Highlights
  • Visit the wilds of Chong Kemin National Park
  • Be amazed by the ferocity of the Darvaza Gas Crate
  • Walk the lively streets of Ashgabat
  • Uncover Soviet memorabilia in Chorsu Bazaar
  • Practise your echoes in the canyons of Djety Oguz

Follow the central Silk Road through Turkmenistan’s harshly beautiful deserts, Uzbekistan’s soaring mountain ranges and Kyrgyzstan’s sublime lakes. Travel to a land once home to brutal yet sophisticated khans and sultans, as well as the furthest reaches of the USSR. Offering the bold traveller a startling vision of Central Asian culture, from the futuristic Ashgabat to the relaxed charm of Bishkek, this central Silk Road journey is an enlightening experience full of memories to last a lifetime.

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Ashgabat to Bishkek

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R

Recommends

Happy with the Kyrgyzstan guide January 2017

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
The trip was predominantly long days of driving without actually experiencing the countries we visited. For example Issy-Kul lake was merely a sliver of blue on the horizon, we didn't make a short stop or even get a close enough look. Or another day we drove for the entire day only to arrive in time for dinner and bed before leaving again in the morning without spending anytime exploring this area. These disappointments may have been avoided by leaving much earlier in the morning. I think most people on this trip would not have minded leaving significantly earlier if it meant we actually had time to visit the sites detailed in the trip notes

Also whilst I was aware that I was visiting cultures which had meat heavy diets and that vegetarian meals would be difficult to come by, the guide in Kyrgyzstan went out of her way to try and find myself and the other 2 vegetarians foods, often taking at length with the restaurant to organise a meal. However it felt like our guide in Uzbekistan just took us to restaurants he always took his groups without researching whether there were other options within the location we had stopped at. It felt like a great deal of the trip he was on autopilot, just running the trip as he had done in the past, no real tailoring it to his tour group.
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r

Recommends

The trip was predominantly long days of September 2015

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
The trip was predominantly long days of driving without actually experiencing the countries we visited. For example Issy-Kul lake was merely a sliver of blue on the horizon, we didn't make a short stop or even get a close enough look. Or another day we drove for the entire day only to arrive in time for dinner and bed before leaving again in the morning without spending anytime exploring this area. These disappointments may have been avoided by leaving much earlier in the morning. I think most people on this trip would not have minded leaving significantly earlier if it meant we actually had time to visit the sites detailed in the trip notes_x000D_
_x000D_
Also whilst I was aware that I was visiting cultures which had meat heavy diets and that vegetarian meals would be difficult to come by, the guide in Kyrgyzstan went out of her way to try and find myself and the other 2 vegetarians foods, often taking at length with the restaurant to organise a meal. However it felt like our guide in Uzbekistan just took us to restaurants he always took his groups without researching whether there were other options within the location we had stopped at. It felt like a great deal of the trip he was on autopilot, just running the trip as he had done in the past, no real tailoring it to his tour group.
Read more

Operator Intrepid Travel

ATFT

Recommends

Intrepid did an incredible job December 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Thailand Cambodia Trip. Nov 2017. For my 60th birthday I decided I wanted to take my family of 6 to Thailand and Cambodia. After my initial conversation with the Intrepid office, they pulled together a perfect 24 day custom itinerary for us. My Intrepid coordinator really listened. We set up a incredibly diverse trip, ranging from ocean front resorts to a primitive hillside village trek. From the minute we landed in Bangkok, to the day we flew home, all transfers went off with out a hitch. What really made our trip memorable was our local guides. Every single one of them were warm, professional, humorous but most importantly, had a deep knowledge of the geography, the plant life, dining, the history and government. We felt by the end of the trip, these guides had become a part of our family. The entire trip was amazing and we will definitely use Intrepid for our next adventure travel. Thanks so much.
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k

Recommends

great tour October 2017

5.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 3.0
the guide was very knowledgeable - friendly - great sense of humour - looking out for the safety of the tour members - organised - thoroughly nice guy

