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The Silk Road

Overview

The Silk Road. Three magical words that focus upon a world filled with interest and mystery. The Silk
Road was once a forbidding journey undertaken only by traders and intrepid missionaries. The route
was dangerous and the preparations overwhelming. There were robbers and brigands, the weather
was harsh; there were legends of terrifying beasts and mythical creatures; and a need for vast
amounts of supplies. This tour passes through parts of Uzbekistan and Kirgizstan and into Western
China, and is one of the most dramatic and majestic parts of the Silk Road. Uzbekistan, a colorful
country filled with the unique fragrances of spices, mosques and souks, surrounded by mountains and
deserts. Desert oases were where the warrior tribes of the north met with the cultured populations of
the south. That is how the culture developed and along with it, places like Bukhara and Samarkand.
Kirgizstan, a small country located to the west of the soaring mountains of Tien Shen. We‘ll visit
Kashgar, the westernmost city in China, where one of the trip‘s highlights will be the visit to the
Sunday Market, the most famous of its kind in all of Asia. Tens of thousands of traders and buyers
from all over western China come to sell and buy camels, horses, cattle, carpets, dowry boxes, knives
and everything else that comes to mind. We‘ll also visit Turfan, which is both the hottest and coldest
place in China and which is one of China‘s primary wine districts.

Full Itinerary

Day 1 Monday April 12, 2010 Arrival to Tashkent


Arrival to Tashkent, meeting and orientation at the hotel.

Day 2 Tuesday April 13, 2010 Tashkent


After breakfast we‘ll head out to tour Tashkent, the City of Stone. We‘ll tour the modern city, rebuilt
under Soviet Russian influence after the great earthquake of 1966. We‘ll see the impressive statue of
Nur Amir, the monument commemorating the earthquake, the parliament, independence square and
the opera house. We‘ll continue to the Museum and the Koran library as well as the Museum of
Practical Art. We‘ll also visit the Train Station, itself a work of art created from marble and granite.
Day 3 Wednesday April 14, 2010 Tashkent - Urgench - Khiva
Today we‘ll head for the airport for our flight to Urgench, a regional industrial city. From Urgench
we‘ll travel to Khiva, the youngest city amongst those built along the Silk Road and which used to be
the place of trade in Russian slaves. The city is located in the Karakum Desert. Legend has it that Khiva
was created when Shem, the son of Noah, discovered a well here. According to written history, Khiva
was built in the 8th century as a fortress along the Silk Road, but it began to flourish as a regional
center only in the 16th century with the decline of Urgench. This is one of the best preserved cities of
central Asia. It still has covered alleys, palaces and mosques. We‘ll wander through the city and
marvel at its nature; mud streets, courtyards, cobbled lanes, and clay walls. An oasis city along the Silk
Road. We‘ll visit artisans who still create by hand - wood carvings, papier-mâché puppets and more.

Day 4 Thursday April 15, 2010 Khiva - Bukhara


Today we‘ll tour the Ichen Kala, the western and primary gate of this beautiful walled city, built in the
18th century. We‘ll visit the Madrasa of Muhammad Amin Khan, the fortress of Kukhna Ark, the
minaret of Kalta Minor and the mausoleum of Pahlawan Mahmud, the most decorated building in
Khiva which also houses a well known for its folk remedies. In the evening we‘ll depart for Bukhara,
the sacred city in central Asia.

Day 5 Friday April 16, 2010 Bukhara


The sites of Bukhara encompass a rich history of over 1,000 years. We‘ll visit the mausoleum of Ismail
Samani, one of oldest Muslim buildings in the world. We‘ll continue to Lyab-i Hauz, the water
reservoir in the middle of the city. The reservoir is central to a widespread system of canals and
reservoirs that cross the city. We‘ll continue to visit the minaret from where Jews who refused
conversion to Islam were cast off. We‘ll visit the Jewish quarter, the synagogue and the school, and
then continue to the fortress from where we‘ll enjoy a panoramic view of the entire city. Afterwards
we‘ll make our way back to the hotel to prepare for Shabbat.

