Istanbul To Beijing (98 Days)

(£6995)


Istanbul To Beijing (98 Days) Turkey, Azerbaijan, The Stans & China (Caib98)
Istanbul, Bukhara, Bishkek
From: £6695

Join this Ultimate Expedition and follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Marco Polo on this ground-breaking and challenging expedition along ancient trading routes. Discover some of the oldest cities in the world steeped in history and legend, vast and varied landscapes, and unique cultures on an unforgettable journey following the Silk Road.

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Itinerary

DAY 1: ISTANBUL
Our trip starts in Istanbul. Today a modern metropolis and one of the world's liveliest cities, it is a place full of history and rich in culture. Our first day is free, which you can choose to spend visiting one of the many famous sights such as the iconic Hagia Sophia and stunning Blue Mosque, or strolling around the Grand Bazaar on the lookout for some bargains. During the evening be sure to try some of the wonderful local cuisine, such as authentic kebabs, baklava or any of the many other treats on offer.

Many of our travellers starting their trips in Istanbul choose to arrive early to make the most out of the city. Please note that if your trip takes you further across Asia you may need to arrive in time to pick up some visas. If you are thinking of doing this be aware that consulates are closed at weekends.

DAY 2-12: ISTANBUL TO BLACK SEA
Leaving Istanbul, we embark on a half day drive through olive groves and rural settlements to Gallipoli and the Straits of the Dardanelles. In World War I, on this blustery and exposed peninsula, ANZAC and British Forces struggled unsuccessfully for nine horrendous months to dislodge Turkish troops from the hills above the beaches. It is a moving experience to visit the war graves and battlegrounds where so much suffering and unnecessary loss of life took place.

We then drive to Ephesus. Built by the Greeks a thousand years before Christ and then rebuilt by the Romans, this immense ancient city boasts an amphitheatre that can seat 24000 and a harbour with no water - still in good condition after all these years. Reaching Selcuk we then drive inland towards Pamukkale where you can swim in warm, mineral-rich waters.

Our next stop is Cappadoccia, where we stay for a few nights. Here, over the centuries, houses, churches, fortresses and even underground cities have been carved into this eerily eroded volcanic rock. The Goreme Valley provides us with an astonishing setting in which to spend a few days investigating the region. Why not take in the scenery from the skies in a Hot Air Balloon flight (optional). We will take you to one of the underground cities where you can explore alone or with a guide this ancient and mysterious area!

After a busy few days in Goreme we again hit the road to cover some more miles as we travel towards Georgia. Crossing rural Turkey, we head towards the Black Sea before following the coast east. This captures the essence of an overland adventure expedition, as we stop for bush camps in the evening and are able to watch as the stunning and varied scenery of this rarely-vested part of the country rolls past, stopping off to meet locals and buy food and drinks as we go.

DAY 13-18: BLACK SEA TO TBILISI
Our first destination in Georgia is the port city of Batumi. Here we spend some time to check out the city with its modern and often bizarre architecture and enjoy our first taste of Georgia's famous warm hospitality. A walk along the waterfront promenade is always popular, especially at night when the buildings are lit up in bright neon colours.

We spend the next two days exploring the Svaneti region. This mountainous area is beautiful and untamed, and offer fantastic hiking options with the mighty Caucasus mountain range as a stunning backdrop. Using our overland truck as our base we will bush camp and spend some time travelling around, including a visit to Mestia, a pretty small town that forms the centre of the region. Weather and climate can be unpredictable so this part of the trip is kept quite loose to allow for itinerary changes, depending on what is our best option at the time, but with the truck carrying all of our camping and cooking gear we are free to travel almost anywhere!

Returning to civilisaton following our time in rural Georgia we visit Kutaisi¸ the country's second largest city and home to a buzzing fruit and vegetable market where you can barter for goods with the local traders. Kutaisi offers a glimpse of what modern day life in urban Georgia is like, and the real joy of the city is found in simply wandering the streets and observing the locals go about their routine.

We then travel east towards the capital to Georgia, Tbilisi. On the way we visit Gori the birthplace of Georgia's most infamous son, Josef Stalin and we have time to visit the museum dedicated to him which is built alongside the house where he was born, which still stands today. Here you will find many items from Stalin's reign, and also his bullet-proof train carriage, in which he travelled across the Soviet Union. There may also be the chance to stop at Uplistsikhe, an ancient cave city built into the mountains not far from Tbilisi. Dating from the early Iron Age, this historic site says much about Georgia's long and often turbulent past at the crossroads of a number of might empires throughout the centuries.