Operator Intrepid Travel

GA

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Classic Vietnam with Intrepid January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
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  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My husband and I traveled along the coast of Vietnam with Intrepid. This trip is one of the highlights of my life - we were able to authentically experience the different cities and towns, the food, the culture, and the beauty of Vietnam. Through Intrepid, we were able to get access to off-the-beaten path places, such as taking a 3 hr moped tour through the Vietnamese countryside not accessible by car or bus. Lodging was basic and clean, a great value for travelers on a budget, however if you are looking to be pampered, this is not the tour package for you. The highlight of this trip was our tour guide, Sonny. He was so knowledgeable and passionate about showing us his home land. We got along so well with the other travelers on our trip from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - five years later, we are still in touch!
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Itinerary

Day 1 Ashgabat

Border Information: if joining in Ashgabat, you will most likely enter Turkmenistan at Ashgabat International Airport (IATA code: ASB). There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting. After the meeting we will visit the famous Ashgabat Sunday Market. In the afternoon we will then have an included tour of the city of Ashgabat using local minibuses. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Ashgabat before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Ashgabat. If arriving at Ashgabat airport you will also need to have a confirmed arrival transfer and representative from our local supplier to meet you at the airport. Please contact your sales agent for prices and to book. In Ashgabat we will stay in a decent quality local hotel.  *Important note - any tobacco products are practically illegal in Turkmenistan, so please do not bring them or use them in Turkmenistan. Also please do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.* Hotel for the night: Ak-Altyn Hotel Ak Altyn Hotel 141/1 Magtymguly Avenue Ashgabat 744000 Turkmenistan Tel - +9931236 3700 Activity Approximate Cost Explore, shop and haggle at the vast Tolkuchka Sunday Market Included in Kitty Explore the unique and bizarre Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour of the city Included in Kitty About Ashgabat: Ashgabat is a unique modern city that has been extensively rebuilt since the country gained independence in 1991. Little is left of the original Russian Imperial city as most of it was destroyed in a massive earthquake in 1948, and today the city centre is a bizarre mix of futuristic and outrageous public buildings that are an extraordinary sight - these include many ornate marble buildings and extravagant golden statues of the president. Ashgabat's Sunday Market is famous along the whole Silk Road - this wonderful market stretches for hundreds of acres into the desert. Carpets, camels, clothes, pigs, jewellery, goats, cars, chickens, hats and ex-Soviet military paraphernalia are readily available. 

Day 2 Darvaza

Today we set off north from Ashgabat and head into the Karakum Desert. We will have an included side trip to the amazing flaming Darvaza Gas Crater (also known as the 'Door to Hell'!). We will wild camp in the deserts near Darvaza Crater tonight. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). Activity Approximate Cost See the bizarre and incredible burning gas crater at Darvasa, popularly known as the 'Door to Hell' Included in Kitty About Darvaza: Darvaza is a tiny settlement in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan, which is the location of one of the world's more unusual highlights - the flaming Darvasa Gas Crater, sometimes dramatically called 'The Door to Hell'. The crater formed as a result of an industrial accident - Soviet oil prospectors started drilling in 1971 expecting to find oil, and when only gas was found underneath the ground collapsed to form the crater. Worried about the gas released into the air, they deliberately set the crater on fire to burn off the excess, expecting this to only last a few weeks - however the natural gas supply turned out to be much more plentiful, and it's been burning away ever since! The crater is truly a breathtaking sight, especially at night - it's about the size of a football pitch and ablaze with fire, truly looking like the entrance to the underworld!

Day 3 Kunye Urgench

Today we will continue our overland journey north across the Karakum. We will visit the Kunye Urgench ruins towards the end of the day. We will wild camp in the deserts near Kunye Urgench tonight. Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours. Activity Approximate Cost Overland into the green Oxus Valley to the ancient ruined city of Kunye Urgench Included in Kitty About Kunye Urgench: Kunye Urgench is one of Turkmenistan's most important historic sites, and was once a major city along the Silk Road. Situated on the shores of the Amu Daria River, the area has been settled since the 5th-Century BCE and came to prominence under the rule of the Persian Khwarezem Empire in the 11thCentury CE. The city managed to flourish even after Genghis Khan's invasion of 1221, only being finally destroyed and abandoned after an attack by the warlord Timur in 1373. Timur did a very thorough job in demolishing the city, there are still plenty of old ruined buildings from the 11th-14th centuries dotted around, including a mosque, mausoleum and the towering 60-metre-high Kutlug-Timur minaret, the highest in Central Asia.