Day 6 Shabbat April 17, 2010 Bukhara


After Shabbat services and lunch we'll take a walking tour of the area near the hotel.

Day 7 Sunday April 18, 2010 Bukhara - Samarkand


We‘ll set out early this morning for the trip to Samarkand, via the Kizilkum desert. Upon arrival to
Samarkand we‘ll start our tour of this 2,500-year-old city. We‘ll note the wide boulevards, blue
domes, madrassas and mosques. More than anything, this is the city of Timur the Lame, the king
whose empire embraced Delhi, Baghdad, Moscow and Constantinople. We‘ll visit the Gur Emir
complex, the burial grounds of the Timurid dynasty.

Day 8 Monday April 19, 2010 Samarkand - Bishkek


We‘ll start the day at Samarkand‘s central market, after which we‘ll continue to the Ulugh Beg
observatory - the most advanced in the world during the Middle Ages - and the museum alongside it.
We‘ll proceed to the Afrasiab museum and the sites around the Shah I Zinda necropolis. Afterwards
we‘ll head to the airport for our flight to Bishkek, capital of Kirgizstan. Upon arrival we‘ll transfer to
our hotel.
Day 9 Tuesday April 20, 2010 Bishkek - Cholpon Ata
After breakfast we‘ll tour around Bishkek which lies at the foot of the Tien Shan (Roof of the World)
mountains. Bishkek is known to have more trees than people and it is indeed a very pastoral city. The
city center is built in typical soviet style, with party palaces and statues that glorify the ruling classes.
After the tour we‘ll make our way to Cholpon Ata which lies alongside Isik Kul Lake (the Hot Lake), the
second highest mountain lake in the world. Along the way we‘ll stop at Burana Tower, all that remains
from the ancient city of Balasagun (destroyed by the 14th century), and we‘ll visit the cemetery of the
wanderers of the great plains. Once we arrive to the resort town of Cholpon Ata, we‘ll visit the local
museum as well as a rock-art site dating back to the 5th century BC. Toward eveining we‘ll take a
cruise on the lake (depending on the weather).

Day 10 Wednesday April 21, 2010 Cholpon Ata - Narin


Today we'll travel to Narin, a fortress town established along the Silk Road, alongside the Narin River.
Along the way we‘ll stop at the village of Kochkor where we‘ll visit a traditional carpet weaving
workshop typical of this area of central Asia.

Day 11 Thursday April 22, 2010 Narin - Kashgar


This morning we‘ll travel to the border between Kirgizstan and China. The road winds through
Torugart Pass (elevation 3750m) and alongside the mountaintop scenery of the Kaktai Mountain
Range. Once across the border we‘ll head toward Kashgar, located in the Tarim basin and surrounded
by the Pamir Mountains.

Day 12 Friday April 23, 2010 Kashgar


After breakfast we‘ll drive out through scenery of snowcapped peaks, sparse vegetation, and flowing
rivers toward Karakuli Lake, a verdant and breathtaking place. The lake lies at the foot of the
Mujtztagh Ata Mountain on the slopes of the Pamir range. Its peak reaches up close to 800m. This is
one of the most beautiful locations along the Silk Road. After the outing we‘ll head back to Kashgar to
prepare for Shabbat.

Day 13 Shabbat April 24, 2010 Kashgar


Kashgar is one of the most colorful and interesting cities along the Silk Road. Most of its inhabitants
are Muslim. Kashgar was an important trading city along the Silk Road and remains so even 2000
years later. After Shabbat services and lunch we‘ll take a walking tour through the city.

