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14 Aug to 4 Sept 2023 (22-days) 3 Stan Discovery - Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
Trip Ground Cost Rm 12,500 (per pax for group 16-21pax)
Based on USD1.00 = Rm4.50 Cost will be adjusted accordingly depending on rate in June 2023
Update 17 Feb 2023 Emirates/Flydubai does not have sufficient seat allocations for group fares. We are looking at individual flights with Emirates from KUL to Bishkek and group flights with Uzbek Airways direct flight from Tashkent back to KUL (23kg check-in). Group fares with Uzbekistan Airways is RM1,768 + about RM510 for taxes.
Update 10 Nov 2022 Trip ground cost will include most entrance fees, 2 train rides in Uzbekistan and several meals. Not included is return Emirates flight ticket - online fare today is about Rm4,600. We will be using 3 separate guides and transport as we journey across the 3 neighboring Central Asian countries.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This is meant to be a "free and easy" adventure trip. Participants should be relatively fit, with a good sense of humor, and above all, have the right attitude for close travel with others through possibly some trying times. Most definitely, this is not a trip for prudes, whiners, fussy-pots, and other similarly assorted types! We had a couple of those before and it wasn't pleasant for us or them. Although every effort will be made to stick to the given itinerary, ground conditions may change and cause some disruption and/or deviation from the norm. Otherwise, have fun !
Scenic view of Sary-Chelek lake / Nomadic people along Suusamyr valley
Come journey across these 3 Central Asian countries located along the Great Silk Road. We begin in Kyrgyzstan, where 95% of the country is covered by mountains. We then cross into Tajikistan using the beautiful Pamir highway to enjoy more nature delights and history. We end our journey with culture and stunning architecture in Uzbekistan, home to several UNESCO listed sites. These travel dates provide pleasant weather to experience these 3 countries.
Important - Do take note that our journey crosses several high mountain passes above 3,000m and the highest is 4,655m in Tajikistan. We also have 2 nights basic homestay in Kyrgyzstan with basic shared toilets.
B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D=Dinner
Day 1 KLIA Afternoon: Assemble in KLIA by 14 Aug 2023 MONDAY 4PM for Emirates flight EK347 departing 7:20PM, arriving Dubai 10:20PM. Long transit 9hr 40min
Day 2 PLANE- Bishkek: Reconnect on EK2377 departing 8:00AM, arriving Bishkek 1:50PM. Check in to hotel and rest of afternoon short walking tour around Bishkek, capital city of Kyrgyzstan with about 1 million people Overnight (O/N) hotel Bishkek. NOTE - Emirates flight on individual ticket booking
Day 3 Chychkan (B): After breakfast, we drive south west towards Chychkan Gorge 250km away. Along the way, we pass through the scenic Suusamyr valley and two high mountain passes above 3,000m (Too-Ashu and Ala-Bel). After check-in, free time to explore around Chychkan Gorge. O/N hotel
Day 4 Sary-Chelek (B/D): Full day drive 360km as we journey deeper into Kyrgyz natural reserves. We pass by Toktogul, one of the most beautiful water reservoir that drains the Naryn river into a hydroelectricity dam. The Sary-Chelek biosphere lies in the Arkit Gorge and surrounded by Chatkal mountains. Overnight in family run homestay with basic shared toilet facilities. Dinner included.
