Kyrgyzstan and China - Journey along the Silk Road
£3,245 excl. flight
- Kyrgyzstan’s dramatic landscapes
- Dunhuang’s Mogao Caves of One Thousand Buddhas
- Xian’s extraordinary Terracotta Warriors
Journeying eastwards by road, rail and air, explore key sites along the Silk Road, one of the world’s oldest and most notorious trade routes. From Bishkek in the heart of Central Asia, this tour traverses the spectacular Tien Shan Mountains to Kashgar, then skirts the northern edge of the magnificent Taklimakan Desert before culminating in Xian, the eastern terminus of this once great trading network.
Day 1 London/ Bishkek – Overnight flight to Bishkek.
Day 2 Bishkek – Afternoon tour of Bishkek including the Victory Monument, Ala-Too Square, the Open Air Sculpture Museum and Osh Bazaar.
Day 3 Bishkek, Karakol - Drive to Karakol via Balasagun with its 6 metre high Burana tower and the lakeside Prejvalsky Museum.
Day 4 Karakol, Naryn – Depart for Naryn visiting Kochkor village, a good place to experience rural Kyrgyzstan.
Day 5 Tash Rabat, Kashgar – Visit the ancient caravanserai of Tash Rabat, which once served as a fortress for travellers along the Great Silk Road. Cross the Kyrgyz-Chinese border to Kashgar.
Day 6 Kashgar – Afternoon tour of Kashgar to see China’s largest mosque and Apak Khoja’s Tomb, the holiest place in Xinjiang for Sufis. Visit Handicraft Street and the old parts of town.
Day 7 Kashgar, Turpan - Explore the colourful famous bazaar. Overnight train to Turpan.
Day 8 Turpan – Leisurely afternoon with visit to Grape valley,famous for its vineyards and fruit trees.
Day 9 Turpan – Explore Turpan including the 2,000 year old Karez water system, the Emin Minaret and mosque, then on to the famous ruined city of Jiaohe.
Day 10 Turpan, Dunhuang – Visit Tuyoq for the region’s oldest Buddha and meet a local Uygur family. Then to the impressive ruins at Gaochang and the Astana Tombs with their well-preserved mummies and wall paintings. Later visit the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves,on the edge of the Flaming Mountains,before overnight train to Dunhuang.
Day 11 Dunhuang - Drive to Dunhuang for the Mogao Caves, the world’s richest treasure-trove of Buddhist manuscripts, wall paintings and statuary.
Day 12 Dunhuang - See the Singing Sand Mountains, where the desert meets the oasis. Visit the Western Thousand Buddha caves, the White Horse Dagoba and Dunhuang County Museum.
Day 13 Dunhuang, Jiayuguan - Depart for Jiayuguan through the arid Gansu corridor. Afternoon see the Overhanging Wall.
Day 14 Jiayuguan, Xian - Visit the magnificently restored fort and the Jiayuguan Museum. Fly to Xian.
Day 15 Xian – Discover the Terracotta Warriors and Shaanxi Provincial Museum.
Day 16 Xian - Explore the Great Mosque, one of China's largest, and the Shaanxi Provincial Museum.
Day 17 Xian – Visit the Han Jing Tomb and museum with their terracotta figurines and burial chambers. Fly to Beijing.
Day 18 Beijing/ London – Fly back to London.
Iain Shearer is an archaeologist and Research Affiliate at The Centre for Applied Archaeology, University College London. He’s worked extensively on development and conflict archaeology and has excavated in Afghanistan, The Balkans, Central Asia, Iran and the Arab Middle East.
He is currently Sackler Scholar for Iran and Afghanistan at The British Museum and is a Fellow of The Royal Asiatic Society.
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