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Silk Route & South East Asia Overland

Silk Route & South East Asia Overland

Pris fra {{totalPrice}} DKK Ekstra udgifter på rejsen From USD4190.00
Prisen er en fra-pris, og afhænger af afrejsetidspunkt. Se den nøjagtige pris, når du vælger hvilken dato du vil af sted. Flybilletter er ikke inkluderet, men vi hjælper dig selvfølgelig gerne med at finde de bedste og mest fleksible billetter.
Hvad er inkluderet?
Pris fra {{totalPrice}} DKK
Prisen er en fra-pris, og afhænger af afrejsetidspunkt. Se den nøjagtige pris, når du vælger hvilken dato du vil af sted. Flybilletter er ikke inkluderet, men vi hjælper dig selvfølgelig gerne med at finde de bedste og mest fleksible billetter.
Hvad er inkluderet?
Varighed
134 dage
Start
Istanbul
Slutter i
Bangkok
Gruppestørrelse
22
Since the first trip back in 1981, Dragoman has been at the forefront of overland vacations, taking people on unique, off the beaten track adventures in their iconic custom-made orange trucks. Dragoman make it a whole lot easier to get off the tarmac and to take the road less-travelled be it a short trip or an epic journey. It is this ability to go beyond the traditional tourist tails on a life changing overland journey that attracts people from all over the world ranging in age from 18 to 80!. Now as much as we love the highlights of the places we visit, it is often the journey where the real magic happens. Be it the the small village stop in Benin, trying to spot Jaguars in the dense Amazonian jungle of Guyana or staying with the nomadic people of Mongolia. Our balanced itineraries give you the chance to get under the skin of the country and get a true insight into the local culture. Start your overlanding adventure and become part of the family.
Itinerary

Silk Route & South East Asia Overland

Day 1 Istanbul

Border Information:  If joining in Istanbul, you will most likely enter Turkey at Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IATA code: IST). There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10.00am - on arrival please look out for a note from your leader with more information about this important meeting. If you are travelling beyond Tbilisi, your tour leader will need to carefully check your visa situation for your entire trip.  The afternoon will be free to explore the many sights of the incredible exotic city of Istanbul, including the Grand Bazaar, the Bosphorus River, Hagia Sophia and the phenomenal Blue Mosque! In Istanbul we will stay in a comfortable hotel Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Istanbul before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales Team or your Sales agent if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Istanbul.  * Important note - do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details. *  
Activities(Optional)
Visit the incredible Byzantine cathedral of Hagia Sophia, built in the 6th century - Cost: TRY 25
Explore the atmospheric underground Basilica Cisterns, built by the Byzantines in the 6th century - Cost: TRY 20
Explore the majestic Topkapi Palace, the huge palace of the Ottoman Sultans for over 400 years - Cost: TRY 35
Explore the phenomenal Blue Mosque, built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I - a stunning icon of Istanbul - Cost: USD
See the splendour of Istanbul from a boat trip on Bosphorus Strait, which marks the boundary of Europe and Asia - Cost: USD 17
Explore the colossal markets of the Grand Bazaar - once the centre of all trading between Europe and Asia, and the most visited tourist attraction in the world - Cost: USD
Visit the Çemberlitas Baths, a traditional Turkish Hammam, for a bath and massage! - Cost: USD 20

Day 2 Gallipoli Peninsula

This morning following breakfast we will depart Istanbul and begin our journey to the shores of Gallipoli.  After lunch we will get an insight into what happened between the ANZAC, Allied and Turkish foreces during the first World War and have a guided tour of the Battlefields and Anzac Cove.  Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours Tonight we will stay in a local hostel in Ecebat
Activities(Included)
Pay your respects to the fallen at Gallipoli on a guided tour through the battlefields.

Day 3 to 4 Troy

Today we will cross the Dardenelles by ferry and head to Helsik where we will do a short tour of the Troy Ruins.  We will then continue onto Selcuk where we will be staying for two nights. In the evening we will have free time to explore the area or simply relax in one of the many cafes or tea bars which are great for people watching.  The second day we will spend the day exploring the Ephesus Ruins and Terraced Houses. Estimated Drive Time 7 - 8 hours For the next two nights we will stay in a local hostel
Activities(Included)
Guided tour around the ancient ruins of Troy
Walk the marbled streets of Ephesus, one of the best preserved ancient cities.
Guided Tour of Ephesus Ruins and the Terraced Houses

Day 5 Pamukkale

Following breakfast we will drive inland towards the small village of Pamukkale.  After lunch we will have free time to visit the thermal hot springs and traverse through the travertine pools and terraces. Estimate driving time  3 - 4 hours Tonight we will either camp near the village or stay in a local hotel
Activities(Optional)
Admire the brilliant white travertine terraces and submerge yourself in the warm mineral rich pools and hot springs - Cost: TRY 35

Day 6 to 7 Olympos

Today we continue our drive south and aim to reach the popular beach town of Olympos by lunchtime. We will have free time in the afternoon to relax or explore the local area.  Estimate Drive Time 5 - 6 hours On the second day there will be plenty of time to explore and participate in optional activities, in the evening we will walk up to the Chimera Fire Mountain and toast some marshmallows Tonight we will stay in a basic guesthouse
Activities(Optional)
Hike up Chimera Mountain and witness the natural phenomenon of never ending fires emerging from the rocks.  - Cost: TRY 7
Half day Sea Kayaking adventure exploring the many different caves and beautiful coastline of the Southern Turkish Coast.  - Cost: EUR 15

Day 8 Egirdir

After breakfast we will leave the beachside town of Olympos and make our way north.  We will have an included visit of Termessos on the way before continuing our journey towards Egirdir where we will find a good spot to bush camp for the night.  Estimated Drive time 6 - 7 hours Tonight we will wild camp near Egirdir

Day 9 to 10 Goereme

We have an early start this morning to reach the small enchanting town of Goreme in the heart of the Cappadocia mountians.  In Goreme we will stay in a well-equipped hostel - please note that dorm beds are generally used here.  Estimated Drive Time 6-7 hours We now have a full day to explore Goreme, including a guided tour of the enchanted valley of Cappadocia. There will also be an opportunity for a magical optional balloon ride over the valley during your time here.   
Activities(Included)
Explore the Early Christian underground cities of Derinkuyu or Kaymakli, used as a hiding place from persecutions for centuries
Walk through the beautiful ancient valley of Ihlara, containing the beautiful rock-hewn churches built by the Cappadocian Greeks during the Byzantine era

Activities(Optional)
Take a hot air balloon flight over Cappadocia - Cost: USD 180
Guided tour of Cappadocia and underground troglodyte cities and caves - Cost: TRY 5
Explore the ancient pre-iconoclastic Byzantine rock monastery of Zelve - Cost: TRY 15
Discover the ancient techniques of Cappadocian pottery at the village of Avanos - Cost: USD

Day 11 Zara

Today we continue our journey east with a full day's drive towards the Sumela monastery. We will break the journey with a wild camp near Zara or the village of Alucra. Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

