China and 5 Stans - 24 Days Tour
Day 1 – Arrive to Urumqi (China)
Upon arrival to Urimqi, we’ll be transferred to hotel for accommodation and rest after flight. We’ll start the tour with welcome dinner at one of the local restaurants. Today we’ll overnight in hotel in Urumqi.
Day 2 – Urumqi (China)
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll start excursion with Xinjian regional museum to see archeological treasures from the Silk Road and Xinjiang’s minority cultures. Display of well-preserved 3000 years old mummies excavated from Loulan – a Takla Maka desert. Lunch and dinner at local restaurants, overnight in Urumqi.
Day 3 – Urumqi – Turpan – 125 mi (China)
Today after breakfast at hotel we’ll Transfer to Turpan for a full day sightseeing around Turpan: which will include visiting picturesque Tuyoq ancient village 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. Have a lunch break. And continue with visiting the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves on the flanks of the Flaming Mountains and Grape Valley. We’ll have dinner at local restaurant and overnight at hotel in Turpan.
Day 4 – Turpan – Urumqi – 125 mi (China)
After breakfast at hotel we’ll start sightseeing with visit the remarkable Karez system, an old engineering miracle designed to bring water to the dry desert town – 2000 years old. Have lunch break and then visit the notable Emin Minaret – 145 ft high, accomplished in 1778 and mosque. We’ll end the day with excursion to Jiaohe ancient city – Juaohe ruins. Then we’ll return back to Urumqi close to dinner time, rest and have dinner at one of the local restaurants. Today we’ll overnight at hotel in Urumqi.
Day 5 – Urumqi – Kashgar – 1200 mi (China)
Today after breakfast at hotel we’ll transfer to airport for morning flight to Kashgar. Upon arrival we’ll start sightseeing with visit to colorful unique chaotic Great Sunday bazaar where you will see numerous sections: silk, cotton, knives, hats, pots, pans, fresh vegetables, fruits, carpets and jewelry. After lunch at the local restaurants we’ll continue sightseeing with visit the largest mosque in China Idkah mosque built in 1442 year, Apak Khoja’s Tomb – the holiest place in Xinjiang for Sufis built in 1640 and Old part of the town. We’ll have dinner at the local restaurant and overnight in Kashgar.
Day 6 – Kashgar – Urumqi – Almaty – 2000 mi (China / Kazakhstan)
After breakfast at hotel we’ll start the day with excursion to Mor Stupa which is the remain of the big Buddhist temple and then visit Atush village 20 mi away. Then have lunch and soon transfer to the airport for afternoon flight to Urumqi. On arrival we’ll take connecting flight to Almaty. Welcome to Kazakhstan! Upon arrival to Almaty airport, we will meet you and transfer to hotel for rest after flight. It takes about 20 min. of driving to the hotel. After we check in to hotel and have a short rest, we will have dinner at one of local restaurants where we’ll provide a short introduction about Kazakhstan – the largest country of Central Asia with majestic mountains and plains, glaciers, and deep rivers, lakes and deserts, boundless steppes and the woods adjoin. Such variety of landscapes causes existence of rich natural world. Besides natural sights the country has a lot of rich history which is imprinted in numerous monuments: the remains of ancient settlements, barrows, petroglyphs, mausoleums and mosques being important shrines of Muslim culture. Kazakhstan – is a country of most ancient civilization of Euroasian continent, homeland of nomad tribes, a significant part of Great Silk Road - 1400 km. The republic contains 27 thousand monuments of antiquity. Leading industries of Kazakhstan are: metallurgy, chemical and mechanical engineering. Oil processing and production of building materials are also developed industries of Kazakhstan. After dinner today we’ll overnight at hotel in Almaty.
Day 7 – Almaty (Kazakhstan)
After breakfast at hotel, we have a full day of sightseeing ahead. Today we visit: Panfilov Park, Zenkov Wooden Cathedral, St.Nicholas Cathedral, National Musical Instruments Museum, Central State Museum, Almaty's Green Bazaar and have a Panoramic view at observatory.
