SILK ROAD TOUR: KYRGYZSTAN, CHINA & PAKISTAN
9 days / 8 nights
This tour will take you to the beautiful mountain of the Himalayas and the Karakorams. You will see the famous mountain sights over 7000 m and meet the people known for longevity. The highlights of this tour are the Sunday Bazaar at Kashghar and Hunza Valley that gives you an insight into once inaccessible valleys and passes.
The Silk Road refers to a series
of routes that crisscrossed Eurasia and carried the riches of the Orient to the West
linking the people and traditions of Asia with those of Europe. There really were various
"Silk Roads", all leading towards the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an
(Xian), although sometimes not reaching it, and some modern variations to the ancient
caravan routes have been added following political events or the needs of the traveling
public. Sea routes can also be considered part of the Silk Road as, already during the Han
dynasty, Chinese ships traded with different kingdoms of Southeast Asia. Scientific and
technological innovations, along with botanical species not existing in Europe and even
musical instruments, slowly traveled along the Silk Road from East to West and become part
of our "baggage of knowledge" so gradually that the West did not really know
their Oriental origins.
Traveling along the Silk Road today may still not be for everyone, although the tourist infrastructure has gradually become better since China opened to regular tourism in the 1980's and the Central Asian republics have become more accessible after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Its treasures are both cultural and natural and the open-minded tourist will find an incredible reward of incomparable sights with vast deserts, green oases, towering mountain ranges, hospitable people welcoming visitors along with the arid climate, amazing great distances and basic accommodations and services. The excitement, in our opinion, far outweighs any tribulation!
|Naryn||Yurta / Celestial||Yurta / Celestial|
|Kashgar||Seman Hotel||Seman Hotel|
|Taxhorgan||Pamir Hotel||Pamir Hotel|
|Hunza||Hunza View||Serena Hotel|
|Chilas||Chilas Inn / Panorama||Chilas Inn / Panorama|
|Islamabad||Regency / Marina||Marriott Hotel|
Day 1 Thursday: Bishkek / Naryn
Meet in Beshkek either on arrival airport or at your hotel. Drive to Naryn, thru the foothills of the Tien-Shan Mountains, along the ancient trading route of the Great Silk Road, (348 km). Naryn is a single street border town between Kyrgyzstan and Xinjiang Province in China, Naryn was established to guard the Silk Route from Kashgar going westwards. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 Friday: Naryn / Kashgar
Morning after breakfast at the hotel continue journey to Chinese city of Kashgar, along the silk road Cross the China-Kyrgystan border via the Turgat Pass (3574 meter) (380 km). With over 2000 year old history Kashgar is an isolated desert city located at the western end of the Taklimakan Desert. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3 Saturday: Kashgar
If any place is to be seen where time has stood still, it is Kashgar or Kashi, as it is known locally. One finds walking through the narrow lanes of old town, a scene from Arabian Nights, and a culture that has remained intact from outside influences and people that are very friendly. Amongst the most popular professions include coppersmiths, blacksmiths, carpenters, jewelers and cobblers all using tools of bygone days. Our tour of Kashgar includes all this and a lot more like the Abak Hoja Tomb, the Id Kah Mosque and the old town and an opportunity to take a ride on the donkey cart taxi. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4 Sunday: Kashgar /
Sunday Bazaar in Kashgar! Once a week, on Sundays, the population swells by over 100,000 people - all have varied ethnic origins like Uyghurs, Tajiks, Kyrgyzs, and Kazakhs etc. selling wares from scissors to a camel. They come on foot, horsebacks, bikes, modern motorcycles, and donkey carts.
