“Spiritual Journey through the Silk Road”

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5001
Tour Details

“Spiritual Journey
through the Silk Road”

KYRGYZSTAN – KAZAKHSTAN – UZBEKISTAN – TAJIKISTAN - TURKMENISTAN

Join us on a profound expedition tracing the ancient paths of the Silk Road, where cultures converged and spirituality flourished. From October 22 to November 9, 2024, immerse yourself in the mystique of five breathtaking destinations.

Discover the Essence of Spiritual Harmony

Throughout this transformative journey, engage in enlightening discussions, participate in spiritual rituals, and forge connections with local communities deeply rooted in their spiritual heritage.
Limited spaces available. Reserve your place today and embark on an unforgettable odyssey along the Spiritual Journey through the Silk Road.

DATES:
Oct 22 to
Nov 9, 2024

COUNTRIES:
Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,
Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan

PRICE
USD$5,671.00
per person rate, min 25 pax

Inclusions
Inclusions:
  • Airfare and taxes on economy on Turkish Airlines.
  • Accommodation on double/twin base at above mentioned hotels/yurts camp in Darvaza;
  • Meal base: FULL BOARD: 16 breakfasts + 16 lunches + 16 dinners: from BFT on 2nd day to dinner on day 17;
  • English-speaking guides throughout in each country;
  • All entrance fees to monuments and museums as indicated in the tour programme;
  • Tips and gratuities to drivers and guides and porters.
  • Travel insurance up to 70 years old (add on of 50% for 71 years and above)
  • Transportation according to tour itinerary in each country (airport transfers, drives and city tours):
  • Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan: A/C bus 45 seated bus + minibuses to Hunns village; 35-45 seated bus,
  • Uzbekistan: A/C bus 36-45 seats
  • Tajikistan: A/C bus 37 seats in Dushanbe + minibuses for drive Dushanbe-Iskanderkul-Tadjik Djartepa border point (day 9);

Turkmenistan: Jeeps 4WD for drive Turkmen Shavat border point/Darvaza/Ashgabat (days 15 & 16) (3 pax + driver per jeep), and A/C bus for Ashgabat 35-45 seats;

  • Domestic Flights:
  • Connecting flight Almaty/Tashkent
  • Connecting flight Tashkent/Dushanbe Train tickets Samarkand/Bukhara (Economy class);
  • Bottled water throughout (1l bottle per pax per day);
  • Porterage at the hotels (tips are NOT included);
  • Cable car on Medeo (2 ways) on day 4;
  • Traditional folklore concert in Bishkek
  • Theatre of Historical Costume in Samarkand on day 10;
  • Tea pause in Bukhara on day 11;
  • Bread baking in Khiva on day 14;
  • Turkmen visa support formalities;
Itinerary

Day 01: TUESDAY OCT 22MANILA - ISTANBUL - BISHKEK (Kyrgyzstan)

Departure for Central Asia at 04:55 hrs. Midnight check in on Oct 21st.

Day 02: WEDNESDAY OCT 23BISHKEK

  • Early arrival to Bishkek airport, meet with guide and driver at the airport and transfer to Bishkek for immediate check in at hotel. After a short nap, breakfast.
  • SS city tour incl. the Ala-Too main square, National flagpole, Manas on horse monument; State Historical Museum (closed on Monday); The monument of Peace and Friendship dedicated to April 2010 revolution victims; Open air Art Gallery (closed on Monday) where you can see paintings of local artists; Oak Park, Old Square; Youth Alley where the Statue of Manas – the founder of the Kyrgyz nation is located in front of the Kyrgyz State Grand Philharmonic Hall. The Alley is surrounded by two state universities – Kyrgyz State National University and International University of Kyrgyzstan.
  • Finish the tour with walk along the Erkindik boulevard where you can meet towns people of all ages resting.
  • PM: transfer to Ala Archa National Park, to explore the valley. Return back to Bishkek.
  • Free time. Dinner in local restaurant.

