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.Trip currently not available. Call for more information.Read More


Tibet & China Rail Discovery

Tibet & China Rail Discovery

Roll across Western China to discover the teeming Sunday Market in exotic Kashgar, where Marco Polo may have shopped; the ancient karez underground irrigation system in Turpan that caused the desert to bloom; and the Mogao Caves at Dunhuang, where generations of pilgrims carved and painted images of the Buddha. Then hop the special high-altitude train, ascending from the Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa at 12,000 feet, passing the world’s highest railroad station along the way. Explore the “City of the Sun,” with its massive UNESCO-listed Potala Palace, sacred Jokhang Temple, and the lively Barkhor Market. Read More


Mongolia to Moscow: A Trans-Siberian Railway Adventure

Mongolia to Moscow: A Trans-Siberian Railway Adventure

Travel on regularly scheduled Trans-Siberian trains over a dramatic and variegated route that offers limitless opportunities to meet the diverse local people – Mongol, Buryat and Russian. Experience the rolling green hills and nomadic traditions of Mongolia, Siberia’s UNESCO-listed Lake Baikal, and endless taiga forest on your way to the booming capital, Moscow. The July departure features Mongolia’s Naadam Festival.Read More


Helene Eriksen & ANAR DANA present: Dance Tour Through Uzbekistan

Helene Eriksen & ANAR DANA present: Dance Tour Through Uzbekistan

Join internationally respected dance ethnologist Helene Eriksen on a journey to the heart of the Silk Road, Uzbekistan, to luxuriate in the dances, costumes and music of the Central Asian desert region. This specialized journey is handcrafted for people who are ready to learn the dance movements of the Silk Road and who love the arts and handicrafts of the people who call this region home. Benefit from the knowledge that your host has accumulated throughout 36 years of researching, dancing and teaching the dances of Uzbekistan. Read More


Insider’s Russia:  Moscow & St. Petersburg Rediscovered

Insider’s Russia: Moscow & St. Petersburg Rediscovered

Get to know Western Russia from the inside out. Enter into medieval Moscow and imperial St. Petersburg and follow them through the cataclysm of revolution and war, then perestroika, collapse and rebirth. Enjoy intimate conversations with local people, insider perks like a ballet master class and dinner at a private dacha; and soak up the absolute best of Russian culture at superb museums and theaters. MIR first led trips to Western Russia 30 years ago, when it was still the USSR. To celebrate our 30-plus years of travel expertise, we’ve developed this trip that takes us back to our roots – a real and remarkable Russia. 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


Essential Central Asia

Essential Central Asia

Explore the markets, mosques, minarets and teahouses of oasis towns on the fringes of the Kyzyl Kum and Kara Kum deserts. Here, spiritual beliefs were the greatest commodities to flow along trade routes, and civilizations blossomed amidst austere natural beauty. Read More


Essential Uzbekistan

Essential Uzbekistan

Roam the great Silk Road oases of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva, all of them UNESCO Sites. Admire their mosques, madrassahs and minarets clad in ceramic tiles the color of the desert sky. Read More


Essential St. Petersburg

Essential St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, home of the czars and their courts, is a rich repository of extravagant palaces, brilliant museums and renowned theaters overflowing with music and dance. Its fashionable boulevards and serene canals glisten in the “White Nights” of summer and dazzle on sunny winter days. Built by Peter the Great as Russia’s Window to the West, St. Petersburg is one of the world’s great cities.Read More