Alma-Ata is a name of "the southern capital" of Kazakhstan. It is the largest city of country which was state capital during period from 1927 to 1997. Alma-Ata is located in southeast part of Kazakhstan near border with Kyrgyzstan at heights from 670 to 1100 m. The main sight of Alma-Ata are Panfilov Park named in honor of 28 heroes of the panfilovets, stretched in northeast part of the city covering near 18 hectares. Located in center of park is majestic Sacred Voznesensky cathedral. Behind Panfilov park, we come visit to one of biggest market places of Almaty – the Green Bazzar. It is a fine example of a true Asian bazzar. Next we will visit the Museum of national musical instruments named after Ykylas, it was opened in 1980’s and contains many types of Kazakh national musical instruments most ancient of which are dated to 17th century. In the southern part of the city we visit Central State Museum – place to see unique archeological finds telling history of Kazakhstan since the most ancient times to present. Museum displays over 120 thousand exhibits. Before dinner excursion to falcon farm with a short show program. After dinner at one of the local restaurants we overnight at hotel in Almaty.
Day 8 – Almaty – Bishkek -170 mi (Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan)
Today after breakfast at the hotel we depart Almaty and drive to Bishkek via newly built highway. En route which will take approximately 3 hours we will enjoy beautiful landscape. Soon we will welcome you to Kyrgyzstan. On the way we will provide short information about Kyrgyzstan. Republic located in northeast of Central Asia, crossed by two world great mountain systems, Tien Shan and Pamir. 93% of Kyrgyzstan is covered by mountains, with strong continental climate the country of located 350 meters above sea level. In the afternoon we will arrive to the capital of Kyrgyzstan – Bishkek. Check in to the hotel for a short rest and have lunch at local restaurant. For the second part of the day we will have a sightseeing of Bishkek visit Central Museum, Panfilov park, the local bazaar. After dinner at one of the local restaurants followed by a folk show program, today we will overnight in Bishkek.
Day 9 – Bishkek – Issyk Kul – 165 mi (Kyrgyzstan)
After breakfast at hotel we’ll transfer to the Issyk Kul Lake, the pearl of Kyrgyzstan. In route we’ll visit Burana Tower located in the city of Tokmok in 50 mi from Bishkek. Today we’ll have lunch in Kyrgyz family in Tokmon city. After lunch break continue on driving to Issyk Kul Lake through Boom Canyon. Issyk Kul is one of the largest mountain lakes of the world and most beautiful lake in Kyrgyzstan located in northeast part of the republic between ridges of Northern Tien Shan: Kungey Ala and Terskey Ala at the height of 1609 m above sea level. Excursions will also include visiting petroglyphs of Paleolithic era and local museum in Cholpon Ata. Upon arrival we’ll check into hotel and have dinner at one of the local restaurants. Overnight at hotel in Issyk Kul Lake.
Day 10 – Issyk Kul - Chopon Ata – Grigorevka Gorge – Bishkek – 163 mi –Tashkent (Kyrgyzstan/Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll transfer to Grigorevka Gorge, Grigorevka Gorge located in 45 mi from the city of Cholpon-Ata. Gentle slopes of a valley are covered with a dense fir forest. Length of a valley is 25 mi. The Grigorevka Gorge, is considered one of the most picturesque in Issyk Kul area. Today we’ll have a relaxing day in the nature. After lunch at local restaurant we’ll return to Bishkek and transfer to the airport for flight to Tashkent by QH409 at 19:20. Welcome to Uzbekistan! Upon your arrival to Tashkent airport, you’ll be met and transferred to hotel to check. In route short introduction about Uzbekistan – one of the economically developed states of the Central Asian region, occupying a bit more than 11% of the territory of Central Asia. Main branches of industry of the republic are linked with the cotton growing, silk production, fruit and vegetable production and irrigation construction. Today we’ll have a full day of sightseeing in Tashkent. While for many travelers full day of sightseeing in Tashkent seem as a necessary stopover en route to the dream destinations, this historical city holds many unexpected surprises. Overnight at hotel in Tashkent.
