Opulent Journeys

Journey West along the Great Silk Road

03 May - 24 May 2017

From (AUD)

$8,985

22 DAY

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1300 219 885 (AU)

0800 456 219 (NZ)

Overview
The name “Silk Road,” introduced to the intrepid traveller’s vocabulary over a century ago by the 19th century Prussian Geographer and explorer, Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen, conjures up images of desert caravans, lush oases, snow-capped mountains, and colourful markets where exotic goods change hands amid the cacophony of even more exotic languages. Where many destinations promise enchantment and adventure, travel on the Silk Road through Uzbekistan & China is one of the few that really delivers.
Join us for an exciting 22-day to Central Asia & China along the Silk Road, the most ancient of Eurasian trade routes. Travelling by plane, train, bus & jeep, we will visit legendary sites such as Samarkand with Registan Square, the ancient city of  Khiva, the oasis town of Turpan with the ruined city of Jiaohe; the Thousand Buddha Caves of Dunhuang, where Chinese, Tibetan, Indian, and Mediterranean religion and art met and mixed in the first millennium AD. We also visit the old Tang capital of Xian with Terracotta Warriors. The journey concludes in glittering Shanghai.
Journey West along the Great Silk Road is sure to be the trip of a lifetime!

 

Dates & Prices

Tour Prices                                    

                               

Per person, twin share (Land Only )*                              $8,985
Per person, twin share (Land & Air)** $9,995
Single room supplement $1,540

*Land Only: Tour starts in Beijing and finishes in Shanghai.

**Land & Air: Tour price includes return economy class flights with Singapore Airlines from Australia to China.

Tour Highlights
BEIJING
  • Walk on the Great Wall at Mutianyu
  • Discover plants in Jingshan Park and Summer Palace
  • Visit 798 Art District
TASHKENT
  • City tour in the Uzbek capital
  • Ugam-Chatkal National Park
KHIVA
  • Visit the city wall
  • Old town and its mosques, minarets and madrassas
BUKHARA
  • Samanid monuments and its garden associated with the last Persian dynasty to rule Central Asia in Bukhara
  • Local bazaars
  • The Ark Fortress
SAMARKAND
  • Explore archaeological sites at Samarkand, the heart of the Silk Road
AMMANKUTAN
  • See spring wild flowers in the mountain and Zarafshan Valley
TURPAN
  • Visit the ruins of ancient Jiaohe,
  • The Turpan Desert Botanical Garden
  • Meet the local Uyghur people
DUNHUANG
  • A sensational unforgettable experience as we visit the Mogao Grottoes
  • Jade Gate Pass and ancient Han Dynasty Great Wall Ruin
XIAN
  • Visit Terracotta Warriors archaeological site and other features of China’s fabulous past
SHANGHAI
  • Visit China’s vibrant commercial heart
  • Beautiful gardens in Suzhou
  
About your tour leader - Relle Mott

Relle has been associated with the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney for many years, as a supporter through Foundation & Friends, and as part of the Education & Community Programs team, most recently as Manager until December 2015. Relle’s background is in Education, Horticulture, Japanese Language & Culture, and Art. In March 2016, Relle joined Kaldor Public Art Projects as Special Projects Coordinator for Project 32: barrangal dyara, a large-scale exhibition by Aboriginal artist Jonathan Jones, within the Royal Botanic Gardens in Spring 2016. She has led several walking tours to Japan, including one for the Foundation & Friends, to enjoy the unique landscape, food and culture. Relle has a lifelong love of plants, and a keen interest in the historic transmission of early Buddhism to Eastern Asia from Tibet via the Silk Road.

  

What's Included

Inclusions:

  • International flights with Singapore Airlines from Australia to China with taxes and charges included
  • Regional transport including flights & trains in Uzbekistan and China
  • 20 nights’ accommodation in well-appointed hotels with breakfast daily
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary
  • Tour Manager with the group in Uzbekistan and China
  • Experienced English speaking local guides
  • Transfers and touring in private coach
  • Comprehensive sightseeing and entrance fees
  • Visa for China and Uzbekistan
  • Gratuities to guides and drivers through the entire trip

Not included:

  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Porterage at hotels 
  • Anything not mentioned above

  

To enquire or book this tour, please contact

Phone: 1300 219 885            Email: tony@opulentjourneys.com.au

Please Click Here to download the tour details.

