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2021 Exotic Silk Road

A Once in a Lifetime in the Footsteps of Marco Polo
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2021 Exotic Silk Road

A Once in a Lifetime in the Footsteps of Marco Polo 19 day train tour - September 20, 2021

Why NOW is the Time!

  • The train Jim and Carol Tyndall (owners) were on in October 2015 visited only 3 Stans: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan. They did not visit Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan. They agreed to charter the whole train if they could add Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. A train is not like a bus that you can just take a different road, pull over almost anywhere and stop or park. Getting permission to travel by rail, wanting to stop and park your train like a bus is not easy. After over 6 months of hard work with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, our private train has received permission for us to travel through all 5 Stans. The only reason this is possible is because we chartered the whole train, changed the itinerary, and added an additional night on the train.
  • The huge price savings from our chartering the whole train. As far as we know, no one has ever chartered the entire private train in Central Asia, which created huge savings. Please understand – chartering the train is giving you the chance to have the lowest price possible to experience the Silk Road by Private Train!!!!
  • NO LONG DRIVES! On Jim and Carol’s trip, they met many people traveling through the Silk Road by bus. When they asked how they liked their tour, everyone said they loved the sites, and the hotels were ok, but the long drives were exhausting and grueling! They spent ½ of their time or more doing long drives that were often well over 6 hours on terrible roads. Then when they arrived, they were given less time then they would have liked to see the sights. WE HAVE NO LONG DRIVES! We will travel by train at night and then tour during the day. Some of the bus travelers they met said they had looked at the train but it only visited 3 of the Stan countries. They wanted all 5, so they went by bus. You will get all 5 Stans without any long drives, plus you will have plenty of time to enjoy the many beautiful sites.
  • Please, Please, Please listen to us. This is the BEST designed tour of the Silk Road, the BEST in hotels, the BEST deluxe train – All at the BEST price you will ever see!!!!

Important Information

Central Asia (The Heart of the Silk Road)
The Silk Road brought riches to Central Asia, which was used to create some of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The best way to describe Central Asia’s Architecture is Unique, Majestic and Breathtakingly Beautiful.
In Samarkand alone there were billions upon billions of tiles used to create some of the most beautiful structures in the world – found on the previous two pages is one example of work that dates back to the 1400’s. Central Asia’s Architecture is not only beautiful on the outside it is also unique and beautiful on the inside!!

Package Price Includes:

Our Fantastic 19 day Silk Road Package Price Includes:

We have combined our chartered Private Silk Road Express Train through Central Asia (5 Stans) with a land tour in the fantastic city of Istanbul, Turkey. By chartering the whole train, we were able to negotiate a phenomenally low price, which we have passed on to you.

The Silk Road private train includes the following:

  • Private Train Through the 5 Stans. It is our train, with only our passengers on it. We have designed a special tour including stops not offered to others.
  • Upgraded to the Aladdin Cabin.
  • Most days, you will have Breakfast and Dinner along with some lunches.
  • Train taxes and fees.
  • All tours from the Private Train.
  • Airfare from Ashgabat to Istanbul.
  • Special experienced train staff that will accompany us on the train and with us on all tours off the train.
  • Important note: We have greatly improved the tour by periodically parking the train and overnighting in a deluxe hotel. The combination of Train and Hotels is uniquely designed to give the best experience possible that others do not offer.
    • 1 night 5-Star Luxury Hotel in Almaty.
      • Followed by two nights on the Train.
    • 1 night 4-Star Deluxe Hotel Tashkent.
      • Followed by two nights on the Train.
    • 1 night in one of the best hotels in Samarkand.
      • Followed by two nights on the Train.
    • 1 night in one of the best hotels in Bukhara.
      • Followed by one night on the Train.
    • 2 night 5-Star Luxury Hotel Ashgabat.
    • 3 nights 4-Star Deluxe Hotel Istanbul.
  • All touring, guides, entrance fees in Central Asia.
  • Several shows and cultural performances along the way.
  • Special Guest Educator: Jeff Lawson.
  • Fun For Less Tour Staff.
  • Whisper Perfect headset receivers that allow you to hear everything, even when you step away from the group to take the important picture.
  • NOT included in the 19-day package price:
  • Airfare into Almaty and home from Istanbul. Airfare will not open up until approximately 10 months before your tour. Our best future airfare guess is: $1,500 to $2,000.
  • Visas, tips, personal expenses are not included.