Day 5 Arslanbob (B/L/D): After breakfast, we drive to 45min towards Sary-Chelek lake for a hike around the lake. After included lunch, it is 5 hours drive south east towards Arslanbob village. Along the way, we pass through the fertile farming lands that borders with Uzbekistan. Arslanbob village is mainly populated by more conservative Uzbek ethnic people. Overnight in family run homestay with basic shared toilet facilities. Dinner included
Day 6 Osh (B/L): Arslanbob's scenic beauty and pleasant climate, as well as two impressive waterfalls, attract many visitors during the spring and summer months. After breakfast, our chartered vehicles bring us to the start of our waterfall hike. After hike, we get transferred to the large and sacred wild walnut forest with picnic lunch provided. This is one of the biggest walnut forests in the world, which is cared for by the local villagers. We then travel 4.5 hours westwards towards Osh, 2nd largest city in Kyrgyzstan. Along the way, we pass through the fertile Fergana valley and a short stop by Uzgen to visit a historic mausoleum & minaret. Uzgen town was one of the capitals of the Karakhanid State in the 11th and 12th centuries. O/N Osh hotel for next 2 nights
Day 7 Osh (B/L): After breakfast, we drive towards Krygyz Ata National Reserve where we get to walk for about 1 hour with picnic lunch included. Afternoon, we return to Osh for our sightseeing tour. Legends said Osh was founded by King Solomon ages ago and had an important position on trading routes of the Great Silk Road. We walk up sacred UNESCO listed site of Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain and its Museum. Later we visit the colourful Osh Bazaar which still operates from the same place since the heydays of Great Silk Road. This is one of Central Asia's largest open air market. O/N hotel for 2nd night.
Waterfall hike at Arslanbob / Toktogul water reservoir
Day 8 Murgab, Tajikistan (B/L/D): After breakfast, we begin our drive along the famed Pamir highway towards the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border at Kyzyl-Art via Taldyk Pass. After crossing the 9km neutral zone, we enter Tajikistan soil at the bottom of the pass. Meet our Tajik drivers and guide, who will drive us south towards Murgab. Along the way, we stop at the beautiful Karakul Lake. Our scenic drive will cross the Ak-Baital Pass (The White Horse Pass) located at 4,655m. This was the highest pass in the former USSR with stunning views around. Overnight in hotel with dinner included. Lunch along journey is included today.
Day 9 Khorog (B): We have a long driving day as we journey south west towards Khorog about 320km away. Along the way, we stop to view ancient petroglyphs inside caves. Overnight in hotel.
Day 10 Kalaikhum (B/D): After breakfast, we drive north west 240km towards Kalaikhum. We stop at Norak water reservoir called Tajik Sea and continue on and over the Shuraba Pass at 2,267m. This is the border region with Afghanistan and we follow next to the Panj river which forms the natural border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Overnight in local guesthouse with dinner provided.
Driving along Panj river with Afghanistan on the left / Pamir highway from Karakul to Murgab
Day 11 Dushanbe (B): After breakfast, we drive westwards 370km towards the capital city of Dushanbe. Along the way, we pass various small villages and dramatic mountainscape. After lunch time, we stop at 11th century Hulbuk Palace and museum in the Vole district. We also have a brief stop at Mir Said Aliya Hamadoni mausoleum. Upon reaching Dushanbe, this mark the end of our drive on the Pamir highway. Overnight in Dushanbe hotel for next 2 nights.
Day 12 Dushanbe (B): Full day to explore Dushanbe, the biggest and capital city of Tajikistan. This include the Tajikistan National Museum of Antiquities, where a famous Buddha statue can be seen. We also take some time out at the botanical garden and bazaar to experience the local life. We drive 30km out to visit 18th century Hissar fortress, a local mausoleum and madrassah before returning back to Dushanbe. O/N hotel for 2nd night
Day 13 Penjakent (B): After breakfast, we drive 250km northwest towards Penjakent, which was a major city established back in 5th century. At Penjakent, we visit Rudaki Historic ethnographic museum, ancient Penjakent settlement, local bazaar and mosque. O/N hotel for 2nights.
Day 14 Penjakent (B/L): Today we get to stretch our legs and enjoy Tajik's nature at Haftful or Seven Lakes. These colorful lakes are located at Fann mountains, in the gorge of Shing river. Elevation here will range from 1,640m to 2,400m for the highest lake. Lunch included at a local homestay. After lunch, we drive up to lake no 6, where we walk to lake no 7 for about 1.5hr. We return back to lake no 6 where our transport will take us back to Penjakent. O/N hotel for 2nd night.
