Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. This adventurous trip takes us far down the Silk Road, along which ancient traders would journey between Europe and China, and is the perfect holiday-length trip for travellers who love the great outdoors and spectacular mountain scenery. We begin in Uzbekistan's pleasant capital of Tashkent and venture into the truly breathtaking lands of the fertile Fergana Valley, visiting some of the historical highlights en route. We will then head into the favourite Central Asian country of many of our travellers - the remote and mountainous land of Kyrgyzstan in the dramatically-rugged Tian Shan mountain range. We explore the marvellous country of Kyrgyzstan on a flexible itinerary, adapting our route according to weather and road conditions - we will enjoy incredible scenery from soaring peaks to flat open spaces and beautiful forests and lakes, trekking in the stunning valleys, and immerse ourselves in the day-to-day life of the locals at various homestays and yurt camps en route. We then head to the fantastic Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek to reflect on our truly special trip. Join us on this wonderful and unforgettable overland experience on the Silk Road!
Border Information: if joining in Bishkek, you will most likely enter Kyrgyzstan at Bishkek Manas International Airport (IATA code: FRU).
There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10:00am - please look out for a note from your leader at the reception of the joining hotel upon arrival with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to carefully check your visas at this initial meeting.
The rest of the day is free for you to explore this relaxed and atmospheric city.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Bishkek before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Bishkek.
In Bishkek we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.
*Important note - do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*
*Another important note - please be aware that all itineraries in Kyrgyzstan are highly weather-dependent. The itinerary described in these notes are a statement of best intention, but we must approach each trip in Kyrgyzstan with a large degree of flexibility, as our leaders and local guides will have to 'play things by ear' according to the local conditions and weather. In low season certain routes become impossible and it may become far too cold to camp - in all cases there are fantastic and well-tried alternatives in place which means we can always run an excellent and comprehensive trip here, but please do not treat the exact details of the itinerary listed here as gospel - thanks for your understanding!*
The next 2 days will need to be fairly flexible. Many of the group will apply for Uzbekistan visas in Bishkek. However, the Uzbek Embassy opening times will often vary and therefore our itinerary will need to remain flexible over the next 2 days to accommodate this.
As a general guide, we will most likely spend our first night camping in stunning mountainous Ala Archa National Park near to Bishkek. We will then return to Bishkek on the following day in order to submit our visa applications. Once this is process is complete we will continue to Chong Kemin National Park, where we will have free time to explore and hike in this beautiful area, or to get involved in an optional white water rafting excursion if time allows.
In Chong Kemin and Ala Archa we will wild camp. If it is too cold or simply preferred by the group, we may choose to camp in the grounds of a guesthouse in Ashu, a village in the Chong Kemin valley, where there could be the possibility to upgrade to rooms.
Estimated Drive Times - 3-5 hours each day (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Today we will drive to the northern shore of Lake Issyk Köl and visit the ancient petroglyphs at Cholpon Ata. We will then continue to the Russian-style town of Karakol, where we will have a free evening to explore and relax!
In Karakol we will stay in a decent local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
Today we drive up into the mountains to the alpine trekking region of Jeti Oguz.
The next day we will have a free day to hike in the incredible scenery here, or take an optional horse ride with some of the local nomads!
In Jeti Oguz we will camp close to a local family yurt.
Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.
Please note that on trips in the low season we may not be able to camp in Jeti Oguz due to low temperatures. If this is the case, we will take a stunning and incredible drive up a mountain in a Russian 4x4 truck to Altyn Arashan, a hot spring development in a stunning alpine setting, staying in dormitory accommodation. We will then stay for 1 night in a local hotel at the base of Jeti Oguz Valley (allowing time for some day walks).
Today we drive to the small
Whilst here we will visit a small museum and women's felt making cooperative that produces 'shyrdaks', the felt carpets for which
In Kochkor we will stay in family-run guesthouses, accommodating up to 8 guests in each home.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
Today we will drive to the incredible Song Köl Lake, where we will spend the next two nights.
We will have free time here to explore the area, and to enjoy some optional activities including hiking or horse-riding!
At Song Köl we will stay in traditional felt yurts.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-7 hours.
Please note that trips during the low season will not be able to visit Song Köl Lake, as temperatures will be below freezing, the road will be snowed over, and there will be no yurts to stay in! Instead we will likely stay in yurts on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Köl.
We will spend the next 3 days overlanding through the stunning and remote Kyrgyz Fergana Valley, stopping often to admire the views and perhaps take some impromptu hikes in the hills and countryside.
During these days we plan to wild camp en route. Please note that trips running in low season (May to mid-June and October to November), we may not be able to camp if temperatures are too low, in which case we will stay in local guesthouses along the route instead.
Estimated Drive Times - 4-8 hours each day.
Today we will complete our drive to Arslanbob in
In Arslanbob we will stay overnight in a local family-run guesthouse.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.
Border information: Exit Kyrgyzstan at Dustlik, enter Uzbekistan at Andijon.
Today we will have a full day's drive across the Uzbek border to the eastern city of Fergana.
In Fergana we will stay in a basic local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
This morning we travel in local transport to Kokand, where we will have the oppurtunity to visit the Khudayar Khan's Palace and the nearby Margilan Silk Factory before completing the journey over the Kamchik Pass to Tashkent, the Uzbek capital.
The truck must pass over the Kamchik Pass without passengers and will rejoin us this evening in Tashkent.
In Tashkent we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
Border Information: if finishing in Tashkent, you will most likely exit Uzbekistan at Tashkent International Airport (IATA code: TAS).
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Tashkent. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
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Ilya was very informative about Uzbekistan.Overall Rating
Euan and Domingo were absolutely incredible - helpful and informative and always going that extra step to assist all the travellers - some of whom required a lot of tact and patience!Overall Rating
Begaimin Kyrgyzstan was perfect. Very helpful all the time and knowledgable.Overall Rating
Begaim proved to be a very pleasant and approachable guide, who led a large group on a number of activities.Overall Rating
Guides in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan were excellent.Overall Rating
Trip Name: Bishkek to Tashkent
Duration: 16 Days
From Price: 1470
Trip Code: 157999
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