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The Great Silk Road from Persia to China

The Great Silk Road from Persia to China

Country: Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Chinese Xinjiang
Type of tour: cultural
Season: June - August
Duration: 30 days
The itinerary: Tehran - Isfakhan - Mari - Bukhara - Samarkand - Tashkent - Kokand - Rishtan - Osh - Pamir high road - Saritash - Kashgar - Turpan - Dunhuang - Lanzhou - Tibetan Labrang Monastery - Xi’an - Beijing - Great Chinese Wall

        This truly trans Asian tour is passes through the most interesting countries of ancient Silk Road from China to Europe. You will drive more than 7000 km following the prints of ancient caravans, which were carrying invaluable for that time silk, porcelain and spices. The tour begins in Iran (ancient Persia) passes through Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and ends in the capital of China Beijing. You will be engrossed in those times history, see delightful memorials of long elapsed epochs which still tell about the grace of empires and genius of ancient architectures.
No other tour includes at once almost twenty monuments acknowledged by UNESCO as masterpieces of the world heritage.

BRIEF PROGRAM OF THE TOUR

Day 1 Arrival to Tehran.
Day 2 Excursion along Tehran.
Day 3 Transfer to Isfakhan.
Day 4 Sightseeing in Isfakhan.
Day 5 Transfer to Yazd. After lunch sightseeing along the ancient city.
Day 6 Transfer to Shiraz.
Day 7 Sightseeing in Shiraz.
Day 8 Flight to Meshkhed. Sightseeing.
Day 9 Transfer to Check point “Serakhs” (Iran-Turkmen border) and farther to Mari.
Day 10 Excursion along ancient Merv.
Day 11 Transfer to Bukhara through Karakum desert, Farab Check Point (Turkmen-Uzbek border).
Day 12 Whole day Sightseeing in Bukhara.
Day 13 Continue of Sightseeing. After lunch transfer to Samarkand.
Day 14 Excursion in Samarkand.
Day 15 Transfer to Tashkent. After lunch – excursion along the city.
Day 16 Transfer to Osh with excursion in Kokand and Rishtan.
Day 17 Excursion in Osh. After lunch transfer along Pamir high road to Saritash settlement.
Day 18 Transfer to Kashgar through Check point “Irkeshtam” (Kyrgyz – Chinese border).
Day 19 Kashgar city sightseeing.
Day 20 Walking along the old city. Transfer by train to Turpan.
Day 21 After lunch excursions along the ancient city.
Day 22 Continue of Sightseeing. After dinner transfer by evening train to Liuyuan (Dunhuang).
Day 23 Arriving to Dunhuang. Sightseeing. After lunch transfer by train to Lanzhou.
Day 24 Arrival to Lanzhou. Excursion program.
Day 25 Drive to Tibetan Labrang Monastery. Lunch in Tibetan restaurant. Return to Lanzhou.
Day 26 Arrival to Xi’an. Excursion program.
Day 27 Excursion to the City Wall. Transfer to Beijing by night train.
Day 28 Arrival to Beijing. Excursions.
Day 29 The full day trip to the Great Chinese Wall.
Day 30 Flight home.
Day 1 Arrival to Tehran – the capital of Iran.
Day 2 Excursion along Tehran. National museum (archeological) with richest expositions, an old market, Imam Khomeyni mosque, Saad-Abad complex a former residence of Iran shakh, Freedom monument, Diamond fund.
Day 3 Transfer to Isfakhan (390 km), en route excursion in ancient towns of Kum and Kashan. Kashan is a flowering oasis in the desert, the splendid frescos and fountains in gardens of Fin. Kum is the second by its value Shiite saint town. Visiting the Fatima mosque. An exotic Kum market.
Day 4 Sightseeing in Isfakhan. The excursion of the city tour, Imam Khomeyni square, Imam Masjid mosque (XVIII c.), Sareban minaret (XIX c), quay with ancient bridges, Armenian orthodox Vank temple, craftsmen bazaar.