Package Price: $7,995*

**Per person cash discount price, based on double occupancy. Does not include Domestic or International airfare, visas and tips.

Note: It is only a partial list as we are still working on making sure we will see what is most important. Like all of our tours, the itinerary is subject to change as we find ways of improving the itinerary!

Day 1 September 20: Fly
Today you fly from the US to Almaty.

Day 2 September 21: Fly
Today you will land in Europe – change planes and continue to Almaty.

Day 3 September 22: Almaty
You arrive around 4:40 am in the morning – After clearing customs and driving into Almaty, it will be around 6:30 to 7 am. We might have a stop for hot chocolate and donuts to help with your day before heading to our full day of touring. Part of our day will be spent in the mountains and a chair lift that will take you high to scenic lookouts. Late this afternoon, we will check into our luxury 5-star hotel for dinner and a good night’s rest.

Day 4 September 23: Almaty – The Father of the Apple (Kazakhstan)
In the morning, you enjoy a sightseeing tour of this green metropolitan city at the foot of the mighty Ile Alatau Mountains. You see the imposing Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral, built entirely of wood, the Wedding Palace, the Almaty Circus, and the Central Mosque. You depart aboard your private train in the afternoon. Porter’s service guarantees the transfer of your large luggage directly to your train compartment. You are welcomed aboard the train with a drink or refreshment and a short informative talk.
Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L), and dinner (D).

Day 5 September 24: Lake Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan)
You arrive at Lake Issyk-Kul in the morning. A bus transfer takes you to Tscholpon Ata, where you enjoy a boat ride on Lake Issyk-Kul, which is known as the second-largest mountain lake in the world. Afterward, you go on an excursion to the mountains, including picnic lunch and a Kyrgyz folklore performance. Late afternoon private train departs for Bishkek. We will have about a one-hour bus overview of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, before heading to Tashkent.
Overnight on board. (BLD) The border formalities are taken care of onboard.

Day 6 September 25: Tashkent – The Green Oasis (Uzbekistan)
Your private train arrives in the early morning at the Uzbek capital of Tashkent. On your sightseeing tour of the city, you are able to have a look at this green oasis in the steppe and see the Madrassa Kukeldash, the Kavoj and Amir Timur monuments, and the typical mud-brick houses. In the evening you attend an opera or concert in a music hall (program permitting). Tonight, we stay in a 4-Star deluxe hotel.

Day 7 September 26: Kokand (Uzbekistan)
After breakfast, you cross the Kamchik mountain pass with your private train. In the afternoon, you reach the city of Kokand, which once was the capital of an Uzbek kingdom – the Khanate of Kokand –and visit the Palace of Khudayar Khan. Upon completion, it was one of the largest and most opulent palaces in Central Asia. You also have the chance to visit a local family and help with the traditional baking of bread.
Overnight on board. (BLD)

Day 8 September 27: Tajikistan – Uzbekistan
During the night, your train passes through the mountainous territory on its way to Khujand, Tajikistan. The Greek heritage has been preserved in this inaccessible mountainous region, and the cultural influences of the Bactrians and the Kushan Empire also survive here. Trade caravans once traveled through these narrow mountain gorges and the armies of Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Timur (or Tamerlane) also passed by here. We will do a short city tour of Khujand before continuing on to Kamashi, Uzbekistan. In Kamashi you will experience a traditional ceremony which offers you first-hand insight into the region’s unique folklore. Overnight on the train. (BLD)

Day 9 September 28: Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures (Uzbekistan)
This morning and tomorrow morning will be spent visiting the sights of this famous historic city, which during the rule of Timur, was considered the world’s most beautiful and prestigious 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. It is also historically important, as the site where many Uzbek women burned their veils (paranjas) in 1917, to signal their arrival in a new era. We will spend tonight in a 4-star deluxe hotel, the best that Samarkand has to offer.

