This is a journey along the whole length of the Silk Route, from Istanbul and the Turkish Coast to the ancient capital of the Han Empire, Xi’an. It takes in the three main regions of the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Stans and finally China. In the Caucasus, we will travel through Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, stepping back in time in the rural areas. Georgia and Armenia have a connected history revolving around ancient kingdoms dominated by early Christianity. Beautiful Churches and ancient monasteries litter the stunning landscapes. Azerbaijan is Islamic, but the country is fiercely secular and its wealth driven by its modern oil capital, Baku.
Across the Caspian lie the deserts of Central Asia and the Oxus River, an area of desolate beauty and ancient capitals. The Darvaza Crater is perhaps the most bizarre place in the world to camp, but Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are the real highlights. Crossing the stunning Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan we enter China and find the fabled city of Kashgar, gateway to the vast Taklimakan Desert. Our last barrier is the Tibetan Plateau, and then it’s onto Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors.
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