Day 11 – Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast first half of the day we’ll visit old part of the city: Khast Imam Complex which displays unique Osman Koran thought to be the world’s oldest Koran. Chorsu bazaar- is one of the oldest, biggest bazaars of Tashkent. Madrasah Kukeldash – is a significant architectural sightvof the 16 century. After lunch we will continue on to modern part of the city: Independent square called Mustakillik, the main square of Tashkent, flanked by largest public buildings and walls of fountains. A. Navoi theatre square built in 1947 by Japanese prisoners in World War 2. Visits to museum of Amir Temur and museum of Handcraft Art will end our excursion of Tashkent, and we’ll have dinner at one of the local restaurants and overnight at hotel in Tashkent.
Day 12 – Tashkent – Samarkand – 190 mi (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast we will take a train to world famous Samarkand located 190 mi from Tashkent. The road to Samarkand is via Syrdarya and Jizzakh provinces and takes approximately 3 hours. We will arrive to Samarkand in the afternoon, check in to hotel and have lunch. After short rest we’ll start our excursion of Samarkand by visiting Paper Mills Factory where we’ll have a presentation of paper production from mulberry tree, Afrasiyob Museum, Ulugbek’s observatory – dated to 1428 - 1429 – known as biggest observatory of the East with best equipment to the time. After dinner at one of the local restaurants we’ll transfer to hotel for overnight in Samarkand.
Day 13 – Samarkand (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at the hotel today we’ll have a full day sightseeing of Samarkand. Visit heart of the city – Registan Square which played great role in commercial and scientific life of the time. Gur Emir Mausoleum - mausoleum for the males of Temurid’s dynasty, real masterpiece of Central Asian architecture. Shaki Zinda Necropolis in the northern outskirts of Samarkand. Bibi – Khanum Mosque construction of which started in 1399 after Victorian campaign of Temur to India. Central bazaar of Samarkand- Siyobian where we’ll taste famous round bread (non) made only in Samarkand. After this long day, we’ll have dinner at one of the local restaurants and overnight in Samarkand.
Day 14 – Samarkand – Bukhara – 172 mi (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at the hotel, we depart Samarkand for Bukhara. Stop on the way at the ruins of medieval monument Caravanserai Rabat-i-Malik. Continue driving to Bukhara via Gijduvan where we’ll visit Abdulla’s pottery house where we’ll be offered short presentation and a cup of tea. Upon arrival to Bukhara, we’ll accommodate at the hotel. Visit Chor Minor memorial. Today we’ll dinner in one of the local restaurants and will overnight in Bukhara.
Day 15 – Bukhara (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast we’ll have a full day of sightseeing of this ancient city. Bukhara is one of most historically rich cities on the Great Silk Road attracting attention of thousands of people with its unique heritage. Today we’ll visit: Samanid’s dynasty mausoleum known to be one of the best architectural samples of the Samanids period (875 - 999). Chashma Ayub Mausoleum – legend say is it of Prophet Jove. Bolo – Khauz Mosque. The Ark Forteress – Citadel is the most ancient memorial of Bukhara, on archeological matter dated to the 3rd century B.C. Kalon Complex – consists of minaret, Mosque and Madrasah both of which are still active. Magoki Attori Mosque. Ulugbek and Abdulazizi Khan madrasahs. Next we’ll visit most popular place of Bukhara – reservoir Lyabi Khauz complex built in 1620 by khans’ dignitary Nodir Devan Begi. We’ll end the day with a dinner at the local restaurant followed by a show program. Today we’ll overnight in Bukhara.