Day 12 Sumela

Today we will reach the awe-inpsiring Sumela Monastery near the town of Macka, which we will visit in the afternoon. We will camp overnight in a campsite near Sumela if conditions allow. In cold weather we may opt to stay in a local hotel in Macka or Trabzon. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 13 Batumi

Border Information: Exit Turkey at Sarp, enter Georgia at Sarpi. This morning we will continue to the border and cross into Georgia, reaching the port town of Batumi. In Batumi we will stay in a comfortable hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
Activities(Optional)
Visit the Batumi Archaeological Museum, home to many historical exhibits found in excavations in the area - Cost: GEL 2

Day 14 Kutaisi

After a relaxing morning, we leave the port town of Batumi behind us and make our way to the ancient town of Kutaisi. This afternoon we will visit the medieval Bagrati Cathedral and the Gelati monastery. In Kutaisi we will stay in a local hotel or a family-run guesthouse. Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.
Activities(Included)
Explore the colossal and awe-inspiring Prometheus Caves near Kutaisi

Activities(Optional)
Visit the beautiful 11th-century Bagrati Cathedral, a symbol of the city of Kutaisi - Cost: GEL
Explore the incredible 11th-century monastery complex of Gelati, near Kutaisi (if time allows) - Cost: GEL

Day 15 Tbilisi

Border Information: if joining in Tbilisi, you will most likely enter Georgia at Tbilisi International Airport (IATA code: TBS). There will be a pre-departure meeting at 6.00pm - please meet at the joining hotel reception at this time. Please do not be alarmed if there is no note from your leader on arrival, as this is often a travelling day for the crew and they will not arrive until about 4.00pm.  Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tbilisi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales Team or your Sales Agent if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tbilisi.  In Tbilisi we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.  *Important note - Please do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*
Activities(Optional)
Enjoy an evening of local dancing and music at a Georgian restaurant in Tbilisi - Cost: GEL 35

Day 16 Tbilisi

Today we will visit the old town of Tbilisi and visit sites including the National Museum, Sioni Cathedral and the Metekhi Temple.  We will have a second night in our comfortable local hotel in Tbilisi. 
Activities(Optional)
Learn all about the history of Georgia during Soviet times, and the struggle for independence, at the Museum of Soviet Occupation - Cost: GEL 3
Explore the ancient Narikala Fortress and take in the fantastic views of Tbilisi below - Cost: GEL
Visit the beautiful Orthodox Sioni Cathedral in Tbilisi's Old Town - Cost: GEL
See the incredible collection of historical artefacts at the Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia - Cost: GEL 3
See the grandiose modern Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi, the seat of the Georgian Orthodox Church - Cost: GEL

Day 17 Lake Sevan

Today we will have a short drive to the border and cross into the country of Armenia. Once the formalities are over we will continue on through the beautiful Dilijan National Park stopping for a truck lunch along the way.  Estimated Drive Time - 5 - 7 hours Tonight we will either stay in the National Park or continue on to Lake Sevan where we will camp.   
Activities(Included)
Camp on the shores of Lake Sevan 

Day 18 to 19 Yerevan

After breakfast we will leave the sparkling waters of Lake Sevan behind and make our way towards the city of Yerevan. On the way we will visit the World Heritage - listed Geghard Monastery which has been carved out of the rock face of the Azat River Gorge. We will also spend some time exploring the Garni Temple before finally arriving at our destination.  We will have 2 nights in Yerevan on the 2nd day we will have free time for optional activities or simply relaxing and soaking up the city atmosphere. For the next 2 nights we will stay in a comfortable hotel.  Estimated Driving Time 4 - 5 hours
Activities(Included)
Visit the Garni Temple and learn about its fascinating pre-Christian history
Visit the Medieval Geghard Monastery
Explore the beautiful Khor Virap Monastery near the Turkish border. On a clear day you will have stunning views of Mt Ararat in the background.

Activities(Optional)
Take a tour of the Ararat Brandy Museum and discover the history of Armenian Brandy - Cost: USD 25

Day 20 Armenian Highlands

Today we leave the city of Yerevan. We will start off with a visit to the Khor Virap Monastery before we begin to make our way north through the beautiful Armenian Highland. Tonight we will wild camp in the Northern Armenian Highlands.  Estimated Driving Time 2 - 3 hours

Day 21 Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Today we continue north and head towards the Georgian border. We aim to arrive after lunch and if time permits have an included visit to the Vardzia Caves. If we arrive too late we will be able to explore the caves tomorrow morning also.  Tonight we will find a wild camp in the valley close to the caves.  Estimated Drive Time 5 - 6 hours

Day 22 Mtskheta

After breakfast we will make our way to Borjome National Park where we will have time to do a small hike through the ancient forest and an optional cable ride up the mountain.  We will then continue on to Mtsehketa, the ancient capital of Georgia. Whilst here we will explore the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.  In Mtskheta we will stay overnight in a local guesthouse.  Estimated Driving Time - 3 - 5 hours

Day 23 Stepantsminda

Today our journey begins with a beautiful drive to the spectacularly located town of Stepantsminda (formerly known as Kazbegi).  Either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, we will take a trek up to the Tsminda Sameba Chruch (the church of the Holy Trinity), a beautiful small church nestled in the mountains.  In Stepantsminda we will stay in a local family run guesthouse. Estimated Drive Time - 4 - 5 hours
Activities(Included)
Hike to beautiful 14th-century Gergeti Trinity Church, set in the stunning mountains above Stepantsminda

Activities(Optional)
Learn how to make the local delicacy of kinkhalis (Georgian meatballs) at a cookery class in Stepantsminda (if time allows) - Cost: GEL 20

Day 24 Telavi

This morning we will drive to the Alazani valley and on to Telavi, where we will base ourselves for 2 days to explore the area on arrival.  In Telavi we will stay in a local family-run guesthouse.  Estimated Drive time 2 - 4 hours

Day 25 Telavi

The area of Telavi is well known for its vineyars and winereies - there are hundreds of different grapes grown here, and every village has its own particular variety. We will visit some of the local vineyards today, where we can hopefully see some of the local traditions including grape harvesting and wine making, and enjoy some famous Georgian hospitality.  We will spend a second night here in a local family-run guesthouse. 
Activities(Included)
Head out on Telavi's 'Big Day Out' - a tour of the town's monasteries, bee-keepers and textile-weavers, followed by lunch and wine tasting at a local family-run winery

Day 26 Lagodekhi

Today we leave the wine region behind us as we make our way towards the Azerbaijan border. We will visit the Gremi citadel en route.  We will wild camp tonight, most likely in the Lagodekhi National Park close to the Azeri border.  Estimated Drive Time 2 - 3 hours
Activities(Optional)
Discover the ancient capital of the 16th-century Kingdom of Kakheti at the Gremi Architectural Complex - Cost: GEL 10
Take some short exploratory walks around our wild camp in the beautiful forested Lagodekhi National Park - Cost: GEL 5

Day 27 Sheki

Border information: Exit Georgia at Lagodekhi, enter Azerbaijan at Balakan. Today we cross the border to Azerbaijan and continue to the old town of Sheki, where we can visit the exquisite Khan's Palace.  In Sheki we wills tay in a comfortable hotel built inside an old caravanserai.  Estimated Drive Time 3 -4 hours
Activities(Included)
Overnight in an atmospheric converted Caravanserai at Sheki
Explore the exquisite Palace of the Sheki Khans, built in 1797

