The Ancient Silk Road

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $9,995
  • Length: 22 days
  • Operator: Travcoa
  • 866-591-0260
    Destinations: Far East, Middle East, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan
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Tour Description

Journey with us on this adventurous expedition along the Great Silk Road. Begin in Beijing with a private rickshaw ride through the old quarters of this ancient town. In Xi’an, enjoy a special guided visit to the world-famous army of Terra Cotta Warriors. Wander with your expert guide through the Kashgar Sunday market. Then venture further west into Kazakhstan and the cultural capital of the region, Tashkent. Enter the forbidden city of Khiva - designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site - with a local expert. Finally, enjoy special visits to the sacred monuments and markets of Bukhara and Samarkand.

  • Enjoy a special tour with a private guide of the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi’an
  • Stroll the night market of Dunhuang, famed for its exquisite silk carpets
  • Visit an Uigur home and enjoy a fascinating cultural interaction
  • Immerse yourself in the history of Bukhara, the most ancient city in Uzbekistan
  • Attend the famous Kashgar Sunday market, where you’ll find everything from livestock to fur-lined hats
  • Explore the Mogao Grottoes with your expert guide to see ancient paintings dating back to 317 B.C.
  • Marvel at the incredible Islamic architecture of Samarkand and Khiva, Uzbekistan’s royal cities
  • Visit the following UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Shakhrisyabz, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva

Itinerary

DAYS 1 - 3

Beijing, China

Arrive in Beijing on Day 2. Renowned for its ancient temples, opulent palaces and massive stone walls and gates, there’s scarcely a building standing in Beijing that doesn’t have some facet of Chinese history associated with it. Enjoy a full-day tour of the city with your private guide. Begin with a visit to the fascinating City Planning Museum, followed by an exploration of the Olympic Park, including an exclusive tour of the famous Bird’s Nest stadium. Explore the hutongs - narrow streets of the old city - on a special private tour by rickshaw.

St. Regis Hotel, Beijing

DAYS 4 & 5

Xi’an

Fly to Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province and the Silk Road’s eastern terminus. Enjoy a special tour of the excavation site of the Terra Cotta Warriors, a subterranean army more than 7,000 strong. Then visit the Wild Goose Pagoda and explore Xi’an’s buried past at the Shaanxi Historical Museum.

Shangri-La Hotel, Xi’an

DAYS 6 & 7

Lanzhou Dunhuang

Explore the Buddhist caves of Lanzhou with your private guide. Then discover the ancient oasis city of Dunhuang, which sits at the northern edge of the immense Gobi Desert. Stroll through the lively night market in search of antiques, jade and silk carpets. Visit the renowned Mogao Grottoes. This honeycomb of caves was constructed beginning in the 4th century and still houses the world’s richest treasure trove of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.

Legend Hotel, Lanzhou Dunhuang Silk Road Hotel, Dunhuang

DAYS 8 & 9

Urumqi Turpan

Fly to Urumqi and visit the Xinjiang Regional Museum, then continue by road to the small oasis city of Turpan located in one of the deepest waterless depressions on earth. Take an excursion to the ancient city of Jiaoh which was sacked by the Mongols in the 13th century, but still retains fascinating architecture and a Buddhist monastery complex. Then visit a living city to learn more about the daily lives of its desert inhabitants. Finally, the Thousand Buddha Caves offer rich murals depicting sacred subjects as well as the Huigu people who lived here.

Tuha Petroleum Hotel, Turpan

DAYS 10 & 11

Urumqi Kashgar

Explore Urumqi’s Grand Bazaar where members of China’s ethnic minorities gather to sell clothing, hats and handicrafts. Then fly to Kashgar (known as “The Pearl on the Ancient Silk Road”) to experience the bustling Sunday market, which attracts traders from all over Central Asia.

International Hotel, Kashgar

DAYS 12 & 13

Almaty, Kazakhstan

A beautiful city situated in the southern mountains, Almaty is Kazakhstan’s former capital and still the heart of the country’s cultural life. While here, see the sights and enjoy a special guided tour of the fascinating Museum of Kazakh Musical Instruments. Then take a short drive to see 22,950-foot-high Khan Tenghri, the highest mountain in Kazakhstan.

Hotel Otrar, Almaty

DAYS 14 - 16

Tashkent Khiva, Uzbekistan

Enjoy a private guided tour of Tashkent, the cultural heart of Central Asia. Then enter a city few westerners could reach until the 19th century - the forbidden inner sanctum of Khiva, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the city with your private guide, all the while learning about its history and importance in the Great Game - the imperial rivalry betwen Victorian Britain’s and Czarist Russia’s expansionist policies.

InterContinental Hotel, Tashkent Hotel Malika, Khiva

DAYS 17 & 18

Bukhara

The old Silk Road outpost of Bukhara resembles an open-air museum with famous landmarks and monuments documenting the city’s glorious history at every turn. Explore this fascinating town with your expert guide; be sure to take some time to sip a cup of tea in a welcoming café, or stroll through one of Bukhara’s many parks.

Zargaron Hotel, Bukhara

DAYS 19 - 22

Samarkand, Tashkent Depart for Home

Journey to Samarkand, the crown jewel of Uzbekistan. Founded more than 2,700 years ago, it still bears all the hallmarks of one of the great cities of the Silk Road. Visit the renowned mosques, madrasas, palaces and mausoleums, and then spend some time searching for fine carpets and other treasures in the covered bazaar. Return to Tashkent on Day 21 where you’ll celebrate your journey with a festive farewell dinner. On Day 22 you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home or on to your next destination.

Hotel Samarkand Plaza, Samarkand InterContinental Hotel, Tashkent

Departures

Pricing Information

May 23, 2012

From $9,995.00 per person double occupancy.

From $1,650.00 single room supplement.

September 5, 2012

From $9,995.00 per person double occupancy.

From $1,650.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Deluxe rooms in the best available hotels
  • Three meals per day, including our unique Dine-Around program that lets you enjoy any restaurant you choose with à la carte dining, or relax with room service when available*
  • A professional Travel Director as your personal concierge
  • Local sightseeing with professional English-speaking guides with unparalleled knowledge, including entrance fees for places visited
  • Active participation and up-close encounters to experience the cultures of your journey
  • Bottled water, soft drinks, coffee and tea included with meals; bottled water during sightseeing excursions
  • All gratuities to hotel and restaurant staff and local guides and drivers
  • Group or individual airport transfers on arrival and departure flights
  • TheTravcoAssist Travel Protection Plan, including emergency medical evacuation insurance coverage for injury or illness, and 24-hour Worldwide Live Travel Assistance through Travel Guard Assistance

*Due to remote or undeveloped locations on some journeys, accommodations may not always meet Western standards. Dine-Around opportunities will be limited in remote or unsecured locations.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

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