Day 16 – Bukhara – Farab – Turkmenabat – Mary – 290 mi (Uzbekistan/Turkmenistan)
After breakfast we’ll continue with half a day of sightseeing in Bukhara, visiting: former summer palace of Bukhara Emir Said Olimkhan – last Emir of Bukhara Sitora – iMokhi – Khosa, Museum of Decorative Applied Art. After Lunch we say good bye to Uzbekistan as we make our way to Turkmenistan border which is almost 1.5 hours of driving away. Upon arrival to the border point we’ll go through custom procedures and continue on to drive directly to Mary via Turkmenabat which will take another 4.5 hours. On the way we’ll cross the Floating Bridge (almost .5mi. long). We will proceed our way to Mary crossing one of the biggest deserts in the world known as Kara Kum Desert which means “black sand”. Upon arrival in Mary we will accommodate in hotel and have dinner in one of the local restaurants. Overnight at hotel in Mary.
Day 17 – Mary – Ashgabat (Turkmenistan)
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll make our way through sand dunes and bush forests of the desert, to an important excursion of Old Merv – Merv located at the road crossing of Great Silk Road quickly became one of most important and biggest cities of the ancient World. Sightseeing will include: Gyz Gala and Oglan Gala, Complex of Askhabs, Gyaur Gala, Erk Gala, Soltan Gala, Soltan Sanjar Mausoleum, Ibn Zeid Mausoleum. After lunch we’ll take a walking tour within the central part of Mary City. Sightseeing Local United Museum of History, Ethnography, Flora and Fauna of Mary and Orthodox Church built by Russians at the end of XIX century, the Regional Mosque of Mary Province, The Central Theater of Mary, The Convention and Conference Center “Ruhiyet Koshgi”, Central Park and Monument of Mollanepes. Late afternoon transfer to the airport of Mary for flight to Ashgabat by flight T5-132 at 19:00. Upon arrival transfer to have dinner at local restaurant. Accommodate and overnight at hotel in Ashgabat.
Day 18 – Ashgabat – Nissa – Ashgabat (Turkmenistan)
Today after breakfast we’ll proceed with sightseeing one of the most beautiful cities of the world which was recently included into the Book of Guinness as the Most-White Marble City. Today’s sightseeing includes: Complex of Monuments of Oguz Han and Sons surrounded with fountains. Tombs of Turkmenbashy (first President of Turkmenistan S. Nyyazow) and his parents and brothers, Old Nissa - The Sanctuary of Parhian Kings, Nissa was the capital of Parthian Empire which lasted 600 years and was greatest enemy of Rome Empire. After excursions of Old Nissa we’ll proceed to Monuments of Archabil Shayoly and discover new part of Ashgabat with its’ modern buildings, monuments and parks which includes: Health Path of Turkmenbashy built on mountains which became very popular place among locals, Monument of Constitution and tallest building in Turkmenistan (600 feet), “Alem” Culture and Recreation Center. In the afternoon we’ll transfer to hotel and check in. We’ll have lunch at one of the local restaurants. After lunch we will continue with sightseeing of Ashgabat, visiting: Museum of Turkmen Carpets, Park dedicated to Turkmen horses-the pride of Turkmen, Gulistan Bazar, Monument for the Victims of the Earthquake of 1948, Monument of Lenin, Ertogrul Gazy Mosque. We’ll have dinner at one of the local restaurants. After dinner we’ll go for a night tour, driving along the main streets of Ashgabat making stop near Palace of Happiness. Dinner followed by a folk show program. Today we’ll overnight at hotel in Ashgabat.
Day 19 – Ashgabat – Dashoguz (Turkmenistan)
Today after breakfast we’ll have another full day of sightseeing in Ashgabat which will include: Ashgabat’s famous “Altyn Asyr” Oriental Bazar, Jygyldyk bazaar – one of the biggest bazaar in Central Asia. After bazaar we’ll visit Hippodrome of Ashgabat where we’ll see famous horses of Turkmenistan: Turkmen Horses – Akhalteke. We’ll have lunch at one of the local restaurants in Ashgabat. After lunch we’ll continue sightseeing of National Museum of History highly recommendable: one of the biggest museums in Central Asia. After Museum we’ll be visiting Arch of Neutrality – famous rocket and tripod style built building symbolizing neutral status of Turkmenistan. Its’ height is over 300 feet including 40 feet rotating statue of first President of Turkmenistan: Saparmyrat Nyyazow (Turkmenbashy). Enjoy short walking tour within the Park of Independency along the hundreds of fountains and statutes with stops to visit Monuments of Independency and Ruhnama. Late afternoon transfer to the airport of Ashgabat for flight to Dashoguzby T5-109 at 19:20. Upon arrival transfer to have dinner at local restaurant. After dinner accommodation and rest. Today overnight is at hotel in Dashoguz.