Day 28 Lahij Village

This morning we will continue on to Lahic Village. An old coppersmiths village, nestled in the mountains.  Tonight we will camp with facilities.  Estimated Drive Time 4 - 5 hours

Day 29 Baku

We will continue our journey this morning to Gobustan, near the coast of the Caspian Sea where we will have a visit to the ancient petroglyphs and the mud volanoes that this area is famous for.  This afternoon we will continue on to the Old City of Baku where we will have free time on arrival to explore.  Estimated Drive Time 3 - 4 hours
Activities(Included)
Day trip to Gobustan to see the mud volcanoes and the petroglyphs

Day 30 Baku

Border Information:  For everyone that is continuing with us onto Turkmenistan there will be short group meeting at 10.00am to explain the next few days until Ashgabat. Your leader will also collect the kitty for this linking section. Our itinerary in Baku and over the Caspian Sea must remain very flexible and is very much determined by sailing times of the local ferries. Please note that there is no regular schedule for the ferries, they are notoriously unpredictable, and information from the ferry operators regarding the sailing times constantly changes (or is non-existant) up until the point of departure. Maximum flexibility, open-mindedness and co-operation with your tour leaders are absolutely essential here!  In Baku we will stay in a local hotel for as many nights as is needed until we finally depart on the ferry over the Caspian Sea.
Activities(Optional)
Audio Guided trip around old town Baku including the Maiden Tower & Shirvan Shakh Palace - Cost: AZN 10
Explore the mysterious and iconic Maiden's Tower in Baku's Old Town - Cost: AZN 2.50
Learn all about the Shirvan Muslim history of Baku at the Palace of the Shirvanshahs - Cost: AZN 4

Day 31 Caspian Sea

From Baku, we will take the ferry across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan. The boat docks at the city of Turkmenbashi. The ferry is a fantastic local experience, but please do not expect any luxury whatsoever! These ferries are budget vessels for the locals and cargo hauliers, and are not designed with tourists in mind. We must be prepared for very basic conditions and limited provisions on board. Please also note that the time that the ferry takes to cross is also very unpredictable, as it is often forced to wait outside of the port in Turkmenbashi while they arrange the unloading of the cargo on the boat. There will generally only be seats on the ferry overnight
Activities(Included)
Cross the Caspian Sea on a local transporter ferry between Baku and Turkmenbashi

Day 32 Turkmenbashi

Border information: Exit Azerbaijan at Baku, enter Turkmenistan at Turkmenbashi. Today we plan to disembark the Caspian ferry and enter Turkmenistan. We will be either staying at a local hotel in Turkmenbashi or we will start our journey towards Ashgabat and wild camp en route. Turkemenistan Visa Note - as the timing of the Caspian ferry crossing can be very unpredictable, please get your Turkmenistan visa issued with at least 2 'flexible' days before the entry date listed on these notes. If you arrange the visa through The Visa Machine they will be aware of all the correct dates for your visa according to the date of your trip. Please see the detailed visa notes below.

Day 33 Ashgabat

This morning we will have a full day drive to Turkmenistans bizarre modern capital, Ashgabat. The evening will be free to relax and explore. In Ashgabat we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.  Estimated Drive Time 7 - 9 hours
Activities(Included)
Explore the unique and bizarre Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour of the city

Activities(Optional)
Learn about the history and culture of Turkmenistan at the huge National Museum in Ashgabat - Cost: USD 10
See a myriad of incredible and impressive hand-woven carpets in the Ashgabat Carpet Museum (if open) - Cost: USD 10
Visit the huge Turkmenbashi Ruhy mosque on the outskirts of Ashgabat, built in 2004 as the mausoleum of Saparmurat Niyazov, the first president of Turkmenistan after the fall of the Soviet Union - Cost: TMM

Day 34 Ashgabat

Border Information: if joining in Ashgabat, you will most likely enter Turkmenistan at Ashgabat International Airport (IATA code: ASB). There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting. After the meeting we will have an included tour of the city of Ashgabat using local minibuses. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Ashgabat before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Ashgabat. If arriving at Ashgabat airport you will also need to have a confirmed arrival transfer and representative from our local supplier to meet you at the airport. Please contact your sales agent for prices and to book.  In Ashgabat we will stay in a decent quality local hotel. *Important note - any tobacco products are practically illegal in Turkmenistan, so please do not bring them or use them in Turkmenistan. Also please do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*
Activities(Included)
Explore the unique and bizarre Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on a guided tour of the city

Day 35 Darvaza

Today we set off north from Ashgabat and head into the Karakum Desert. We will have an included side trip to the amazing flaming Darvaza Gas Crater (also known as the 'Door to Hell'!). We will wild camp in the deserts near Darvaza Crater tonight. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Activities(Included)
See the bizarre and incredible burning gas crater at Darvaza, popularly known as the 'Door to Hell'

Day 36 Kunye Urgench

Today we will continue our overland journey north across the Karakum. We will visit the Kunye Urgench ruins towards the end of the day. We will wild camp in the deserts near Kunye Urgench tonight. Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.
Activities(Included)
Overland into the green Oxus Valley to the ancient ruined city of Kunye Urgench

Day 37 to 38 Khiva

Border Information: Exit Turkmenistan at Shovot, enter Uzbekistan at Nijazov. This morning we will visit the markets in the border town of Dashoguz, before driving across the border into Uzbekistan and continue to the beautiful historic town of Khiva.  Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. The following day we have a guided tour of the ancient city of Khiva during the morning. In the afternoon we will have plenty of free time to further explore this wonderfully preserved Khanate town. In Khiva we will stay in a comfortable hotel.
Activities(Included)
See the beautiful turquoise Kalta Minor Minaret, one of the iconic symbols of Khiva
Visit the Mohammed Rakhim Khan Madrassa, a museum dedicated to the Khan that surrendered to the Russians in 1873
Explore the incredibly photogenic blue palace of Tash Khovli in Khiva
Learn all about the Khoezm culture and handicrafts at the Islam Hodja Madrassa, Khiva's newest monument
Explore the incredible Juma Mosque and the 12th century fortress of the Kukhna Ark
Visit the mausoleum of Pahlavon Mohammed, the legendary 14th-century poet, philosopher, wrestler, and patron saint of Khiva

Day 39 Bukhara

Today we will have a full day's drive to the fascinating city of Bukhara, where will spend the next 3 nights. In Bukhara we will stay in a comfortable local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

Day 40 to 41 Bukhara

Today we will have a guided tour of Bukhara and the surrounding area, including the Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Kalon Mosque, Zindon Prison and the Ark Fortress. On our second day here, we will have a free day to further explore this incredible historic city and its surroundings.
Activities(Included)
Visit the magnificent 16th-centrury architectural ensemble surrounding the Lyab-i Hauz ponds, once the city's principal source of water
Explore the city's oldest Islamic monument, the 10th-century mausoleum of Ismail Samanid, the founder of the Samanid Dynasty
Explore the colossal Kalon Mosque and Minaret, which has survived without restoration for 850 years and impressed Genghis Khan so much that he ordered the building to be spared
Discover the ruins of the ancient 5th-century fortress of the Bukhara Ark

Activities(Optional)
Watch an entertaining evening puppet show, featuring many local Uzbek and Tajik poems and songs - Cost: USD 5
See the Indian-style Char Minar Minarets, four towers nestled in a maze of alleyways in downtown Bukhara - Cost: USD
Visit the gruesome museum at the old prison of Zindon - Cost: UZS 4500

Day 42 Nurata

Today we will drive into the Kyzylkhum Desert near the town of Nurata. In the afternoon we will have the opportunity to head out on an optional camel ride into the desert! In the Kyzylkhum Desert we will stay in a desert yurt camp. Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.
Activities(Included)
Overnight in the Kyzylkum Desert staying in yurts.

