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

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

Explore the Tibetan Plateau on a splendid circular route that embraces the sacred cities of Tsetang, Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse. Ride the high-altitude train from Lhasa down to Lanzhou, and on to Western China and the Kashgar Animal Market. Along the way, visit Dunhuang’s UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves, frescoed and carved with a thousand images of the Buddha, and Turpan’s lush Grape Valley, watered by a 2,000-year-old irrigation system.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


Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival

Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival

Mongolia: The name conjures up images of vast grasslands, wind-swept steppe and endless sky. Here an empire built on horseback galloped across two continents, leaving behind the names Genghis and Kublai Khan. Follow their lead, using the horsepower of modern vehicles to cover the incredible distances at the heart of Mongolia. End in the capital, where the ancient skills of that nomadic army are preserved at the extraordinary Naadam Festival.Read More


Mongolia & Tibet: Steppes to the Roof of the World

Mongolia & Tibet: Steppes to the Roof of the World

The peoples of the Mongolian steppe and of the Tibetan Plateau have much in common. Both espouse Tibetan Buddhism and unfurl painted silk thangkas on festival days. Both were originally nomads, the Mongolians relying on the horse and the Tibetans on the yak for sustenance. From the “Roof of the World” to the Gobi Desert, dive deep into both enduring cultures.Please noteThis itinerary is currently only available as a custom or independent program.  For a small group tour to this region, see Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival.Read More


Silk Route Odyssey: Caravan Across Uzbekistan

Silk Route Odyssey: Caravan Across Uzbekistan

The center of Central Asia, Uzbekistan is home to three of the most renowned of the Silk Road oases -- Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Journey through these UNESCO Sites, the incredible Savitsky Museum in Nukus and the lush Fergana Valley, where Central Asia's silk production began with two cocoons hidden in the headdress of a royal Chinese bride. Read More