A Grand Central Asian Odyssey

The Great Game

Uzbekistan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan

27 Days

From $15,695

Level 3

Moderate

Overview

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    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    Join Central Asia explorer and Trip Leader Roger Williams to discover the magic of the most far-flung destinations of “the Great Game,” as the 19th century diplomatic rivalry between the British Empire and Tsarist Russia was known. Roger is a veteran of this fabled realm and his long-time friendships here bring us fascinating cultural opportunities as we journey from western China's Xinjiang Province to northern Pakistan's Hunza Valley, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. We begin in the former Silk Road trading post of Kashgar, with its world-famous Sunday market, then explore dazzling Hunza, known for its spectacular Karakoram Mountains and the warm hospitality of its residents. We then cross the mountains to Tajikistan on a high, remote road amid the lakes and glaciers of the High Pamirs. One highlight along the way will be gazing into the once-forbidden Wakhan Corridor, a buffer zone between Tajikistan and Afghanistan created during the Great Game between Russia and Britain. Here the Hindu Kush, Karakoram, and Pamir ranges converge in spectacular fashion and we'll meet the semi-nomadic Wakhi and Tajik people who herd their yaks beneath snow-capped 20,000-foot peaks. Come along and feast your eyes on phenomenal scenery, visit ancient sites that few travelers ever see, and meet the Uighurs, Hunzakuts, Tajiks, and Wakhis, whose rich cultures are deeply tied to this desert and mountain realm. Note: We do plan to visit the Hunza Valley, but if conditions are not right, our alternative itinerary visit brings us to the former Silk Road hubs of Turpan, Khotan, and Yarkand in China's storied Takla Makan Desert.

    Arrive: Kashgar, China

    Depart: Samarkand, Uzbekistan

    Highlights

    • Roam the famed Sunday Market in the Silk Road outpost of Kashgar
    • Experience the breathtaking setting of the Hunza Valley
    • Meet the Uighurs, Hunzakuts, Tajiks, Uzbeks and other Central Asian peoples
    • Cross the spell-binding High Pamirs on the roof of Asia
    • Enjoy one of the great overland journeys of the world

    Overview

      Book Online Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

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      Explore this famously isolated city, launching pad for many Tibet, Pamir, and Karakoram expeditions in the 18th and 19th centuries. We roam the amazing Sunday Bazaar, which still throbs in the heart of Kashgar, and other sites including the green-tiled tomb of Abakh Khodja, a powerful 7th century ruler of Kashgar.
      We head to beautiful Karakul Lake then over Subashi Pass to Tashkurgan at 12,000 feet. We'll cross the breathtaking Karakorum Mountains into northern Pakistan’s spectacular Hunza Valley, an independent princely state for some 600 years. Hunza’s main town, Karimabad, lies in the shadow of majestic snow-covered Rakaposhi (25,551’). In our days here, we visit local homes, tour ancient hilltop forts, enjoy walks along the ancient hand-dug water channels that irrigate the valley’s apricot orchards, and soak up the mountain and glacier views. On Day 14, we head back to Tashkurgan, China. Please note: If it does not seem wise to visit Hunza for any reason, we have created an alternative Non-Hunza itinerary for Days 4-15. On these days, we'll explore the oasis-cities of the southern Silk Road. We start with Turpan, home to some of the most important Buddhist cave sites in Asia, and the fascinating sites of Khotan, a magnet for Chinese traders even before the Silk Road days, and Yarkand, once an important stop for the Silk Road's cashmere trade, before heading to Kashgar and Tashkurgan.
      We enter Tajikistan, driving along the Pamir Highway and seeing many nomad yurts nestled below the mountains. Heading over Nauzatash Pass (14,685'), we descend onto the Alichur Plateau and into Tajikistan's Wakhan region, with views of the mighty peaks of the Hindu Kush. The green Wakhan Corridor was created during the Great Game by the British Empire to act as a buffer against Russian ambitions in India. We meet the Wakhi and Tajik people of Wakhan and continue through Badakhshan Province to the pleasant town of Khorog and onward to the outpost of Kala-i-Khum.
      After visiting Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, we enter Uzbekistan and explore Iskanderkul Lake, Penjikent, and the glorious city of Samarkand before departing on Day 27.

      Dates & Pricing

      Pricing below is per person and based on double occupancy. The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have. WT also has the most generous cancellation and transfer policies in the industry, we make it easy if you change your mind. Have a small group of your own? Take over an existing date or choose your own. You’ll have your own private guide–and the adventure–all to yourselves!

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      $600 due at time of reservation
      90 days prior to departure: Balance

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Up to 151 days prior to departure: No charge!
      91-150 days prior to departure: $600 per person
      90 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Included
      • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
      • Accommodations in best available hotels, guesthouses, and alpine tented camp
      • All meals
      • All ground transportation and baggage handling from meeting until departure
      • All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      Not Included
      • Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • Additional hotel nights outside the trip's scheduled dates
      • Optional gratuities to Trip Leaders or staff
      • Optional travel insurance
      • Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
      • Visa fees

      Trip Leaders

      Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please click on their profiles below.

      Roger Williams

      View Profile

      What the Trip is Like

      This trip is rated Level 3, Moderate, according to our trip grading system. While the trip is not expected to be physically strenuous, the rustic accommodations, long travel days, and transportation conditions may be quite demanding. Our expedition travels to areas that have experienced very little tourism. We believe the most important requirements are a spirit of adventure and the understanding that you are visiting a remote and fascinating region. This is not designed as a hiking trip, but we do hope to have a few exploration walks of several hours during the journey.
      Review Trip Level Details

      We'll be staying in the best available city hotels, with some nights in more basic guesthouses/homestays. Single rooms can be requested, but are not guaranteed at certain properties. Wilderness Travel will do its best to secure single rooms for those who pay the single supplement, but even if this is confirmed in advance, arrangements may change while on the trip.

      Meals All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are included. Full breakfasts are included at hotels. When we feel it is best, we try to arrange other meals at local restaurants instead of using set meals in the hotels. Bottled water is provided throughout the trip. Village food tends to simpler and oilier than city food, but it is also an excellent chance to sample the food in rural areas.

      Ground transportation is by small bus, minivan, and/or jeep. We have taken local travel times into account in planning the itinerary, though road conditions can change from week to week. While traveling in rural areas, there are few decent public bathroom facilities. We recommend that rather than using local facilities on drives, you do what the locals do and opt for a "nature break" when on road journeys.

      Client Testimonials

      "Each day was a new adventure. We felt as though we were totally in another world, especially in the mountain communities of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan."

      Carole M.

      Versailles, KY

      "A difficult but wonderful trip. It met with and exceeded all my expectations and fulfilled a lifelong wish to see this part of the world!"

      Jane F.

      Naples, FL

      "This was a real expedition! For me, a dream come true."

      Judith M.