Day 5 Transfer to Yazd (280 km, 4 h.) – an ancient center of zoroastrizm. After lunch sightseeing along the ancient city, Friday mosque (XIV c), underground system of “Kanat” water supply, zoroastric Ateshkodekh temple.
Day 6 Transfer to Shiraz – culture capital of Iran (440 km). En route sightseeing in Persepolice (VI c B.C. an ancient Persian capital of king Dariy), necropolis, the palace of Dariy, Artaxerks tomb, colonnades and stony walls decorated with a fantastic fretwork.
Day 7 Sightseeing in Shiraz. Karim Khan citadel, many medieval caravan-sarays, tombs of famous Persian poets of Saodi and Khafiz, Bagram palace (XVIII c.), Arky-Karimkhani fortress.
Day 8 Flight to Meshkhed. Sightseeing – the grand saint mosque – Imam Reza complex (IX-XIX cc.) Visiting an exotic bazaar, walking along the city.
Day 9 Transfer to Check point “Serakhs” (Iran-Turkmen border) and farther to Mari (260 km).
Day 10 Excursion along ancient Merv – ancient complex of fortresses and temples (I-XVI c) protected by UNESCO. Visiting the local historical museum.
Day 11 Transfer to Bukhara (400km, 8 hours) through Karakum desert, Turkmenabad city, bridge of boats through Amudarya river, Farab Check Point (Turkmen-Uzbek border).
Day 12 Whole day Sightseeing in Bukhara: Arc fortress (VI-VII c.c.) – a citadel from where began ancient Bukhara, Chashma Ayub Mazar burial-vault (XIV-XIXcc.), Poi-Kalyan (XII-XVIcc.), Miri Arab madrasah (XVI c.), Lyabi – Khauz (XVI-XVIIcc.)
Day 13 Continue of Sightseeing: Samanids mausoleum (IX – Xcc.), Nadir Divanbegi madrasah (1622 years Chor Minor minaret (XVII c)). After lunch transfer to Samarkand (300km, 4 hours).
Day 14 Excursion in Samarkand: The “Heart” of Samarkand –Registan square (XIV-XVI cc.) with its three famous madrasahs: Sherdor, Ulugbek and Tillya-Kori, the grand cathedral Bibi – Khanum mosque (XV c.), a splendid Gur-Emir mausoleum (XV c.), where were buried Tamerlan, his sons and grandson Ulugbek; Ulugbek observatory (1420 year) – Tamerlan’s grandson, the famous ruler and scientist-astronomer; Shakhi-Zinda – Samarkand rulers and aristocracy’s necropolis (XI-XVIIIcc.) consisting of many splendidly decorated mausoleums; an exotic Siab bazaar.
Day 15 Transfer to Tashkent (350km, 5 hours). After lunch – excursion along the city: Old city, Hazrat Imam Architecture cult complex (Barak-Khan madrasah (XVIc), Yunus-Khan mausoleum, Kafal-al-Sahashi Mazar mausoleum (XVIc.)), Kukeldash madrasah (XVIII c.), Applied Art museum, Independence square, the People’s Friendship square, subway, the building of the National theatre of opera and ballet, oriental bazaar and shopping.
Day 16 Transfer to Osh (420km, ~9 hours) with excursion in Kokand: Hudoyar- Khan palace (1871 years) where are situated the local historical museum, Norbut-Biy madrasah (XVIIIc.), Modarikhan mausoleum (XIX c.) And excursion in Rishtan famous with its dynasty of potters and ceramic masters. Here you can observe their work and buy original wares for memory.
Day 17 Excursion in Osh: the famous Osh bazaar, Suleyman mountain, Asaf ibn Burkhiya mausoleum (XI-XVIII cc.) After lunch transfer along Pamir high road (150km, ~5 hours) to Saritash settlement, in famous mountain Alay valley overnight in yurts.
Day 18 Transfer to Kashgar (250km,6 hours) through Check point “Irkeshtam” (Kyrgyz – Chinese border). On the way splendid views to surrounded mountains and Kizilsu river.
Day 19 Kashgar city sightseeing: visit the Sunday bazaar – the biggest brightest and exotic market in the world. Here sells everything from buttons till camels. The Old City, Idgar mosque (XIV c.), Apak Hoja Tomb (XVIIc.)
Day 20 Walking along the old city. Transfer by train to Turpan (K9788 13:16 – 11:26).
