Bishkek to Ashgabat

08/13/2020 through 10/01/2022
08/13/2020 through 10/04/2022
Intrepid Travel

Bishkek to Ashgabat

Be entranced by the beauty and the wonder of Central Asia on this overland journey from the capital of Kyrgyzstan through the heartland of Uzbekistan to the forgotten yet futuristic Ashgabat. Take in the tranquil landscape of Son-Kol Lake, watch for wild boar and deer around Chychkan Gorge, hike up the sacred Sulumain-too Mountain in historic Osh, and get your fill of mosques and museums in Samarkand. Venture into the mysterious Turkmenistan, camp out by the ‘gate of hell’, and explore Ashgabat with architectures from a scifi movie. Abounding with ancient culture, divine natural beauty, intriguing relics, and welcoming people, this is a journey that will leave you eager to discover more of Central Asia.

Activities

  • Bishkek – City Tour
  • Shamsy Valley – Burana tower
  • Don Aryk – Local home visit & horsemanship demonstration
  • Kochkor – Market
  • Kochkor – Women’s Felt Co-op
  • Uzgen – Uzgen Minaret & Complex
  • Osh – Sulaiman-Too Mountain
  • Osh – National Historical and Archaeological Museum Complex
  • Tashkent – Chorsu Bazaar
  • Tashkent – Khast Imom Complex & Moyie Mubarek Library Museum
  • Tashkent – History Museum of the People of Uzbekistan
  • Samarkand – Bibi-Khanym Mosque
  • Samarkand – Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum
  • Samarkand – Shakh-I-Zinda
  • Samarkand – Registan
  • Samarkand – Paper making workshop & home cooked lunch
  • Shakhrisabz – Ak Saray Palace
  • Shakhrisabz – Kok-Gumbaz Mosque
  • Shakhrisabz – Dor-ut Tilovat Memorial Complex
  • Shakhrisabz – Dorus Saodat Complex
  • Bukhara – Ismail Samani Mausoleum
  • Bukhara – Sitorai Mohi Hosa Palace
  • Bukhara – Chor-Bakr Necropolis
  • Bukhara – Ark Fortress
  • Bukhara – Kalon Mosque
  • Vobkent – Minaret
  • Gijduvan – Ceramics workshop
  • Khiva – Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum
  • Khiva – Kuhna Ark
  • Khiva – Islom Hoja Minaret & Medressa
  • Khiva – Juma Mosque
  • Khiva – Tosh-Hovli Palace
  • Darvaza – “Door to Hell” Crater
  • Konye-Urgench – City tour
  • Yerbent – Village visit
  • Ashgabat – National Museum of Turkmenistan
  • Ashgabat – Nisa ruins
  • Ashgabat – Anau ruins
  • Ashgabat – Independence Monument
  • Ashgabat – Neutrality Arch
  • Ashgabat – Turkmenbashy Ruhi Mosque & Family Mausoleum of the First President of Turkmenistan
  • Ashgabat – Ertugrul Gazi Mosque
  • Merv – Big & Small Kizkala
  • Merv – Erk Kala & Gayur Kala
  • Merv – Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum

Highlights

  • Central Asia is a fascinating and unique mix of ancient Silk Road culture, post-soviet culture and striving to redefine nations post independence. Geographically and for a time historically, it is the real centre of Asia
  • The much-photographed Registan in Samarkand is one of the true pinnacles of Islamic architecture. You’ll be wowed by the scale, grandeur and beauty of the monuments to iconic figures such as Tamerlane and the Persian influenced madressas, mosques and mausoleums
  • Experience for yourself the legend that is Central Asian hospitality – there’s really nothing like being welcomed into a local home or yurt for a meal, chatting with stall holders at bazaars or simply marvelling at the sights alongside locals
  • Kyrgyzstans mountains are its monuments and its majesty. The landscapes here will stay with you long after the journey is over
  • Marvel at the beautiful Son-Kol Lake, where in mid-summer you may see flocks of sheep, goats and herds of horses watched over by nomadic herdsmen and their families
  • Stay overnight in a yurt lakeside and live like the locals have for centuries in these portable, felt lined traditional tents
  • Reflect on the important role horses have played in the traditional Kyrgyz nomadic life style while witnessing horseback sports like odarysh (wrestling on horseback), tiyin-enish (where riders try to pick up coins at full gallop) or kok-baru (goat polo)
  • Explore sprawling ruins of Mary, Merv and others with a local guide and contemplate these remnants of empires that once ruled this vast land
  • Witness the eternal flames of the Darvaza Crater, aka the ‘Door to Hell’ as you camp nearby – one of the strangest, most mesmerising geological oddities on earth
  • Ashgabat rose from the devastation of an earthquake in 1948 and has enjoyed a surreal and futuristic makeover

Itinerary

Day 1 Bishkek
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Day 2 Bishkek
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Day 3 Don Aryk - Issyk Kul - Kochkor
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Day 4 Son-Kol
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Day 5 Kyzyl-Oi
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Day 6 Suusamyr Valley - Chychkan - Kok-Bel
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Day 7 Osh
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Day 8 Osh
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Day 9 KGZ/UZB border crossing - Andijan - Tashkent
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Day 10 Tashkent
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Day 11 Samarkand
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Day 12 Samarkand
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Day 13 Samarkand - Shahrisabz - Bukhara
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Day 14 Bukhara
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Day 15 Gijduvan - Bukhara
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Day 16 Tashkent
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Day 17 Tashkent
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Day 18 Khiva
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Day 19 Khiva
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Day 20 Konye-Urgench - Darvaza
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Day 21 Yerbent - Ashgabat
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Day 22 Ashgabat
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Day 23 Mary
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Day 24 Merv - Mary
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Day 25 Ashgabat
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Day 26 Ashgabat
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