      Albuquerque, NM

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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We gather in the evening for a trip briefing followed by a Welcome Dinner. Overnight at the Hotel Yue Xing Jin Jiang, a modern Western-style hotel.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":2,"DayTo":2,"Headline":"Kashgar \/ Sunday Bazaar \/ Abakh Khodja Mausoleum \/ Id Kah Mosque","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A desert oasis with an end-of-the-world feeling, Kashgar is located 600 miles southwest of Urumqi and 80 miles east of the Russian border. This famously isolated city of walled adobe compounds was the launching pad for many Tibet, Pamir, and Karakoram expeditions in the 18th and 19th centuries and was also a major center for the Great Game, serving as Britain's most remote listening post in Central Asia. Although Kashgar is changing fast and the old city walls have been torn down, it still has an exotic atmosphere, with its population of Uighurs, Tajiks, Kirghiz, and Uzbek peoples.\r\n\r\nThis morning we start our explorations with a visit to the famed Sunday Bazaar, which still throbs in the heart of Kashgar. People come from all across the countryside for this big weekly event, some herding their cattle to market, bringing in loads of greens by donkey, or selling colorful varieties of Uighur hats. The market offers a chance to roam amid the aromas of fresh-baked breads, grilled lamb, cumin, and peppers, and watch the spirited negotiations of traders haggling over everything from camels, sheep, silk, spices, and fruits to household goods. Traditional Uighur craftsmen&mdash;metalsmiths, blacksmiths, coppersmiths, cobblers, hat-makers, and woodworkers&mdash;still make all kinds of goods and supply the local farmers and shepherds with the wares of daily life.\r\n\r\nIn the afternoon, we visit the green-tiled tomb of Abakh Khodja, a powerful 7th century ruler of Kashgar, and admire its ancient Islamic architecture and Uighur woodcarving. Returning to Kashgar, we visit the Id Kah Mosque, spiritual center of Kashgar and a grand Islamic structure with a central dome and flanking minarets, and walk through the artisan streets to see the remnants of old Kashgar, much of which has been demolished by the Chinese authorities. We also stop in for tea at the Russian Consulate building, now converted to a hotel. Dinner is at the old British Consulate. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":3,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Kashgar \/ Artux","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Our day begins with an exploration of the outlying town of Artux, the 7th century Buddhist site known as the Mor Pagoda, and the tomb of Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan, a 9th century ruler who converted the area to Islam. Lunch is at a local Uighur home, and we have the late afternoon at leisure before dinner featuring traditional Uighur music and dance performances. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":4,"DayTo":4,"Headline":"Karakul Lake \/ Kyrgyz Community \/ Subashi Pass \/ Tashkurgan","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After breakfast, we depart Kashgar and set out along the spectacular Karakoram Highway (KKH) as it contours through the narrow gorge of the Gez River. Completed in 1986, the KKH is one of the highest international highways in the world. In over 1,000 miles of winding mountain roads, it provides access to the unmatched mountain scenery and plunging valleys of the Karakoram Mountains. We take a break at mirror-like Karakul Lake, set at nearly 12,000 feet below the mighty snow-capped peak of Mustagh Ata (24,758&apos;). Besides the stunning mountain views, we&apos;ll have a chance to meet some of the local Kyrgyz people who graze their herds in the mountains nearby. After lunch at Karakul Lake, we continue our journey along the Karakoram Highway with a crossing of Subashi Pass (13,174&apos;), one of the venues for the movie The Kite Runner. We reach the town of Tashkurgan in the mid-afternoon. Set in the High Pamirs at almost 12,000 feet, this tiny, isolated part of China&apos;s Xinjiang Province is populated mainly by ethnic Tajik people, who make their living from sheep and wool production. Later, we visit the Stone Castle, a ruined fort dating to the time when Tashkurgan was a garrison town on the Silk Road and once a meeting point of major caravan routes leading to Kashgar, Wakhan, and Hunza to the south. Fabled traveler Marco Polo once made a short excursion from Tashkurgan to the passes that lead into the upper Hunza Valley. On one of the passes he visited, he mentioned seeing hundreds of horned sheep, which were later christened as Marco Polo sheep (ovis ammon poli). Dinner and overnight at the Crown Inn in Tashkurgan.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 93 miles\r\n\r\nImportant Note for Days 4-12: We have planned to make our way to Hunza Valley, Pakistan, on these days. However, if it does not seem wise to visit Hunza for any reason, even on the day before the group is to go there, we will follow the alternate non-Hunza itinerary for these days, described on pages 12-?13 following this regular itinerary. This decision will be made at the discretion of Wilderness Travel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":5,"DayTo":5,"Headline":"Khunjerab Pass (15,397') \/ Sost, Pakistan","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Just outside town, we pass through our border formalities and begin the breathtaking drive across the Khunjerab Pass and through the Karakoram Mountains. As the road winds through Khunjerab National Park, one of the highest parks in the world, we can keep an eye out for Marco Polo sheep and golden marmots. Reaching the Pakistan border at the settlement of Sost, we enter the Northern Areas of Pakistan, a region that contains five of the world&apos;s fourteen 8,000-meter peaks. After passing through Immigration formalities, we transfer to our vehicles and continue thirty minutes to the pretty Hunza village of Passu, with sheer Cathedral Peak rising above it. Passu is a center for trekking expeditions and hikes to the nearby Batura Glacier. Most of the villagers raise yaks, goats, and sheep. Overnight at the Ambassador Hotel in Passu.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":6,"Headline":"Passu \/ Hunza Valley \/ Shimshal Village","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"An independent princely state for over 600 years, remote Hunza was once a mysterious valley of long-lived, light-skinned people, many of whom spoke a language unrelated to any other. The road into Hunza, a branch of the old Silk Road, was once so narrow and dangerous that the Hunzakuts, as they are called, had no trouble defending it. The Hunza Valley was virtually undisturbed until the late 1970s, when the Karakoram Highway brought travelers in. In the next few days, we enjoy meeting these friendly mountain people and visiting their spectacular mountain home.\r\n\r\nToday we head out on a narrow, winding jeep track through the Shimshal Tang (gorge), crossing hanging bridges and enjoying spectacular views of the Lupgar Mountains and the Mulugutti Glacier. Another hour's drive brings us to Shimshal, a tranquil village set below the sharp peaks of the Karakoram Mountains. Overnight at a local guesthouse, with a cultural show.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 55 miles, 4-5 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":7,"DayTo":7,"Headline":"Hunza Valley \/ Karimabad","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We have the morning at leisure to explore the environs of Shimshal. An afternoon drive brings us back to Passu, from where we continue on to Karimabad, the &ldquo;capital&rdquo; of Hunza at 8,000 feet. This steep-sided town sits in the shadow of the surrounding mountains, including majestic snow-covered Rakaposhi (25,501&apos;). Overnight at the Serena Hunza Inn.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 35 miles, 2 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":8,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Hunza Valley \/ Karimabad \/ Aga Khan Academy \/ Baltit Fort","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"This morning we visit the Aga Khan Academy, one of the schools established in Hunza by His Highness the Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims (Hunzakuts practice the Ismaili branch of Islam). The Aga Khan Foundation supports a range of projects for Ismaili Muslims in Hunza and around the world, from health and education to architecture, culture, and microfinance. After lunch in a local home, we enjoy a beautiful afternoon walk back to our hotel following the network of hand-dug water channels that lace the Hunza Valley and irrigate the famed apricot orchards. The late afternoon is at leisure to roam the local market or relax at the hotel. In the evening we visit the old Baltit Fort that towers above Karimabad. After a tour of the fort, we enjoy dinner in one of the fort's rooftop rooms, soaking up the valley views and the snow-capped ramparts of Rakaposhi. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":9,"DayTo":9,"Headline":"Hunza Valley \/ Nagar Valley \/ Hoper Village \/ Hoper Glacier","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A spectacular one-hour drive brings us through the Hoper Valley to the picturesque village of Hoper (9,154&apos;), where we have a chance to observe everyday life in a small countryside village. We can also walk up to a viewpoint of the Hoper Glacier, which snakes down the valley. We return to Karimabad for a barbecue dinner and overnight at our inn.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 2 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":10,"DayTo":10,"Headline":"Gilgit \/ Rakaposhi \/ Altit Fort \/ Duikar","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Heading up the Hunza Valley, we stop for lunch at Gilgit, one of the most beautiful villages in the region. We visit Kargah Buddha, an archaeological site with a carved image of the Buddha, the Christian cemetery of Gora Qabristan, and the local bazaar. After lunch, we visit the very best viewpoint for seeing and photographing spectacular Rakaposhi, Hunza&apos;s highest peak. Altit Fort, older than Baltit Fort, is surrounded by lovely gardens. We enjoy tea at the fort&apos;s garden caf&eacute;, then drive up to Duikar (9,515&apos;), a great place to enjoy sunset and sunrise views. Overnight at Eagle's Nest Lodge in Duikar.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 60 miles, 2 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":11,"DayTo":11,"Headline":"Gulmit \/ Passu","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We continue to Gulmit via the Pakistan-China friendship tunnels, a series of five tunnels and several bridges completed in 2015, with an exploration of the village and Attabad Lake. Our drive continues to Passu. Overnight at the Ambassador Hotel in Passu.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":12,"DayTo":12,"Headline":"Hunza \/ Kashgar, China","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We bid farewell to our new Hunzakut friends and continue to Tashkurgan in China after passing through border formalities. In the afternoon, we explore the town, including a visit to the lively local bazaar. Overnight at the Crown Inn Hotel.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 5-6 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":13,"DayTo":13,"Headline":"Kashgar","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In the morning we depart for Kashgar. If time permits, we visit a local family in their home before heading across Subashi Pass, where we should be able to see both Muztagh Ata (24,758&apos;) and neighboring Kongur (25,095&apos;) on a clear day. As we continue toward Kashgar, we stop at Karakul Lake and visit the village of Uppal, the burial place of Mahmud Kashgari, the great 11th century Uighur lexicographer. Overnight at the Hotel Yue Xing Jin Jiang in Kashgar.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 125 miles","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":14,"DayTo":14,"Headline":"Irkishtam Pass, Kyrgyzstan \/ Achiktash Camp","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We&apos;ll get an early start today for our journey to Kyrgyzstan, passing through Chinese border formalities before we cross Irkishtam Pass (9,679&apos;). We enter Kyrgyzstan and go through formalities on the other side, meet our Kyrgyz guide, and head to the little town of Sary Tash, a collection of small houses and yurts that sees few travelers. We have a picnic lunch today and a beautiful panorama of the High Pamirs as we travel. Tonight we overnight at an alpine tented camp just past Sary Tash at a place called Achiktash. From here we&apos;ll enjoy splendid views of Pik Lenin (23,406&apos;), one of the massive peaks of the Pamirs, sheering up from lush green grasslands. It attracts mountaineers from around the world, most of whom climb the peak&nbsp;from the Kyrygzstan side, which has a much easier ascent than the sheer Tajikistan side. Overnight at tented camp.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 177 miles","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":15,"DayTo":15,"Headline":"Kizilart Pass \/ Murghab Valley, Tajikistan","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We&nbsp;have&nbsp;another early start as we continue across the high Pamirs to Tajikistan, crossing the border on the way to Kizilart Pass (14,075&apos;). We meet our Tajik team on the other side and continue down the Murghab Valley. At the village of Karakul, we enjoy lunch at a local Tajik-Kyrgyz resthouse with more vistas of Pik Lenin and the snow-capped Pamir Range. Continuing along the Murghab Valley via Ak-Baital Pass (15,272&apos;), we will notice a stark change in the landscape as we move deeper into these Pamir valleys, the historic crossroads of Chinese, Kyrgyz, and Tajik caravan routes. As we get closer to the town of Murghab (12,000&apos;), the valley opens onto a plateau that saw Scythian nomadic migrations in the 6th century BC. Later, the Chinese expanded into these parts all the way to the former kingdom of Badakhshan. Overnight at the Pamir Hotel in Murghab.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 158 miles","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":16,"DayTo":16,"Headline":"Alichur \/ Nauzatash Pass \/ Langar","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Driving along the Pamir Highway, we&apos;ll see many nomad yurts nestled below the mountains. We head over Nauzatash Pass (13,573') and descend onto the Alichur Plateau. Leaving the Pamir Highway behind, we follow a remote caravan route to Khargosh Pass (14,523&apos;), one of the last high passes on our journey. We descend into Tajikistan&apos;s Wakhan region, stopping at a military checkpost to show our permits. Soon we will have views of the mighty peaks of the Hindu Kush as we descend into the valley, following the banks of the Pamir River. The Pamir joins the Wakhan River to form the Oxus River, which in turn forms the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. With a picnic lunch en route, we gaze across the river into Afghanistan as we continue to Lengar, a more settled area, for our homestay overnight at a local guesthouse.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 107 miles","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":17,"DayTo":17,"Headline":"Bibi Fatima Hot Springs \/ Wakhan \/ Yamg \/ Ishkashim","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We travel along the Oxus with views to the scenic and fertile Wakhan Corridor across the river. This 85-mile-long valley is where the mighty Panj River marks the boundary between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. This narrow finger of land&mdash;one of the remotest corners of Asia&mdash;was set apart at the end of the 19th century by the British Empire to act as a buffer against potential Russian ambitions in India. We don't enter the Wakhan Corridor itself (it's in Afghanistan), but we enjoy the best of the Wakhan scenery today, following along the Panj River to the Oxus, with a stop at the mouth of the Wakhan River. We visit the shrine at Mazor, decorated with the horns of wild goats and Marco Polo sheep, and the ruins of a fortress at Yamchun. At the revered mineral hot springs of Bibi Fatima (named for Prophet Mohammed&apos;s daughter), we will have a chance to take a dip before our picnic lunch. We continue to Ishkashim, where we overnight at a small guesthouse.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 69 miles","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":18,"DayTo":18,"Headline":"Garam Chasma Valley \/ Khorog","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Ishkashim is part of Tajikistan&apos;s Badakhshan Province. After making a few stops at scenic points along the way, we head off the main road into the Garam Chasma Valley, with a chance for another soak in a local mineral spring. Afterwards, we continue to the pleasant town of Khorog (7,000'), arriving in time for lunch. The remainder of the day is free to rest or explore on your own. Overnight at La&apos;L Hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":19,"DayTo":19,"Headline":"Khorog","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Today we relax in and around Khorog, the home of a campus of Central Asian University built and sponsored by the community-supported Aga Khan Development Network. Khorog is located in a narrow valley&mdash;the town is only one street wide in some places. Pedestrian bridges span the jade Panj River here and fruit trees create shady resting places. We visit the Khorog Regional History Museum and stroll through Pamir Botanical Garden, the second highest in the world, reaching an altitude of almost 13,000 feet. Alpine plants from all over the world are grown here. After lunch back at our hotel, the afternoon is free to explore on your own. Tonight we enjoy dinner at a local home and hear regional folk singers. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":20,"DayTo":20,"Headline":"Kali-i-Khum","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Passing more villages along the Oxus River, we now continue along more well-traveled roads to the outpost of Kala-i-Khum and check into the Karon Palace Hotel.