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Silk Route to Bukhara
(Countries visited: China, Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan)

The Silk Road was probably the most important development in human history as it brought trade and contact between eastern and western cultures. Our Silk Road to Bukhara tour is a journey tracing the footsteps of the most interesting of the many branches of this route. This tour will evoke in you a sense of a life long past.

Day 01: Arrive Beijing (CHINA)

Nihao! We are warmly greeted as we arrive at Beijing International and transferred to our hotel. Every visit to Beijing makes it evident that this city is fast growing and, like in its hay day, is becoming the capital of the world.
Overnight: Toronto Hotel, Beijing (1 night)

Day 02: Beijing / Xian (Flight)
We start our journey to the origin of the Silk Route by taking a short flight to Xian, a town that was visited by Marco Polo in the medieval times. Branches of the Silk Route started flowing east, west north and south from this magical city. Our afternoon tour includes the Big & Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Bell and Drum Tower, the Muslim Quarter, the 12th century mosque and the Shanxi Museum.
Overnight: Garden Hotel, Xian (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 03: Xian
The capital of Shaanxi Province, Xian was once among the largest cities in the world and the capital for 11 dynasties. It was the starting point of the Silk Road and is now, with the exception of Beijing, the most popular tourist attraction in China. Today we tour the Tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi and its terracotta figures, (over 6000 life-size warriors and horses buried along with the Qin Dynasty emperor responsible for the unification of China in 200 BC). Next stop is the traditional Banpo Neolithic Village where we visit the remains of a village inhabited between 4500 BC and 3750 BC. (B, D)

Day 04: Xian / Lanzhou (Flight)
A morning flight takes us to Lanzhou. In the afternoon we take an excursion to Bingilisi Caves.
Overnight: Hotel Legend, Lanzhou (1 night) (B, D)

Day 05: Lanzhou / Labrang (Drive)
This morning we head out for Labrang, to visit the famous Labrang Lamasarai, a monastery heavily influenced by Tibetan architecture.
Overnight: Hotel Ethnic, Labrang (1 night) (B, D)

Day 06: Labrang / Lanzhou / Dunhuang (Drive / Flight)
We return to Lanzhou for an evening flight to Dunhuang, the 2000 year old town on the edge of the Gobi Desert. It was once an important caravan stop, also here the Silk Road splits into different routes stretching 7000 km / 4350 miles all the way to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
Overnight: Dunhuang Hotel, Dunhuang (1 night) (B, D)

Day 07: Dunhuang / Turpan (Train)
Our afternoon touring includes the amazing sand dunes and the Mogao Caves, the oldest Buddhist shrines in China. These ancient hand-carved shrines are a World Heritage Site and represent a thousand years of devotion to Buddha between the 2nd and12th Centuries. We then take an overnight train to the oasis of Turpan, the most important city of the Middle Ancient Silk Route.
Overnight: Overnight train (1 night) (B, D)

Day 08: Arrive Turpan
Turpan lies in one of the world's great land depressions at 154 meters / 505 feet below sea level and was the most important city of the Middle Ancient Silk Route. Today we take a full day tour to include Gaochang, the Flaming Mountain and the Bezkilik Thousand Buddha caves followed by Jiaohe, the Emin Tower and the famous Karez System. In the evening we get time to visit the oasis town and meet the local folks.
Overnight: Oasis Hotel, Turpan (1 night) (B, D)

Day 09: Turpan / Urumqi / Kashgar (Drive / Flight)
Morning we depart for Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, situated at the northern foot of the Tianshan Mountains. Our tour of Urumqi includes the Ardaoqiao Market, a covered street of food and textile stalls. Later we take our short flight to Kashgar, where we are met and transferred to the hotel.
Overnight: Seman Hotel, Kashgar (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 10: Kashgar
If one would like to see a place where time has stood still it is Kashghar (Kashi). Walking through the narrow lanes of this old town evokes a scene from the Arabian Nights. Kashgar has remained sheltered from outside influences with locals who are very friendly. Amongst the most popular professions are coppersmiths, carpenters, jewelers and cobblers, all using tools of bygone days. Our tour of Kashgar also includes the Abak Hoja Tomb, the Id Koh Mosque and the old town where we might even take a ride on the donkey cart taxi. One of the most popular events in the town is the weekly Sunday Bazaar that draws a variety of ethnic groups like the Uyghur, Tajik, Kyrgyz and Kazakh to the streets of Kashgar. They come on foot, bikes, horsebacks, modern motorcycles and donkey carts, all with the hope of selling merchandise that ranges form scissors to camels. Enjoy mingling with the locals and learn to sharpen your bargaining skills .
(B, D)

Day 11: Kashgar / Osh (KYRGYZSTAN - Drive)
Early this morning we depart for Kyrgyzstan's newly opened frontier, the beautiful Ferghana Valley. This will be a long, but interesting day as we are traveling into the mountainous region with breath-taking views of the litter Pamirs.
Overnight: Guest House, Osh (1 night) (B, D)