We arrive in Tbilisi where we spend a couple of days, and there is no shortage of things to do. There are countless bars and restaurants offering tasty local dishes and Georgian wine, and exploring the Old Town you are rewarded with a huge range of bohemian-style buildings housing anything from private homes through to art galleries. There is a famous flea market, which sells items as diverse as household furniture to Soviet-era memorabilia, and a number of different museums to check out.

DAY 19-20: TBILISI
The Old Town of Tbilisi has much to offer. Here you can take a stroll along narrow cobbled streets, past traditional old houses with carved wooden balconies, relax in the warm waters of the historic sulphur baths and visit some of the city’s key historical sites; Metekhi Church, Narikala Fortress, Sioni Cathedral and Anchiskhati Church.

DAY 21-23: TBILISI TO TELAVI
Upon leaving Tbilisi is Telavi, the principal town of the Kakheti region, famous for its vineyards and wineries. Wine has been produced in Georgia since 4000BC and the industry has played a small but significant role in the country's history ever since, as winemaking (and its consumption) has enjoyed an important role in Georgian culture and society. Here we have the option of taking a wine tour to find out more about the history of the area, why wine production has been so important, and of course to try some ourselves!

Telavi itself is a fascinating and relaxing place to spend a couple of nights with many good restaurants and cafes, and not far from the town there are other sites well worth a visit, such as the monastery of Akhali Shuamta, and the small village of Ikalta and its Church of the Transfiguration which dates from the 8th Century BC.

DAY 24-28: TELAVI TO YEREVAN
We depart Telavi embark on a border crossing to Armenia and on to the ancient town of Dilijan, famous for its hiking, food and arts.

From Dilijan we will head down to high altitude Lake Sevan with the possibility to visit the Hayravank Monastery that overlooks the lake. Leaving the Lake Sevan area, we make our way via the Geghard Monastery and Garni Temple to one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world that is Yerevan where we will be based for the next couple of days and where there is plenty to see and do.

DAY 29-31: YEREVAN TO AZERBAIJAN
From Yerevan we head south to Tatev, and at 5.7km long, the longest cable tramway in the world the "Wings of Tatev" that whisks you up into the mountains where there are lots of additional activities to take part in. From Tatev we head north, and cross the border into our new destination of Azerbaijan!

DAY 32-36: AZERBAIJAN - SHEKI TO BAKU
On arrival in Azerbaijan we get to visit the 18th Century UNESCO town of Sheki and continue on to the the picturesque ancient village of Lahich with its copper beaters and ancient crafts.

Heading south we visit the mud volcanoes of Qobustan before arriving in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku.

Baku has an amazing blend of the old city and the ultra-modern and I am sure it will be fascinating and enjoyable addition to the itinerary.

DAY 37-42: BAKU TO ASHGABAT
From Baku, we take the ferry across the Caspian Sea to our next country, Turkmenistan.

On arrival in Turkmenbashi, we will be collected by off road jeeps and head off for our desert adventure. This will be a truly unique experience as we get to visit the Yangikala Canyons via the Balkan Mountains, then on past the white cliffs of Koymat, and along the banks of the dried up Uzboy River before reaching the desert settlement of Melegoch. We will pass several traditional villages on the way before setting up camp near the dunes of Melegoch. Much of this trip will be off road, and totally remote and will truly be a new experience.

Finally, we head towards Ashgabat and arrive at our hotel for a city tour and a well-earned rest!

DAY 43: ASHGABAT
We have some free time and enjoy a city tour of Ashgabat. Turkmenistan’s capital, founded in the 1880s by the Russian Tsarist government, sits between the foothills of the Koptedag mountains to the south, and the vast Karakum Desert to the north. The city was almost entirely destroyed following an earthquake in 1948 and rebuilt in the Soviet style. Following independence in 1991 the city has been transformed into a futuristic, and in many ways bizarre collection of unique structures and wide streets lined with marble. For many travellers, Ashgabat is one of the most mystifying and unusual cities they will ever experience.

On the city tour we visit Independence Park, the Ertogrul Gazi Mozque, the Arch of Neutrality, the Turkmenbashi Mosque Mauasoleum and many other sites throughout the city. There are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities, and we will have the chance to explore some of the markets and meet the locals.

