Why I love Central Asia

Each republic in Central Asia has its own joy for me. In Tajikistan I love the unrivalled mountain scenery and the incredible tradition of hospitality amongst the local Wakhi and Kyrgyz. In Uzbekistan it's the glorious weight of history and the sense of travelling in the sandprints of some of history's greatest travellers and invaders. There's also something unique and even slightly weird about Central Asia, as if... Read More

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Central Asia activities

$59.50 Cultural & Theme Tours

Ulaanbaatar Explorer Tour

Your 5-hour Explorer tour and guided adventure in the City of Ulaanbaatar begins at the famous Gandantegchenling Monastery. Attend the ancient Buddhist morning rituals and see the biggest Buddha statue, Migjid Janraisig, in Central Asia. From there, you’ll travel all over Ulaanbaatar with narration from your guide that will illuminate the city’s rich history and the stories behind its iconic structures and wonders. Travel down unique streets overlooking the two different developments of the city with its span of the Ger District and a modern city neighborhood. Visit the local's market and taste different varieties of foods. Then go on top of Zaisan Memorial Square to see the full view of the city. Also, the visit to the renowned Black Market is included.Of course, the transportation is the private vehicle but you will also get to ride public bus and learn how to take a taxi in Ulaanbaatar. Our local professional guides have tons of historic knowledge, interesting stories, and good old humor. We also have some stops for amazing pictures opportunities to forever captures your adventure in Ulaanbaatar. Reserve your tour today. Explorer tour ends at your hotel. We visit Gandantegchenling Monastery, Ger District of Ulaanbaatar, Ulaanbaatar Local's Market, Zaisan Memorial Square, The Black Market, The Last King's Palace, National History Museum, Bogd Khan Uul, Gift & Speciality Shops, Choijin Lama Temple Museum, and popular lunch restaurant.

$543 Cultural & Theme Tours

4-Night Kashgar Tour of Xinjiang

Day 1: Arrive in KashgarYour guide will pick up from Kashgar airport and transfer to your hotel.Day 2: Explore Kashgar cityExplore rich culture of the Uighurs in Kashgar. First, visit Livestock market which is the most interesting and traditional part of the Sunday market. Then, continue on to the largest bazaar in Central Asia at the Kashgar Sunday Main Bazaar. Later, spend time by Id Kah mosque, the largest mosque in China, and marvel at the intricate architecture of Kashgar’s historic Apak hoja tomb. You will also spend time in Kashgar old town and have dinner with a local Uighur family.Accommodation: 4-star Qinibagh Hotel Day 3: Kashgar to Karakul Lake and stay at a local family yurtToday set out along the Sino-Pakistan Karakorum Highway on Pamir Plateau (the roof of the world) where you will see colorful Oytagh Kunlunshan Mountain range and Bulungkol Valley (White Sand Mountain) before visiting Karakul Lake (11,811f/3600m above sea level). The lake sits at the feet of the notorious, Muztagh Ata (24758f/7546m) and Gongur (25,3235f/7719m) Mountains. "Muztagh Ata" means Father of the Ice Mountain and is one the most beautiful and mysterious mountains in the world. Travelers from around the world visit here to experience the live of its own, which is why you must spend the night in a yurt of a local Kyrgyz family.Accommodation: YurtDay 4: Karakul Lake to Tashkorgan After breakfast, hike around Karakul lake. You can visit local villages and homes of local residents before driving to Tashkorgan after lunch. Cross through Subash Pass, from where, you can see more beautiful views of the valley and majestic peaks of Muztagh Ata and Konger. If you prefer, your driver and guide will make a stop at Tagharma Village surrounded by beautiful grassland and colorful trees for you to visit a local Tajik family before arriving in Tashkorgan in late afternoon to enjoy some personal free time. Tashkorgan, used to be an important hub on the old Silk Road, is an area borders Pakistan and Afghanistan with Kunjerab Pass connecting them.Accommodation: 4-Star Crown Inn Hotel Day 5: Tashkorgan to Kashgar/departVisit Stone Fort, Tajik Village, Prairies, Tashkorgan Museum, and then drive back Kashgar. After breakfast, you will have an opportunity to see the ancient stone fort of the town, Tashkurgan, which is still standing after 1,800 years! Then, walk around Tajik neighborhoods and pay a visit to local Tajik families living in this historic town. After lunch, drive back Kashgar and you will be transferred to Kashgar Airport where this 5-day tour concludes.

$630 Day Trips & Excursions

Small-Group Day Trip to Lake Issyk from Almaty

Meet your guide at 9am at the Center Smart Tourism office or enjoy hotel pick-up in Almaty. Pass picturesque mountains, secular trees, settlements, cafes and markets on your way to Lake Issyk. View Issyk barrows among the steppes and Altyn Adam before reaching Lake Issyk, its remaining ruins and a trout farm. Grab a rod (own expense) and catch a fish that will be freshly prepared for your lunch. You will be returned to your original departure point at approximately 3pm.