Itinerary

Fly from your nearest Australian capital city to Beijing, via Singapore with Singapore Airlines.  On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Today you will travel north and take a walk along the Great Wall at Mutianyu before returning to the city to visit the beautiful Summer Palace. Welcome dinner tonight.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Visit the dominating feature of Jingshan Park and renowned 798 Art Zone that attracts many artists from home and abroad before transfer to airport for flight to Tashkent. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Visit Ugam-Chatkal National Park with a professional mountain guide. We will still see wild nature, mountain springs, slopes, lake, rural people and different species of birds. Uzbekistan special dinner tonight.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Morning tour of the Uzbek capital, including the Old Town and Chorsu market. Later we fly to Urgench then transfer to our hotel in Khiva.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today’s tour allows us to take in the atmosphere and sights of the oasis. Its palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums, and madrassas represent some of the best-preserved examples of oriental town architecture from medieval times.

(Meals: B, L, D)

This morning we take a flight to Bukhara, a large, unique and authentic art museum that maintains its old oriental face. In the afternoon, we visit the last Emir’s summer palace and Chor-Bakr necropolis.

(Meals: B, L, D)

In Bukhara’s Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage), we’ll see the massive Ark Citadel, a city within a city that was once the seat of government of Bukhara’s former rulers, the almost 50m tall Kalyan Minaret, the Samanid Mausoleum, one of Central Asia’s most beautiful architectural treasures and local bazaars. This evening we will be entertained by an open-air folklore show.

(Meals: B, L, D)

We take train to Samarkand and visit the sights of this famous historic city. The Necropolis of Shah-e Zinde (the living Shah), the Bibi Khanum mosque and Registan Square are certainly among the most notable architectural sites in Central Asia.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Make a day trip to Ammankutan pass and Shahrisabz to see wild flowers on the mountains. In Shakhrisabz we visit monumental architecture of the Mongol ruler’s Great Palace - the imposing Ak-Saray. We will also see wild flowers at Zarafshan Valley on the way back.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today we tour the Ulugbek Observatory, view the interior of the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum and visit local bazaar. Uzbekistan special dinner tonight.

(Meals: B, D)

This morning is at your leisure, to do some of your exploring. In the afternoon we leave Samarkand for Tashkent. On arrival in Tashkent, we have dinner before being transferred to the airport for our midnight flight from Tashkent to Urumqi.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Arrive in the early morning in Urumqi, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a late breakfast. In the afternoon we will visit the excellent Xinjiang Regional Museum to see the incredibly well preserved mummies found in ancient tombs. If time permits, we will explore the Grand Bazaar, also known as International Bazaar. It offers both regional and imported products from nearby Russia, Mongolia and the Central Asian countries to the west.

(Meals: B, D)

Travel by coach to Turpan. We will travel into the desert to see the mystical ruins of the ancient settlement of Jiaohe, founded over 2000 years ago. We will also pay a visit to Turpan Desert Botanical Garden, the largest botanical garden in China. 

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today we visit the peaceful Tuyugou village in a lush valley where we meet the locals at their homes. Later we will travel to Liuyuan by high-speed train. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel in Dunhuang.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today we will tour the astonishing caves cut by Buddhist monks from 366 AD into cliff faces at Mogao. A visit to the Museum and Research Exhibition Centre at the site helps us appreciate how the caves were discovered. Then move on to the magnificent desert scenery of the Mingsha Sand Dunes overlook the mysterious Crescent Lake, there will be an opportunity to ride camels. This evening there will be a folkloric show.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today we visit the Jade Gate Pass, one of the important passes near Dunhuang in ancient time. After lunch, you will head to Han Dynasty Great Wall Ruin that was built in Han Dynasty about 2,000 years ago.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Transfer to airport for our flight to Xian. After transfer to the hotel, we will visit the Silk Road Museum and the fantastic Muslim Quarter where the stalls lines the narrow alleys sell almost everything you can expect. 

(Meals: B)

This morning you will view the excavated Terracotta Warriors and Horses, buried over 2000 years ago to guard the tomb of the first emperor Qinshihuang. After lunch, you will walk along Xian’s massive City Wall, one of the best preserved in China. We will also explore the historic Small Goose Pagoda with its special viewing exhibitions.

(Meals: B, L)

Today we take high speed train to Shanghai, the amazing pulsating commercial heart of China. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel. Tonight we will be entertained by Shanghai’s famous Acrobatic show at Era.

(Meals: B, D)

Today we travel to Suzhou to visit two famous classic gardens - Master of the Nets Garden and Lingering Garden. Suzhou’s gardens are works of art - a fusion of nature, architecture, poetry and painting. Return to Shanghai and enjoy our farewell dinner tonight.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Morning at your leisure. In the afternoon we transfer to airport for overnight flight back to Australia via Singapore.

(Meals: B)

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