Day 4-5 Khiva

Border Information: Exit Turkmenistan at Shovot, enter Uzbekistan at Nijazov. This morning we will visit the markets in the border town of Dashoguz, before driving across the border into Uzbekistan and continue to the beautiful historic town of Khiva. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. The following day we have a guided tour of the ancient city of Khiva during the morning. In the afternoon we will have plenty of free time to further explore this wonderfully preserved Khanate town. In Khiva we will stay in a comfortable hotel. Activity Approximate Cost See the beautiful turquoise Kalta Minor Minaret, one of the iconic symbols of Khiva Included in Kitty Visit the Mohammed Rakhim Khan Madrassa, a museum dedicated to the Khan that surrendered to the Russians in 1873 Included in Kitty Explore the incredibly photogenic blue palace of Tash Khovli in Khiva Included in Kitty Learn all about the Khoezm culture and handicrafts at the Islam Hodja Madrassa, Khiva's newest monument Included in Kitty Explore the incredible Juma Mosque and the 12th century fortress of the Kukhna Ark Included in Kitty Visit the mausoleum of Pahlavon Mohammed, the legendary 14th-century poet, philosopher, wrestler, and patron saint of Khiva Included in Kitty About Khiva: The small historic town of Khiva in Uzbekistan was once the capital of the Khwarezmid Empire, one of Central Asia's most powerful states in the 12th Century CE until they were invaded by Genghis Khan in 1220 CE. Khiva once again rose to prominence as the centre of the Khanate of Khia between 1500 CE and 1924, when the area was fully incorporated into the Soviet Union.The city's long history is fascinating, and fortunately much of the magnificent architecture has been incredibly well preserved. The ancient walls that used to provide sanctuary for the travellers on the Silk Road are intact, as is the old town that the walls were built to protect. Many of the buildings are beautifully decorated in classic turquoise tiles. As well as exploring the streets of the old city, you should make sure you visit the Kukhna Ark and Juma Mosque, Pakhlovan Mahmus Mausoleum and Islam Hodja Madrassa.

Day 6 Bukhara

Today we will have a full day's drive to the fascinating city of Bukhara, where will spend the next 3 nights. In Bukhara we will stay in a comfortable local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours. About Bukhara: Bukhara is an atmospheric city with an incredible history and a wonderful heritage - exploring the streets, you really get the feeling that this is how Central Asia was before Soviet domination. Bukhara was once a very powerful Khanate, controlling most of Turkmenistan and the surrounding area. Many of the buildings here are spectacular and very well-preserved, particularly the Ark Fortress, Ismail Samanid Mausoleum and he famous Kalyan Minaret (also known as the Death Tower). The government has invested a considerable amount of money into the city in order to preserve the architecture here.

Day 7-8 Bukhara

Today we will have a guided tour of Bukhara and the surrounding area, including the Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Kalon Mosque, Zindon Prison and the Ark Fortress. On our second day here, we will have a free day to further explore this incredible historic city and its surroundings. Activity Approximate Cost Watch an entertaining evening puppet show, featuring many local Uzbek and Tajik poems and songs USD 5 Visit the magnificent 16th-centrury architectural ensemble surrounding the Lyab-i Hauz ponds, once the city's principal source of water Included in Kitty See the Indian-style Char Minar Minarets, four towers nestled in a maze of alleyways in downtown Bukhara Free Visit the gruesome museum at the old prison of Zindon UZS 4500 Explore the city's oldest Islamic monument, the 10th-century mausoleum of Ismail Samanid, the founder of the Samanid Dynasty Included in Kitty Explore the colossal Kalon Mosque and Minaret, which has survived without restoration for 850 years and impressed Genghis Khan so much that he ordered the building to be spared Included in Kitty Discover the ruins of the ancient 5th-century fortress of the Bukhara Ark Included in Kitty

Day 9 Nurata

Today we will drive into the Kyzylkhum Desert near the town of Nurata. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to head out on an optional camel ride into the desert! In the Kyzylkhum Desert we will stay in a desert yurt camp. Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours. Activity Approximate Cost Overnight in the Kyzylkum Desert staying in yurts. Included in Kitty

Day 10 Samarkand

This morning we will spend some time exploring the Nurata Hills with the option of taking a dip in Lake Ajdar Kul. After lunch we will drive to Samarkand where we will stay for the next 3 nights. In Samarkand we will stay in a good hotel on the outskirts of town. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. About Samarkand: A city brimming with history, Samarkand became famous in the 14th Century CE as the birthplace of the warlord Timur and the capital of his Sultanate. Thanks to its cemtral location along the Silk Road, the town originally grew propserous as a crossroads between East and West, creating a melting pot of different cultures and traditions whose influences are still very much apparent today. Samarkand is perhaps the most romantic and evocative of the Silk Road cities, and is crowned by the decorative domes and minarets of the many beautiful buildings here. The must-sees include the iconic Registan Square (the central focus of the city and home to a group of impressively decorated madrassas), Guri Amir and the Shah-i-Zinda mausoleum.

