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 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


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.Trip currently not available. Call for more information.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


The Silk Route by Private Train: Westbound

The Silk Route by Private Train: Westbound

The Princes of Muscovy traded precious furs – sable, ermine and fox – for the silks of China that reached their borders on the backs of swaying camels along the old Silk Road. Today you can make the epic journey along the Silk Road aboard comfortable private trains instead of, as in the old days, hazarding the wild deserts and fierce tribes of Central Asia with a caravan of well-armed merchants. An eastbound Moscow to Beijing departure is also available. A shorter version of this trip, The Silk Route ‘Stans by Private Train is also available from Almaty to Moscow as well as eastbound, Moscow to Almaty. Read More


The Trans-Siberian Express Between Moscow & Beijing: Eastbound

The Trans-Siberian Express Between Moscow & Beijing: Eastbound

Starting in Moscow with its gleaming golden cupolas, continue to the steep shores of ancient Lake Baikal and on to Mongolia’s modern capital, Ulaanbaatar. Traverse Mongolia from the endless steppe across the Gobi Desert, where Genghis Khan’s armies once galloped. Roll along a railway that ties together two of the world’s biggest countries, Russia and China, and end in Beijing, where the remnants of Imperial China sit shoulder-to-shoulder with thriving businesses and five star hotels.Westbound Beijing to Moscow departures are also available.Read More


The Trans-Siberian Express Between Beijing & Moscow: Westbound

The Trans-Siberian Express Between Beijing & Moscow: Westbound

Starting in Beijing, where the remnants of Imperial China sit shoulder-to-shoulder with thriving businesses and five star hotels, roll along a railway that ties together two of the world’s biggest countries, China and Russia. Traverse Mongolia from the Gobi Desert across the endless steppe, where Genghis Khan’s armies once galloped, to the modern capital, Ulaanbaatar. Continue up to the steep shores of ancient Lake Baikal, and on to the gleaming golden cupolas of Moscow.Eastbound Moscow to Beijing departures are also available.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


Central Asian Epic Overland Adventure

Central Asian Epic Overland Adventure

Get a taste of the incredible diversity along the Silk Road. Discover Kyrgyz nomads in the highlands, as well as the classic architecture of UNESCO-listed Samarkand and Bukhara. Overnight in a yurt camp and drive over 12,000-foot Torugart Pass into Western China. Browse the incredible Kashgar Animal Market, enjoy a meal in an Uzbek home, visit a silk master’s private workshop and have lunch at a ceramics master’s studio.Trip currently not available. Call for more information.Read More