Day 43 Samarkand

This morning we will spend some time exploring the Nurata Hills with the option of taking a dip in Lake Ajdar Kul. After lunch we will drive to Samarkand where we will stay for the next 3 nights. In Samarkand we will stay in a good hotel on the outskirts of town. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Day 44 to 45 Samarkand

Today we will have a guided tour of the incredible historic city of Samarkand and the surrounding area, including the Registan, Ulug Beg Observatory, Bibi-Khanym Mosque and Shah-I-Zinda. On our second day here, we will have a free day to further explore the beautiful city and its surroundings.
Activities(Included)
Visit the Guri-Amir Mausoleum, the final resting place of the Turko-Mongol conqueror Timur
Explore the stunning plaza of The Registan, a world-famous and iconic symbol of Central Asia
Learn about the area's scientific heritage with a visit to the 15th-century Ulug Beg Observatory, once the finest observatory in the Islamic world
Discover the ruins of the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, once one of the largest mosques in the world and the jewel in Timur's empire
See the beautiful and moving ancient mausoleum of Shah-I-Zinda

Activities(Optional)
Visit to Shakhrisabz city - Cost: USD 20
Wander through the markets and carpet vendors of Samarkand, and marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of the local carpet weavers - Cost: USD

Day 46 Tashkent

This morning we will have a little more free time to explore more of Samarkand. After lunch we will drive to the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. In Tashkent we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 47 Tashkent

Today we will have a free day to explore Tashkent.
Activities(Optional)
Explore urbane Tashkent and experience a surreal cabaret dinner - Cost: USD
Visit the nightclubs and Imperial Russian-style cabaret restaurants of Tashkent - Cost: USD
Visit the religious centre of Tashkent at Hast Imam Square and see the Uthman Koran, believed to be the world's oldest extant copy of the Koran - Cost: USD 5

Day 48 Tashkent

Border Information: if joining in Tashkent, you will most likely enter Uzbekistan at Tashkent International Airport (IATA code: TAS). There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting. The rest of the day is free to explore the Uzbek capital. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tashkent before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tashkent. In Tashkent we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. *Important note - do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.* *Another important note - please be aware that all itineraries in Kyrgyzstan are highly weather-dependent. The itinerary described in these notes are a statement of best intention, but we must approach each trip in Kyrgyzstan with a large degree of flexibility, as our leaders and local guides will have to 'play things by ear' according to the local conditions and weather. In low season certain routes become impossible and it may become far too cold to camp - in all cases there are fantastic and well-tried alternatives in place which means we can always run an excellent and comprehensive trip here, but please do not treat the exact details of the itinerary listed here as gospel - thanks for your understanding!*
Activities(Optional)
Explore urbane Tashkent and experience a surreal cabaret dinner - Cost: USD
Visit the nightclubs and Imperial Russian-style cabaret restaurants of Tashkent - Cost: USD
Visit the religious centre of Tashkent at Hast Imam Square and see the Uthman Koran, believed to be the world's oldest extant copy of the Koran - Cost: USD 5

Day 49 Fergana Valley

This morning we travel in local transport over the Kamchik Pass to Kokand, where we will have the oppurtunity to visit the Khudayar Khan's Palace and the nearby Margilan Silk Factory before completing the journey to Fergana.  The truck must pass over the Kamchik Pass without passengers and will rejoin us this evening in Fergana. In Fergana we will stay in a basic local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Activities(Included)
Overland through Uzbekistan's Fergana Valley including historic Kokand and Fergana City

Activities(Optional)
Explore the impressive 19th-century Juma Mosque in Kokand in the stunning Fergana Valley - Cost: UZS 17500
See the silk-weavers of the Fergana Valley at the Yodgorlik Silk Factory - Cost: USD

Day 50 Arslanbob

Border information: Exit Uzbekistan at Andijon, enter Kyrgyzstan at Dustlik. This morning we leave Uzbekistan behind and make our way into the magical mountain kingdom of Kyrgyzstan!  Once we have crossed the border we continue our journey to Arslanbob in Kyrgyzstan's Fergana Valley - if we are delayed at the border we may choose to stay in the closer town of Jalalabad instead. In Arslanbob we will stay overnight in a local family-run guesthouse. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Day 51 to 53 Kyrgyz Fergana Valley

We will spend the next 3 days overlanding through the stunning and remote Kyrgyz Fergana Valley, stopping often to admire the views and perhaps take some impromptu hikes in the hills and countryside. During these days we plan to wild camp en route. Please note that trips running in low season (May to mid-June and October to November), we may not be able to camp if temperatures are too low, in which case we will stay in local guesthouses along the route instead. Estimated Drive Times - 4-8 hours each day.
Activities(Included)
Get off the beaten track with 3 nights wild camping and a leisurely overland journey through the stunning mountains and National Parks of Kyrgyzstan

Day 54 to 55 Song Koel Lake

Today we complete the drive to the incredible Song Köl Lake, where we will spend the next two nights. We will have free time here to explore the area, and to enjoy some optional activities including hiking and horse-riding. At Song Köl we will stay in traditional felt yurts. Estimated Drive Time - 4-8 hours. Please note that trips during the low season will not be able to visit Song Köl Lake, as temperatures will be below freezing, the road will be snowed over, and there will be no yurts to stay in! Instead we will likely stay in yurts on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Köl.
Activities(Included)
Experience the daily life of the Kyrgyz mountain shepherds.

