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Silk Route between Bishkek and Xi'an

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  • Bishkek
  • Kashgar
  • Xiahe
  • Heavenly Lake
  • Tash Rabat
  • Zhangye
  • Jiayuguan
  • Bayanbulak
  • Kochkor
  • Lanzhou Market
  • Liujiaxia
  • Xi'an
  • Dunhuang
  • Turpan
  • Lake Karakol
  • Pingliang
  • Aksu

Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. Starting in the beautiful city of Bishkek, we journey through the remote and desolate mountains in the south of Kyrgyzstan and cross the Torugart Pass into the incredible country of China. We will visit the stunning Lake Karakol in the colossal Karakoram Mountains before heading to the fascinating city of Kashgar. From here we'll head through the isolated Taklamakan Desert and the oasis of Turpan to the incredible Buddha caves of Mogao in China's remote western provinces. We'll overland past the western end of the Great Wall of China to the Tibetan town of Xiahe, before descending past the Bingling Si Buddha caves and the temples of Mount Kongtong to arrive at the colossal historic city of Xi'an, home of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors. Join us on this unforgettable epic overlanding experience on the Silk Road!

  • Day 1 Bishkek

    For everyone that is continuing with us to China, there will be quick pre-departure meeting at 10:00am in order to explain the next 6 days until Kashgar, and your leader will collect the kitty for this linking section. The remainder of the day is free to explore the relaxed and atmospheric city of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. In Bishkek we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. Hotel for the night: Hotel Asia Mountains Hotel Asia Mountains 1a Lineinaja St Bishkek 720021 Kyrgyzstan Tel: +996 312 694 075

    Begin our journey in picturesque Bishkek - Cost: USD
    Freely explore the vast Osh Bazaar, Bishkek's largest market - Cost: USD
    Explore Bishkek's past at the State Historical Museum on Ala-Too Square - Cost: KGS 150

  • Day 2 Kochkor

    Today we drive to the small village of Kochkor, where we stay in local family-run 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 - 3-4 hours. Please note that if the group has no new people joining in Bishkek, we may choose to stay instead in a guesthouse in the small town of Naryn (a further 2 hour drive beyond Kochkor). This is so that we don't repeat Kochkor unnecessarily and can have more time to explore the area of Tash Rabat the following day.

    Overnight homestay at a traditional rural Kyrgyz village
    See the traditional felt workshops or Kochkor and learn about how Kyrgyz carpets and hats are typically made here

    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! - Cost: KGS 1000

  • Day 3 Tash Rabat

    Today we continue our journey south to Tash Rabat, once a key staging post on the Silk Road close to the Kyrgyzstan-China border. During our time here we will visit an ancient caravanserai and have some time to explore the surrounding area. In Tash Rabat we will wild camp. In cold weather (or if simply the group prefers and there is availability), we may choose to stay in local nomadic yurts that are set up for guests near the caravanserai, sleeping 8-10 people per yurt. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (from Kochkor).

    Visit the ancient Silk Road caravanserai at Tash Rabat, close to the Kyrgyzstan-China border

  • Day 4 Kashgar

    Border information: Exit Kyrgyzstan at Torugart, enter China at Torugart. Today we will have a full day drive over the 3752m Torugart Pass, crossing into China and heading down to the Uighur city of Kashgar. In Kashgar we will stay in a comfortable hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

  • Day 5 Lake Karakol

    Today we will set off on a stunning journey along the Karakoram highway to Lake Karakol. The drive takes us up past some truly incredible mountain scenery and underneath a few 7000m peaks, including Mustagh Ata. Near Lake Karakol we will stay in local nomadic yurts, sleeping 6-8 people per yurt. Provisions here are very basic, but the scenery is incredible and it is an interesting glimpse into the way of life of the local Uighurs. Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

    Take in the spectacular mountain scenery on our drive along the Karakorum Highway to Lake Karakol
    Stay overnight in a traditional yurt owned by Kyrgyz and Tajik families near the beautiful Lake Karakol, set amongst the 7500m-high mountains of the Tian Shan range

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