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 180 miles","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":21,"DayTo":21,"Headline":"Khaburabat Pass \/ Dushanbe","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A picturesque drive by jeep brings us across the Khaburabat Pass (10,669&apos;) amid shepherds tending their livestock. As we descend into the lower valley, we leave the mountainous Badakhshan region and continue to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, with a picnic lunch en route. Overnight at the Serena Hotel in Dushanbe, with dinner at a local restaurant.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 150 miles","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":22,"DayTo":22,"Headline":"Dushanbe \/ Gissar","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Named for the Persian word for Monday, Dushanbe was once a small market village where traders gathered each Monday to sell their goods. The city&apos;s shady chaikhanas (teahouses) are decorated in traditional, colorful Tajik style, and the local Barakat market, a covered bazaar, reflects the city&apos;s long history as a center of trade. During the Soviet era, the city grew to be the most important industrial center in Tajikistan. Our explorations include the National Museum of Antiquities, with its fascinating collection of Greco-Bactrian and Buddhist art (as well as the largest reclining Buddha statue in the region), a private museum of musical instruments, and the local bazaar. After lunch, we drive out of town for a visit to Gissar, a Silk Road center of commerce and learning still dominated by its 18th century Ibrahim Beg fortress. Several madrassahs (religious schools) from that period are still standing today. Overnight at hotel in Dushanbe.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":23,"DayTo":23,"Headline":"Anzob Pass \/ Iskanderkul","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We head over the Anzob Pass (11,063'), with its magnificent panoramic views, to Iskanderkul, a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. Named after Alexander the Great, who is believed to have passed by here en route to India, the lake is part of a nature reserve and an important birding area. We stay at a comfortable guesthouse, and in the evening, enjoy dinner in the home of a local family.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 84 miles","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":24,"DayTo":24,"Headline":"Istrafshan \/ Khujand","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After a morning to explore the area, we head through Shahrestan Pass to Istrafshan, where we visit both the Kok Gumza mosque and Chor Gumbaz shrine, with their classic Central Asian architecture. We spend the night in Khujand (which means &ldquo;Alexandria the Farthest&rdquo;), the last and northernmost of the Tajik cities named for Alexander the Great, who founded the city in 328 BC. Overnight at Khujand Grand Hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":25,"DayTo":25,"Headline":"Tashkent, Uzbekistan","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A relatively easy drive brings us to the border of Uzbekistan, where we go through immigration formalities and walk to the Uzbek side to meet our guide and bus. We continue to Tashkent, arriving in the mid-afternoon. Overnight at the Hyatt Regency.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 186 miles","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":26,"DayTo":26,"Headline":"Tashkent","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Although it does not look it today, Tashkent is one of the oldest cities in Uzbekistan. Rock paintings in the Chaktal Mountains about 50 miles away show that humans have been here since perhaps 2000 BC. The city was taken by Genghis Khan in the 13th century, Tamerlane was here in the 14th century, and the Shaibanid khans ruled in the 15th and 16th. The Russian Empire arrived in 1865. Uzbekistan was not an autonomous country until 1991. Tashkent lost much of its architectural history in a huge earthquake in 1966 and today the city has wide tree-lined boulevards, 20th century Soviet buildings, and reconstructed traces of the old city with mud-walled houses, narrow winding lanes, mosques, and madrassahs. We enjoy a city tour, then gather for our Farewell Dinner this evening.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":27,"DayTo":27,"Headline":"Depart","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Transfer to the airport for departure on homeward-bound flights.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":28,"DayTo":28,"Headline":"Alternative Non-Hunza Itinerary For Days 4-12","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"If it does not seem wise to visit the Hunza Valley (Days 4-12) for any reason, even after the trip is in progress, we will set off to explore the oasis-cities of the southern Silk Road, including Turpan, Khotan, and Yarkand. This decision will be made at the discretion of Wilderness Travel.\r\n\r\nBy 100 BC, there were immense caravans heading across the Silk Road into the Central Asian desert, from the West bringing figs, walnuts, grapes, wool, and ivory, and from China bringing jade, porcelain, oranges, gunpoweder, paper, and silk. New ideas in art and religion also traveled this fabled road. We start with Turpan, known for its sweet bounty of grapes and also for&nbsp;some of the most important Buddhist cave sites in Asia. We'll also discover Khotan,&nbsp;a magnet for Chinese traders even before&nbsp;the Silk Road days, and Yarkand, once an important stop for the Silk Road's cashmere trade.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":29,"DayTo":29,"Headline":"Urumqi, China \/ Turpan","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Depart Kashgar on a flight to the sprawling city of Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Province. From here we head directly out to Turpan, an ancient oasis-city in the Takla Makan Desert. Turpan is located in the low Turpan Basin south of&nbsp;the Tien Shan Mountains and traces its roots to the Silk Road. We enjoy a local market tour and an overnight at a hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":30,"DayTo":30,"Headline":"Turpan \/ Bezeqlik Caves","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Turpan, even though it is deep in the Takla Makan Desert, is known as the &ldquo;fruit basket&rdquo; of China. Despite its bone-dry surroundings, it is an agricultural center of note, famed across China for its rich harvest of melons, cantaloupes, and grapes. An ancient, hand-dug network of underground viaducts still in use today has made this bounty possible. We'll be sure to sample the wares under the shade of vine-clad trellises. The Turpan Basin also holds some of the most important Buddhist relics in Asia, including the Thousand Buddha Caves at Bezeqlik, which we visit today. These spectacular cave-grottos were dug out of the high cliffs of the Flaming Mountains about 400 AD and are full of shrines and relics. Buddhist monks inhabited these caves from the 5th to the 9th centuries. Overnight in Turpan.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":31,"DayTo":31,"Headline":"Urumqi","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We head back to Urumqi, enjoying an afternoon visit to the local Urumqi markets, full of fine Uighur crafts such as embroidered caps, carved jade, carpets, and gold and silver jewelry. Overnight at hotel in Urumqi.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":32,"DayTo":32,"Headline":"Urumqi \/ Xinjiang Museum \/ Khotan","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After visiting Urumqi&apos;s museum, with its unusual Caucasian mummies and artifacts dating back 4,000 years, an afternoon flight bring us to Khotan, a Silk Road outpost and still a bustling center of silk production on the edge of the Takla Makan Desert. Its name translates as \"city of jade,\" as it once lay on the Jade Route between China and Mesopotamia, which eventually became the southern branch of the Silk Road. Overnight at hotel in Khotan.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":33,"DayTo":33,"Headline":"Jiya \/ Malikwat Ruins \/ Khotan","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We&apos;ll head out to the small town of Jiya to visit silkworm and silk-weaving facilities as well as jade production centers. We also visit the ruins at Malikwat (also known as Mallikurwatur), thought to be the remains of the ancient city of Yutien. Overnight in Khotan.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":34,"DayTo":34,"Headline":"Khotan Sunday Market \/ Yarkand","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After a visit to the lively Sunday Market in Khotan, we head across the Takla Makan Desert to Yarkand, once a major Silk Road center. This 2,000-year-old settlement is set in an oasis watered by the Yarkand River. In Yarkand's Old Town, we can see Uighur craftsmen working in wood and metal as we&nbsp;stroll the narrow streets amid traditional food vendors with their carts. Yarkand was the capital of the Uighur kingdom in ancient times. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":35,"DayTo":35,"Headline":"Markit","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A meshrep is a traditional gathering of Uighur men (&ldquo;meshrep&rdquo; means &ldquo;gathering&rdquo; in Uighur), and today we'll head to the village of Markit, where we'll witness a Dolan Meshrep performance of Muqam singing and dance. Overnight at guesthouse.