Day 12: Osh / Ferghana (UZBEKISTAN - Drive)
Today we are heading for the Uzbek frontier and after the border formalities continue to Andijan. the birthplace of Babur the Great, the first Moghul Emperor. Here, we shall have a short visit of the house of Babur and the bazaar. Later we depart for Ferghana.
Overnight: Ziyorat Hotel, Ferghana (1 night) (B, D)

Day 13: Ferghana / Tashkent (Flight)
A full day with visits to Marghilan, Rishton and Kokand. At Marghilan we visit the Yodgorlik Factory, the only one place in Central Asia where original handmade methods of silk production are still practiced. Silk fabric manufactured here is considered as one of the best in the international market. At Rishton, a town known for its Persian blue pottery with unique designs, we visit the house cum factory of a master ceramist and observe all the processes of ceramic production. Later we continue to Kokand to see the Palace Fort Museum of Khudayar Khan the last of Kokand ruler. In the afternoon we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Tashkent.
Overnight: Sheraton Hotel, Tashkent (1 night) (B, D)

Day 14: Tashkent / Samarkand (Drive)
Our visit to Tashkent starts with the old part of the city, the Kafelsashi Mausoleum, the Barak Khana, the Tila Shaikh Mosque and Archives, followed by the Chorsu Bazar, Kukeldesh Madrassah, the Friendship Square and the Navoi Theatre. Afternoon, we take a countryside drive to the second largest city in the country, Samarkand.
Overnight: Hotel Afrosiab Palace, Samarkand (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 15: Samarkand
The historic town of Samarkand is a crossroad and melting pot of the world's cultures and has been declared a World Heritage Site recently. Founded in the 7th century BC as ancient Afrosiab, Samarkand had its most significant development in the Timurid period from the 14th to the 15th centuries. Our tour takes us to the major monuments and includes the Registan Mosque and the adjoining madrassas, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound and the Gur-Emir Ensemble, as well as Ulugh-Beg's Observatory. Our afternoon tour also includes the Afrosiab Museum, located on the site of ancient Afrosiab and the Historical Museum of Uzbek Culture and Art, with the wooden coffin of Tamerlane and a large copy of the Koran. (B, D)

Day 16: Samarkand / Shakhrisabz / Bukhara (Drive)
We depart for the World Heritage Site of Shakhrisabz, hometown of Tamerlane. This historic centre contains a collection of exceptional monuments and ancient quarters, which bear witness to centuries worth of history, and particularly to the period of its climax in the 15th century under the empire of Tamerlane. After our tour of this town, we continue for yet another gem of Uzbekistan, nay of Central Asia, Bukhara
Overnight: Hotel Bukhara Palace, Bukhara (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 17: Bukhara
One of the grandest of Uzbek centers, Bukhara is an open museum with many mosques,
madrassahs and a grand minaret. We spend the day visiting some of the finest examples of Islamic Architecture in the world, where exquisite tile and mosaic work complements the beautiful brick-work; no wonder the city is a World Heritage Site. Our visit includes the Lab-e-Khauz Complex with the Nadirkhon Devanbegi Madrassah, the Mogak Attari Mosque and the Poi Kalon Minaret. We also visit the Madrassahs of Aziz Khan and the Ulugbek Ark Fortress, the residence cum army headquarters of the Bukharan Emirs that houses an interesting collection of objects from those days and the Mausoleum of Ismail Samanid, which features some of the best 10th century brickwork, with a marked Persian influence. We conclude the day with a visit to Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa, the Summer Residence of the former Emirs of Bukhara. (B, D)

Day 18: Bukhara / Urgench (Drive)
Our drive to Urgench is through the arid setting of the Kyzyl Kum Desert. Along the way we stop for some refreshments and see how humans have survived over the centuries in this barren landscape.
Overnight: Hotel Khorezm Palace, Urgench (1 night) (B, D)

Day 19: Urgench / Tashkent (Flight)
Today we explore the World Heritage Site at Khiva, a city where time has stood still. Here you feel in the midst of the Arabian Nights. Our visit starts with the main site of Itchan Kala followed by Kalta Minor, the Kunya Ark, the Rakhimkhon Madrassah, the Mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud, the Friday Mosque and the Tashauli Palace and Harem. To complete the feeling, we climb the Khodja Minaret to take in the amazing fairy tale panorama. In the afternoon we are transferred to the airport for our flight back to Tashkent.
Overnight: Sheraton Hotel, Tashkent (1 night) (B, D)

Day 20: Depart Tashkent
Our journey along the Silk Road comes to an end today as we bid farewell with "Sau Bolinizder", as we are transferred to the airport for our departure flight. (B)

2003 Departure Dates

English Speaking Departures
May 02 and Sep 05.

Per person cost $ 2,995 including all local air-transportation

(not including transoceanic air)

You may e-mail us at rexclass@aol.com.

(Code: SRB)
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