The five stans silk road vacation
One of our bestselling Silk road vacations takes you to all the ‘five stans’ with epic border-crossing train journeys, insightful local guides and unique community stays in a family home and a rural yurt camp, supporting local nomadic culture.
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan UNESCO Nisa ruins Jeep convoy across Karakum Desert 12 century city of Abiverd UNESCO ruins of Merv Bukhara, Uzbekistan Samarkand Shakhrisabz Termez Dushanbe, Tajikistan Fann Mountains Iskanderkul Lake Khujand Ferghana Arslanbob Nature Reserve, Kyrgyzstan Sulayman Mount Arslan Bob homestay Tien Shan Mountains Kyzyl Oi village homestay Son Kul Lake Bishkek Almaty, Kazakhstan
US $6879ToUS $7549excluding flights
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Optional single supplement from £832 - £848.
Minimum age 16.
Minimum age 16.
Description of The five stans silk road vacation
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Small group tours:
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modeled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. Those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
1 Reviews of The five stans silk road vacation
5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on 19 Sep 2019 by Simon Castleman
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
The burning crater
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Pack half what you think you need and buy stuff like silk scarves, carpets in Buchara
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleLocal craft and Culture:
We explore the many museums and mosques, mausoleums and markets of Ashgabat, Bukhara and Samarkand. By visiting these cultural and historical sites, we are supporting maintenance, restoration and research. Traditional craftsmanship is evident everywhere we go- from intricate tilework, wooden carvings and patterned textiles, to locally produced delicacies. At the bazaars we visit, local embroidered products, handmade carpets, painted ceramics and jewellery are all for sale. Not only does buying from market vendors benefit local people and celebrate traditional crafts, but it is a cultural experience in itself! (Expect to haggle). Our local guides are able to advise clients on products to purchase and which to avoid especially when the import of Turkmen carpets and carpet decorated items require relevant documentation and there may be extra costs that clients should be wary of. They should purchase carpets from authorized carpet dealer in large hotels or state carpet shops that comes with a certificate to show that taxes and fees are included.
A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from your visit.
Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip, we will spend most nights in hotels and the remaining in local homestays, yurt camps and a guest house. All accommodation employs locally which provides the local community with employment opportunities and income. Additionally, yurt camps uses very little electricity and water, so this is a reduction to our overall impact on the environment. Where meals are provided, fresh fruit, vegetables and meat are sourced at local farms and markets. Free meal times are a wonderful opportunity to support small bazaar vendors, cafes and authentic, local restaurants. A common dish within the region is a rice dish with meat, carrot and onions called ‘plov’. Also expect varied salads, fresh fruit, Middle Eastern style stews and dumplings from the Far East.