Day 20 – Dashoguz – Kunya – Urgench – Khiva - 184 mi (Turkmenistan/Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll proceed with drive of 75 mi to Koneurgench – the capital of Khorezmshahs, have sightseeing of Old City which will include: Portal of Caravansaray, Mamun Minaret, Il Arslan Mausoleum, Sultan Tekesh Mausoleum, Academy of Horezm, Kutlug Timur Minaret – one of the tallest minarets in Central Asia and Turabek Hanum Mausoleum. After half day excursion of Koneurgench we’ll drive back to Dashoguz where we’ll stop for a lunch at one of the local restaurants. After lunch we’ll transfer to the border pass Dashoguz – Shavat which is located 10 mi from Dashoguz. Upon arrival proceed the way through passport control and customs procedures and return to Uzbekistan. After border formalities on both sides we’ll continue our way to Khiva. Upon arrival we’ll accommodate in hotel in Khiva for rest and relaxation. Khiva is a fascinating place, walk through Ichan Kala – old walled city of Khiva, will give you an insight into the life led there from ancient days up to the present time. We’ll have a dinner at the local restaurant followed by a show program. Overnight is at the hotel in Khiva.
Day 21 – Khiva – Urgench – Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at hotel today we’ll have a full day sightseeing in Khiva: visit Ichan Kala – a UNESCO World Heritage Site including madrasah Muhammad Amin Khan, Kelta Minar, Kunya Ark, madrasah Muhammad Rakhimkhan. We’ll have lunch at local restaurant and continue sightseeing program: visit Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Islam Khodja Minaret and Madrasah, Djuma Mosque and Minaret, Tash Hovli Palace. After dinner at the local restaurant we’ll proceed to airport for a flight back to Tashkent leaving at 08:40PM and arriving at 10:10PM (subject to change). Upon arrival to Tashkent, we’ll accommodate in hotel for overnight and rest.
Day 22 – Tashkent – Khujand – 104 mi (Uzbekistan/Tajikistan)
After early breakfast at the hotel in Tashkent today we’ll head on to a 1 day excursion of Tajikistan. We’ll drive to the border check point Oybek and after border crossing formalities we’ll continue on to city Khujand. Upon arrival we’ll accommodate at the hotel after a long drive and start sightseeing. Khujand – the country's second largest city – situated in the north of Tajikistan and is one of its most ancient, founded about 2,300 years ago during the time of Alexander the Great. Standing in a favorable location in the Ferghana valley, Khujand prospered for a long time, becoming rich and building palaces, mosques, and citadels. In the 13th century it was conquered and destroyed by the Genghis Khan's army. We’ll have a close city tour in second part of the day, and end the day with dinner at a local restaurant. We’ll overnight in Khujand.
Day 23 – Khujand – Oybek – Tashkent – 104 mi (Tajikistan/Uzbekistan)
After breakfast at the hotel we‘ll continue sightseeing of Khujand, visit ancient part of Khujand: Timurmalik fortress, Archeology and History museums, Orient bazaar Panjshanbe – famous Panjshanbe city market is one of the most interesting sights of Khujand. Near the market we’ll stop by Sheikh Muslihiddin Masque and Mausoleum, Museum of Archaeology and Resporation. We’ll have lunch at the local restaurant and in the afternoon transfer back to Tashkent. Once back to Uzbekistan, we’ll have a rest at the hotel before making a long way back home. We’ll have a Farewell dinner followed by a show program and return to hotel for overnight in Tashkent.
Day 24 – Tashkent (Uzbekistan)
Today is the last day of the tour; we’ll have breakfast at the hotel and arrange transfer to the airport for your flight home. End of tour.