An extraordinary Silk Road Odyssey: Tajikistan to China Adventure

An extraordinary Silk Road Odyssey: Tajikistan to China Adventure 1980 , 15 Days

Feel the profound awe of standing amidst the breathtaking Pamir Mountains, a living testament to the Silk Road's grandeur. Traverse high-altitude landscapes,majestic peaks and tranquil valleys that will leave you speechless, capturing the essence of this mountainous wonderland that has witnessed centuries of history unfold. Step into the timeless charm of Ishkashim, where ancient forts and bustling markets tell tales of Silk Road traders. Experience tranquility at the Peak Lenin Basecamp, nestled in the lap of the Pamir Range. Whether you choose to relax amidst stunning mountain vistas or embark on optional activities like horse riding and hiking, every moment promises to be a soul-soothing adventure. The exploration continues with a unique overnight train to Turpan, where soft sleeping beds and rhythmic train sounds transport you back in time. The round trip culminates in Urumqi, where every corner echoes tales of bygone eras. In this extraordinary journey, we traverse not just physical landscapes but also the corridors of time, connecting with the rich Silk Road heritage. Each destination becomes a chapter in an epic tale of cultural exchange, leaving indelible marks on the soul of every modern explorer, reliving history and making you witness the enduring legacy of a once-thriving trade route.

♦ The Pamir Highway - one of the world's most legendary and scenic roadways
Karakul Lake - a stunning alpine lake known for its breathtaking beauty and remote location
Peak Lenin Base Camp - situated at an altitude of around 3,600 meters, it offers scenic views of the region
♦ Kashgar - a city with rich historical and cultural significance, known as the "Pearl of the Silk Road"


Day 1. Arrivаl in Dushanbe
Arrival in Dushanbe and transfer to the homestay for some rest. Depending on your arrival time, you might have some free time to relax or explore the city on your own. -/-/-

Day 2. Dushanbe - Kalaikhumb
Today we will leave the city behind and enjoy the majestic views of the rugged peaks of the Pamir Mountains that beckon in the distance, with their snow-capped summits rising against the azure sky. The road winds its way through quaint villages and terraced fields, offering glimpses of rural life in Tajikistan. We will pass the breathtaking mountain pass Khaburabot (3,252 meters), which offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the region. Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or a curious traveler, the Khaburabot Pass promises an experience that will stay with you long after you've returned home. In the evening, we will arrive at our next stop - the quiet charming town of Kalaikhumb, nestled in a valley surrounded by rugged mountains. Overnight in a guesthouse in the town. B/L/D

Day 3. Kalaikhumb - Rushan
Today we have a long, but picturesque drive to the town of  Rushan, administrative center of Rushan (Bartang) district. We will spend the night in a homestay in the town and enjoy the raw beauty, warm hospitality, and rich culture of the region. B/L/D

Day 4. Rushnan - Khorog
Today we will enjoy the scenic views in Geisev Valley. One of the highlights of Geisev Valley is the Bhagoo village, a charming settlement nestled along the banks of the Bartang River. We will do a short hike along the Bartang River, before continuing driving towards the city of Khorog - the vibrant capital of the Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO). Here we will explore the bustling bazaars and will visit the Botanical Gardens - one of the highest botanical gardens in the world, before settling in our homestay for the night. B/L/D

Day 5. Khorog - Ishkoshim
Оur destination for today is the town of Ishkoshim, located at the border with Afghanistan. We will make a stop at the Garmchasma Hot Springs to dip into the warm, mineral-rich waters. Surrounded by lush greenery and serenaded by the gentle sounds of flowing water, Garmchasma is more than just a hot spring – it's a haven of peace and serenity. From here, we enter the Tajik half of the Wakhan Valley (shared with Afghanistan) and pass regional gem mines mentioned by Marco Polo. Overnight in a guest house in Ishkoshim. B/L/D

Day 6. Ishkoshim - Langar
Our first stop today is the Khahkha Fortress, in the nearby village of Namadguti. The fortress stands as a testament to the region's rich history and architectural prower. It was built in the 4th century as a defensive structure to safeguard the region and its inhabitants from external threats. We will then continue to another architectural gem, the Yamchun fort - one of the most impressive ruins in the Wakhan Valley. Built from local stone and fortified with sturdy walls, the fortress boasts impressive architectural features, including watchtowers, battlements, and defensive ramparts. Our next stop will be the Bibi Fatima hot springs, named after Prophet Mohammed’s sister and where local women believe they can increase their fertility. Overnight in a homestay in  the charming village of Langar. B/L/D

Day 7. Langer - Murghab
Today we are leaving behind  the lush valleys of the Wakhan and hitting the Pamir Highway. The Pamir Highway, also known as the M41, is a legendary road that traverses the majestic Pamir Mountains of Central Asia, connecting the cities of Osh in Kyrgyzstan and Khorog in Tajikistan. Its origins can be traced back to to ancient times when it was part of the historic Silk Road network.The construction of the highway began in the late 19th century, coinciding with the period of the so called "Great Game" - a geopolitical rivalry between the British and Russian empires for dominance and influence in Central Asia. It was further expanded during the 1930s under the Soviet Union. In the 2000s, the Pamir Highway was linked with China via the Karakoram Highway, facilitating connectivity between the two regions. Today we will drive around 250 km before we arrive in the town of Murghab, where we will spend the night in a local homestay. B/L/D 