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 155 miles","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":36,"DayTo":36,"Headline":"Drive to Kashgar","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We depart Yarkand for Kashgar, arriving in time for lunch. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Kashgar. Overnight at hotel.\r\nApproximate Driving Details: 106 miles","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":37,"DayTo":37,"Headline":"Karakul Lake \/ Tashkurgan","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A journey on the Karakoram Highway brings us up to beautiful Karakul Lake for views of lofty Mustagh Ata (24,758&apos;), a snow-capped Central Asian giant. We also may meet some of the local Kyrgyz people who graze their animals in the surrounding mountains. After lunch at the lake, we continue on to Tashkurgan, crossing Subashi Pass (13,174&apos;) into the high Pamirs. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":38,"DayTo":38,"Headline":"Tashkurgan \/ Kashgar","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Resume trip as per Day 13 of the regular itinerary.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":1,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Kashgar, China","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Explore this famously isolated city, launching pad for many Tibet, Pamir, and Karakoram expeditions in the 18th and 19th centuries. We roam the amazing Sunday Bazaar, which still throbs in the heart of Kashgar, and other sites including the green-tiled tomb of Abakh Khodja, a powerful 7th century ruler of Kashgar.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":4,"DayTo":14,"Headline":"Tashkurgan \/ Khunjerab Pass \/ Hunza Valley","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We head to beautiful Karakul Lake then over Subashi Pass to Tashkurgan at 12,000 feet. We'll cross the breathtaking Karakorum Mountains into northern Pakistan&rsquo;s spectacular Hunza Valley, an independent princely state for some 600 years. Hunza&rsquo;s main town, Karimabad, lies in the shadow of majestic snow-covered Rakaposhi (25,551&rsquo;). In our days here, we visit local homes, tour ancient hilltop forts, enjoy walks along the ancient hand-dug water channels that irrigate the valley&rsquo;s apricot orchards, and soak up the mountain and glacier views. On Day 14, we head back to Tashkurgan, China.\n\nPlease note: If it does not seem wise to visit Hunza for any reason, we have created an alternative Non-Hunza itinerary for Days 4-15. On these days, we'll explore the oasis-cities of the southern Silk Road. We start with Turpan, home to some of the most important Buddhist cave sites in Asia, and the fascinating sites of Khotan, a magnet for Chinese traders even before the Silk Road days, and Yarkand, once an important stop for the Silk Road's cashmere trade, before heading to Kashgar and Tashkurgan.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":15,"DayTo":20,"Headline":"Khargosh Pass \/ Wakhan \/ Khorog \/ Kala-i-Khum","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We enter Tajikistan, driving along the Pamir Highway and seeing many nomad yurts nestled below the mountains. Heading over Nauzatash Pass (14,685'), we descend onto the Alichur Plateau and into Tajikistan's Wakhan region, with views of the mighty peaks of the Hindu Kush. The green Wakhan Corridor was created during the Great Game by the British Empire to act as a buffer against Russian ambitions in India. We meet the Wakhi and Tajik people of Wakhan and continue through Badakhshan Province to the pleasant town of Khorog and onward to the outpost of Kala-i-Khum.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":21,"DayTo":27,"Headline":"Dushanbe \/ Penjikent \/ Samarkand, Uzbekistan","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After visiting Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, we enter Uzbekistan and explore Iskanderkul Lake, Penjikent, and the glorious city of Samarkand before departing on Day 27.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true}],"itinpdf":[{"ItinYear":"2024","docType":"1","FileName":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/the-great-game-itinerary-2024.pdf"},{"ItinYear":"2024","docType":"2","FileName":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/the-great-game-predeparture.pdf"}],"whattoexpect":[{}],"highlights":[{"DisplayOrder":1,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Roam the famed Sunday Market in the Silk Road outpost of Kashgar","Image":"","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":33137,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":2,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Experience the breathtaking setting of the Hunza Valley","Image":"","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":33137,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":3,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Meet the Uighurs, Hunzakuts, Tajiks, Uzbeks and other Central Asian peoples","Image":"","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":33137,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":4,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Cross the spell-binding High Pamirs on the roof of Asia","Image":"","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":33137,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":5,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Enjoy one of the great overland journeys of the 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to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":2,"Type":"E","Description":"Additional hotel nights outside the trip's scheduled dates","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":3,"Type":"E","Description":"Optional gratuities to Trip Leaders or staff","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":4,"Type":"E","Description":"Optional travel insurance","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":5,"Type":"E","Description":"Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, 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departure","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":5,"Type":"I","Description":"All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""}],"destinations":[{"DestinationID":45,"Name":"Asia","Type":"Region"},{"DestinationID":275,"Name":"Central Asia"},{"DestinationID":66,"Name":"China","Type":"Country"},{"DestinationID":130,"Name":"Pakistan","Type":"Country"},{"DestinationID":133,"Name":"Tajikistan","Type":"Country"},{"DestinationID":131,"Name":"Uzbekistan","Type":"Country"}],"activities":[{"ActivityID":217,"Name":"Cultural","Primary":0},{"ActivityID":238,"Name":"Limited Edition","Primary":0}],"guides":[{"GuideID":850907,"First_Name":"Roger","Last_Name":"Williams","BioShort":"Roger Williams has been one of our most versatile guides since 1986, and he shows no sign of stopping. If it isn&apos;t the surplus of knowledge Roger brings when he leads a trip that makes him so unique, then it may be his awareness for cultural preservation that keep trip members so loyal to his new adventures. &ldquo;There should be a rating higher than excellent for Roger,&rdquo; one client wrote after her journey with Roger. &ldquo;His knowledge, energy, planning, and attentiveness are superlative.&rdquo;","BioLong":"Roger Williams has been one of our most versatile guides since 1986, and he shows no sign of stopping. He spent eight years studying Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhist iconography, Himalayan languages, and woodblock art in Nepal, and another two years studying Japanese woodblock art, Japanese language, and Shingon Shu, an esoteric sect of Japanese Buddhism in Japan. If it isn&apos;t the surplus of knowledge Roger brings when he leads a trip that makes him so unique, then it may be his awareness for cultural preservation that keep trip members so loyal to his new adventures. Each year, Roger works with WT to design new trips in fascinating areas. He has led in such far-flung locations as Iran, Pakistan, northern Afghanistan, Kamchatka, Burma, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Madagascar. When he&apos;s not leading, you can find Roger in Berkeley, California, where he is the director of Snow Lion Graphics\/SLG Books, a publishing house specializing in Asian cultures. &ldquo;There should be a rating higher than excellent for Roger,&rdquo; one trip member wrote after her journey with Roger. &ldquo;His knowledge, energy, planning, and attentiveness are superlative.&rdquo;"}],"guestreviews":[{"GuestNames":"Carole M.","GuestLocation":"Versailles, KY","GuestReview":"Each day was a new adventure. We felt as though we were totally in another world, especially in the mountain communities of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan."},{"GuestNames":"Jane F.","GuestLocation":"Naples, FL","GuestReview":"A difficult but wonderful trip. It met with and exceeded all my expectations and fulfilled a lifelong wish to see this part of the world!"