Day 56 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 - 5-6 hours.
Activities(Included)
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
See an incredible demonstration from a traditional eagle hunter near Kochkor

Activities(Optional)
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 57 to 58 Jeti Oguz Valley

Today we drive along the southern shore of Lake Issyk Köl and up into the mountains to the alpine trekking region of Jeti Oguz. En route we will have an included demonstation from a local 'eagle hunter'. The next day we will have a free day to hike in the incredible scenery here, or take an optional horse ride with some of the local nomads! In Jeti Oguz we will camp close to a local family yurt. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. Please note that on trips in the low season we may not be able to camp in Jeti Oguz due to low temperatures. If this is the case, we will stay for 1 night in a local hotel at the base of Jeti Oguz Valley (allowing time for some day walks) and then move via a stunning and incredible drive up a mountain in a Russian 4x4 truck to Altyn Arashan, a hot spring development in a stunning alpine setting, staying in dormitory accommodation.
Activities(Included)
Trek into the wilds of the Jeti-Oghuz Gorge on the edge of the Tian Shan mountains

Activities(Optional)
Explore the incredible mountain landscapes of the Jeti Oguz Valley by horseback - Cost: KGS 800

Day 59 Karakol

Today we will move on from Jeti Oguz or Altyn Arashan to the Russian-style town of Karakol, where we will have a free afternoon to explore and relax! In Karakol we will stay in a decent local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

Day 60 to 61 Chong Kemin Valley

Today we will drive to the northern shore of Lake Issyk Köl and visit the ancient petroglyphs at Cholpon Ata. We will then continue to the beautiful area of Chong Kemin where we will spend 2 nights. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. The next day we will have a free day to explore and hike in this stunning area, or to get involved in an optional white water rafting excursion! In Chong Kemin we will wild camp. If it is too cold or simply preferred by the group, we may choose to camp in the grounds of a guesthouse in Ashu, a village in the Chong Kemin valley, where there could be the possibility to upgrade to rooms.
Activities(Included)
Get off the beaten track with 3 nights wild camping and a leisurely overland journey through the stunning mountains and National Parks of Kyrgyzstan
Tourist time: pedalos, sand, sun. On Lake Issyk-Kul, it?s a time warp

Activities(Optional)
Explore the beautiful Chong Kemin valley on horseback - Cost: KGS 300
Head out on a white-water rafting adventure through the stunning Chong Kemin valley - Cost: KGS 1800
Walk around the incredible scenery of the Chong Kemin valley - Cost: KGS

Day 62 Bishkek

Today we have a short drive to the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, with the opportunity to visit the Burana Tower en route. We will have free time to relax and explore the city upon arrival. In Bishkek we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

Day 63 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
Activities(Optional)
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 64 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.
Activities(Included)
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

Activities(Optional)
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 65 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).
Activities(Included)
Visit the ancient Silk Road caravanserai at Tash Rabat, close to the Kyrgyzstan-China border

Day 66 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 67 Kashgar

Today we will have free time to explore the city of Kashgar and partake in any optional activities Tonight we will stay in a good quality hotel

Day 68 Kashgar

Border Information: if joining in Kashgar, you will most likely enter China at Kashgar Airport (IATA code: KHG). Welcome to Kashgar, one of the ancient trading posts on the Silk Route! If you are joining in Kashgar, you are free to explore the city, and there will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm. Please do not be alarmed if there is no welcome note at the hotel on your arrival, as this is often a travelling day for the tour leader and they will often arrive in Kashgar mid-afternoon. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kashgar before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kashgar. In Kashgar we will stay in a hotel with good facilities.
Activities(Included)
Hike up to Shiptons Arch - the largest natural arch in the world. 

Day 69 to 70 Kashgar

Today we will visit the animal market just outside of town, and then the famous Kashgar Sunday Bazaar. We will also have an included visit to Shiptons Arch - the largest natural arch in the world!  The following day we will have a free day to explore the town, the central Id Kah Mosque and its surrounding square, while your crew finalise the customs procedures for our truck to continue further into China.
Activities(Included)
Explore Kashgar's Sunday market and Animal market.

Activities(Optional)
Visit the Id Kah Mosque, the finest example of Islamic architecture in Kashgar and the centre of religious life in the city - Cost: CNY 45
Discover the history of the ancient Silk Road at Kashgar's Silk Road Museum - Cost: CNY 45
Visit the mausoleum of the 17th-century religious leader Afaq Khoja, considered the holiest site in Xinjiang Province - Cost: CNY 30

Day 71 to 72 Aksu

Our journey through China begins as we leave Kashgar and head east through the Taklamakan Desert! Our crossing of the desert usually takes 3 days/2 nights, and we plan to stay in local hotels en route. Estimated Drive Times - 8-9 hours each day (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Day 73 to 74 Heavenly Lake

Today we will complete our drive through the Taklamakan Desert and arrive at Heavenly Lake, a beautiful lake set in the Tian Shan mountains. Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours. We will stay here for 2 nights, and will have many opportunities to relax in the incredible scenery and walk around the lake. In Heavenly Lake we will stay in local yurts with very basic facilities.
Activities(Included)
Enjoy a day to walk around Heavely Lake, or maybe take the boat out onto the water. 

Day 75 to 76 Turpan

Today we will travel to the oasis town of Turpan, where we stay for 2 days exploring the surrounding sites including the famous Jiaohe ruins. In Turpan we will stay in a local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
Activities(Included)
Exploration of the oasis and the Jiaohe ruins at Turpan
Learn about the Karez water system, the ingenious method of irrigating the area that was developed by the Han Dynasty and allowed Turpan to flourish as an oasis town
See the striking red sandstone landscape of the Flaming Mountains near Turpan

Activities(Optional)
See the Emin Minaret, a beautiful Uighur mosque built in the 18th century which is the tallest minaret in China - Cost: CNY 30
Explore the ancient oasis city of Gaochang, once a bustling trading trading centre along the Silk Road - Cost: CNY 40

Day 77 to 78 Dunhuang

Today we will have an early start and a big drive to the city of Dunhuang. Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours. Please note that sometimes it may be preferred by the group and the leader to split this drive over 2 days, wild camping in between - in this case we will have 1 less night in Pingliang towards the end of the trip. The following day we will have an included visit to the awe-inspiring Mogao Buddha Caves in the morning. We will then have a free afternoon to explore this amazing town and it’s surroundings - there are possibilities for camel rides along the sand dunes and bicycle rides out to the nearby White Goose Pagoda! In Dunhuang we will stay in a comfortable hotel.
Activities(Included)
Guided tour of the Mogao caves, Dunhuang

Activities(Optional)
Stopover and time to explore historic Dunhuang - Cost: CNY 20
Take a camel ride at Crescent Moon Lake. - Cost: CNY 240

Day 79 Jiayuguan

Today we continue our journey with a drive to Jiayuguan, where we will have an included visit to the Jiayuguan Fort - the most western point of the Great Wall of China. Please note the Great Wall in this area is adobe, unlike the more famous stone sections further to the east. We will wild camp near an adobe section of the Great Wall near Jiayuguan. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
Activities(Included)
Journey down the Gansu Corridor to Jiayuguan Fort, our first stop at the Great Wall

Day 80 Zhangye

Today we will drive to the incredible Zhangye Danxia Rainbow Mountains - we'll spend some time exploring the region before heading off to wild camp nearby. Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.
Activities(Included)
Explore the incredible and colourful natural phenomenon of the Zhangye Danxia Rainbow Mountains

Day 81 Liujiaxia

Today we will drive onto the lower slopes of the remote Tibetan plateau and reach the small city of Liujiaxia.  In Liujiaxia we will stay in a basic local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