DAY 44-45: ASHGABAT TO KUNYE URGENCH
From Ashgabat there is a gruelling desert crossing as we drive north through the harsh Kara-Kum Desert, a sparsely-populated and remote expanse. We veer off the highway and do some serious off-roading as we cross the dunes to the Darwaza Gas Crater. Also known as the ‘Door to Hell’ or ‘Gates of Hell’, this remarkable sight is the result of a Soviet-era gas exploration accident, when the ground beneath a drilling rig gave way and to prevent poisonous gas leaking out it was decided to burn it off. Originally engineers believed it would all be burned in a few days, but that was in 1971 and the field is still burning to this day. The result is a sight quite like no other as we are able to peer down into the crater and see the fire, and feel the intense heat coming from the flames. Conditions permitting we will get to the crater in the truck and bush camp nearby in the remote desert.

Rising early the next morning we leave Darwaza and return to the highway as we continue north to Kunye Urgench, an ancient Silk Road town that was abandoned in the early 1700s and has been left largely untouched since. The old ruins of the town are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the most striking sight is undoubtedly the 60-metre high minaret, that dates from the 11th Century. It is said that when Genghis Khan’s Mongol army invaded this area that the infamous warlord was so impressed by the minaret he ordered for it to not be destroyed!

DAY 46-50: KUNYE URGENCH TO BUKHARA
We cross the border to Uzbekistan. Road conditions permitting, we will drive to the edge of where the Aral Sea used to lie. In the 1960s the Soviet Union began an intense irrigation project to boost cotton growth in the region using the then vast sea as its source. The project has led to the sea now shrinking to just 10% of its original size and today as we reach where its edge formerly was, we can see ships sitting incongruously in the middle of what is now a huge desert where we camp for the night.

Continuing further into Uzbekistan, we find well preserved relics from the time when Asia was a centre of empire, learning, and trade along the famous Silk Road. Some of its cities have abundant old architecture, mosques and minarets cloaked with the mystery of the orient dating back thousands of years.

Our first city stop is in Khiva, one of the most noteworthy of the cities and towns of Central Asia. It is a unique monument town, completely preserved in the cultural style of the region, and is a World Heritage Site for its historical significance. It has more minarets than any other place in Asia, and the Juma Mosque, which has an amazing 218 ornate carved wooden columns, is another of the main attractions. We will spend at least a couple of nights here to explore the ancient medressas, medinas, mausoleums and museums and soak up the unique atmosphere.

Continuing south, we bush camp out in the desert before reaching another town with much historical influence that was also on the great Silk Road.

DAY 51-54: BUKHARA TO SAMARKAND
The name Bukhara is synonymous with the Silk Road, and its name conjures up images of Marco Polo, trading caravans and exploration. The British explorer Alexander Burnes, one of the iconic figures of the Victorian-era ‘Great Game’ was nicknamed ‘Burnes of Bukhara’.

The city is situated on a sacred hill and was founded in the 13th century BC; a centre of learning throughout much of its history, it is home to over 350 mosques and some 100 Islamic colleges. It is an attractive city with narrow streets, green parks and gardens that are a pleasure to wander around and there will be the opportunity for a bout of good-humoured haggling in the bazaar.

The Kyzylkum Desert is about 300,000 sq km and lies between the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya rivers. This is a vast arid plain with a number of isolated bare mountains rising to 900 metres and we journey across it on our way to Samarkand. Scheduled permitting, we may opt to take the local train and rejoin the truck on arrival.

Samarkand itself is the second largest city in Uzbekistan. It dates back 2,500 years, making it as old as Babylon or Rome. Here we have a couple of days to explore the splendid architecture such as the 15th century Bibi-Khanum Mosque which when it was built was considered to have the largest dome in the Muslim world. Today it stands next a noisy and colourful Oriental market. No trip here is complete without a wander around the three edifices of the Registan, once Medieval Samarkand's commercial plaza and today quite possibly the most awesome sight in Central Asia.

DAY 55-56: SAMARKAND TO DUSHANBE
From here we drive southwards towards Tajikistan. Time allowing en-route we will make a short stop in the Unesco Town of Shahrisabz. Here still standing since 1380 are parts of the original 65mtr gate towers to Timur’s Summer (Ak Saray) Palace.