In the afternoon drive to Taxkorgan (369 km), a city once controlled by the Bolsheviks. Mostly Tajiks inhabit the town, which lies on the ancient "Silk Road". Enroute stop at Karakuli Lake. The view of the Muztagata (meaning ice mountain father) is magnificent. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5 Monday:
Taxkorgan / Hunza
Drive to Karimabad hunza via Khunjerab pass the world highest paved road at 16000 feet above sea level, border formalities at Sosot and continue breathtaking views of the Karakorum mountain (284 km). In the olden days there were few highs passes leading from China that were suitable for travel. Today the Khunjerab Pass, which at an altitude of 4733 m is the highest point on the Karakoram Highway, provides an easy all-weather entry from the famous Sinkiang Province of the Peoples Republic of China. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6 Tuesday: Hunza
Stay in Hunza, Full day tour of Hunza. Very few places in the world compare with this small mountainous region, which was a semi-autonomous state until very recently but is now fully unified with Pakistan, the ruling dynasty of Hunza having lasted for over 600 years. The scenic beauty of this area, with its greenery and snow-capped mountains, makes it a true paradise. During the summer there is an abundance of apricots, peaches, pears and grapes. Hunza lies on the ancient trade route to Kashgar in the Chinese province of Sinkiang. Today the Karakoram Highway runs along this route with Karimabad being the main town of Hunza. Hunza is probably most famous for the longevity of its people, due to their simplicity and natural diet, along with the unpolluted mountain air. Tibetan traders referred to the beauty of this humble paradise as "Shangri-La". The tour will include meeting with local folks, understanding the secrets of their longevity and also visit some of the important historical sites including the recently renovated, simple yet overpowering, Baltit Fort and the Ganesh Watchtower. Visit to Nagar Valley and Hopper Glacier is also included. Visit to the Baltit Fort is of immense interest. For many years the fort served as an administrative headquarter and home to the former Mirs (rulers) of Hunza. The porters who accompanied the Balti bride for the then Mir of Hunza built it more than 700 years ago. The style of construction originates from Ladakh. A maze of rooms serving as living and administrative offices were added periodically designed with indigenous woodwork. It is strategically located on a prospect point, which gives it an immense overview of Hunza and neighboring valleys. Currently it serves as a Fort Museum with a good collection of exhibit of artifacts and musical instruments from Hunza. The fort is now administered by the Aga Khan Foundation Cultural Board, which undertook the reconstruction and re-establishment to its original grandeur. Visit to Hopper offers a fine view of some of the highest peaks in Hunza and Nagar Valley. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7 Wednesday: Hunza / Gilgit / Chilas
Drive to Gilgit (110 km) and on arrival of city tour of Gilgit and Kargah. A visit to Gilgit and its bazaar will give you an opportunity to become acquainted with mountain people. A visit to a school in the community and the home of a Gilgiton enables the visitor to appreciate their hospitality and simplicity. Situated 15 km southwest of Gilgit is Kargah, a small valley with several large rock carvings of Lord Buddha. It is not known exactly when the carvings were completed, but the workmanship is definitely that of a talented master. It is likely that a trade route linking Southern China with the neighbouring countries once ran through this region. Further down, the valley narrows and through it flows the Kargah Nullah (stream) that has an abundant supply of fish. Following the down stream course of River Indus, we will drive to Chilas with photo stops at the confluence of River Indus & Gilgit. Our next stop will be at the unique point where three mountain rages, Karakoram, Himalayas and Hindu Kush meet, Nanga Parbat viewpoint offers breathtaking panorama on behind. We will also stop at Chilas rocks with ancient graffiti's on it before reaching at Chilas. On arrival transfer to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8 Thursday: Chilas /
Morning drive to Islamabad with many photo stops, enroute. We will also stop at Shatial to see the Rock Carvings before driving further to Islamabad via Besham and Abbottabad. The drive to Islamabad will be a long one but the scenery and the culture on the way is so enchanting that you cannot come out of it until you stop at your hotel in Islamabad. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9 Friday: Depart Islamabad
Transfer to airport for your departure flight. End of the tour.
Cost US$ 1890.00 per person base don double occupancy minimum 4 people required. Contact us for more details
Accommodation as per the list provided.
meals half board: Breakfast and dinner daily.
Private air-conditioned transport for all transfers and city tours.
Porter charges at airports and hotels.
Entrance fees to museums and sites during tours.
Depending on the language selected, English, French, Italian or German speaking guides.
Domestic train-fares where applicable
Airfares, domestic or international. Cost for Air travel as per itinerary is quoted separately.
Visa support and visa fees.
Airport departure tax.
Personal insurance and items and expenses of personal nature and anything not specifically mentioned as included
PLEASE NOTE: All tours are usually presented as LAND ONLY (no airfare is included) and best airfare from your departing city will be included at time of departure. All tour programs are subject to your acceptance of our Terms and Conditions, which is understood when you progress into the reservation.
Although every effort has been made to ensure the correctness of the information contained in this site, Vantage cannot make any warranties as to the completeness or accuracy of such information.
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