$605 Multi-day & Extended Tours

4-Day Pearls of Uzbekistan Tour

Day 1 (L,D): Tashkent - Bukhara (by Air) You will be greeted and picked up at Tashkent International Airport by your English-speaking guide around 9:00 am. Visit the Broadway of Amir Timur, Statue of Independence and Madrassah Barak Khan - was built by Suyunuj Khan – first Khan of Uzbek dynasty (XVI c.). Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Later you will be transferred to the local airport of Tashkent and take a flight to Bukhara. Upon arrival in Bukhara, check in to the hotel. Overnight stay in Bukhara. Day 2 (B,L,D): Bukhara After breakfast visit the Mausoleum Ismail Samani – the oldest building in the Central Asia (IX-X c.), Chashmai Ayyub according to the legends the Biblical Prophet whose name was Iov (Ayyub) has visited this place, Ark Citadel - the center of government of Bukhara (IV BC), Minaret Kalian, Madrassah of Mir Arab that is still in use (XVI c.), Madrassah of Ulughbek (XV c.), Madrassah of Abdulazizkhan (XVII c.), Mosque Magoki Ataru the center of government of Bukhara (IV BC), and Lyabi Khauz Ensemble - very famous place for tourists. In the evening, enjoy a folklore show in the madrassah Nadir Divan-Begi. Overnight stay in Bukhara. Day 3 (B,L,D): Bukhara – Samarkand (270 km) After breakfast transfer from Bukhara to Samarkand. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Upon arrival in Samarkand, take a sightseeing tour and visit the Gur-Emir Mausoleum (the burial place of the Great Amir Temur and his dynasty (XIV-XV c.), and Reghistan Square – the main square of Samarkand. It consists of Madrassah Ulugbek (XV c.), Madrassah Sherdor (XVII c.) and Madrassah Tilla Kori) (XVII c.). Stay overnight in Samarkand. Day 4 (B,L,D): Samarkand - Tashkent After breakfast enjoy a sightseeing tour of Samarkand. Visit Bibi Khanum Mosque that was named after the eldest wife of Great Timur (XIV в.), Siyab local bazaar where you can taste the best breads and fruits of Samarkand at your own expense, Shakhi-Zinda Necropolises meaning “Alive King” (XI-XII c.), and Ulugbek Observatory, the biggest observatory was built by Ulugbek (XVc.). Later transfer to the railway station and take the train to Tashkent. Upon arrival in Tashkent around 19:10, you will be transferred to Tashkent International Airport.

$415 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Overnight Tour of Samarkand and Shakhrisabz

D 1: Tashkent – Samarkand (L,D) Transfer from hotel"XXXX" in Tashkent to the railway Station at 07:45. Departure to Samarkand with high-speed train "Afrosiyob" at 08:30 Samarkand is the second largest city of Uzbekistan and is of the same age as Rome, Athens and Babylon-  The age of Samarkand is more than 2700 years. Europeans called it the “The Land of Scientists”. A majestic and beautiful city, Samarkand is the city of legends. When Alexander the Great first time saw Samarkand, he said  “ All that I heard about  the beauty of Samarkand is true, but Samarkand is more beautiful than I imagined”. Arrival in Samarkand at 10:00. Meeting at the station. Sightseeing tour:Gur-Emir Mausoleum -  the burial place of the Great Amir Temur and his dynasty (XIV-XV c.). .Registan Square - the main square of Samarkand. It consists of Madrassah Ulugbek (XV c.), Madrassah Sherdor (XVII c.) and Madrassah Tilla Kori) (XVII c.).Bibi Khanum mosque - was named for the honour of the eldest wife of Great Timur (XIV c.).Siyob bazaar - taste the best breads and fruits of Samarkand Lunch at local restaurant. Shahi-Zinda necropolis - taste the best breads and fruits of Samarkand.Ulugbek observatory - The biggest observatory was built by Ulugbek (XVc.).  Dinner with Uzbek family. During the dinner you will observe the pocess of preparing of Uzbek national dish "Plov"overnight in Samarkand. D 2: Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent (B,L) In the morning at 08:00 drive to Shakhrisabz (1.5hrs). You will go through the pass "Takhtakaracha" (1670 m)On the road you can wath the scenery of the mountains of Shakhrisabz.Today this wonderful city is known as a native of Amir Temur (Tamerlane). He was born in the neighboring village of Hodja-Ilgar. Becoming the ruler, he turned Shakhrisabz into his summer residence. By the way, at that time Kesh was renamed to Shakhrisabz, which means  “Green city" Arrival in Shakhrisabz. Sightseeing tour of Shakhrisabz Ak-Saray Palace - summer residence of Great Timur (XIV-XV c.).Mausoleum of Jakhongir and Omar-Shaykh - eldests and dearests sons of Great Timur (XIV c.), Mausoleum of Dorut-Tilovat where conqueror Tamerlane’s father and his spiritual tutor are buried.Amir Timur's (Tamerlane's) tomb discovered in 1943, when a child playing football fell through the ground.Kok-Gumbaz mosque - was built by Ulugbek from the name of his father Shakhruh (XV c.). Lunch. After lunch drive to Samarkand. On our way back  we will visit old carpet weaving workshop.Arrival in Samarkand at 16:00-16:30 to the train station. The train departs for Tashkent at 17:00 and arrives in Tashkent at 19:30. Transfer to the hotel"XXXX" in Tashkent

$120 Cultural & Theme Tours

1-Day Tour of Samarkand from Tashkent

This full day of sightseeing begins with a 7:15am pickup from any hotel in Tashkent. Travel to the railway station to catch an 8am, high-speed train departing for Samarkand. After arriving in Samarkand at 10:30am, the local tour guide and driver will be waiting upon arrival to introduce some of the most popular attractions in Samarkand. Some of the attractions and points of interest to see include: Gur-Emir Mausoleum - The burial place of Amir Temur and his dynasty Registan Square (15th-17th century) – Located in the heart of Samarkand, Register Square consists of three madrassahs: Madrassah Uughbek, MadrassahTillakari, and Madrassah Sherdar Bibi Khanum Mosque - Named in honor of the eldest wife of Great Timur (14th century) Shah-i-Zinda necropolis (12th-15th century) - The burial place of Kusamibn ibn Abbas, the cousin to the prophet Muhammad Ulugbek Observatory - The biggest observatory, built by Ulugbek (15th century) The return to the railway station is at 4:30pm to catch a high-speed train departing for Tashkent at 5pm and and arriving in Tashkent at 7:40pm. The day concludes with a drop-off at any Tashkent hotel.