Opulent Journeys

Great Silk Road & Exotic Central Asia by Private Train

09 April - 25 April 2017

From (AUD)

$9,885

17 DAY

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1300 219 885 (AU)

0800 456 219 (NZ)

Overview

Stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Tien Shan Mountains, the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are richly endowed with history and culture, a flavour of which you will sample on this exciting journey by Private Train.

  

Dates & Prices

Prices listed are per person, from Australia 

Twin-share compartment

Cat. Ali Baba             $9,885
   
To upgrage, add per person  
Cat. Aladdin $890
Cat. Sultan  $6,925
Cat. Kalif  $6,355
   
To upgrade air travel, add per person  
Business Class* $2,700

*Business Class upgrade applies to Sydney-Guangzhou-Beijing and Guangzhou-Sydney.

For quad-share (4-berth), 3 people sharing a compartment or single train compartments and hotel rooms, please contact us for details and prices.

Tour Highlights

DISTINCTIVE CAPITALS

  • Ashgabat (Turkmenistan): most modern city in Central Asia
  • Tashkent (Uzbekistan): the cultural capital of Central Asia

 

EVERY DAY LIFE IN CENTRAL ASIA

  • Valuable cultural insights: lectures, fairy tales and information about history and regional traditions
  • Dinner & costume show in courtyard of an old madrasah - Bukhara
  • Lunch in the summer palace of an Emir - Khiva
  • Lunch in a typical Uzbek house
  • Siab Oriental Bazaar in Samarkand
  • The making of traditional art objects: silk and carpets

 

PLACES THAT MADE HISTORY

  • Almaty - “Father - apple” - a touch of Russia
  • Registan: the most beautiful square of the Orient
  • Grave City complex of mausoleums - Samarkand
  • Wall murals of ancient Afrosiab town - Samarkand
  • Ark Fortress in Bukhara & Khiva
  • Ismael Samani and Gur Emir mausoleum - Bukhara
  • Ancient Ulug Bek observatory - Samarkand
  • Tower of Death complex – Bukhara

 

HIGHLIGHTS UNESCO'S WORLD HERITAGE

  • Turkestan: Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasavi – first Turkic Holy Man
  • Historical Centre of Shakhrisabz – Home Town of Timur
  • The inner town & historic crowded alleys of the old Khiva oasis
  • Historical Centre & the Caravansarai Markets of Bukhara
  • Samarkand & its famous Registan - an Intersection of Cultures
  • The Pearl of the East; Ancient Walls & Ruins of historic Merv
  • The old Parthian city excavations of Nisa

 

SPECTACULAR NATURE

  • Karakum desert & the snow-capped Tien Shan Mountains

  

Private Chartered Train - Orient Silk Road Express
  • Travel with the private train
  • Gourmet meals on the train
  • Tour director present throughout the train journey and additional competent travel guides
  • A physician is on board the train
  • Traditional welcome ceremonies upon arrival at Bukhara and Samarqand railway stations
  • Wine tasting

  

What's Included
Inclusions:
  • International flights with China Southern Airlines from Australia to China with taxes and surcharges included
  • Rail Travel and 7 nights on board the private train in an Ali Baba twin share compartment (upgrades available)
  • 7 nights in centrally located hotels with breakfast daily
  • Meals as stated in the itinerary 
  • An exclusive train tour director with the group
  • Experienced English speaking local guides
  • Comprehensive sightseeing and entrance fees
  • Transfers at airport and stations in a private coach
  • Traditional welcomes at Bukhara and Samarkand
  • Special Uzbek and Turkmen meals with local families
  • Visa application fee for China and Uzbekistan

Not included:

  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned above

Visa Note: Visa for Turkmenistan issued on arrival at Ashgabat Airport (USD77.00 per person).  Visa for Kazakhstan not required by Australian passport holders as at 21st July 2016.

  

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

This morning we join our China Southern flight to Guangzhou where upon arrival we will transit through customs, immigration and security to join up with our domestic flight to Beijing - arriving late.

A day at leisure in dynamic Beijing. Beijing has many smaller less well-known attractions to explore - Bei Hai Park, traditional theatre in the Lao She teahouse, visit Mao’s mausoleum, stroll around the speciality shops of old Chinatown, visit the beautiful Lama Buddhist Temple, Mao’s underground city, the historical astrological observatory, visit the Red Gate Art Gallery, the National Art Museum, or perhaps do a walking tour of Beijing’s best hutongs.

(Meals: B)

We will be transferred to the airport for our flights to Ashgabat via Urumqi, with arrival late evening. We will be transferred to our accommodation for our first night in Turkmenistan and the start of our fascinating journey across Central Asia.

(Meals: B)

In the morning you visit the bustling Tokuchka Bazaar, one of Central Asia’s largest. Then travel to the ancient Parthian city of Nisa. You go on a guided tour of the National Museum where artefacts excavated from the ruins at Nisa are on exhibit. Your train departs later in the evening. Overnight on the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Arrive into the UNESCO-protected city of Merv. Enjoy lunch with a local family in the picturesque courtyard of their home. Overnight on the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

In Bukhara’s Old Town, you’ll see the almost 50m tall Kalyan Minaret and the Lyab-I Hauz Ensemble by the pond. Dinner is served in a madrassa courtyard, with musical accompaniment, local dances, and a presentation of colourful national costumes. The night is spent in a hotel in Bukhara.

(Meals: B, L, D)

A tour of Bukhara including the splendid Mir-e-Arab Madrassa, the Samanid Mausoleum, the massive Ark Citadel, where you view the Throne Room, the last emir’s Summer Residence and the world’s only women’s mosque. The night is spent in a hotel in Bukhara.

(Meals: B, L, D)

The morning is at your leisure. Your train leaves for Khiva, Uzbekistan around noon. Overnight on the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Arrive in Khiva. Your tour allows you 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. Enjoy lunch in the former emir’s Summer Palace. Your private train leaves for Samarqand in the evening. Overnight on the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today is spent visiting the sights of this famous historic city. The Necropolis of Shah-e Zinde (the living Shah), the excavation sites at Afrosiab (with a museum tour), and Registan Square are certainly among the most notable architectural ensembles in Central Asia. The night is spent in a hotel in Samarkand.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Your day in this fascinating city includes a tour of a silk carpet manufactory, a visit to an Uzbek craftsman’s family to see paper being made from mulberry bark, stops at the Ulug Beg Observatory and the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque, and viewing the interior of the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum. You spend the night in your hotel.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Discover Shaman traditions and ceremonies on an excursion into the mountains. Your train continue along the Great Silk Road to Shakhrisabz where you will see monumental architecture of the Mongol ruler’s Great Palace. In the evening you depart to Tashkent. On board you are invited to a tasting of Uzbek wines. Overnight on the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Arrive in Tashkent in the morning. Your sightseeing tour of the city includes the Madrassa Kukeldash, the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments, and the typical Kazakh mud brick houses. In the evening you attend Tashkent’s famous Navoi Opera (depending on schedule). Afterwards your train departs for Kazakhstan. Overnight on the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Arrive in the city of Turkistan. You visit the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterwards you continue on towards Almaty. Overnight on the train.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Arrive in Almaty after lunch. You enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city and see the imposing Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral, the Wedding Palace, the Almaty Circus, and the Central Mosque. Enjoy your dinner in a traditional Kazakh yurt. Transfer to the airport in the evening for your flight to Urumqi.

(Meals: B, L, D)

Today we transfer to the airport for our China Southern flight back home via Guangzhou.

(Meals: B)

Our tour concludes with a morning arrival into Sydney.

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