Day 82 to 84 Xiahe

Today we set off to the enchanting Tibetan town of Xiahe where we spend the next 3 nights. We will have an included visit to the incredible Bingling Si Buddha Caves en route. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. The next few days are free to explore this beautiful town and surrounding grasslands. We can take a guided visit to the Labrang Monastery where Tibetan monks can be seen doing their daily rituals and chants. There may also be a chance to go trekking, horse riding or exploring the surrounding grasslands, visiting Tibetan families and perhaps trying the local Yak butter tea. In Xiahe we will stay in a local Tibetan-owned hotel.
Activities(Included)
See the vast Buddha statue and the outstanding Buddhist cave sculptures at the fabulous Bingling Si gorge

Activities(Optional)
Climb up onto the lower slopes of the remote Tibetan Plateau - Cost: CNY
3 night detour to the Tibetan town of Xiahe, one of the main pilgrimage sites for Tibetan Buddhists - Cost: CNY
Take a day trip up into the Sangke or Ganjia grasslands of the lower Tibetan Plateau surrounding Xiahe - Cost: CNY 400

Day 85 Lanzhou

Today we will leave Xiahe and head to the chaotic capital city of Gansu province, Lanzhou. We will have some free time this evening to explore the city. In Lanzhou we will stay in a comfortable hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

Day 86 to 87 Pingliang

Today we will drive to the small town of Pingliang at the base of the Mount Kongtong, one of the holiest mountains in Chinese Taoism. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. The following day we will have an included visit to Mount Kongtong, and will have the full day to explore the temples and walk and explore the pilgrimage routes on the mountain.  In Pingliang we will stay in a decent local hotel. Please note that if the drive between Turpan and Dunhuang was split over 2 days, there will only be 1 night in Pingliang and a half-day exploration of Mount Kongtong.
Activities(Included)
Explore the stunningly beautiful Mt. Kongtong and its temples

Day 88 Xi'an

Today we will journey to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'! We will have a free afternoon to fully explore the city, it's famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter. In Xi'an we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 89 Xi'an

Border Information: if joining in Xi'an, you will most likely enter China at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (IATA code: XIY). Welcome to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'!  There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting. The rest of the day will be free to explore the city of Xi'an, its famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Xi'an before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Xi'an. In Xi'an we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.
Activities(Included)
Explore the world-famous site of the Terracotta Warriors, an army of 8000 life-size figures built to protect the Emporer Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife

Day 90 Xi'an

This morning we head out of Xi'an on the truck to the site of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, where we have an included visit and a guided tour. We'll return to Xi'an in the afternoon and have some more free time to further explore this incredible city!
Activities(Optional)
Visit the impressive Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an's most famous landmark dating from the Tang and Ming Dynasties - Cost: CNY 90
Walk or cycle around the Ming Dynasty Xi'an City Wall, the largest city wall in the world - Cost: CNY 90
Visit the Forest of Stelae Museum, a collection of 3000 stone tablets of Chinese calligraphy that has been collected here since 1057 - Cost: CNY 75
Wander through the atmospheric Muslim Quarter and visit the Xi'an Great Mosque, the first mosque constructed in China - Cost: CNY 30
Visit the mind-blowing Tomb of Emporer Jingdi of the Han Dynasty, containing 50,000 doll-sized terracotta figures - Cost: CNY 90
Learn about the fascinating history of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an at the Shaanxi History Museum, without doubt one of the finest museums in China - Cost: CNY 30
Visit the ornate 14th-century Bell and Drum towers, which originally marked the sunrise and sunset - Cost: CNY 50
Visit the huge former Tang Dynasty royal palace of Daming, and explore its vast parks and gardens - Cost: CNY

Day 91 Wudang Shan

Today we begin our journey south of Xi'an with a drive to the beautiful Wudang Shan Mountain Reserve, the birthplace of the martial art of Taichi and the location of the filming of 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'. We will have time this afternoon and the following morning to fully explore the mountain's sights, temples and martial arts schools. In Wudang Shan we will stay in a local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

Day 92 Xiang Fan

This morning we will spend more time exploring Wudang Shan and the surrounding area, before setting off in the afternoon for a short drive to the pleasant city of Xiang Fan. We will also try to stop at the Purple Cloud Monastery en route. In Xiang Fan we will stay in a local guesthouse or hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 2-4 hours.
Activities(Included)
Trek up the Tianzu Peak to visit the Taoist martial arts school and numerous temples on Wudang Shan

Day 93 Yichang

Today we will drive from Xiang Fan to Yichang, where we will catch our first glimpse of the mighty Yangtze river. Yichang is a pleasant town, and we will stop here for 1 or 2 nights, depending on the ferry schedule - either way we will have time to explore a little. In Yichang we will stay in a friendly local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Day 94 Yichang

Today we will have some free time to explore Yichang and the surrounding area, prepare for our 3 day Yangtze River cruise. We will most likely have an included visit to the incredible Three Gorges Dam today, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, although it is possible this visit may take place tomorrow depending on the ferry schedule. We will most likely stay in our hotel in Yichang tonight, but our ferry may need to depart tonight, in which case we will have a spare day later in the trip that we can use at our discretion.
Activities(Included)
The cruise visits the main sites of the Three Gorges & new Yangtze Dam

Day 95 to 97 Three Gorges

Today we embark on our Yangtze River cruise. We travel on a local ferry boat used by local people, a much more authentic and interesting way of travelling than on a tourist cruise. We stay in shared cabins (4 members of the group to each cabin) with private bathrooms and air conditioning where possible. The journey itself usually takes 3 days/3 nights and heads through some areas of stunning scenery, especially near the Three Gorges - the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges. The boats usually stop at the Fengdu (Ghost City), Shibaozai Tower, home to the Lanruo Dian (Orchid Temple) and at the three Lesser Gorges at various points on the trip. However due to local conditions, stops cannot always be guaranteed.
Activities(Included)
Cruise down the mighty Yangtze River for 3 nights on a local sleeper ferry
Stop off to visit the 1700-year-old Zhang Fei temple, famous for its exterior red-light decoration

Activities(Optional)
Stop off at the White Emperor City, a very scenic spot featured on the Chinese 10 Yuan banknote! - Cost: CNY 180
Stop off to take a boat ride through the stunning Three Mini Gorges - Cost: CNY 220

Day 98 Dazu

Today we will disembark our ferry when it docks in Chongqing in the early morning, and rejoin the truck and our co-driver! From Chongqing we have a short drive to Dazu, where we visit the Bei Shan and Baoding Shan caves, famous for their brightly-coloured freizes and carvings. In Dazu we will stay in a local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.
Activities(Optional)
Side trip to see the amazing sleeping Buddha in the Dazu Caves - Cost: CNY 135

Day 99 to 100 Chengdu

Today we have another short drive on to the incredible city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, where we will stay for 2 nights. On arrival we will have a free afternoon to explore the city's parks, streets, and museums, and visit the fascinating and incredibly photogenic Jinli Old Town. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. On the following day we will have an included visit to the fantastic Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre. We'll then return to Chengdu for another free afternoon to further explore the city. In Chengdu we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.
Activities(Included)
Visit to the Giant Panda breeding centre in Chengdu