},{"GuestNames":"Judith M.","GuestLocation":"Albuquerque, NM","GuestReview":"This was a real expedition! For me, a dream come true."}],"Extensions":[{}],"SimilarTrips":[{"TripID":10250,"SimilarTripID":10297,"Trip_Code":"CENASIA","Trip_Name":"Central Asia Explorer"},{"TripID":10250,"SimilarTripID":10465,"Trip_Code":"CELESTIA","Trip_Name":"Kyrgyzstan: Hiking in the Celestial Mountains"},{"TripID":10250,"SimilarTripID":10437,"Trip_Code":"SILKXIAN","Trip_Name":"The Silk Road"},{"TripID":10250,"SimilarTripID":10546,"Trip_Code":"ULTUZBEK","Trip_Name":"Ultimate Uzbekistan"}],"Specialists":[{}],"TripSegments":[{"VendorID":74871,"ProductID":86997,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Extra Hotel Night","Vendor":"Chini Bagh Royal Hotel","Address1":"FXFG+39G, Seman Rd","Address2":"","City":"Kashgar","State":"XJ","Postal":"","Product":"Pre-Trip Extra Services: Chini Bagh Royal Hotel (DATES, 1 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night)","Day":27,"Sequence":20,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false}],"CustomFields":{"Custom_TC_Detailed_Itin_URL":"","Custom_Trip_Name_Addendum":"Adventure","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Addendum":"","Custom_Trip_Level_5":"","Custom_Welcome_Email_Send_List":"","Custom_FI_Optional_Donation_Text":"","Custom_Final_Docs_Letter_Send_List":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Trip_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_TP_Trip_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Payment_Terms":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>In order to confirm your space on this trip, we require a first deposit of $600 per person, which is fully refundable up to 151 days prior to departure.<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>India<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Emergency_Evac_Insurance":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Reading_List":"<strong>Reading List: <\/strong>Elevate your travel experience by delving into this <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-the-great-game\">curated collection of books<\/a> tailored to your upcoming adventure.","Custom_Valid_Passport_Alternative":"","Custom_Visa":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Luggage_Requirements":"","Custom_Carry-On":"","Custom_Hiking_Poles":"","Custom_Daypack":"","Custom_Vaccination_Card":"","Custom_FB_Packing_Reminders_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Arrival":"","Custom_Arrival-_Meeting_Place":"","Custom_Arrival_Transfer":"","Custom_Departure":"","Custom_Extra_Services":"","Custom_Contact_Information_for_Friends_and_Family":"","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Left":"","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Right":"","Custom_name_slug":"great-game-silk-road-central-asia-cultural-tour","Custom_Meta_Description":"Cultural tour from western China&apos;s Xinjiang Province to northern Pakistan's Hunza Valley, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. 27 days.","Custom_List_Description":"Visit the Silk Road outpost of Kashgar, the awe-inspiring Hunza Valley, mountainous Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan&apos;s spell-binding High Pamirs, view the legendary Wakhan Corridor.","Custom_Redirect":"","Custom_PJ_-_Best_Months":"","Custom_After_Dates":"","Custom_Trip_Web_Note":"","Custom_Title_Tag":"The Great Game | Central Asia & Silk Road Overland 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Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from Asia. In addition, we recommend your passport has at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say &#8220;Amendments and Endorsements,&#8221; and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages.You can request a new passport through <a href=\"http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/passport\/passport_1738.html\">US Passport Services Office<\/a> (the service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016) or use a visa service agency, which can take care of your passport renewal and expedite the process, if needed. We recommend <a href=\"http:\/\/www.passportvisaexpress.com\/?affId=2120\">Passport Visas Express<\/a>. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. <br><br>It is a good idea to carry a photocopy of the photo page of your passport as an additional piece of identification, as well as extra passport photos.","Custom_Visas_and_Entry_Notes":"On this trip, you will visit China, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.<br><strong><br>China: <\/strong>A visa is required for US citizens traveling to China and must be obtained prior to arrival. China visa applications are only accepted for processing (by the Chinese authorities) provided that initial date of entry is within 90 days of the submission date. So, you cannot apply earlier than 3 months from your arrival. <br><br><div>More detailed instructions regarding the visa process (and how to fill out all necessary forms) will be sent at that time (approximately three months prior to departure). Wilderness Travel will obtain any necessary visa invitations and\/or supplementary documents. <br><br>On entering China, you will complete a Baggage Declaration Form and indicate how much money you are carrying and the brand and quantity of cameras, recorders, jewelry, watches, etc., you are bringing in. Any items on this list must be taken out of the country on exit.<br><strong><br>Pakistan:<\/strong> A visa is required for US citizens traveling to Pakistan. We plan to obtain this visa upon arrival at the China\/Pakistan border. However, if this changes in the future, we will be sure to update you. <br><br>In order to obtain this visa, supplemental documents and a visa fee will be required (and paid to Wilderness Travel). We will send more details instructions on the visa process, approximately three months prior to departure.<br><strong><br>Kyrgyzstan:<\/strong> A visa is not required for US citizens visiting Kyrgyzstan for less than 60 days. However, please remember to have adequate unused\/blank visa pages to allow for entry and exit stamps upon arrival and departure from Kyrgyzstan.<br><strong><br>Tajikistan:<\/strong> A visa is required for US citizens visiting Tajikistan, but an e-visa can be obtained online through the Tajikistan government at the following link: https:\/\/www.evisa.tj\/index.evisa.html. <br><br>Tourist visas are issued for up to 45 days, with no extensions or replacements allowed. Wilderness Travel will notify you when to begin the e-visa process.<br><strong><br>Uzbekistan: <\/strong>A visa is required for US Citizens visiting Uzbekistan, but an e-visa can be obtained online through the Uzbekistan government at the following link: https:\/\/e-visa.gov.uz\/main. <br><br>Please note that e-visas allow for stays of up to 30 days in Uzbekistan. As of March 15, 2019, these visas may have 2 or more entries allowed for additional fees. E-visas are valid for 90 days from the date of issuance (not to be confused with the allowed stay of 30 days), so you must wait closer to departure in order to obtain your visa. Wilderness Travel will notify you when to begin the e-visa process.<br><strong><br>Please send Wilderness Travel a color copy of your passport photo page as soon as possible, so that we have this information on file when applying for necessary supplemental visa documents.<\/strong> <br><br><\/div><div>Please note that all visa requirements and regulations are subject to change. <br><br>If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, please check with a local consulate or tourist office for entry requirements.<\/div>","Custom_Money":"We suggest you bring US cash only, as it is typically the easiest to exchange and always best for minor expenses. <strong>Your US cash must be new bills in pristine condition, without tears, writing, stamp marks, fold marks, or blemishes.<\/strong> <br><br>In China, currency exchange can be conducted at the Bank of China branches in major cities. Cash is the only form of payment in the most remote areas. <br><br>Please check with your Trip Leader for guidelines on where and how to exchange funds in Pakistan and the Central Asian republics. It is difficult to exchange money in the local villages. <br><br>Credit cards (VISA, etc.) are accepted only at major hotels and in larger shops in the major cities. In addition to cash, you can also bring along an ATM card to draw money from ATM machines in major cities. To use an ATM internationally, you must have a four-digit PIN. If you plan to use your credit cards, inform your credit card company before your departure that you will be using the card abroad. <br><br>You will need to budget spending money for gratuities, any meals listed as &#8220;on your own&#8221; in the trip itinerary, for international and domestic airport departure taxes, and for personal items such as beverages. You will need to pay for personal items such as shopping, phone calls, or laundry at hotels.","Custom_Tipping":"During the trip, the Trip Leader takes care of tips for waiters at restaurants, for porters for luggage handling, and for local guides and drivers who are with the group for only a short time. For the staff who have accompanied you throughout a significant portion of your adventure&mdash;our drivers and guides&mdash;excellent service can be rewarded by the organization of a pooled tip, a process to be facilitated by the Trip Leader. <br><br>Tipping for the Trip Leader is not formally organized. Should you wish to tip your Trip Leader, we suggest that you do so toward the end of the trip. Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years, clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward outstanding service. <br><br>A range of reference would be $15-$18 per trip member, per day for the Trip Leader, and $12-14 per trip member, per day for the local guides\/drivers. <br><br>Many clients have expressed concern over carrying so much cash on a trip, so for you convenience, your Trip Leader will accept personal checks for tips, as he will carry extra cash for tipping the local staff.","Custom_Food":"Please reach out to us directly to discuss any dietary restrictions or concerns you may have. We can easily make arrangements for most diets, but please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or logistical limitations can make it difficult or at times impossible to accommodate all requests. With this in mind, please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a special diet, and any food allergies in particular, so we can do our best to meet your needs.Bring a flexible attitude and supplemental foods to ensure your dietary needs are met.","Custom_Communications":"Most cities have internet cafes where you can access email accounts. However, internet access may be limited at the hotels, lodges, and guesthouses on the trip (and you may have to pay extra for this service). You can ask your Trip Leader to show you where they are.<br><strong><br>Please note:<\/strong> you may have trouble accessing popular US websites, such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Instagram, etc., due to Chinese internet regulations, including Gmail.","Custom_Electricity":"","Custom_Laundry":"","Custom_Ship_Notes":"","Custom_Inoculations":"Entry requirements and international health situations are subject to change; check with the Centers for Disease Control for updates. All shots should be entered on your International Health Card (yellow card), which is provided by the facility giving the shots. Keep it with your passport while traveling. It provides an important personal record for you to refer to when making future travel plans. Please consult with your physician regarding the following:<br><br><strong>Tetanus Booster<\/strong><br>Strongly recommended (effective for 10 years).<br><br><strong>Polio<\/strong><br>People who have received the primary series of at least three doses of polio vaccine are considered fully immunized. People who are unsure of their status should receive the vaccine (three doses spaced at intervals).<br><br><strong>Hepatitis<\/strong><br>The vaccines HAVRIX and VAQTA (two injections, six to 18 months apart) give long-term protection against Hepatitis A and are worthwhile if you travel regularly to developing countries.<br><br><strong>Typhoid<\/strong><br>The CDC recommends the shot or the oral vaccine Vivotif Berna.","Custom_International_Health":"","Custom_Malaria_Prevention":"","Custom_Staying_Healthy":"Change of diet and a number of other factors can cause stomach upsets while traveling, especially in underdeveloped countries. To guard against illness, follow these guidelines: <br><br><ul><li>Consider all tap water unsafe. Do not drink it or brush your teeth with it. Bottled water is available everywhere. Don't drink the water served in restaurants (bottled water is widely available). Avoid ice in your drinks (it may not have been made with treated water).On any airline, drink only the bottled water, not the tap water.<\/li><li>Beware of uncooked or raw foods such as salads. Don't eat fruit unless you have peeled it yourself. Avoid custards, pastry creams, yogurt, and milk where refrigeration and pasteurization are unreliable. Don't eat food bought from sidewalk vendors. Overall, be conservative about what you eat.<\/li><li>Frequent hand washing, especially after using the bathroom and before eating, can cut down on the possibility of traveler's diarrhea.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Getting_In_Shape":"This is not a hiking trip, but there are opportunities on many days for touring on foot for one to three hours at a time. The walking tours are not difficult. However, we recommend you make a special effort to get in good physical condition for the trip. Six weeks to a month before you go, begin a program of hiking or other form of aerobic exercise that goes beyond your normal routine.","Custom_Medical_Care":"Medical services are extremely limited in certain areas we visit on this trip. In the event of illness requiring evacuation, there are risks involved. Depending upon the point where we are in the itinerary, an evacuation may take several days. You should bring an ample supply of any prescription medicines you need and the items listed on the personal first aid list, in consultation with your physician.","Custom_Altitude_Considerations":"","Custom_Covid-19":"","Custom_Reading_List":"Elevate your travel experience by delving into this curated collection of books tailored to your upcoming adventure. They will not only entertain but also provide invaluable insights into the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, mountain trails, or even folklore of the places you're about to explore. Discover the perfect companions for your journey ahead by <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-the-great-game\">following the link<\/a> or scanning the QR code.","Custom_Photography":"","Custom_Cultural_Considerations":"There are some essential elements common to the cultural experiences of most of the people of these areas. For example, respect for one's elders and hospitality are widespread cultural attributes. Here are some things to be aware of: <br><br><strong>Respect: <\/strong>Great respect is given to religious sites in these countries. These areas, large or small, ruined or not, are regarded as sacred. It is not appropriate to climb up on one to take a photograph, or to do anything that might show a lack of respect. When in doubt, the best guide is to watch the local people and do what they do. <br><br><strong>Visiting Religious Sites: <\/strong>It's OK to wear shoes while walking around the compound, but shoes are often taken off before entering a religious site. <br><br><strong>Losing Face:<\/strong> In these cultures, it is considered unseemly to show too much emotion, such as displaying anger. It is best to just relax through any conflicts or irritations. In particular, avoid doing anything to cause public humiliation to anyone. This extends to criticism of service, engaging in public arguments, and &#8220;demanding to see the boss.&#8221; The people of these countries have an extreme reluctance to hurt others' feelings and thus lose face. <br><br><strong>Other Do's and Don'ts: <\/strong>In these countries, public demonstrations of affection between men and women are frowned on. The head is the most spiritual and exalted part of the body. Thus, it is not appropriate to touch anyone on the head, except for small children. (Touching the head of a small child demonstrates your protection of that child.) The feet, considered the lowest and dirtiest part of the body (especially in the villages) should never be pointed at someone. Bowing your head and body slightly when walking through someone's &#8220;space&#8221; is considered a polite and necessary thing to do. Your efforts to emulate the local behavior while in these countries will be much appreciated.","Custom_Giving_Back":"","Custom_Enviromental_Concerns":"","Custom_Shopping_and_Souvenirs":"Chinese regulations prohibit taking antiquities and artifacts unless they are affixed with an official red-wax seal or accompanied by a receipt from an official state-run store. Customs officials can be very strict and purchases have been confiscated on departure. Ordinary or inexpensive items may be let through, but the officials may be arbitrary.","Custom_Seasickness":"","Custom_Explore":"","Custom_Additional_Information":"","Custom_Essentials":"<ul><li>Passport (valid for at least six months after your date of exit from China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan)<\/li><li>One other picture ID, such as driver's license<\/li><li>Visa for China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan<\/li><li>Photocopy of passport page to carry with you<\/li><li>Four extra passport photos<\/li><li>Air tickets and expense money<\/li><li>Personal checks for optional gratuities and emergency use<\/li><li>Proof of travelers insurance, if purchased (insurance is recommended)<\/li><li>Prescription medication, if required (packed in your carry-on bag, not your checked baggage)<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Luggage":"<ul><li>Soft-sided roller bag with small padlock (must be unlocked for travel). Be mindful of baggage weight limits.<\/li><li>Daypack, large enough for a rain\/wind jacket, water bottle, camera gear, and other items you want during the day.