Dushanbe is Tajikistan’s largest city, and aptly its name means “Money” in Tajik language. It’s a big showy entry to the country, in stark contrast to the East. You’ll pass a lovely day strolling through parks, admiring the fountains and the wide boulevards punctuated with grand buildings. Visit “Flag Pole Park” or the bazaar, or make the most of being in a city with restaurants specialising in various different cuisines!

DAY 57-61: DUSHANBE TO BISHKEK
We drive north in to the Fann Mountains, one of Tajikistan's great ranges (the other being the Pamirs). Peaks of over 5000 mtrs slip by as we head to Iskanderkul Lake at 2200 mtrs. It is said to be the resting place of Alexander the Greats horse, Bucephalus. The glacial lake is a stunning spot for a hike and we aim to visit Tajikistan's highest waterfall (40 mtrs).

Continuing north we arrive in to Khujand - although today the city is not one of the most picturesque, it has had an important role in the history of the Silk Road and was one of the furthest points reached by Alexander the Great. It is said in this area that he wept, saying he had no further territory to conquer. We have time to visit the Fortress and Panjshanbe Market (one of the largest covered markets in Central Asia).

We re-enter Uzbekistan and arrive in the Fergana Valley, known for its silk production and the area that gave the name to one of the greatest routes in history.

Crossing in to Kyrgyzstan our first stop is Osh, the second biggest and the country's oldest, city. Make sure you visit the bazaar, which has occupied the same spot for over 2000 years and used to be a major stop along the ancient Silk Road.

We drive north through stunning mountain views and past the turquoise waters of Toktogul Reservoir, before arriving in the capital city of Bishkek.

DAY 62-63: BISHKEK
Kyrgyzstan's leafy, relaxed capital is a largely Soviet-built city, softened somewhat by its many boulevards and tree lined streets. We take a few days here in a comfortable, friendly hostel to recharge our batteries. We can enjoy the cafés and restaurants dotted around the city, there is no shortage of bars and nightclubs, and for those so inclined there are also a few cinemas and shopping districts.

Bishkek is also home to a number of museums, including the Kyrgyz State Historical Museum and Zoological Museum, which have exhibits that explain more about Kyrgyzstan political and natural history, and there are a number of parks and other public areas worth visiting to watch local life pass you by, the main one being Ala-Too Square, which once was dominated by a large statue of Lenin (this has now been moved to a smaller square in the city).

DAY 64-72: BISHKEK TO SEMENOVSKRE GORGE
We head north east to Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis and capital until 1997. Almaty is the largest and most ethnically and culturally diverse city in Kazakhstan. Set in the foothills of the Trans Lli Alatau mountains, the area has a ski resort (Shymbulak) at an elevation of 2,200 mtrs and enjoys a great amount of snow from November through to May. The city has many sights and attractions, including Ascension Cathedral in Panfilov Park; Abay Opera House; Golden Warrior Monument in the Republic Square and the giant Almaty Tower. Or for adrenaline lovers, why not ride the ‘Fast Coaster’ roller coaster, that is located on the side of a mountain and reaches speeds of 45 km per hour.

We continue east looking for amazing camping areas to explore, before crossing back in to Kygyzstan and the area of Lake Issyk-Kul, a mountain lake in the northern Tien Shan Mountains, once used by the Soviets to test their submarine torpedoes!

The area of Altyn Arashan and its surrounds offer the outdoor lover many hiking and horse riding opportunities and we spend a few days here to take in the amazing scenery.

We visit the vast red stone cliffs in Jeti-Oguz and visit the town of Karakol with its attractive houses and tree-lined streets. Behind it are the Terskay Ala-Too Mountains, an unspoilt wilderness populated only by nomadic shepherds.

Continuing around the lake to Semenovskre Gorge the adventurous can hike through lush terrain, following the rivers that wind through the national reserve.

As we travel around Kyrgyzstan we camp, but we also may have the opportunity to use some family homestays, where we are welcomed into a local home for the night. These are subject to availability, but if we can arrange them they offer a fantastic experience, allowing us to feel part of the family for a night and make some new friends!

DAY 73-76: SEMENOVSKRE GORGE TO TASH RABAT
Travelling south and leaving behind Lake Issyk-Kul, we make our way to the isolated and breathtaking Lake Song Kol, where we stay in traditional felt Yurts. There will be opportunity to either hike or horse back ride and explore the surrounding area. If we are lucky we may even see a game of Ulak Tartysh - a Kyrgyz version of polo.

