Journey from Bishkek to Tashkent through Central Asia
Be entranced by the beauty and the wonder of Central Asia on this 17-day tour from the capital of Kyrgyzstan to the heartland of Uzbekistan. Take in the tranquil landscape of Song-Kol Lake; watch for wild boar and deer around Chychkan Gorge; see Solomon's Throne in historic Osh; and get your fill of mosques and museums in Samarkand. Abounding with ancient culture, divine natural beauty, intriguing relics and friendly locals, this is a journey that will leave you eager to discover more of Central Asia.
Central Asia is a fascinating and unique mix of ancient Silk Road culture, Soviet influence and striving to redefine nations post independence. Geographically and for a time historically, it is the real centre of Asia.
The much-photographed Registan in Samarkand is one of the true pinnacles of Islamic architecture. You'll be wowed by the scale, grandeur and beauty of the monuments to iconic figures such as Tamerlane and the Persian influenced madressas, mosques and mausoleums.
Experience for yourself the legend that is Central Asian hospitality - there's really nothing like being welcomed into a local home or yurt for a meal, chatting with stall holders at bazaars or simply marvelling at the sights alongside locals.
Kyrgyzstans mountains are its monuments and its majesty. The landscapes here will stay with you long after the journey is over.
Marvel at the beautiful Song Kol Lake, where in mid-summer you may see flocks of sheep, goats and herds of horses watched over by nomadic herdsmen and their families.
Stay overnight in a yurt lakeside and live like the locals have for centuries in these portable, felt lined traditional tents.
Reflect on the important role horses have played in the traditional Kyrgyz nomadic life style while witnessing horseback sports like odarysh (wrestling on horseback), tiyin-enish (where riders try to pick up coins at full gallop) or kok-baru (goat polo).
Central Asia is a remote destination, perfect for intrepid travellers in the true sense of the word! You will venture well away from cities, right off the beaten track and be able to immerse yourself in local food, life and culture.
Accommodation may on occassion be more basic than what you are used to in homestays, guesthouses and yurt stay. Shower and toilet facilities will be limited in some places and non existant in others. While the comfort level won't always be high, the rewards of living in true local style in this far-out part of the world are immeasurable.
This is an overland journey, so there will be some very long days of travelling and driving, often over rough terrain. This can be tiring at times and will require a great deal of patience at others, especially at border crossings.
What Kyrgyzstan lacks in "sights" compared to the Silk Road monuments and old towns of Uzbekistan, it makes up for in alpine landscapes, opportunities for interaction with local families and plenty of time spent on the road or outdoors exploring natural surroundings.
1. This trip enters Uzbekistan at a land border, so all travellers must have a valid Uzbekistan visa in their passport before joining the trip. Most nationalities do not require a visa for Kyrgyzstan.
2. Uzbekistan does not have it's own consulate in a number of countries, including Australia & New Zealand. Please see the Visa section of the Essential Trip Information for more details on applying for your visa and ensure you allow sufficient time and budget to obtain your visa prior to travel.
3. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, excluding nights in yurts, homestays and guesthouses.
4. Your leader will change at the Kyrgyzstan/Uzbekistan border.
5. As Central Asian immigration and customs officials are notoriously strict, please make sure you keep all forms for when you exit the country. A lost customs or immigration form could result in a fine or being detained at the border. You must also declare ALL currency when entering and exiting the country; keep all currency exchange slips or ATM receipts.
Our Central Asia Explorer trips score an average of 4.6 out of 5 based on 10 reviews in the last year.
The Silk Road is a fascinating and underrated part of our world. The trip included so much diversity of cultures. The food was excellent. The people extremely friendly. It was a varied and stimulating trip that I highly recommend to those with an adventurous spirit.
Review submitted 24 Jul 2017
Uzbekistan has been fabulously interesting country with so many layers of history. It is very safe and the people are so friendly and very proud of their country; go visit here before it becomes fully developed.
Review submitted 19 Jul 2017