Uzbekistan – Unravelling The Silk Road
24 Sep – 05 Oct 2022 Special Interest

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan - Unravelling The Silk Road 24 Sep - 05 Oct 2022 Special Interest

Unravel the Silk Road at its heart, Uzbekistan; a meeting place of East and West, conquered by Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan, and influenced by Mohammed and Marx. Be dazzled by the architecture, humbled by the hospitality, unravelled by the fabulous textiles, and fascinated by the rich history of this unique and upcoming travel destination.

This small group tour is led by Chris Aslan who has lived and worked for many years in Uzbekistan. He will bring to life the history, arts and crafts of Uzbekistan with his lectures and insights into the culture and traditions of the local people.

Trip Scholar: Chris Aslan Alexander

Chris was born in Turkey (hence the name Aslan) and spent his childhood there and in war-torn Beirut. After school, Chris spent two years at sea before studying Media and journalism at Leicester University. He then moved to Khiva, a desert oasis in Uzbekistan, establishing a UNESCO workshop reviving fifteenth century carpet designs and embroideries, and becoming the largest non-government employer in town. After a year in the UK writing A Carpet Ride to Khiva, he moved to the Pamirs in Tajikistan, training yak herders to comb their yaks for their cashmere-like down, spending three years there. Next came two years in Kyrgyzstan living in the world’s largest natural walnut forest and establishing a wood-carving workshop. Since then, Chris has studied and rowed at Oxford, and is now based in Cambridge and focussed on writing fiction, including Alabaster, Manacle and Mosaic, and currently completing The Broken Hexapus. He also lectures for the Art Society and leads tours to Central Asia whenever he can because he’s missing a large chunk of his heart, which will forever remain in the -stans.

A Carpet Ride to Khiva - Seven Years on the Silk Road, book by Christopher Aslan Alexander

Get your complimentary copy when you book this tour. 

 

12 days from £2,592.00 per person
London - Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara - Khiva - Nukus - Tashkent - London
Highlights
  • Have your breath stolen as you marvel at the Registan, easily rivalling the city squares of Europe.
  • Wander through the ancient streets of Bukhara’s old quarter, haggling for unique, locally-produced handicrafts.
  • Get off the beaten track exploring Urgut’s famous Sunday bazaar.
  • A moonlit stroll through the walled inner city of Khiva.
  • Visit the UNESCO silk carpet workshop which Chris Aslan founded and enjoy supper with his Uzbek host family.
  • Stay in converted madrassahs and 19th century Jewish merchant’s houses.
  • Travel the Silk Road in style using Uzbekistan’s fastest and smartest train.

Contact a
specialist consultant

020 8901 7320 Enquiry
Itinerary View Map

Day 1: To Tashkent

Saturday 24 September

Departure Gatwick Airport by Turkish Airlines flights TK1998 at 17:00.

Day 2: Tashkent

Sunday 25 September

Arrive in Istanbul at 23:05 connect TK0368 at 00:55 and arrive Tashkent at 07:10. Transfer to Hotel. At leisure until lunch. Visit Tashkent Museum of Applied Arts, followed by a metro trip, taking in the amazing themed architecture of the stations. Visit the bustling Chorsu bazaar and see how trade is in the blood of Central Asians. Then a visit to Independent Square and Amir Timur Square. Stay at Lotte Palace Hotel. B, D

Day 3: To Samarkand

Monday 26 September

Early morning transfer to Tashkent train station to board the fast train to Samarkand. On arrival take coach to Urgut Sunday market, famous for its handicrafts, in particular suzani, with lunch locally. Also visit Chinar Shrine. Afternoon in Samarkand visiting the AfroSiyab Museum, home of pre-Islamic frescoes, and Ulug Beg’s observatory, one of the beacons of scientific discovery during the Middle Ages. Stay at Sultan Hotel. B, D

Day 4: Samarkand

Tuesday 27 September

Walking tour of the Gur Amir complex, one of the world’s most impressive mausoleums, followed by the Registan and Ulug Bibi mosque, all examples of magnificent Timurid architecture. After lunch, a trip to Konigil village to see mulberry paper-making. Stay at Sultan Hotel.
B, D