We spend a couple of days driving south through the mountains towards the border with China. On the way we cross vast high plains where Kyrgyz nomads, living in their traditional yurts, practice a lifestyle which has changed little over the centuries. We will stop off at Tash Rabat, an ancient Caravanserai on the old Silk Route.

DAY 77: TASH RABAT TO KASHGAR
The border is crossed via the Torugat Pass in the Tien Shan Mountains which at 3,752 m is one of the highest passes in the world. From here we leave the truck behind and change over to a private transfer to the border, where our Chinese Guide and new Oasis Leader will be waiting, before driving down the pass to Kashgar.

DAY 78: KASHGAR
Using the public buses around Kashgar, we have a full day guided tour. Kashgar is home to one of the last remaining statues of Chairman Mao, still standing in a watchful gaze across the People's Square. Other highlights we hope to see are Apak Hoja Tomb, a beautiful example of Uyghur Islamic Architecture; Id Kah Mosque, the largest Mosque in the whole of China; Handicraft Street where we can view pots being made, traditional musical instrument workshops and wood craftsmen at work. If we are lucky enough to be in Kashgar on a weekend, we will endeavour to visit the Sunday Livestock Market.

DAY 79-83: KASHGAR TO LHASA
We take the overnight train to Jiayuguan and get our first glimpse of the Great Wall of China! We have time to explore in the afternoon and we will overnight here.

Our next train journey takes us to Dunhuang, a city on the edge of the Gobi desert which is situated at a point of vital strategic and logistical importance, on a crossroads of 2 major trade routes on the old Silk Road. We visit the famed Mogao Grottoes (also known as the Qianfodong - the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas). This honeycomb of caves was constructed from the 4th to the 14th centuries, and has an astonishing collection of 492 caves, which are one of the world's richest treasure houses of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.

We also take a trip to the edge of the oasis to Ming Sha Hill and the Crescent Moon Pool. Spring water trickles up into a depression between huge sand dunes, forming a crescent-shaped pond. Here we will be able to scramble up and slide down one of the giant dunes and there is the opportunity to ride on a Bactrian camel (the two humped variety) over the sand dunes.

Boarding our night train, we travel further East to Lanzhou, where we change trains and journey on to Lhasa.

DAY 84-88: LHASA TO SHIGATSE
Tibet, once home to the Dalai Lama. At 3,490 metres, Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. We will have time in the afternoon to relax and acclimatise to the altitude.

We have a full day to explore this interesting city, with our Tibetan guide. Must see sights are the Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Square and the stunning Potala Palace. We hope to also visit the Sera Monastery, where from mid afternoon monks still debate with the aid of flamboyant arm movements!

Boarding our private bus, we cross the mighty Gampala Pass (4790 metres) and we get our first glimpse of Yamdrok Tso Lake. The lake is surrounded by many snow capped peaks and in the distance, and on a clear day, you can see Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar, (7191m).

On arrival in Shigatse we visit the home of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery. Financed by local nobles, the Monastery was founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama. We overnight in Shigatse.

DAY 89-91: SHIGATSE TO GYANTSE
Continuing on our bus journey we arrive at Rongbuk Monastery, which is situated at 4980 metres and is claimed to be the highest Monastery in the world.

Our accommodation tonight will be very basic, but (weather allowing) the views of Mount Everest will more than make up for any discomfort.

We visit Mount Everest Base Camp hoping for a glimpse of the peak, before driving to Tingri, a stopping point on the Friendship Highway, for our overnight stay.

We continue on the Friendship Highway to Gyantse, where there is the option to visit Pelkor Chode Monastery and Kumbum Stupa. The Kumbum, which was built in 1497, is particularly interesting as the structure contains some 76 chapels through 9 levels. We overnight in Gyantse.

DAY 92-94: GYANTSE TO XI'AN
Once again we cross the mighty Gampala Pass, with time to visit Yamdrok Tso Lake, before heading back in to Lhasa to catch the high altitude train to Chengdu.

This is one of the world’s classic train routes and will take us almost 2 days to complete! It was said a track could never be built at such high altitude or across such a landscape, but the Chinese have managed to achieve it! We will see snowcapped peaks, turquoise plateau lakes and grazing yaks from our window.

We arrive in Chengdu in the early morning and transfer to our hotel, where we will be based for 2 nights.