Activities(Optional)
Explore the Jinsha Archeological Site, the capital of the Bronze Age Shu Kingdom who were one of the most ancient civilisations to settle in the area - Cost: CNY 80
Freely explore the narrow streets of the atmospheric Jinli Ancient Street and visit the nearby Wuhouci Shrine - Cost: CNY 60
Explore the cobbled streets of historic Lijang - Cost: CNY 85
Explore the mountain complex of Qingcheng, one of the ancient cradles of Taoism in China - Cost: CNY 190
Visit the impressive Tang Dynasty Buddhist temple of Wenshu, containing more than 450 Buddha statues - Cost: CNY 5
Head out for an evening performance of a traditional Sichuanese Opera - Cost: CNY 220

Day 101 to 102 Leshan

Today we continue our journey south to the town of Leshan to visit to the Leshan Grand Buddha - at 71m tall, this statue is the largest Buddha rock carving in the world! After our visit we will continue to the small town of Emei Shan. Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours. On the following day we will have a full day to explore Emei Shan Mountain, one of the holiest sites in Chinese Buddhism and the site of hundreds of temples and an incredible golden statue of the deity known as Samantabhadra. It is possible to walk all the way up the stairs from the base of the mountain, joining the many pilgrims in their journey to the temple complex at the mountain summit, or take the cable car up instead! In Emei Shan we will stay in a local guesthouse.
Activities(Included)
Day trek up the lush mountain of Emei Shan, one of the most important pilgrimage treks in China
See the colossal Dafo Great Buddha in Leshan, the world's largest rock-carved Buddha statue

Activities(Optional)
Take a cable car ride to the top of Emei Shan - Cost: CNY 120

Day 103 Panzhihua

Today we have a long drive south through stunning mountain scenery towards China's Yunnan province. In the evening you can take a stroll on the riverfront and get an insight into local Chinese life.  We will stay in the town of Miyi tonight in a  comfortable local hotel.  Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

Day 104 to 106 Lijiang

Today we drive further into Yunnan province to the beautiful 'Old-China'-style town of Lijiang, the base for visiting the world famous Tiger Leaping Gorge. Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours. On the following 2 days we will have free time to explore the town of Lijiang and its surroundings. One very popular excursion here is to go on a 2 day/1 night trek along the high trail above the Tiger Leaping Gorge - this is by far the best way to see the gorge from some truly incredible vantage points, and we will have the opportunity to take this trek during our time here (staying in a local guesthouse on the trail on the first night and returning to Lijiang for the second night). For those that don't want to do the full trek, your crew will also be able to arrange a trip to the low sections of the gorge, where there is a flat walkway to various viewpoints. In Lijiang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.
Activities(Optional)
Explore the beautiful natural scenery and traditional buildings in the Black Dragon Pool Park - Cost: CNY 80
Head out for a day of trekking around the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, taking in some of the most incredible scenery in China on a clear day - Cost: CNY 80
Explore the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain area by cable car - Cost: CNY 280
See the incredible 'Impressions Lijiang' cultural show, demonstrating the traditions and lifestyles of the Naxi, Yi and Bai peoples of the area - Cost: CNY 270
Freely explore the area by bicycle and discover the Naxi villages surrounding Lijiang, such as the beautiful village of Baisha - Cost: CNY 20
Head out for a 2-day self-guided trek along the high ridge of the sensational Tiger Leaping Gorge - Cost: CNY 200
Go on a shorter trek along the flat base of Tiger Leaping Gorge to enjoy the scenery from below - Cost: CNY 125

Day 107 to 108 Dali

Today we will drive through more stunning scenery to the beautiful Naxi town of Dali, where we will stay for 2 nights. Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours. On the following day we will have a free day to fully explore the area and for optional activities such as some short treks in the nearby Cangshan mountains or hiring bicycles to ride around the Dali lake. In Dali we stay in a friendly hostel or guesthouse with good facilities.
Activities(Optional)
Time for sightseeing in the lakeside town of Dali, home to the minority Bai people - Cost: CNY 40
Learn how to make dumplings and traditional Yunnanese cuisine at one of Dali's fantastic cooking classes - Cost: CNY 150
Discover the ornate 9th-century Three Pagodas of Chongsheng, some of the tallest pagodas in China's history and the symbol of Dali - Cost: CNY 120
Head out by bicycle to explore the region in depth and visit various Bai villages and Qing Dynasty bridges en route - Cost: CNY 50
Experience the incredible ancient art of cormorant fishing with the fishermen of Xizhou on Lake Erhai - Cost: CNY 100

Day 109 Kunming

There will be a group meeting at 18:00PM. The evening free to explore the city. Overnight in comfortable hotel.
Activities(Optional)
Overnight stay in Yunnan's laid back capital, Kunming - Cost: CNY 6

Day 110 Shilin Stone Forest

This morning we will drive to the incredible Shilin Stone Forest. We will have a free afternoon exploring the stunning and bizarre rock formations of the Stone Forest. Tonight we will stay in a local hotel near to the Shilin Stone Forest. Estimated Drive Time - 2 - 3 hours.
Activities(Included)
Explore the maze of limestone pinnacles in the Stone Forest

Day 111 Xishuangbanna

Heading south from Shilinzhen we  have a full days drive towards the southern region of Xishuangbanna.  Tonight we will stay in a local hotel en route. Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

Day 112 Jinghong

Today we drive to Jinghong. Overnight in a local guesthouse.

Day 113 Luang Namtha

Border Information: Exit China at Mohan, enter Laos at Boten. Short morning drive to the border with Laos, cross border and drive on to Luang Namtha, a small laid-back town on the edge of the Nam Ha Protected Area.  Estimate drive time 4- 5 hours We stay here for 3 nights at a comfortable friendly guesthouse lodge.
Activities(Included)
Cross the border into Laos and relax in peaceful Luang Nam Tha

Day 114 to 115 Luang Namtha

We have two full days in Luang Namtha for optional activities. There are many Hiking and trekking options available in the national park, or you could use this time to simply kick back and relax back at our guesthouse.
Activities(Optional)
Optional rafting, kayaking and trekking in Nam Ha National Park - Cost: USD 25

Day 116 Luang Prabang

This morning we drive through the stunning countryside of northern Laos and make our way to Luang Prabang where we stay in a friendly local hotel.  This afternoon there will be free time for any optional activities.  Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Activities(Included)
Enjoy the tranquility of beautiful colonial city Luang Prabang

Activities(Optional)
Explore the temple of Wat Xieng Thong, the oldest and one of the most beautiful temples in Luang Prabang - Cost: LAK 20000
Discover the thousands of Buddha statues at the Pak Ou caves outside of Luang Prabang - Cost: LAK 25000
Learn how to prepare some local Lao specialities at one of Luang Prabang's excellent cooking classes - Cost: USD 25
Witness the sunrise from the panoramic viewpoint at the summit of Phou Si hill - Cost: LAK 20000
Visit the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang, a fascinating blend of Lao and French architecture - Cost: LAK 30000

Day 117 Luang Prabang

Border Information: If joining in Luang Prabang, enter Laos at Luang Prabang Airport. There will be an important group meeting at 10:00 hrs. Your leader will leave a note at the reception telling you where this meeting will take place. Your leader will collect your kitty and check your passport and insurance details at this meeting. Tonight we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.
Activities(Included)
Enjoy the tranquility of beautiful colonial city Luang Prabang