Day 14 Sunday April 25, 2010 Kashgar, the Sunday Market - Urumqi
Our visit to the Sunday market will help us recreate some of the sights, sounds and smells of the Silk
Road. In the afternoon we‘ll fly to Urumqi, capital of the Uyghur Autonomous region. The city is home
to 13 different ethnic minorities, among them Han, Mongol, Cossack, Tatar, Russian, Uzbek and
Uyghur. The meaning of the word Urumqi is "the pleasant meadow" and it‘s the largest city in
Western China. The Guinness Book of records tells that Urumqi is the furthest city in the world (2500
km) from an ocean.

Day 15 Monday April 26, 2010 Urumqi - Turfan


After breakfast we‘ll drive to Turfan, through the bare landscapes of the huge Taklamakan desert.
We‘ll visit the remains of the ancient city of Gauchang which testifies to early flourishing settlement
along the Silk Road; the Kizil caves at the foot of the Fire Mountains where amazing rock art was
found; and the Emin Minaret, one of the noted symbols of the area.

Day 16 Tuesday April 27, 2010 Turfan – Urumqi


Today we‘ll continue our tour of Turfan which serves as a wine producing center and is especially
renowned for its fine raisins. We‘ll view the subterranean water system and the wine valleys.
Afterwards we‘ll return to Urumqi.

Day 17 Wednesday April 28, 2010 Urumqi – Tashkent


After breakfast we‘ll bid farewell to the Silk Road and make our way to the airport. We‘ll fly to
Tashkent where we began our journey. After landing, we‘ll stroll through the stalls of the market
place, among the carpets, woven materials, silversmiths, jewelers and other artisans.

Day 18 Thursday April 29, 2010 Tashkent – Home Gateway


After breakfast and a final discussion on the experiences we have shared, we'll make our way to the
airport to depart for our home gateway.

Cost & Accommodation

Tour code Start date End date Days Price Single supplement
ESIR1204 12/04/2010 29/04/2010 18 days $3790 $690

Important:

• There may be changes to the schedule and hotel reservations dependent upon internal
flights. We will make every effort to visit every location mentioned.

PRICE INCLUDES

• Domestic flights as per the itinerary


• First class or upper grade tourist class hotels
• Comfortable touring coach
• Entrance to all sites mentioned in the tour plan
• Breakfast + Dinner + supplies for making sandwiches for lunch
• Professional experienced Israeli guide + Local Guide as required

PRICE EXCLUDES

• International Flights
• Travel and baggage Insurance
• Tours and shows that are not included in the tour plan
• Chinese Visa
• Kirgizstan Visa
• Uzbekistan Visa
• Tips for local service providers: $160
• Changes in air fares due to increases in fuel airport tax and security tax surcharges as they
become known prior to the tour. (Travel price was fixed on October 25 2009)
• Tip for our tour guide (Recommended: $3 per person per tour day)

Deposit, Cancellation Fees & Policy:


A $500 USD Deposit per person must be received at the time of booking in order to confirm your
reservation. Payment in full is due 90 days before departure.
A minimum number of participants are required to operate tour dates. If a minimum number has not
been reached prior to tour departure and the tour is cancelled you will receive a FULL refund.

• 90 days before departure bookings are refundable less a $100 administration fee
• 60-90 days prior to departure: $500 + $100 per passenger
• 30-60 days prior to departure: $1,000 + $100 per passenger
• Less than 30 working days prior to departure: 100% of total - no refund
• We strongly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance encompassing both cancellation and medical insurance is very important and we can
not stress that enough. We strongly recommend that our clients are adequately insured when
travelling. It is crucial to purchase the travel insurance within 14 days from the 1st payment that you
make for this trip (flights/cruise/tour etc). Your payment is made directly to the insurance company.
We highly recommend the 'cancel for any reason' upgrade option.
Our preferred policies are Travel Safe (USA & Canadian residents), Travel Select (USA residents) and
Global Trip Protection Elite (All other Nationalities).
For an obligation free quote and further details email Yonah insurance@eddiestravel.com

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