Our next stop will be the Panda Sanctuary where we can see these gentle giants. The Sanctuary was created in the 1980’s to house six sick Panda’s and has become one of the most important centres for Panda breeding research in the world.

We take the fast train to Xi’an and have an afternoon to explore the city. Xi'an is well known for its food and nightlife and there are some attractive restaurant districts to wander around in the evening.

DAY 95: XI'AN
Highlights in Xi'an you may wish to see are the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, the Bell and Drum Towers or maybe check out the well preserved City Walls, dating back to the Ming Dynasty.

The Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses is probably the most famous, and there will be time for a visit if you wish to see them. These are the most significant archaeological excavations of the 20th century and work is ongoing at this site. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 in 246 BC, Qin Shi Huang began work on his mausoleum - before becoming the first Emperor of China. It took 11 years to finish and it is believed he built this vast terracotta army to accompany him into the afterlife. The museum covers over 16,000 sq metres - with armies of soldiers and their horses arranged in lines under a giant aircraft hanger type roof. There are over 7,000 figures and it really is a remarkable sight.

DAY 96-98: XI'AN TO BEIJING
From Xi'an we begin our last journey - by train to Beijing. After our 15 hr train journey - we will have the chance to explore China's capital and soak up the atmosphere. Beijing is a heaving, thriving place, an economic power house of Asia, and the cultural centre of China. We include a trip to visit the superbly preserved section of the Great Wall, before enjoying our last night party in some of the many bars and clubs in the city.

There is so much to see in Beijing so we recommend staying on for a few days to see all the main sights and also to relax. Well known places to visit here include the largest central square in the world - Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, as well as the largest sacrificial complex in the world, the Temple of Heaven. You will also see the towering skyscrapers and the endless stream of traffic. Nowhere else on earth will you find such a variety of gourmet Chinese restaurants offering the very best of the eight different styles of Chinese cuisine as well as western style dishes. Then there is of course the shopping, and there are countless shopping malls and markets all over the city to pick up cheap Chinese made products. The nightlife too is worth exploring and there are plenty of pubs and clubs to visit before flying out or continuing on with your travels.

Your trip ends after breakfast on the last day of your tour, and we suggest allowing extra time to explore the city at your leisure (depending on the length of your visa).

Experience

Discover dwellings carved from the eerily eroded landscape in Cappadoccia
Visit the bubbling and sometimes explosive mud volcanoes found in Azerbaijan
Take a journey across the Caspian Sea
Experience the desert proper on a 4X4 safari in Turkmenistan
Feel the intense heat coming from the Darwaza Gas Crater
Explore the ancient medressas, mausoleums and mosques of Bukhara and Samarkand
Take in the incredible landscapes with forever changing colours as the sun moves through Tajikistan
Enjoy the stunning mountain scenery and alpine lakes throughout Kyrgyzstan
Overnight stay in a Traditional yurt at

Included

  • Accommodation - approx. 45% camping & 55% simple hotels/hostels/homestay
  • Gallipoli Tour
  • Caspian Ferry
  • Turkmenistan Letter of Invitation support and fees
  • 4X4 Desert Safari in Turkmenistan
  • Ashgabat city tour
  • Darvaza Gas Craters
  • Yurt Stay at Lake Song Kol
  • Tash Rabat Caravanserai
  • Local English speaking Chinese guide for our time in China
  • China Letter of Invitation support and fees
  • Guided tour of the Mogao Caves
  • Tour around Potala Palace & Jokhang Temple (entry not included)
  • Visit to Mt Everest base camp
  • Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding & Research Centre
  • Terracotta Army warriors
  • Visit to the Great Wall of China
  • Meals - approx. 50%
  • All Transport on Oasis Expedition Truck (Istanbul to Tash Rabat)
  • Transfer from Tash Rabat across the China border to Kashgar
  • All local transport in China including the Classic High Altitude train from Lhasa to Chengdu
  • Camping and Cooking equipment
  • Services of Oasis Crew

Not included

  • Visas
  • Local Payment (see tour notes & options)
  • Optional Excursions as listed in the Pre-Departure Information
  • Flights
  • Airport Taxes & Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals - approx. 50%
  • Drinks
  • Tips
Istanbul To Beijing (98 Days) Turkey, Azerbaijan, The Stans & China (Caib98)
Next Booking: April 17, 2024
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