Day 11-12 Samarkand

Today we will have a guided tour of the incredible historic city of Samarkand and the surrounding area, including the Registan, Ulug Beg Observatory, BibiKhanym Mosque and Shah-I-Zinda. On our second day here, we will have a free day to further explore the beautiful city and its surroundings. Activity Approximate Cost Visit to Shakhrisabz city USD 20 Visit the Guri-Amir Mausoleum, the final resting place of the Turko-Mongol conqueror Timur Included in Kitty Explore the stunning plaza of The Registan, a world-famous and iconic symbol of Central Asia Included in Kitty Learn about the area's scientific heritage with a visit to the 15th-century Ulug Beg Observatory, once the finest observatory in the Islamic world Included in Kitty Discover the ruins of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, once one of the largest mosques in the world and the jewel in Timur's empire Included in Kitty See the beautiful and moving ancient mausoleum of Shah-I-Zinda Included in Kitty Wander through the markets and carpet vendors of Samarkand, and marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of the local carpet weavers Free

Day 13 Tashkent

This morning we will have a little more free time to explore more of Samarkand. After lunch we will drive to the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. In Tashkent we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. About Tashkent: Whilst the historic cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva still retain much of the atmosphere of the ancient Khanates, Tashkent is very definitely a Soviet city, because old Tashkent was largely destroyed by a series of earthquakes and Soviet planners. Having said that, it is still a great place to visit - the city has a clean, modern feel and there is some unusal contemporary architecture here, which makes it an interesting contrast to many other places along the Silk Road.

Day 14 Tashkent

Today we will have a free day to explore Tashkent. Activity Approximate Cost Explore urbane Tashkent and experience a surreal cabaret dinner Free Visit the nightclubs and Imperial Russian-style cabaret restaurants of Tashkent Free Visit the religious centre of Tashkent at Hast Imam Square and see the Uthman Koran, believed to be the world's oldest extant copy of the Koran USD 5

Day 15 Tashkent

Border Information: if joining in Tashkent, you will most likely enter Uzbekistan at Tashkent International Airport (IATA code: TAS). There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting. The rest of the day is free to explore the Uzbek capital. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tashkent before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tashkent. In Tashkent we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. *Important note - do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.* *Another important note - please be aware that all itineraries in Kyrgyzstan are highly weather-dependent. The itinerary described in these notes are a statement of best intention, but we must approach each trip in Kyrgyzstan with a large degree of flexibility, as our leaders and local guides will have to 'play things by ear' according to the local conditions and weather. In low season certain routes become impossible and it may become far too cold to camp - in all cases there are fantastic and well-tried alternatives in place which means we can always run an excellent and comprehensive trip here, but please do not treat the exact details of the itinerary listed here as gospel - thanks for your understanding!* Hotel for the night: Grand Orzu Hotel Grand Orzu Hotel 27 Makhmud Tarobi Street Tashkent Uzbekistan Tel - +998 71 120 88 77 Activity Approximate Cost Explore urbane Tashkent and experience a surreal cabaret dinner Free Visit the nightclubs and Imperial Russian-style cabaret restaurants of Tashkent Free Visit the religious centre of Tashkent at Hast Imam Square and see the Uthman Koran, believed to be the world's oldest extant copy of the Koran USD 5 About Tashkent: Whilst the historic cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva still retain much of the atmosphere of the ancient Khanates, Tashkent is very definitely a Soviet city, because old Tashkent was largely destroyed by a series of earthquakes and Soviet planners. Having said that, it is still a great place to visit - the city has a clean, modern feel and there is some unusal contemporary architecture here, which makes it an interesting contrast to many other places along the Silk Road.

