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KAZAKHSTAN / KYRGYZSTAN / UZBEKISTAN / TAJIKISTAN / TURKMENISTAN

On the Silk Road in Central Asia

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Road Scholar
Program #18766RJ
20 Days | 19 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Catherine Cloud Dec 12, 2014 at 05:05 PM

I keep meaning to post on here that the only thing I wish I'd taken on this trip was a rubber disk to use as a drain stopper. None of the sinks had plugs which made hand laundry a challenge. One of those rubber grippers for opening jars would have been perfect. . . .
olga werchola Dec 12, 2014 at 05:18 PM

Yeah - I ended up doing my bits of laudry in the tub at times. I do think that that was more a function of the size of the sink.


Alan Fisher Dec 12, 2014 at 02:55 PM

We are on the April 2015 trip. I'm wondering how long it takes to get the required visas? We will be using our passport until mid February so can't send it off before then. Our trip leaves April 10.
olga werchola Dec 12, 2014 at 03:38 PM

I think they want at least two months to get all the visas. I believe that they try to get the visas for the entire tour group at the same time.
olga werchola Dec 12, 2014 at 03:39 PM

Alan, you can get a second passport if you don't have enough time with your current one. Best bet is to call MIR and ask them directly.
Catherine Cloud Dec 12, 2014 at 05:03 PM

However long they say it's going to take it does; seemed like a long time to me so that second passport idea might really make sense. All in our group were worried and messaging each other awaiting the arrival of the visas. You really must apply for them by the time they say.
Leanne Kennedy Dec 12, 2014 at 08:37 PM

Not more than six weeks. MIR subcontracts to a firm in DC. You can contact Marina at MIR in Seattle and get the number of the visa company and call them ..a They are good about updating you. It took less time than they tell you.


Morse Kalt Dec 10, 2014 at 12:36 PM

I just returned from the October 25 tour. You can see a detailed summary of my experience at http://travelswithmoose.blogspot.com/2014/10/on-silk-road-central-asia-introduction.html
Leslie J Dec 11, 2014 at 01:01 PM

Great blog!! Thanks so much for posting the link. I'm glad to know not to go on this trip in October - I wouldn't have guessed the weather would be so cold then. Congrats on reaching 100 countries :)
Margaret Marshall Dec 12, 2014 at 03:20 PM

Thanks for your insight to the trip. Now I know what to expect. I hope it doesn't snow in April.
Carolyn Carlson Dec 12, 2014 at 04:04 PM

Really enjoyed your blog. We did the trip in Sept. 2013 and your blog brought back fun memories of our time there. What a contrast in temperatures, though. In mid-September is was 90-95 in many spots.
Leanne Kennedy Dec 12, 2014 at 08:39 PM

September whether was warm, lots of 80 degree days. October I was led to believe an unusual weather month.


Joe Weber Nov 13, 2014 at 05:12 PM

I arrived two days earlier, the local RS rep was waiting for me and brought me to the hotel. Had to pay for the transport myself though, which is understandable. Spent the two days wandering through Almaty, including some sights our short stay with RS itself did not cover: up to the Republic Square, the Zhibek Zholy pedestrianized area, Central Mosque, Panfilov Park, etc. Easy and safe to walk and get acclimatized.
Richard Richard Nov 15, 2014 at 08:07 AM

Thanks for the information, Joe. Our program begins Bishkek, but I assume the same RS assistance will be on hand. We'll break the flight in half as well. Our tour is in April.


Richard Richard Nov 13, 2014 at 01:07 PM

Did anyone arrive a day early? Helpful? Did RS make getting through customs, arriving at hotel easier, etc.?
Catherine Cloud Nov 13, 2014 at 01:18 PM

We arrived a day early so as to be better rested for our excellent adventure, were met at the airport around midnight by the local RS rep and conducted to our hotel along with one other fellow traveller. The three of us spent the following day on our own in Almaty and I was glad for the extra rest, then again, I believe the others managed just fine.
Judith Shannon Nov 13, 2014 at 03:07 PM

I stopped overnight in Frankfurt which ensured that I arrived rested with minimal jet lag. It was easy to overnight in Europe in more familiar territory!


Leanne Kennedy Oct 03, 2014 at 05:30 PM

Dana, just returned, are you talking about the road being built by the Germans and South Koreans. If so the Germans are done, South Koreans not. The first leg of road to Khiva is still bumpy.
Danna Moore Nov 06, 2014 at 03:27 PM

Well, I don't know who was building it, but they weren't doing a very good job where were there. I couldn't see how it would be finished in 2014!! ~


Leanne Kennedy Oct 03, 2014 at 05:27 PM

Is there anyone who is going on the Oct 23rd trip that would be willing to take a small package to Jama, our guide. He was our guide and he will be yours and he is excellent. Knowledgeable, personable , great sense of humor and tireless in meeting the groups needs. We live in Tacoma but would be happy to mail it to you. It not large nor heavy.


Margaret Marshall Sep 26, 2014 at 10:45 AM

I am thinking of signing up for the Silk Road/Iran trip next Spring. Can anyone comment about the safety of going to Iran. I figure if there is a tour going there there shouldn't be any problem.
olga werchola Sep 26, 2014 at 11:40 AM

I will try to post comments after I return from the November 17th trip.
Danna Moore Sep 26, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Look at a map and make your own decision re what is happening in that part of the world!
Danna Moore Sep 26, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Olga, please do post. Also I want to know if the road is finished... you will know which road if it isn't!! I was there 2 years ago and I suspect the road isn't finished!!
olga werchola Sep 26, 2014 at 11:46 AM

The paperwork I just received seems to indicate that all border crossings have an asphalt pavement. Hope that is true.
Danna Moore Sep 26, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Probably the border crossings do have some pavement or gravel, I was talking about the highway through the Kuzil Kum Desert - from Bukara to Khiva.
olga werchola Sep 26, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Ah. That I haven't got a clue about. However, looking forward to seeing the Kyzil Kum Desert. Been on my bucket list for years.
olga werchola Dec 10, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Margaret - just returned from Iran. Felt perfectly safe. The people were very welcoming and friendly. Danna - no, the road is not finished yet. We stopped for lunch (boxed because of the questions about hygiene at this location) at a local truck stop. Fun stop seeing the locals and watching the shephert bring his flock across the highway.
Leanne Kennedy Dec 12, 2014 at 08:43 PM

12 members from our group went to Iran. They had a very good experience. We lived there in the 70's. Iranians love Americans. They are not the government. Recommend it. It is safe.


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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
18 nights of accommodations
50 meals: 18 breakfasts, 17 lunches, 15 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
31 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
4 Performances
2 Flights during the program

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4.6
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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