(Seattle, WA) – More than 2,000 years ago, the great trade routes that linked Europe and China opened Central Asia to foreign cultures, customs and religions. Join a modern-day caravan on this epic 21-day journey to five of these exotic countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Highlights include: seeing a traditional Kazakh musical performance, visiting a silk master’s workshop, observing one of the oldest Korans in the world, dining with locals, exploring the blue-tiled monuments of Samarkand, viewing one of the world’s largest collections of Russian avant-garde art, and visiting an array of UNESCO-listed sites. Slated for September 19-October 9, 2016, the tour starts at $7,795. For more information, visit http://www.mircorp.com/trip/journey-through-central-asia-the-five-stans/
Days 1-4: Almaty, Lake Issyk-Kul, Bishkek: Begin the tour in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, driving to the majestic Tien Shan mountain range. Cross into Kyrgyzstan and spend a night at beautiful alpine Lake Issyk-Kul before exploring Bishkek.
Days 5-7: Osh, Fergana, Margilan, Rishtan, Khujand: Fly to the lush Fergana Valley, divided among three of the five ‘Stans. Ascend to UNESCO-listed Sulaiman-Too Sacred Mountain, one of the holiest Islamic sites in Central Asia, rising from the outskirts of Osh, where you meet with a group of locals. In the Uzbek portion of the valley, visit Margilan and Rishtan, villages specializing in silks and ceramics. Cross the border into Tajikistan for an overnight in historic Khujand.
Days 8-16: Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Nukus: Journey overland to Tashkent and admire one of the oldest Korans in the world. Explore the blue-tiled monuments of Samarkand, Tamerlane’s UNESCO-listed Ak Saray Palace in Shakhrisabze, the interlocking brickwork of Bukhara and the winding alleys of Khiva. Drive through the Kyzyl Kum (Red Sands) desert to the astonishing Savitsky Museum of avant-garde Russian art in remote Nukus, capital of Karakalpakstan, for an overnight.
Days 17-21: Kunya Urgench, Tashauz, Ashkabad, Nisa, Merv: In Turkmenistan, explore three UNESCO Sites – the ruins of Khorezm’s Kunya Urgench, the Parthian city of Nisa and mythical Merv. In the modern capital of Ashkabad, discover the white marble monuments, so plentiful that they were awarded a Guinness World Record in 2013.
MIR Corporation (the name means “peace” and “world” in Russian) has specialized in Russia and neighboring countries since 1986. Offering scheduled and custom journeys to Russia, along the Trans-Siberian and across the Silk Route, MIR’s Seattle-based experts design imaginative trips that take travelers far from the familiar, and work closely with local affiliates in Western Russia, Siberia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan to carry them out. MIR has twice been named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth,” and is a preferred operator for museum, alumni and special interest organizations across the country. http://www.mircorp.com.
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