Day 16 Fergana Valley

This morning we travel in local transport over the Kamchik Pass to Kokand, where we will have the oppurtunity to visit the Khudayar Khan's Palace and the nearby Margilan Silk Factory before completing the journey to Fergana. The truck must pass over the Kamchik Pass without passengers and will rejoin us this evening in Fergana. In Fergana we will stay in a basic local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). Activity Approximate Cost Overland through Uzbekistan's Fergana Valley including historic Kokand and Fergana City UZS 3000 Explore the impressive 19th-century Juma Mosque in Kokand in the stunning Fergana Valley UZS 1000 See the silk-weavers of the Fergana Valley at the Yodgorlik Silk Factory Free About Fergana Valley: A stunning corner of Uzbekistan dominated by the rolling mountains near the Kamchik Pass, the Fergana Valley is one of the most scenic drives on our route though Central Asia. The Palace of Khudayar Khan is an ornate palace from the 1870s built bu the last leader of the Kokand Khanate.

Day 17 Arslanbob

Border information: Exit Uzbekistan at Andijon, enter Kyrgyzstan at Dustlik. This morning we leave Uzbekistan behind and make our way into the magical mountain kingdom of Kyrgyzstan! Once we have crossed the border we continue our journey to Arslanbob in Kyrgyzstan's Fergana Valley - if we are delayed at the border we may choose to stay in the closer town of Jalalabad instead. In Arslanbob we will stay overnight in a local family-run guesthouse. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Day 18-20 Kyrgyz Fergana Valley

We will spend the next 3 days overlanding through the stunning and remote Kyrgyz Fergana Valley, stopping often to admire the views and perhaps take some impromptu hikes in the hills and countryside. During these days we plan to wild camp en route. Please note that trips running in low season (May to mid-June and October to November), we may not be able to camp if temperatures are too low, in which case we will stay in local guesthouses along the route instead. Estimated Drive Times - 4-8 hours each day. Activity Approximate Cost Get off the beaten track with 3 nights wild camping and a leisurely overland journey through the stunning mountains and National Parks of Kyrgyzstan Included in Kitty

Day 21-22 Song Köl Lake

Today we complete the drive to the incredible Song Köl Lake, where we will spend the next two nights. We will have free time here to explore the area, and to enjoy some optional activities including hiking and horse-riding. At Song Köl we will stay in traditional felt yurts. Estimated Drive Time - 4-8 hours. Please note that trips during the low season will not be able to visit Song Köl Lake, as temperatures will be below freezing, the road will be snowed over, and there will be no yurts to stay in! Instead we will likely stay in yurts on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Köl. Activity Approximate Cost Experience the daily life of the Kyrgyz mountain shepherds. Included in Kitty About Song Köl Lake: Song Köl lake is one of the most spectacular spots in central Kyrgyzstan. All around the lake are lush pastures favoured by local nomadic herders, who come here in the summer with their animals. On our overland trips we spend a couple of days staying in traditional felt yurts, learning about the local culture and traditions. We might get to see the local men play a game of "Ulak-Tartys" (goat polo) or have a chance to ride out with the shepherds on their small hardy ponies, or you might prefer to explore the surrounding area on foot and trek in the nearby hills. Song Köl really is a sublime and unique spot, it is a truly magical place where you are guaranteed to have travel experiences that you will never forget.

Day 23 Kochkor

Today we drive to the small village of Kochkor, where we stay in local familyrun guesthouses and enjoy traditional Kyrgyz hospitality! Whilst here we will visit a small museum and women's felt making cooperative that produces 'shyrdaks', the felt carpets for which Kyrgyzstan is renowned. We may also have the opportunity here to see some excellent local musicians playing traditional Kyrgyz folk music and to see how a yurt is put up! In Kochkor we will stay in family-run guesthouses, accommodating up to 8 guests in each home. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. Activity Approximate Cost Overnight homestay at a traditional rural Kyrgyz village Included in Kitty See the traditional felt workshops or Kochkor and learn about how Kyrgyz carpets and hats are typically made here Included in Kitty Visit a folklore demonstration near Kockhor where you can learn all about the handicrafts of the area, see a fantastic outdoor concert of traditional music and help to erect a yurt! KGS 1000 See an incredible demonstration from a traditional eagle hunter near Kochkor Included in Kitty About Kochkor: Kochkor is a sleepy little Kyrgyz village and looks very much like the paintings of traditional Kyrgyz life seen in various museums and art galleries throughout the country. Here we will stay with a traditional Kyrgyz family, living with them and finding out about their daily life, food and family patterns. The Kyrgyz have embraced Responsible Tourism and actively encourage travellers to stay in the homes of local people. There is an excellent local animal market and a traditional felt making enterprise which we usually visit. Here they make a variety of the different felts used for making yurts, rugs, carpets and souvenirs.

