Xi'an to Ashgabat
- 2012-01-01 - 2013-12-31
Travel on an overland adventure from the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an to the zany city of Ashgabat. Travel through some of the planet's most remote, wild and unique wildernesses along the legendary Silk Road from China. Pass through the mountain-scapes of Kyrgzystan, pitch a tent beneath the stars in the Karakum Desert and shop with locals at Kashgar's Sunday market. From China to Uzbekistan and beyond, this adventure will introduce you to the friendly and hospitable locals who call these rugged lands home. If you're longing for an epic overland journey, away from the tourist crowds and through some of the world's last wild terrains, then this tour is for you.
Xi'an to Ashgabat SummaryAdd to Shortlist
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.
Pingliang is a city in China's Gansu Province that is overlooked by the beautiful and sacred Kongtong Mountains.
With the Yellow River running through the city, Lanzhou has a number of interesting mosques, temples, parks and museums to visit.
The colours of Tibet can be seen on the streets of Xiahe, a celebrated town for Tibetans due to the Labrang Monastery and its stunning surrounding landscapes.
Liujiaxia lies along the Yellow River and is known for its hydroelectric power station and close proximity to the intriguing Bingling Si Caves.
Formerly known as Ganzhou, Zhangye was an important stop along the Silk Road and is close to the intriguing multi-coloured Danxia landforms.
Home to a 14th-century fort and a well-preserved part of the Great Wall, Jiayuguan is a legendary part of the Silk Road marking the line between China and barbarity.
Once an important stop on the Silk Road and a city of incredible historical and cultural riches, Dunhuang is a spectacular desert oasis.
Continue the overland adventure towards the ancient oasis town of Turpan. Spend the night wild camping beneath the desert stars.
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.
With the bluest of blue waters, tiered mountains of green and white, and soft, billowy clouds moving across the sky, no wonder this is called Heavenly Lake.
The Taklamakan Desert covers an immense area of northwest China and while a treacherous part of the Silk Road journey, stunning sunsets and sunrises have long enthralled travellers.
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.
Set off early to get to stunning Lake Karakol. Spend the day wallowing in the surrounds of this magnificent setting.
Hike the lakeside mountains or ride the perimeter of the lake on horseback to wear yourself out before the drive back to Kashgar. Take time out in comfort this evening to relax and recuperate.
Take a good book as today's lengthy border crossing meanders through the Torugart pass and into Kyrgyzstan.
Spend some time getting to know the locals of Kochkor with a traditional Kyrgyz homestay and experience a glimpse of daily life.
Driving into the capital city, explore the crowded bazaars and vast bustling squares of this modern city.
Set off on a leisurely hike along Chong Kemin River. Or if feeling adventurous, perhaps tackle one of the tough 4000 m passes.
Enjoy the remote, picturesque town of Kara-kol, complete with quaint tree-lined streets and colonial houses.
Hike through dramatic canyons and sandstone cliffs in Djety Oguz Valley.
Enjoy more traditional Kyrgyz hospitality on a homestay in Kochkor village.
Stay in traditional yurt accommodation and experience nomad life in the lush pastures surrounding the beautiful Song-Kol Lake.
Spend a leisurely three days journeying through the stunning mountains and lakes of Kyrgyzstan's Fergana Valley.
Make tracks across the Ferghana Valley to Arslanbob.
Enter Uzbekistan and see the palace of the former Khan of Kokand.
Arrive in Tashkent, shop for fresh produce at the Chorsu Bazaar and perhaps grab some Soviet paraphernalia from a market.
Travel to one of Central Asia's most magical cities, Uzbekistan’s Samarkand. Discover the romance of the Silk Road in this perfectly preserved city full of exotic architecture and majestic buildings.
Spend a night in a yurt camp with the local nomads, sleeping among the dunes of the Red Desert.
Get to know Central Asia's holiest city, where the combination of buildings spanning a thousand years and a thoroughly lived-in Old Town combine to create an awe-inspiring atmosphere.
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