Day 03: THURSDAY OCT 24BISHKEK – border – ALMATY (Kazakhstan)

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Early morning transfer to Almaty via Kyrgyz –Kazakh border Korday (250 km, 4hrs drive). Meet with Kazakh team and transfer to Almaty. Upon arrival check-in at hotel. Refreshment.
  • Transfer to Hunns village -1 h to drive
  • 15:00 Meeting of the guests by warriors in Saka clothes and Shashu rite.
  • 15:10 Guests meet the caravan consisting of 2 camels and 4 horses
  • 15:30 Assembly of the national yurt + snack (bauyrsaki, tea, kumys)
  • 16:00 Toi-celebration: Horse games: Kok par, atpen audaryspak, tenge alu, zhamba atu.
  • 16:30 Performance of Tomiris dance
  • 16:45 Archery and improvised Zhamba atu on a goat made of logs (archery and improvised zhamba atu on a goat made of logs).
  • 17:10 Dinner (pilaf, salad, bread basket, potatoes, fruit, sweets, stewed vegetables, soup, meat served separately)
  • 18:00 Departure to the city.
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 04: FRIDAY OCT 25ALMATY

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Meeting with the guide and transfer to Medeo gorge, where you will have a brief stop on the huge Medeo dam, which protects the city from destructive mudflows formed on the tops of the western Tien Shan.
  • Medeo – Shymbulak cable car (gondola, way up)
  • Mountain ski resort Shymbulak- amazing views of the snow peaks and the Tien-Shan Mountains.
  • The Ski Resort Shymbulak is located on a picturesque valley in the Zailiyskiy Alatau within the height 2260 m above sea level, 25 km from the center of Almaty.
  • Return to Almaty.
  • Have a walk to Panfilov Park, where you will see one of the unique wooden buildings in the world – Zenkov Cathedral, Museum of National Musical Instruments in Almaty (closed on Monday) – created in 1980, the museum exhibits a collection of traditional Kazakh instruments, including the dombra, a two-stringed lute-like stringed instrument ubiquitous in Central Asia and Memorial of Glory and Eternal Flame. Overnight at hotel.

Day 05: SATURDAY OCTOBER 26ALMATY – CHARYN CANYON – ALMATY

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • In the early morning departure to Charyn Canyon, have a walk along the canyon. The length of the Red canyon is about 3 km, width from 20 up to 130 m, depth up to 100 m. It involuntarily this creation of nature can be compared with “The Grand Canyon” on the Colorado River in the USA. Landscapes have external similarity, but the canyon in the Northern America has length of 800 km, at depth from 1200 up to 1800 m. Philologists interpret a word Charyn differently. Lunch at local café.
  • Excursion and return back to Almaty.
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 06: SUNDAY OCTOBER 27ALMATY – TASHKENT (Uzbekistan)

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Transfer to airport for flight Almaty-Tashkent (HY-762) at 10h45/12h25 by current timetable (subject to change).
  • Arrival in Tashkent. Meeting by local Uzbek guide.
  • Direct transfer to restaurant for lunch. After lunch transfer to hotel for accommodation.
  • Check-in after 14h00.
  • Panoramic tour of the modern part of Uzbekistan capital: Independence Square, Amir Temur Square, and Alisher Navoi Theatre Square; Monument of Courage. Tashkent metro.
  • Dinner at city restaurant.
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 07: MONDAY OCTOBER 28TASHKENT

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • We explore the old part of Tashkent: visit to Khast Imam Square with Barak Khan madrassah founded in the 16th century by a descendant of Tamerlane who ruled Tashkent for the Shaybanid dynasty, Tillya Sheykh Mosque, the district Friday Mosque and the mausoleum of Kafal Shashi, local doctor, philosopher and poet. Visit to Chorsu bazaar – the biggest, spice-smelling farmers’ bazaar in Tashkent.
  • Visit to Ceramics studio “Usto-Shogird” founded by world famous ceramic masters of fifth and sixth generation Akbar Rakhimov and his son Alisher Rakhimov.
  • Visit to the Museum of Applied Arts located in the former residence of Russian diplomat Polovtsev.
  • Free time for some shopping.
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 08: TUESDAY OCTOBER 29TASHKENT – DUSHANBE (Tajikistan)

  • Transfer to airport for flight Tashkent – Dushanbe HY 717 08h00/09h00 (current timetable, subject to change).
  • Arrival and accommodation at hotel. Check-in after 14h00.
  • Excursion to Hissar fortress the remains of an 18th century fortress, occupied until 1924 is located in 30 km west of Dushanbe. Beside the fortress are two plain Madrassah, one dating from the 18th century and the other 19th, and beyond them is the mausoleum of 16th century.
  • City tour covers: Tajikistan United Museum including the exhibits on history, natural history and art, with Buddha in Nirvana as one of the valuable exhibits of museum (closed on Mondays). Stroll in Botanical garden with many old trees – a favorite place of Tajiks; local bazaar – as a rule, the most crowded place in the city. Panoramic city tour including President Residence (not possible to stop nearby), Friendship Square, National Library.
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 09: WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 30DUSHANBE – ISKANDERKUL LAKE – border – SAMARKAND (Uzbekistan)

