Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival

Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival

On the rocky ridges overlooking Mongolia’s westernmost province, remote Bayan-Ulgii, a dwindling number of ethnic Kazakhs carry on a 6,000-year-old tradition — hunting with magnificent Golden Eagles, one of the world’s largest predatory birds. Attend the annual Golden Eagle Festival, where the eagle hunters display their birds’ speed, skill and training, as well as the deep bond that forms between bird and human. Along the way, explore Mongolia’s capital, UlaanBaatar, with its Buddhist and nomadic heritage, and the fabled Gobi Desert. Read More


China’s Silk Road & Tibet: Route of Monks & Merchants

China’s Silk Road & Tibet: Route of Monks & Merchants

Retrace the path of ancient traders and adventurers on this comprehensive overland journey across Western China. Experience the legendary Kashgar Sunday Animal Market, where merchants sell everything from ducks to sheep. Make your way east to visit Turpan’s lush Grape Valley, watered by a 2,000-year-old irrigation system, and Dunhuang’s UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves, frescoed and carved with a thousand images of the Buddha. Ride the high-altitude train from Xining to Tibet, and explore the Tibetan Plateau on a splendid route that embraces the sacred cities of Gyantse and Shigatse, as well as Lhasa, “City of the Sun.”Read More


Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

Silk, spices, tea, precious metals and jewels, carefully lashed to pack camels, made their way from one world to another along the old Silk Road. Follow in the footsteps of early explorers who plied these trade routes connecting East with West.Begin this six-country adventure in Almaty, Kazakhstan and from there fly to the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China to visit one of the most exotic cities in the world, Kashgar.Skirt the infamous Taklamakan Desert on camelback, and later admire the breathtaking views across the 12,000-foot Torugart Pass, following the Silk Road through Kyrgyzstan to Lake Issyk-Kul and Bishkek. Visit Tashkent, the Fergana Valley and the UNESCO-listed Silk Road oases of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva in Uzbekistan, and continue overland into Turkmenistan to discover its 2,500-year history.Read More


Tibet & China Rail Discovery

Tibet & China Rail Discovery

Explore the City of the Sun, Lhasa, with its massive, UNESCO-listed Potala Palace, sacred Jokhang Temple and the lively Barkhor Market. Then hop the special high-altitude train, descending from Lhasa’s 12,000 feet down 
to Golmud. Transfer to a comfortable private train and roll across Western China to the Mogao Caves at Dunhuang, where generations of pilgrims carved and painted a thousand images of the Buddha; the ancient karez underground irrigation system in Turpan that caused the desert to bloom; and the teeming Sunday Market in exotic Kashgar, where Marco Polo may have shopped. Read More


Siberia & Mongolia: Spirits & Nomads

Siberia & Mongolia: Spirits & Nomads

Beautiful and exotic, Siberia and Mongolia are worlds away from the traditional beaten path. Explore the Mongolian capital, UlaanBaatar, then fly to the red sands of the Gobi Desert. Celebrate a country Naadam Festival, far from the glitz and ruckus of the capital. In Siberia, take to the waters of great Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest lake on earth, and ride a section of the fabled Trans-Siberian Railway.Read More


Opening the Door on the DPRK (North Korea)

Opening the Door on the DPRK (North Korea)

Seize the window of opportunity to enter North Korea (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) for an unusual week-long exploration. A country few western travelers have seen since the 1950s, the DPRK encompasses some of the finest landscapes in Asia. Survey its historic sites and modern monuments, and visit the North Korea Peace Museum in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), built for the armistice signing in 1953.Read More


Essential Tibet

Essential Tibet

Fly to the holy city of Lhasa high on the Tibetan Plateau. Admire the treasures of Tibetan culture on the “Roof of the World” and respond to the atmosphere of centuries of Buddhist practices.The highlights of this stirring journey are the holy city of Lhasa and the remote monasteries and sacred refuges hidden in the heart of the forbidding Tibetan Plateau.Read More


Essential Siberia

Essential Siberia

Near the shores of UNESCO-listed Lake Baikal, survey the Mongolian, Cossack, Buryat and Buddhist heritage of south Siberia, and admire its overwhelming natural beauty. Take a short trip on the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway and continue to Listvyanka, a small village situated on the shore of Lake Baikal. Explore Ulan Ude, capital of the Buryat Republic and center of Buddhism in Russia.Read More


Essential Tajikistan

Essential Tajikistan

Secluded Tajikistan is wreathed in spectacular mountains and colored with the influence of Persia, the Islamic world and Russia. From the country’s capital, Dushanbe, to storied Khujand in the fertile Fergana Valley, discover Tajikistan’s hospitable people, famed archaeological sites and enduring culture. Explore the ruins of the ancient city of Penjikent and share a meal with a family.Read More


Siberian Winter Escapade

Siberian Winter Escapade

When you think of Siberia, you may think of punishment and exile, of barren tundra and vast expanses of nothingness – of a place of no return. But Siberia is a wild and wooded place of unimaginable beauty, whose cities glow with warmth even in winter. When snow bends the evergreen boughs in a Zhivago-esque backdrop, UNESCO-listed Lake Baikal freezes so hard that you can walk on water, race teams of sled dogs, and fish through the ice. Experience the rare opportunity to sweep across the frozen lake by hovercraft to sacred Olkhon Island, the place where the indigenous Buryat people believe the gods of Baikal to have lived -- an unparalleled slice of real Siberian life. Read More