Day 21 After lunch excursions along the ancient city: Karez – an ancient irrigational system of wells and channels for gathering underground waters from Tyan-Shan mountain, Emin’s (Suleyman) minaret and mosque (XVIIIc.) In the evening you can enjoy the uygur folklore show.
Day 22 Visiting Giao chang and Jiao he (II c. B.C.) – one of the best saved ancient towns on the earth, Astana tombs where were founded well saved mummies and unique wall paintings (II c.), the famous grape valley-the large shady park with grape plantations, ponds and museum of wine- making; a picturesque mountain village Tuyugou (highlights), Bezklik buddhistic cave monastery (1000 budda) in “Flaming mountain” spurs especially beautiful in sunset. After dinner transfer by evening train to Liuyuan (Dunhuang) (904km, 12 hours).
Day 23 Arriving to Dunhuang – an important trade city on the Silk Road. This oasis is situated on the edge of Gobi desert and surrounded by sand dunes. In IVth century this town was full of traders and buddhists. Excursions: Magao caves and grottos. The quantity of the caves is about 500 and each of them is full of buddhistic manuscripts, sculptures and frescos. The total area is 45000 km2. The complex is included by UNESCO to the list of masterpieces of the world heritage. In the evening we will visit the Echoing-Sand Mountain and romantic “Crescent” Lake Yueya yuan. To the north from Dunhuag is situated the fortress of the Great Chinese Wall Yumenguan and to the south – the ruins of the Yanguan fortress. The fortresses represent gates through which were passing the caravans of camels and horses. After lunch transfer by train to Lanzhou. (19:02 – 09:19).
Day 24 Arrival to Lanzhou – the capital of Gansyu province. Excursion program: the province museum with an interesting exposition “Cultural Heritage of the Silk Road”, Huan he river, White pagoda and Baytashan monastery.
Day 25 Drive to Tibetan Labrang Monastery (the beginning of XVIIIth c.) - one of the major monasteries of of the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect. The Labrang Monastery is included into 6 biggest lama monasteries of China. The Institutes of esoteric buddhism, theology, Tibetan medicine and astrology are situated on its territory. Lunch in Tibetan restaurant. Return to Lanzhou.
Day 26 Arrival to Xi’an – the city of 3000 years history, the home land of Chinese civilization. Excursions: Huazhouxian (VII-XIV cc.) with unique dragon steles, Bell and Drum Tower, Big Goose pagoda (VII c.), one of the well known buddhistic pagoda in China. In the evening visiting the biggest thematic park and a splendid theatrical show “Tang epoch”.
Day 27 Excursion to the City Wall (XIV c.) and the Tomb of great Chinese Emperor Zing Shi Huang who ruled in IIId c. B.C. The 8th World Wonder – the famous army of terracotta warriors and chariots the scale of which will impress your imagination. After dinner transfer to the railway station and farther night train till Beijing. (Z20 20:16 – 07:17).
Day 28 Arrival to Beijing. Excursions: Tiananmen – the largest square in the world, Gugun-the imperial palace in a large “Forbidden City” with a history of 600 years. The Temple of the sky and Summer Palace.
Day 29 The full day trip to the Great Chinese Wall – one of the 7 wonders in the worlds and the symbol of China. Visiting The Saint Road which leads to the Ming tombs dynasty with the stony sculptures depicting the real and mythic animals. Grave of Ming dynasty – the only underground tomb with thirteen tombs of the emperors.
Day 30 Flight home.
Features tour
Duration, days 30
Countries
Uzbekistan yes
Kyrgyzstan yes
Turkmenistan yes
Chinese Xinjiang yes
Season
June yes
July yes
August yes

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