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Drive to Iskanderkul Lake (130 km, 4 hrs), largest and most beautiful lake in the Fan mountains of Tadjikistan. The name Iskanderkul means “the Lake of Alexander the Great” – famous Macedonian military commander and conqueror. Rest on the shore of the lake where you can rent a boat for a trip on the lake (boat trip is not included in tour price).
  • Walk to “Snake” Lake, also called Zmeinoe Lake, is a small reed-lined lake on a short walking distance from our stop at Iskanderkul (around 15-20 minutes one way).
  • Picnic near the lake.
  • Further drive to Samarkand with stop and transport change on Tajik-Uzbek border point “Jartepa” (220 km). Going through customs formalities, neutral territory is about 200 meters long to cross on foot.
  • Arrival in Samarkand.
  • Accommodation, late dinner & overnight at hotel.

Day 10: THURSDAY OCTOBER 31SAMARKAND (UNESCO)

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Samarkand has witnessed a lot of upheavals during the times of Alexander the Great (Macedonian), the Arabic Conquest, Ghengis-Khan Conquest and lastly Tamerlane’s. Hence, Samarkand’s culture was developed and mixed together with the Iranian, Indian, Mongolian and a bit of the Western and Eastern cultures.
  • Start exploring the great Empire of Temur: the world famous Registan Square (meaning “sandy place”) – ensemble of majestic madrassahs (15-17 cc.), ranks first in Central Asia and among the greatest of all the grandiose and magnificent works of the Islamic world; the impressive remnants of Mosque Bibi-Khanum built in honor of the ruler’s eldest and favorite wife; Siab bazaar, the city’s main bazaar (closed on Mon); Necropolis Shakhi-Zinda (The Living King) and ensemble of mausoleums of the 11th-19th centuries; Gur-Emir Mausoleum (graves of Tamerlane and his descendants, 15c).
  • Attend Samarkand Theatre of Historical Costume El Merosi (watch performance – presentation of costumes of different historical epochs).
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 11: FRIDAY NOV 01SAMARKAND – BUKHARA

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Transfer to train station for high-speed train Bukhara/Samarkand 10h46/12h29 (schedule is subject to change).
  • Arrive in Kagan train station. Drive to Bukhara (15 km).
  • Architectural heritage of Bukhara is very rich – caravan-sarais and trading domes, public baths and big pools, defensive walls and city gates, khanakas and mausoleums, mosques and madrassahs, individual structures and big complexes.
  • Our tour starts with a visit to Liabi-Khauz Complex: Nodir-Divan-beghi madrassah (XVII c.), Kukeldash madrassah (XVI c.), Khonako (XVII c.); visit to local puppet wokshop; walk through the old Jewish quarter; Tok-i-Sarrafon – Moneychanger’s Bazaar; visit to local workshop to become acquainted with Bukhara miniature school; Magoki-Attari mosque (XII c., XVI c.); Tok-i-Tilpak Furushon – Cap Maker’s Bazaar; Tok-i-Zargaron (1570) – Jeweler’s bazaar; Ulugbek’s madrassah (XV c.) and Abdulaziz-khan madrassah (XVII c.); Poi-Kalyan Ensemble consisting of Miri-Arab madrassah (XVI c.), Kalyan minaret (XII c.) & Djuma mosque (XV c.).
  • During the visits, we pause at the Tea House to sample teas with different spices and flavours.
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 12: SATURDAY NOV 02BUKHARA

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Today we continue on: Fortress Ark (citadel), a fortified residence of Emirs of Bukhara); Bolo-Khauz mosque (XVIII c); Chashma-Ayub shrine known as a curative source; the Samanids Mausoleum, the most precious Bukhara monument dated back to the 9th century, which is considered to be the treasure of Islamic architecture in Central Asia; Chor Minor, a colorful madrassah with four peculiar looking towers, which was used as a library for students.
  • Countryside excursions to Bahautdin Nakshbandi Necropolis – the burial tomb of Nakshbandi, the leader of Sufism – It is a well known holy place in Muslim world; and Sitorai Mokhi Khosa Palace – Summer residence of the last Emir of Bukhara.
  • Return to Bukhara.
  • In the evening you visit to the local Uzbek house where you have an opportunity to get acquinted with the local customs and traditions deeply rooted in the oriental hospitality. Furthermore, you have a chance to participate in cooking «Pilov» – the national Uzbek dish. Warm and friendly atmosphere and a delicious dinner served by the mistress of the house will be an excellent souvenir of the trip.
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 13: SUNDAY NOV 03BUKHARA – KHIVA

