Silk Road Journey
All content by Intrepid
Journey through the fascinating heart of Central Asia - an area which is only just opening up to foreign travellers. Travel to China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and follow the famous Silk Road route from Beijing to Tashkent via Tash Rabat, Bishkek, Samarkand and Bukhara. From Beijing to the heartlands of Kyrgyzstan and exotic Uzbekistan, let the legends of the Silk Road come to life as you tread this ancient trading route that linked the mighty civilisations of the East and the West.
- Admire mosques and mountains.
- Experience local culture at homestays.
- Marvel at the stone petroglyphs of Cholpon Ata.
- Witness the azure majesty of Lake Issyk-Kul.
- Pick up a bargain at the Kashgar bazaar.
- See the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an.
- Travel to China and explore the ancient wonders of Beijing.
- Quench your thirst with fermented mare's milk.
- Follow the Silk Road through Central Asia.
Days 1-3 Beijing
Beijing has a long and colourful history and this rapidly modernising city is an amazing whirl of ancient sites, modern buildings, bicycles, people, shops and eateries.
Days 4-5 Xi'an
As the start of the ancient trading route the Silk Road and an imperial centre for 2,000 years, Xi'an has a fascinating history and rich cultural sites to discover.
Day 6 Silk Road Railway
Connecting eastern, southern and western Asia with Europe and parts of Africa since around 200BC, the Silk Road is a series of trade routes that literally transformed the world.
Days 7-8 Turpan
Once an important staging post on the Silk Road, Turpan is an attractive town famous for its vineyards, stone fruits, melons and the nearby Flaming Mountains.
Days 9-10 Kashgar
Traditionally an important trading city along the Silk Road, Kashgar is still at the crossroads of trade due to its location in the heart of Central Asia.
Day 11 Tash Rabat
Built in the 15th century, Tash Rabat was an important caravanserai (roadside inn) for Silk Road travellers and there are still impressive ruins to explore.
Day 12 Song-Kol Lake
Picturesque Song-Kol Lake is surrounded by lush pastures favoured by local nomadic herders, who come here in the summer to graze their animals.
Day 13 Bishkek
With roads lined with trees, wide boulevards and a relaxed atmosphere, Bishkek is a former Silk Road rest stop that was ruled by Russia until independence in 1991.
Days 14-15 Chong Kemin National Park
Chong Kemin lies within the Tian Shan mountain range separating Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. This spectacular valley is famed for it's natural beauty, abundant wildlife and rich, varied flora.
Day 16 Cholpan Ata
Cholpon Ata is a small town on the banks of Lake Issyk-Kul with relaxing beaches and some excellent rock inscriptions dating back to 500BC.
Day 17 Tamga
Famous for its military sanatorium for returned Soviet astronauts, Tamga has a beachfront on the lake and lovely views of the mountains.
Days 18-19 Tashkent
One of the largest cities in Central Asia, Tashkent is a mix of Russian and Uzbek styles, where extravagant mosques sit alongside modern highways and Soviet monuments.
Days 20-21 Samarkand
One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Samarkand is perhaps the most evocative of the Silk Road cities with its decorative domes and many beautiful buildings.
Day 22 Shakhrisabz
Founded over 2,700 years ago, Shakhrisabz is an ancient city rich in impressive architectural sites and colourful people.
Days 23-24 Bukhara
Bukhara, a beautifully preserved Central Asian city, is a joy to get lost within and provides a glimpse into life before Soviet domination.
Days 25-26 Tashkent
Tashkent is an interesting contrast to many other places along the Silk Road with its clean, modern feel and unusual contemporary architecture.
Maximum of 12 travellers per group
Guesthouse, Homestay, Hotel, Overnight sleeper train, Yurt
Bus, Metro, Minibus, Minivan, Overnight sleeper train, Plane, Private Bus, Taxi, Train
1. You must submit a scanned copy of your passport and reference letter from your employer or place of study in order for us to obtain your Letter of Invitation to apply for your Uzbekistan visa en route as well as book the flight from Bishkek - Tashkent.2. An upgrade to soft sleeper trains is available on this trip. Please see important notes in the trip notes for full details.