An epic overland adventure€ross 16 countries, starting in Istanbul on the edge of Europe, along the ancient Silk Road to China and then through the tropics of South East Asia, ending in in the ultra-modern metropolis of Singapore. Experience diverse cultures, discover unknown and often-turbulent history, explore varied landscapes and surroundings from wide verdant grasslands and barren deserts to towering snow-capped mountains and dense rainforest, and get lost in some of the world’s most vibrant and chaotic cities. Day 1 Istanbul
Our first day is free in Istanbul
Days 2 to 12 Turkey
Gallipoli - visit the battlegrounds and war graves of the forces that fought here in WWI.
Ephesus - built by the Greeks 1000 years BC, then rebuilt by the Romans
Pamukkale - hot springs and stunning waterways
Cappadoccia - explore dwellings carved from the eerily eroded landscape
Days 13 to 20 Georgia
Batumi - on the Black Sea Coast
Foothills of the Caucasus - bush camps in rural Georgia
Kutaisi - Georgi’a second largest city
Gori – birthplace of Stalin
Tbilisi – Georgia’s capital
Days 21 to 22 Georgia
Telavi – ancient wine-growing region
Days 23 to 27 Armenia
Savanavank – monastery on the shores of Lake Sevan
Yerevan – Capital of Armenia, cafes, museums and world-famous brandy
Days 28 to 43 Iran
Tabriz - explore the bazaar and the Blue Mosque
Tehran - Iran’s non-stop capital
Esfahan - discover this historic and beautiful city
Persepolis - ancient ruins partly destroyed by Alexander the Great
Shiraz & Yazd
Dasht e Kavir Desert - desert crossing with an overnight Oasis stop
Mashhad - home to the stunning Imam Reza Mosque
Ashgabat - Capital of Turkmenistan
Day 44 Ashgabat – Free time and City Tour
Days 45 to 46 Turkmenistan
Kara-Kum Desert – drive€ross the barren desert
Darvaza Gas Craters – the ‘Door to Hell’, a result of Soviet-era gas exploration.
Kunye Ugench - see the 60mtr high minaret
Days 47 to 56 Uzbekistan
Aral Sea - see ships marooned in the desert
Khiva - explore the ancient medressas, mausoleums and museums.
Bukhara - an important stop on the Silk Rd of old & home to over 350 mosques & 100 Islamic colleges.
Kyzylkum Desert - beauty & harshness in one.
Samarkand - as old as Babylon, view the beauty of the Registan, medressas & mosques.
Drive south towards Tajikistan border.
Stop off in the unesco Town of Shahrisabz (time allowing).
Dushanbe – Tajikistan’s Capital.
Days 57 to 61 Fann Mountains – 5000 mtr + peaks.
Iskanderkul Lake and Tajikistan’s highest waterfall.
Khujand – an important city on the old Silk Road.
Fergana Valley – the home of silk and where the great route started from.
Osh – home to oldest bazaar in Central Asia.
Stunning mountains and lakes
Bishkek - the Kyrgyzstan capital. Soviet built city with tree lined boulevards and parks. A chance to let our hair down, relax and maybe remind our taste buds about western food!
Days 62 to 64 Bishkek
Free time to enjoy the many sights and attractions.
Days 65 to 76 Kyrgyzstan
Ala-Archa Nature Reserve - an option to go trekking to the edge of glaciers, in spectacular scenery
Lake Issyk-Kul - a massive mountain lake with magnificent scenery & loads of€tivities to choose from
Karakol / Jeti Orguz Region - hiking into the surrounding Terskay Ala-Too Mountains
Lake Song Kol - Traditional yurt stay, horseback riding and trekking the surrounding areas
Tash Rabat - visit this ancient caravanserai
Torugat Pass - travel through the Tien Shan Mountains & cross the border into China
Day 77 China
Kashgar - a major trading point on the old Silk Road.
Day 78 Full day guided tour in Kashgar, using local transport.
Time to relax or explore further.
Days 79 to 83 Overnight train to Jiayuguan
Jiayuguan - our first taste of the Great Wall of China
Train to Dunhuang, a city on the edge of the Gobi desert.
Visit Mogao Grottoes (Caves of the Thousand Buddhas).
Visit to Ming Sha Hill and the Crescent Moon Pool.
Board the night train to Lanzhou.
Days 84 to 88 Overnight train to Lhasa – one of the highest cities in the world.
Explore the city with our Tibetan guide. Must see sights include Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Square, the stunning Potala Palace and time allowing, the Sera Monastery.
Private bus to Shigatse, crossing the Gampala Pass (4790 mtrs).
Visit the home of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery.
Days 89 to 91 Rongbuk – the highest Monastery in the world.
Visit to Everest Base Camp.
Tingri – on the Friendship Highway
Gyantse - Pelkor Chode Monastery and Kumbum Stupa.
Days 92 to 95 Yamdrok Tso Lake
High altitude train to Chengdu (2 days)
Chengdu (2 nights) – visit the Giant Panda Sanctuary
Xi’an – visit the famous Terracotta Warriors
Days 96 to 97 Xi’an
Days 98 to 102 China
Chengdu - visit the nearby Giant Panda Breeding Centre.
Kunming - capital of Yunna Province
Days 103 to 116 Laos
The ’Land of a Million Elephants’
Luang Namtha - jungle hikes, rafting
Luang Prabagn - visit the Buddhist Temples, learn to cook Lao food, walking and outdoor options
Vientiane -relaxed colonial capital city with a disinctly French feel
Phu Hin Bun National Park - longtail boats up the Mekong River and riverside bush lodge
Days 117 to 127 Vietnam
Hue - visit the Citadel in one of Vietnam’s cultural and religious centres, or take a day trip to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)
Hoi An - unspolit beaches and cheap suits, beach lodge
Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam’s fast and frenetic capital, visit the floating markets on the Mekong Delta, check out the War Remnants Museum, dodge the motorbikes!
Days 128 to 136 Cambodia
Phnom Penh - a bustling city on the up after the years of the Khmer Rouge. Visit the chilling Tuol Sleng Prison, or Killing Fields. Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda
Boat trip up the Tonle Sap to Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor Wat
Days 137 to 148 Thailand
The ’Land of a Thousand Smiles’
Bangkok - Thailand’s cosmopolitan and chaotic capital. Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha, Khlong (Canal) Tours, modern shopping malls, the infamous Khao San Road
Kanchanburi - Home to the Bridge on the River Kwai
Ko Samui and Ko Pha-Ngan - islands of tropical paradise with scuba diving and a free week (accommodation not included)
Days 149 to 168 Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore
Sumatra - relax on Lake Danau Toba and home of the Batak people
Gunung Leuser National Park - Get up close to the majestic orang-utan at the Bukit Lawang Feeding Station, hike through the national park
Medan - bustling capital of Sumatra
Penang and Georgetown - colonial town with fantastic food
Pula Perhenthian Besar - tropical paradise and Malaysia’s showpiece island, undeveloped and unspoilt beaces
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