<\/li><li>Small roll-up duffel if you are an avid shopper. <\/li><\/ul><br><strong><br>Weight Limits<\/strong><br>Please note that there is a <strong>weight limit of 44 lbs (20 kgs) per person for checked luggage in China, and 11 lbs (5 kgs) per person for carry-on baggage<\/strong>. Your carry-on bag must fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment. <br><br><em>Internal flights are only required for our \"alternate itinerary\" (should we not go to Pakistan)<\/em>","Custom_Clothing":"Dress on the trip is very informal, with the exception of city dinners for which you may want to dress up a little (jackets are not required for men). You should carry or wear your walking shoes on your flights to make sure they arrive with you. <br><br><br>People in Central Asia dress conservatively and visitors should take care to dress modestly. A flexible system of layered clothing is recommended, such as lightweight shirts and trousers and lightweight raingear. Comfortable walking shoes will carry you a long way on this trip. A fleece jacket is recommended, as the temperature in desert could drop down to freezing at higher elevations. The places we visit are very dry, with a lots of sunshine, and it can also be very windy. A sunhat and sunglasses are highly recommended. A scarf or facemask will come in handy to ward off dust during the long, dusty drives. <br><br>The clothing list below is provided as a guideline only; we encourage you to pack as lightly as possible. <br><br><ul><li>Wind\/waterproof lightweight rain jacket with hood<\/li><li>Fleece jacket<\/li><li>Hiking pants, loose-fitting and comfortable. Quick-drying synthetic fabrics are a practical choice.<\/li><li>Long-sleeved shirts. Quick-drying &#8220;travel&#8221; fabrics are ideal.<\/li><li>T-shirts<\/li><li>Shade hat with wide brim<\/li><li>Lightweight hiking boots or sturdy running shoes with good traction and ankle support<\/li><li>Tevas or other sturdy hiking sandals<\/li><li>Socks, underwear. Synthetics dry faster<\/li><li>Sleepwear<\/li><li>Casual city\/hotel attire <\/li><\/ul><br>","Custom_Hiking_Boots":"","Custom_Equipment":"<ul><li>Bath towel (travel fabrics dry faster)<\/li><li>Water bottle, 1 qt. capacity. Bottled water is available throughout the trip<\/li><li>Good quality sunglasses with cases<\/li><li>Flashlight with extra batteries<\/li><li>Kleenex pocket packs for &#8220;nature breaks&#8221; on drives<\/li><li>Assorted plastic bags to organize items in your luggage; garbage bags to use as a bag liner for rain protection<\/li><li>Money belt or neck pouch. Always carry your passport, credit cards, and cash with you in a money belt or neck pouch tucked down inside your shirt or blouse.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Personal_First_Aid":"Every trip member should bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices. <br><br><ul><li>Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher. We recommend mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores.<\/li><li>Lip balm with sunscreen<\/li><li>Aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol for muscle pain or headache, Tylenol PM for sleep<\/li>\r<li>Topical antibiotic (such as Neosporin) for cuts, bites, or sores<\/li><li>Insect repellent<\/li><li>Blister kit. Look for the long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages or Curad Gel Multi-Day Bandages. &#8220;Liquid band-aids,&#8221; such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister.<\/li><li>Anti-bacterial gel for hand washing (at least 60% alcohol to be effective) Antihistamine such as Benadryl and cold remedy such as Sudafed<\/li><li>Imodium for diarrhea. If you wish to bring an antibiotic for diarrhea prophylaxis, consult your physician.<\/li><li>Prescription medications properly labeled&mdash; bring a plentiful supply as they will be impossible to replace in China and Central Asia<\/li><li>Spare contact lenses or spare prescription glasses<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Optional_Items":"<ul><li>Converter and plug adapter kit for appliance use in hotels. Plugs have a variety of blade types. It is best to bring a plug adapter kit.<\/li><li>Camera, spare batteries.<\/li><li>Reading\/writing material<\/li><li>Lightweight binoculars<\/li><li>Travel clock<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Prohibited_Items":"","Custom_When_to_Go":"","Custom_Children":"","Custom_Tag_Line":"A Grand Central Asian Odyssey","Custom_Lodging":"26 nights in best available hotels and guesthouses","Custom_Meals":"All meals included","Custom_Difficulty":"Cultural exploration and walking tours, rugged road travel","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"This trip is rated<strong> Level 3, Moderate<\/strong>, according to our trip grading system. While the trip is not expected to be physically strenuous, the rustic accommodations, long travel days, and transportation conditions may be quite demanding. Our expedition travels to areas that have experienced very little tourism. We believe the most important requirements are a spirit of adventure and the understanding that you are visiting a remote and fascinating region. This is not designed as a hiking trip, but we do hope to have a few exploration walks of several hours during the journey.","Custom_Terrain":"","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"","Custom_Weather":"","Custom_Accommodations":"<p>We'll be staying in the best available city hotels, with some nights in more basic guesthouses\/homestays. Single rooms can be requested, but are not guaranteed at certain properties. Wilderness Travel will do its best to secure single rooms for those who pay the single supplement, but even if this is confirmed in advance, arrangements may change while on the trip.<\/p>","Custom_Cuisine":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-09T15:37:59 --><p>Meals All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are included. Full breakfasts are included at hotels. When we feel it is best, we try to arrange other meals at local restaurants instead of using set meals in the hotels. Bottled water is provided throughout the trip. Village food tends to simpler and oilier than city food, but it is also an excellent chance to sample the food in rural areas.<\/p>","Custom_Transportation":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-09T15:38:10 --><p>Ground transportation is by small bus, minivan, and\/or jeep. We have taken local travel times into account in planning the itinerary, though road conditions can change from week to week. While traveling in rural areas, there are few decent public bathroom facilities. We recommend that rather than using local facilities on drives, you do what the locals do and opt for a &quot;nature break&quot; when on road journeys.<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">saito8.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">saito8.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<p><strong>PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION<\/strong><strong>: <\/strong>Please review your Pre-Departure Information booklet included in this packet for important information regarding Wilderness Travel's COVID-19 protocols, packing lists, recommended reading, tipping, etc.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_COVID-19":"The Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 declared by the World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services expired in 2023. As of March 2024, we no longer require guests who exhibit cold or flu symptoms to test for COVID-19. Guests who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to follow local health protocols, wear a mask in group vehicles and during indoor activities for the remainder of the trip, and may be asked to dine separately. Any travel companion sharing a room with them will also be required to wear a mask at all times in the shared group vehicles for the remainder of the trip.<br><br>We encourage all travelers to actively monitor their own well-being and to use common-sense preventative measures such as regular handwashing (or use of hand sanitizer) and\/or wearing a face mask. If you are feeling sick, we encourage you to self-isolate and\/or wear a mask to protect your fellow travelers. Guests may be required to wear a mask if the Trip Leader believes the situation warrants it.<br><br>Leading up to the trip, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy, including avoiding close contact with anyone displaying cold or flu symptoms and washing your hands often. As always, by traveling with Wilderness Travel, guests agree to be accountable for their own well-being. If you are worried about a fellow traveler's cold or flu-like symptoms, you may opt to wear a mask or distance yourself as needed. It's important to remember that there are inherent risks associated with travel and group settings.<br><br>These protocols will be reviewed and adjusted as guidance evolves. <br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.lensrentals.com\/\">lensrentals.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">saito8.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>$600 due at time of reservation <br \/>90 days prior to departure: Balance<\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Up to 151 days prior to departure: No charge!<br>91-150 days prior to departure: $600 per person<br>90 days or less: 100% of trip cost<\/p><p><em>Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p>"}}