the Forbidden City and the magnificent Temple of Heaven, the place of worship of the Chinese emperors who prayed to heaven for a good harvest. Overnight at hotel of Beijing.

This morning we will visit one of the 7 wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China, to be more precise, one of its sections – Mutianyui, located 70 km northeast of Beijing in Huairu County and of course, we will walk in the old quarters of the center of Hutong. Overnight at hotel of Beijing.

Today we will finish our acquaintance with Beijing. Visit to the Summer Imperial Palace. Here you will see a pavilion decorated with sculptures and paintings of Chinese artists. Lake Kunming. Transfer to Beijing Airport depending on international flight schedule.

End of the programme.

The exact price of the tour will be provided after a specific customer request based on the number of participants in the group.

Notice:

  • The program may be changed according to your preferences.
  • The cost of the tour will vary depending on the number of guests and the selected transport (car, minibus, bus).
  • The cost of the tour can be paid by bank transfer, credit card or other means agreed upon in advance when ordering the tour.

Cancellation fees:

  • Cancellation prior 30 days – no charges apply
  • Cancellation prior 15 days – 50% charge of the tour price
  • Cancellation prior 7 days – 100% charge of the tour price

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to book the tour:

info@marakandatravel.com

marakanda.travel@gmail.com

Telegram: +99897 7401174

HAVE A WONDERFUL TRIP!

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