Activities(Optional)
Witness the sunrise from the panoramic viewpoint at the summit of Phou Si hill - Cost: LAK 20000
Visit the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang, a fascinating blend of Lao and French architecture - Cost: LAK 30000
Explore the temple of Wat Xieng Thong, the oldest and one of the most beautiful temples in Luang Prabang - Cost: LAK 20000
Discover the thousands of Buddha statues at the Pak Ou caves outside of Luang Prabang - Cost: LAK 25000

Day 118 Luang Prabang

This morning we have a short drive to a small hill tribe village called Ban Long Lao. This Hmong village is where we begin our 4 hour trek to the stunning Kuang Si waterfalls. This afternoon you have time to relax and swim in the many warm turquoise pools. We return in the late afternoon to our comfortable hotel for the night.
Activities(Optional)
Learn how to prepare some local Lao specialities at one of Luang Prabang's excellent cooking classes - Cost: USD 25

Day 119 Vang Vieng

We leave after breakfast and drive to Vang Vieng (approx. 185 kms). The scenery today is spectacular as we make our way through windy and mountainous roads, passing small Hmong villages along the way so plenty of photo opportunities! We will stop for lunch in one of these villages before continuing our journey to Vang Vieng. The afternoon is free to explore. Estimated Drive time 5 - 6 hours We will stay overnight in a comfortable guesthouse tonight.

Day 120 Vang Vieng

Today we have the whole day to explore Vang Vieng. Enjoy the stunning landscapes surrounding the village and take part of the many optional activities available in the area. Popular activities here include trekking, renting a bicycle or rock climbing.
Activities(Optional)
Free time available for optional activities in laid-back Vang Vieng - Cost: USD 30
Head out for a rock climbing trip in the ideal crags near Vang Vieng - Cost: USD 40
Kayak through the stunning scenery of the Nam Song River, and stop off in some of the Khmu villages en route - Cost: USD 40
Trek around the fantastic limestone hills and stunning caves near Vang Vieng - Cost: USD 20
Explore the scared ethereal Tham Phu Kham Caves and Blue Lagoon just outside Vang Vieng - Cost: LAK 20000

Day 121 Thakhek

We set off early this morning for a full days drive from Vang Vieng to Thakhek. We will arrive in the late afternoon and set up camp for the night. Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours Tonight we will wild camp near Thakhek

Day 122 Pakse

  We will have the morning to explore the town before continuing our journey south to Pakse. Once in Pakse we have a short drive to the magnificent Wat Phou, a ruined Khmer temple complex located at the base of Mt Phu Kao. Overnight in local Guesthouse in Pakse. Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.
Activities(Included)
Visit the incredible 10th-century temple of Wat Phou

Activities(Optional)
Enjoy a traditional massage in one of Pakse's excellent massage centres - Cost: LAK 35000

Day 123 to 124 Don Khon

  From Pakse we Drive South and transfer to a boat to take us over to one of the larger islands in the area, Don Khong. This afternoon we visit the Li Phi waterfalls and then spend the rest of the day relaxing.  Overnight in a local guesthouse. On our 2nd day on Don Khong we will have free time to explore the island which can be easily discovered by bicycles. On the bike you will discover a quiet rural life of the the four thousand Islands.  Estimated Drive time 3 - 4 hours

Day 125 to 126 Kratie

Border Information: Exit Laos at Voeung Kam, enter Cambodia at Dom Kralor. Today we will be rejoining the truck. We then drive to the Cambodian border, cross and continue on to Kratie. Kratie is situated in the northeast of Cambodia on the banks of the Mekong River, this area is famous for its sunsets!  In Kratie we will stay with local families in their homes. The accommodation is fairly basic but this will be a fantastic local experience. Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours On our 2nd day in Kratie we visit the fresh water dolphins and visit the town of Kratie, including the Pagodas.
Activities(Included)
Visit the beautiful 16th-century Hundred Pillar Pagoda near Kratie

Activities(Optional)
Hire bikes to explore the area, visit the basket weavers in the surrounding villages, or head to nearby Trong Island for the sunset - Cost: USD 2

Day 127 Phnom Penh

Today we drive to Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. The afternoon is free to explore. Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours. We will be staying in Phnom Penh for 2 nights at a friendly local guesthouse.
Activities(Included)
2 nights in Cambodia's chaotic capital Phnom Penh

Activities(Optional)
Visit the beautiful Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh - Cost: USD 7

Day 128 Phnom Penh

This morning we will have a very moving visit to the infamous Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields Memorial. We will then return to Phnom Penh and have a free afternoon to explore Cambodia's capital. Tonight we will spend a second night in a local guesthouse. 
Activities(Included)
Learn about Cambodia's history at the "Killing Fields" and Tuol Sleng Prison Museum

Activities(Optional)
Discover the world's largest collection of Khmer art at the National Museum of Cambodia - Cost: USD 5
Visit the beautiful Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh - Cost: USD 7

Day 129 Kompong Thom

This morning we have a fairly short drive to Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia's most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments. We will have plenty of time to explore the ruins before driving back to Kompong Thom, where we spend the night in the house of a local family. The accommodation is basic and some bathrooms are outside, but experiencing traditional home-cooked food and spending time with people of the village is truly a special experience. Estimated Drive Time - 5 - 6 hours.   We stay overnight in a local home stay.
Activities(Included)
Explore the amazing pre-Angkorian temple complex of Sambor Prei Kuk

Day 130 Siem Reap

This morning we drive from Kompong Thom to Siem Reap - We will be in Siem Reap for 3 nights staying in a friendly local hotel. Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours

Day 131 Siem Reap

Today we get up early for our full day guided exploration of the incredible temples of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. We will also be able to watch the sunset over the temples. Second night in friendly local hotel.
Activities(Included)
Full day tour of the incredible temples at Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom

Day 132 Siem Reap

Today is a free day for you to do as you please. Return to the temples to spend some more time exploring, or maybe take some time to relax with a massage or local spa treatment. Siem Reap itself is a lively little town and interesting to wander around. Third night in friendly local hotel.

Day 133 Bangkok

Border Information: Exit Cambodia at, enter Thailand at Aranyaprathet. This morning we start our journey to the Cambodian border of Poipet where we will say goodbye to our co driver and overland truck. Once we have crossed the border and proceedings through the Thai Immigration office we will then finish our journey on locally chartered transport out of the Aranyaprathet and through the Thai countryside to the bustling city of Bangkok.  Estimated Drive Time - 8 -9 hours. (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Activities(Optional)
Explore the sights of the bustling Thai capital of Bangkok, including the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun, and the countless temples and parks - Cost: THB
Climb the steps of the Golden Mount to see the panoramic view of Bangkok from the Wat Saket temple - Cost: THB
Learn all about Thai history and culture at the Bangkok National Museum, the largest and most comprehensive museum in South East Asia - Cost: THB 40

Day 134 Bangkok

Border Information: Finishing in Bangkok, exit Thailand at Bangkok Airport. Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Bangkok. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
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