Day 15 Samarkand, Uzbekistan (B/D): Today we cross into Uzbekistan and meet our Uzbek local guide and drivers in Samarkand - Crossroads of Cultures. Our city tour around UNESCO listed site of Samarkand includes Gur-Emir mausoleum, Reghistan square, Bibi Khanum mosque, Shakhi-Zinda necropolises and local bazaar. Enjoy a local Uzbek dinner cooked by a family home. Overnight in hotel.
Gur-e-Amir in Samarkand / Colourful indoor market in Tashkent
Day 16 Train to Bukhara (B): After breakfast, we take the morning fast train 1hr 47min west towards Bukhara. Upon arrival, we begin our city tour of the former capital and centre of Islamic studies, where the historic city is now inscribed as a UNESCO Heritage site. Bukhara was known as one of the holiest city of Asia with over 80 madrassah. Places of interest include Lab-i-khauz ensemble, Magoki Attari mosque (one of the oldest surviving mosque in Bukhara), several stunning madrassah and Ark fortress, the oldest citadel in this city. Option to enjoy a local cultural show during dinner at local restaurant. O/N hotel
Day 17 Train to Khiva (B) Wed: After breakfast, we drive to Bahauddin Naqshbandi mausoleum, famous Sufi spiritual leader from the 14th century. We take the noon local train about 6hr heading northwest towards Khiva. Member to buy own packed lunch for the train journey. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel for our 2 nights stay.
Day 18 Khiva (B): Today we have a walking tour inside the UNESCO site of Itchan-Kala fortress, which is a large architectural complex. We continue our exploration around Khiva. Some highlights include the khan's old residence, Kunya-Ark 12th century fortress, the tiled base of the never completed Kalta Minar, (which was originally planned to be taller than any minaret in Bukhara) and the beautiful mausoleum of Pakhlavan Makhmud (Khiva's patron saint). Stay 2nd night in hotel
Day 19 Khiva - Plane to Tashkent (B): After breakfast, we will proceed to Dishan Kala and the surrounding area. Highlights here include Nurullaboy Palace, Khorezm Mamun Academy Museum, Khiva Ice house and Toza-Bog Palace. Early own dinner before transfer to Urgench for night flight 1hr 20min to Tashkent (flight costs about USD90 not included). Domestic flight check-in luggage 23kg with 1 hand-carry bag 8kg. Overnight in Tashkent hotel for 2nights
Day 20 Tashkent (B) Full day spent exploring the capital city of Tashkent. This will include visiting Independence Square, Amir Timur square, several mosques, Tashkent metro, Applied Arts Museum and Chorsu Bazaar. After own dinner, we will be transported to take photo of Tashkent TV Tower and night cityscape. Final overnight stay
Day 21 PLANE (B): Final day in Tashkent which is free & easy. Late flight using Uzbekistan Airways departing Tashkent 11:40PM direct flight about 7.5hr back to KUL, arriving next morning. Uzbekistan Airways check-in luggage 1pc 23kg, hand-carry 1pc 8kg.
Day 22 Home: Arriving KLIA 10:10AM 4 SEPT 2023 MON
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- Trip Ground Cost includes accommodation, entrance fees, meals where indicated and travelling to sites mentioned above. Own meals budget at 28 X USD15 = USD420
- Ground cost includes 2 train rides economy class in Uzbekistan (Samarkand to Bukhara and Bukhara to Khiva) and GBAO permit at USD30 per person for travel around Pamir region.
- Accommodations will be in twins/doubles for guesthouses and hotels. There will be some home stays in Kyrgyzstan where toilets are shared
- Not covered are Emirates KUL Bishkek individual ticket about RM2,500, Uzbek Airways group fares of RM1768 and about RM510 for airport taxes and 1 domestic flight Urgench to Tashkent about USD90
- Cost is subject to change depending on fluctuations in exchange rates and/or airfares. Ground costs calculated based on USD1.00 = MYR4.50
- A deposit of Rm3,600 will be payable to confirm your place.
- We may quickly call in more deposits to buy lower PROMO fares either online or through ticketing agent.
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