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Depart for Khiva via Kyzylkum desert (450 km, app. 7 hrs drive). Arrival and accommodation.
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 14: MONDAY NOV 04KHIVA

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Walking tour in Ichan Kala (a museum in the open under UNESCO protection), architectural complex surrounded by the large fortress wall with four gates. There are more than sixty architectural monuments: palaces, mosques, madrassahs, minarets and mausoleums inside the inner town): Mukhammed-Amin-Khan madrassah (XIX c.), Kalta Minor minaret (XIX c.), Kunya-Ark fortress (XIX-XX c.c.), Djuma mosque (XVIII c.), Tash-Khauli palace – harem (XIX c.), madrassah and minaret of Islam Khodja (XX c.), Pakhlavan Mahmud mausoleum (XIX c.).
  • Today’s treat – Participation in bread baking. Learn how to cook special Khorezmian bread and what makes it unique and different from bread of other regions.
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 15: TUESDAY NOV 05KHIVA– border – DARVAZA (Turkmenistan)

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • Transfer to Uzbek/Turkmen border “Shavat” (70 km, app. 1-1,5 hrs drive). Farewell with local Uzbek team. On the Turkmen side, take over by local team. Drive to Darvaza gas crater (280 km, 4 hrs – by jeeps), one of the most extraordinary sights in the world, which is called by locals “The Door to Hell”. Arrive at the gas crater, enjoy beautiful sunset time in desert, followed by dinner (local barbeque).
  • Accommodation in yurts.
  • Overnight at yurts camp.

Day 16: WEDNESDAY NOV 06DARVAZA GAS CRATER – ASHGABAT

  •  
  • Drive to Ashgabat (260 km, 4 hrs drive). On the way stop at mud and water craters.
  • Upon arrival in Ashgabat, transfer to hotel. Capital of Turkmenistan, one of the world’s most inaccessible countries, the best ways to describe Ashgabat is bizarre or astonishing.
  • For almost 10 centuries, the city served as a caravan stop on the Great Silk road, until the Mongols destroyed it in 13 century. By the end of 19 century Ashgabat became the major Trans-Caspian town,
  • chosen by the Russians, and was graced with European shops and hotels. Ashgabat today is a completely modern creation with gorgeous parks and wonderful fountains.
  • Drive westward to explore archaeological site of Old Nissa, the capital of Parthian Empire, which existed more than 2000 years ago.
  • Panoramic tour includes Park of Independence, Arch of Neutrality, Rukhnama statue, Palace Square, Earthquake monument.
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 17: THURSDAY NOV 07ASHGABAT

  • Breakfast at hotel.
  • We head towards local horse stable in Geok Tepe (app. 50 km) to see unique Turkmen Akhal-teke horses, one of the oldest breeds, which is about 5,000 years old, and is a part of the sovereign Turkmenistan’s national emblem. Talk with Mr. Ashir, the owner of the horse stable and a well known Turkmen breeder.
  • On the way back to Ashgabat we visit Turkmenbashi spiritual mosque.
  • Tour at National Museum of History (closed on Tue), which contains massive exhibits archaeological and ethnographical finds throughout the country – by private guidance of the museum’s historian, who often travels out with the museum’s exhibitions. Visit Ertogrylgazy mosque.
  • Overnight at hotel.

Day 18: FRIDAY NOV 08ASHGABAT - ISTANBUL

  • Transfer to airport for flight ASB – IST TK 323 04h05/06h25. With the long layover, we have the option to have a day visit to Istanbul (subject to visas) or just stay in our free hotel accommodations. Late evening return to the airport

Day 19: SATURDAY NOV 09ISTANBUL - MANILA

  • Flight IST-MNL TK 84 Arriving Manila at 1810 hrs.
Highlights

BUKHARA

SAMARKAND

KHIVA

ISKANDERKUL LAKE

DARVAZA

CHARYN CANYON

TASHKENT

ALMATY

BISHKEK

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