Day 5: Day Trip to Shakhrisabz

Wednesday 28 September

Day trip in shared taxis to Shakhrisabz, taking in broken heart rock and the mountain pass. In Shakhrisabz, a visit to the Ak Saray palace, built by Timur, and Kok Gumbaz complex. Afternoon in Samarkand visit the Shah-i-Zindah complex, a sublime necropolis, place of pilgrimage and possibly the most breath-taking use of tiles in Asia. Stay at Sultan Hotel.
B, D

Day 6: To Bukhara

Thursday 29 September

Train to Bukhara in the morning to arrive at Bukhara at lunch time.
Afternoon visit to the Naqshbandi Mausoleum complex, where the sufi founder of the whirling dervishes is entombed, and locals come to seek blessings on their marriages. This is followed by a visit to the Sitora-i-Mokhikhosa – the Emir’s Summer palace, a fusion of Eastern and Western influence.
Stay at Merchant Houses of Mizifar or Komil’s. B, D

Bukhara Monument

Day 7: Bukhara

Friday 30 September

Morning: : Walking tour of the old city, starting with the Ismail Samanid Mausoleum, and then the tomb of Job, known as Chashma Ayub. This is followed by a visit to the Ark, the Emir’s fortress complex, and then a grisly detour to take in the bug-pit where British spies languished before their execution. The walk finishes at the pool of Labi Hauz in the Jewish quarter, with a visit to a unique synagogue.
Afternoon at leisure or an optional visit to hammam . Stay at Merchant Houses of Mizifar or Komil’s. B, D

Day 8: To Khiva

Saturday 1 October

Morning at leisure. Fast train from Bukhara to Khiva (14:10- 19:19) through the Karakum desert, including onboard lectures from your resident expert. Moonlight tour of the Ichan Kala. Stay at Hotel Orient Star. B, D

Day 9: Khiva

Sunday 2 October

Tour of Khiva’s Ichan Kala, according to UNESCO, the most homogenous example of Islamic architecture in the world, including the Friday Mosque with its forest of carved wooden pillars, several museums, and the silk carpet workshop Chris founded, with an opportunity to meet the weavers, dyers and embroiderers.
Dinner with Chris’s Uzbek host family at Meros. Stay at Hotel Orient Star. B, D

Day 10: To Nukus

Monday 3 October

Morning at leisure in Khiva. After lunch, drive to Nukus, the capital of the semi-autonomous region of Karakalpakstan, visiting the ancient desert Kalas, or fortresses, along the way, and learning more about the nomadic way of life. Stay at Hotel Jipek Joli. B, D

Day 11: To Tashkent

Tuesday 4 October

Morning at the Savitsky Museums. Far from the watchful eye of Moscow, Igor Savitsky amassed one of the largest collections of Russian Avante Garde art in the world at a time when these paintings were banned, including artists who were sent to gulags for their work.
Afternoon visit to Hojaili and the impressive necropolis there. Evening flight to Tashkent. Stay at Lotte Palace Hotel. B, D

Day 12: To London

Wednesday 5 October

Morning: Visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, followed by the Hast Imom Complex, home of the world’s oldest Koran. Evening transfer to airport for departure by Turkish Airlines TK0371 departing Tashkent at 02:35, arriving Istanbul at 05:55 connecting TK1981 at 07:30, arrival London at 09:35 on Sunday 24 May 2021. B, D

Itinerary map

Dates & Prices

Dates Price per person (Double/Twin share) Single room supplement
24 Sep - 05 Oct 2022 £2,592.00 £332.00
Cost includes:
  • International & internal flights in economy class with Turkish Airlines.
  • Accommodation with en-suite facilities.
  • Daily breakfast and dinner throughout.
  • Services of Trip Scholar Chris Aslan Alexander.
  • Services of English-speaking guide during sightseeing.
  • Transfers as per the itinerary by air-conditioned coach and trains.
  • Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary.
  • Full ATOL & ABTA bonding.
  • Tips & Gratuities
Cost does not include:
  • Visa Fee (although most European countries are visa-free).
  • Any optional Excursions.
  • Any expenses of a personal nature.
  • Travel Insurance*

*Travel Insurance

It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.

• Make sure it includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
• Make sure it provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
• Make sure it covers you for all activities.
• Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
• Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.

If you have any doubts about your cover, check with your insurer. Please note Covid-19 cover is now available.
For a competitive quotation please visit https://www.indusexperiences.co.uk/insurance/

020 8901 7320