Day 24-25 Jeti Oguz Valley

Today we drive along the southern shore of Lake Issyk Köl and up into the mountains to the alpine trekking region of Jeti Oguz. En route we will have an included demonstation from a local 'eagle hunter'. The next day we will have a free day to hike in the incredible scenery here, or take an optional horse ride with some of the local nomads! In Jeti Oguz we will camp close to a local family yurt. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. Please note that on trips in the low season we may not be able to camp in Jeti Oguz due to low temperatures. If this is the case, we will stay for 1 night in a local hotel at the base of Jeti Oguz Valley (allowing time for some day walks) and then move via a stunning and incredible drive up a mountain in a Russian 4x4 truck to Altyn Arashan, a hot spring development in a stunning alpine setting, staying in dormitory accommodation. Activity Approximate Cost Trek into the wilds of the Jeti-Oghuz Gorge on the edge of the Tian Shan mountains Included in Kitty Explore the incredible mountain landscapes of the Jeti Oguz Valley by horseback KGS 800 About Jeti Oguz Valley: Seven spectacular red sandstone cliffs stand guard over the entrance to the Jeti Oguz Valley. Local tradition says that the cliffs were once wild bulls, immobilised by the gods to stop them terrorising local yurt dwellers. The base of this stunning canyon lies on the northern slopes of the Terskei Ala-Too range, surrounded by a broad valley and majestic snow-capped mountains. The valley is a fantastic place for camping and hiking - by exploring the valleys and canyon by foot you'll be able to admire the unusual rock formations and alpine peaks.

Day 26 Karakol

Today we will move on from Jeti Oguz or Altyn Arashan to the Russian-style town of Karakol, where we will have a free afternoon to explore and relax! In Karakol we will stay in a decent local hotel.  Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours. About Karakol: Originally a Russian military outpost built in 1869, Karakol quickly grew in the 19th Century as explorers arrived to map the mountains and valleys of the area, and Chinese Muslims fled warfare in China. For many years the town was names Przhevalsk, in honour of a Russian explorer who died there in the 1880s, but has been known as Karakol since independence. Karakol is a picturesque town surrounded by orchards and mountains, with a delightful Russian church and gracious colonial houses on tree-lined streets sloping up towards glaciers and pine forests.

Day 27-28 Chong Kemin Valley, Cholpon Ata

Today we will drive to the northern shore of Lake Issyk Köl and visit the ancient petroglyphs at Cholpon Ata. We will then continue to the beautiful area of Chong Kemin where we will spend 2 nights. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. The next day we will have a free day to explore and hike in this stunning area, or to get involved in an optional white water rafting excursion! In Chong Kemin we will wild camp. If it is too cold or simply preferred by the group, we may choose to camp in the grounds of a guesthouse in Ashu, a village in the Chong Kemin valley, where there could be the possibility to upgrade to rooms. Activity Approximate Cost Get off the beaten track with 3 nights wild camping and a leisurely overland journey through the stunning mountains and National Parks of Kyrgyzstan Included in Kitty Explore the beautiful Chong Kemin valley on horseback KGS 300 Head out on a white-water rafting adventure through the stunning Chong Kemin valley KGS 1800 Walk around the incredible scenery of the Chong Kemin valley Free Tourist time: pedalos, sand, sun. On Lake IssykKul, it?s a time warp Included in Kitty About Chong Kemin Valley: The Chong Kemin Valley lies within the Tian Shan mountain range separating Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The towering peaks of the Tian Shan range reach above 7,000m along their rugged run towards China. This spectacular valley is famed for its natural beauty, abundant wildlife and rich, varied flora. The valley offers several trekking possibilities along the Chong Kemin River, and recently white water rafting has become a popular activity for visitors in the area - exploring this stunning valley on horseback is also a great option. About Cholpon Ata: Issyk Köl Lake is one of the biggest natural water reservoirs in the world, at 170kms long and 70kms wide. Issyk Köl means "warm lake" in the local language, and a combination of extreme depth, thermal activity and mild salinity means the lake never freezes. On the shores of the lake is the small town of Cholpon Ata, a favourite holiday spot with the locals. The area has a number of health resorts and spas and there are also some interesting rock inscriptions and petroglyphs dating back to 500 BCE close nearby.