Day 10 September 29: Samarkand (Uzbekistan)
This morning we will finish the sights listed on Day 9 and add a few more, including the ruins of the Bibi Khanum Mosque and viewing the interior of the palace-like Gur Emir Mausoleum. This afternoon we will board our train and head to Khiva.

Day 11 September 30: Khiva (Uzbekistan)
Today you will visit the oasis of Khiva, a fairy tale from 1001 Nights – in stone. Standing at the mighty town wall with its gates and bastions of mud brick, you feel transported into another world. On your sightseeing tour of the oasis, you have a chance to take in its exotic atmosphere. Its palaces, mosques, minarets, mausoleums, and madrassas (Muslim religious schools) represent one of the best-preserved ensembles of medieval oriental urban architecture in the world.
Overnight on board. (BLD)

Day 12 October 1: Bukhara, the Noble One (Uzbekistan)
Located in the middle of the Kyzylkum Desert, Bukhara has some one thousand architectural monuments recalling the golden age of the Great Silk Route. Exotic spices, furs, and especially silk were stored and traded then in the city’s caravanserais. In Bukhara’s Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage), you see the almost fifty-meter tall Kalyan Minaret and the Lyab-I Hauz Ensemble by the pond. Overnight in the best hotel in the area.

Day 13 October 2: Bukhara
Your day will include the Samanid Mausoleum Bukhara, which also bears the name Sherif (the noble one), has preserved its ancient oriental countenance in its extensive, unparalleled collections of authentic architecture. In the morning, we drive you to the splendid Mir-i Arab Madrasah and the Samanid Mausoleum, one of Central Asia’s most beautiful architectural treasures. Afterward, you will tour the massive Ark Citadel, a city within a city that was once the seat of government of Hukhara’s former rulers. There you view the throne room, after which you visit the last Emir’s Summer Residence. We will spend the night on the train.

Day 14 October 3: Merv – Ashgabat
Your private train arrives in the morning at the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site of Merv, the remnants of what was once one of the world’s largest and most magnificent cities before being destroyed by Genghis Khan. The initial impression is disbelief: Gigantic walls and ramparts simply standing in the middle of the desert next to the impressive ruins of ancient buildings such as the Tomb of Sultan Sanjar, the Maidens’ Castle (Kyz Kala), the historical ice-houses, and other tombs. We will then continue by train to Ashgabat, where we will overnight in a fantastic 5-star luxury hotel.

Day 15 October 4: Ashgabat
The STUNNING White Marble City of Ashgabat. This morning we will drive to the ancient Parthian city of Nisa. We will then head back to the White Marble City of Ashgabat. The city is absolutely impressive, with everything being made out of Marble. The Hollywood-style settings throughout this city are flush with their new-found oil wealth. We will overnight again in our 5-star luxury hotel.

Day 16 October 5: Istanbul
Early this morning we will fly from Ashgabat to Istanbul, upon arrival we will immediately start our tour of Istanbul. Details to follow.

Day 17 & 18 – October 6 & 7: Istanbul
Over the next two days, you will have full-day tours of Istanbul.
Including Haghia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace Museum and drive to the Grand Bazaar.

Day 19 October 8: Fly Home
The group flies home.


Our Private Orient Silk Road Train Cabin Choices:

Aladdin Cabin

Aladdin Cabin
The price of the tour includes the Aladdin cabins. Aladdin cabins have two lower beds, plus a small table and storage space. The Aladdin’s do not have a toilet or shower connected to their room. There is a Large Shower compartment down the hall that can be scheduled for use by those in the Aladdin, there is also a western style toilet and sink located down the hall that is available to use when not in use by others.
* The price of the tour includes the Aladdin Cabin Category

 

 

 

Kalif CabinsKalif Cabin
The Kalif Cabin is approximately double the size of the Aladdin Cabins. A train Car holds 8 Aladdin Cabins, plus room for a shared Toilet and one shared Shower per train car – there are no bathrooms attached to the Aladdin Cabins. A train Car holds only 4 Kalif Cabins. Each Kalif Cabin has its own private bathroom, with shower, toilet, and sink. Simply put the Kalif’s are about double the size of the Aladdin, with each Kalif’ having their own private bathroom.
* The Sultan or Kalif Cabins are at an optional increased price