Day 8. Murghab - Karakul Lake
Today we wil cross the scenic high altitude pass, Ak-Baital (4655 m) - the highest section of the road, before descending to Karakul Lake. Upon arrival at Karakul Lake, you'll be greeted by the breathtaking sight of its crystal-clear waters, framed by snow-capped peaks and reflected in the mirror-like surface. It is one of the highest lakes in the world, situated at an altitude of approximately 3,900 meters above sea level. Its salinity levels are comparable to those of the Dead Sea, making it inhospitable for most aquatic life. However, certain species of bacteria and algae thrive in its waters. Overnight in a homestay nearby. B/L/D

Day 9. Karakul Lake - Osh (Kyrgyzstan)
Leaving behind the tranquil beauty of Karakul Lake, we embark on a long drive to Osh (420 km), the vibrant heart of southern Kyrgyzstan. We will cross the border at Kyzyl Art Pass (4336 m.), with 20 kms of ‘no man’s land’. Overnight in a hotel in Osh. B/-/-

Day 10. Osh -  Peak Lenin Basecamp 
Today, we will embark on a scenic drive through the Taldyk Mountain Pass to reach Peak Lenin basecamp. We will take a break in Sary Tash village for a picnic or visit a local cafe. We will then continue to Tulpar Kul Lake, situated at an altitude of over 3,500 meters above sea level. When the sky is clear, the majestic silhouette of Lenin Peak, towering among the highest summits of the Pamir Alai Range, casts its reflection upon the tranquil surface of the lake. We will have dinner and spend the night in a cozy yurt camp nearby. B/L/D

Day 11. Peak Lenin Basecamp
Today we will have some free time to relax and enjoy the tranquilty of the region. You will also have the option to join some of the optional activities like horseriding or hiking. We will return to the camp for an overnight. B/L/D

Day 12. Peak Lenin Basecamp  - Irkeshtam pass (China border) - Kashgar
Today we are heading to the Chinese border, which we will cross at the Irkeshtam pass, situated at an altitude of over 2,700 meters. Despite its remote location and challenging terrain, the Irkeshtam Pass has played a crucial role in facilitating cultural exchange, commerce, and diplomatic relations between the two countries. Passing through here, we will be rewarded not only with stunning scenery but also with a deeper understanding of the history and cultural heritage of the region. In the evening, we will arrive at the town of Kashgar, a city often referred to as  the "Pearl of the Silk Road" since it has been a hub of trade, culture, and civilization for over two millennia. B/-/-

Day 13. Kashgar - Turpan
We will start the day by visiting some of the most important historical sites in Kashgar, like the Apak Hoja Tomb. The tomb is dedicated to Apak Hoja, a prominent Islamic scholar and leader of the 17th century who was revered for his piety, wisdom, and contributions to the spread of Islam in the region. It is revered as one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in the region and is an imporant pilgrimage site for the Muslims of this area. Another grand Islamic structure in the city is the Idigar Mosque (Id Kah Mosque). The mosque's name, "Id Kah," translates to "Gathering Place" in the Uyghur language, reflecting its role as a communal space for worship, education, and social gatherings. The Id Kah Mosque holds a special place in the hearts of the Uyghur people, serving as a symbol of their cultural identity. We will have some more time to explore the Kashgar Old Town, before we board the overnight train to Turpan. B/-/-

Day 14. Turpan
Тоday we will explore the city of Turpan, known for its historical and natural wonders. One of the city's most iconic landmarks is the ancient ruins of Jiaohe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back over 2,000 years. It is one of the oldest earthen cities still in existence. Perched atop a plateau overlooking the city, Jiaohe served as a strategic military outpost and trading center along the ancient Silk Road. We will also visit the Karez irrigation System, one of the oldest and most extensive systems of its kind in the world. The system harnesses water from the nearby mountains, where snowmelt and rainfall replenish underground aquifers. Our tour also includes a visit to Sugong Minaret - one of the tallest in China (44 metres), the historic village of Tuyoq and others. Overnight in Turpan. B/-/-

Day 15. Turpan - Urumqi
After breakfast, we are heading to Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region . End of services upon arrival in the city. B/-/

Price Includes:
accommodation in homestays/ guest houses/ yurt camps according to the itinerary (shared accommodation)
all meals according to the itinerary (B-breakfast,L-lunch,D-dinner)
airport transfers according to the itinerary
train ticket Kashgar-Turpan
local English-speaking guides and Penguin tour leader (at min.8 participants)

Not Included:
international flights
entrance fees
personal expenses
drinks and meals not mentioned
tips for guides and drivers


An extraordinary Silk Road Odyssey: Tajikistan to China Adventure (Rated 4.83 / 5 Based on 13 Reviews.)
1980 EUR
15 Days
Single Supplement
370 EUR
Оn request
Single room supplement is valid only for hotel accommodation. Accommodation in homestays, yurts and on the night trains is always shared.
1980 EUR
15 Days
Single Supplement
370 EUR
Open for booking
Single room supplement is valid only for hotel accommodation. Accommodation in homestays, yurts and on the night trains is always shared.

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

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An extraordinary Silk Road Odyssey: Tajikistan to China Adventure 1980 , 15 Days

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