Day 29 Bishkek

Today we have a short drive to the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, with the opportunity to visit the Burana Tower en route. We will have free time to relax and explore the city upon arrival. In Bishkek we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours. Activity Approximate Cost Civilisation again, in the picturesque city of Bishkek KGS 60 About Bishkek: Bishkek is the relaxed capital of Kyrgyzstan, and it has a pleasant laid-back atmosphere. The city centres around Ala-too Square, previously known as Lenin's Square under the previous Soviet regime. Lenin used to stand in his concrete overcoat in the middle of the square, proudly gesturing towards the mountains. A pleasant place to watch the world go by is Dubovy (Oak) Park, where you'lll find a few open air cafes, a perfect spot to sit and have a drink and soak up the atmosphere. The century-old oaks here and all along Freedom Avenue make Bishkek one of the greenest cities in Central Asia.

Day 30 Bishkek

Border Information: if finishing in Bishkek, you will most likely exit Kyrgyzstan at Bishkek Manas International Airport (IATA code: FRU). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Bishkek. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below. Activity Approximate Cost Begin our journey in picturesque Bishkek Free Freely explore the vast Osh Bazaar, Bishkek's largest market Free Explore Bishkek's past at the State Historical Museum on Ala-Too Square KGS 150

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 3,940

Price Per Day:

$ 131 per day
 
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Apr-14-2019May-13-2019$ 3,990YesSold Out Reserve
May-12-2019Jun-10-2019$ 3,990No7 spots left Reserve
May-26-2019Jun-24-2019$ 3,990YesSold Out Reserve
Jul-18-2019Aug-16-2019$ 3,940No18 spots left Reserve
Jul-21-2019Aug-19-2019$ 3,990No15 spots left Reserve
Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel
Details
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 19
Accomodations
Hotels,Wild Camps,Yurts,Homestays
Start City
Ashgabat
End City
Bishkek
Guides OUR DRAGOMAN CREW & GUIDES Our crew are passionate about travel and are always up for adventure. It takes someone special to become a Dragoman leader. Our crew undergo the most intensive training program of all the overland companies, spending 8 weeks learning the ropes at our base in Suffolk, UK, and then up to 6 months on the road as a trainee. Our crew are trained to manage and operate the trip safely and efficiently and their duties include: planning the trip according to the itinerary, driving and maintaining the truck, securing services of local guides, general logistics, health and safety, liaising with bureaucracy, dealing with issues where needed and offering advice and support to our customers. In addition they have a basic knowledge of the places visited and will be able to offer suggestions of things to do and see. Dragoman endeavours to provide the services of experienced crew, however, due to the seasonality of travel, situations may arise where your tour leader is new to a particular region or training other crew, new to the area. On all Dragoman overlanding trips, we usually have 2 western crew. However on our trips in East and Southern Africa we either have 2 western crew or 1 western crew and 1 local driver. On trips south of Nairobi in East and Southern Africa we will also have an African camp master/cook who is in charge of running the camp and organising all of the meals. Their knowledge of the local produce makes shopping at the markets great fun and you will learn how to prepare and cook some unusual dishes. In most other areas of Africa, the Americas, India and Turkey, in addition to our crew we will employ local guides in specific locations of interest (for just a few hours up to a few days). On the majority of our trips in Ethiopia, Sudan, Central Asia, China and South East Asia, in addition to our crew we will have a local guide on board who will travel with us for the entire duration of our time within one country. In these cases, the local guide becomes a third crew member and is able to offer their local knowledge as well as an insight into their country and the lives of the local people. Your crew have a duty of care to all members of the group and therefore they have the authority to ask you to leave the trip if you require serious medical assistance, you are behaving in an anti-social manner or refuse to comply with local laws and customs. In all matters relating to the trip, the leader's decision will be final and we appreciate your respect of this.
Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Hotel Asia Mountains Отель Горы Азии
  • 1a, Lineinaja Street Улица Линейная 1А, (на пересечении с улицой Гоголя)
  • Bishkek
  • KYRGYZSTAN
  • Phone: +996 312 69 02 34

Trip ID#: intrepid-KDOXC

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