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On the Silk Road in Central Asia

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Road Scholar
Program #18766RJ
19 Days | 18 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.
Olga from New York, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/30/14 - 11/17/14
Having just returned from this trip I would like to inform prospective participants that it is a strenuous trip. It is not for anybody having major mobility issues. There are many steps and the bus has a steep entry. There are few accommodations for people with disabilities in this area. Also, I felt that the trip was rushed. There was too much that was attempted to be crammed in to be able to call this a trip through the 5 'stans. I could have easily been happy with two weeks in Uzbekistan alone. The border crossings were difficult although our guide Batir made them as smooth as possible. The distances covered were huge and we had several full days of just bus or plane travel. The food in the private homes was lovely and most of the restaurants were OK. Sadly, many of the meals were in the hotels where we were lodged. There might have been one or two OK hotel dinners but, in toto, the majority of hotel meals were bland and repetitive. The shopping opportunities seemed best in Bokhara and Khiva. Lots of handicrafts and scarves and carpets, etc. Bargain hard! The people on the whole trip were wonderful. Our guides were very well informed and enthusiastic to teach us about their countries. It is a fascinating trip and one I am glad I made.

Lucinda from Saskatoon, SK Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/30/14 - 11/17/14
Prospective participants should note that the cost of visas for this trip is almost an extra $1000 if you use a processing service. Since the letter of invitation for Turkmenistan was slow to arrive at the processing office, and I had a trip to Europe planned for September, I was very concerned about receiving my passport back in time to fly. Other than this issue, I do recommend this expensive opportunity to visit Uzbekistan (little time is spent in the other four 'Stans'). There is much to learn from the competent, well-meaning guides about this part of the world, and the people are generally very welcoming! Central Asia with all its resources, industry, ambition, and enthusiasm should certainly be an important force in the future. It is modernizing quickly so best see it soon.

Anne from Washington, DC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/30/14 - 11/17/14
I have just returned from the October 30 Silk Road trip and it exceeded my expectations on so many levels. First, the organization and guiding by Batir Shamakhsudov was exceptional. He is extremely knowledgable, anticipates all the needs of the participants and delivers the service with competence a great sense of humor. All the local guides and guest speakers added immeasurably to the learning experience. The accommodations and food ranged from top-notch to very acceptable, providing excellent value. This particular trip from Oct 30 to Nov 17 was colder than expected but with some layering and extra purchases of hats and gloves, it was all part of a remarkable and highly recommended adventure!

Olive from San Antonio, TX Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 09/03/14 - 09/21/14
A strenuous trip with a great leader. Five countries, all with similar histories, but one now embarked on a different road. Very friendly people, English speaking quite common. Increasing entrepreneurship in most countries, high quality crafts in all.

Leanne from Tacoma, WA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/03/14 - 09/21/14
This was a wonderful fascinating trip. The "Stans" comprise 5 uniques countries with rich histories. We were exposed to both antiquity and the modern economic,political and cultural issues impacting them. Would not have missed the Silk Road for anything.

Paul from West Hartford, CT Number of programs attended: 25
Date attended: 09/03/14 - 09/21/14
It was fascinating, to learn about different cultures, economics, and politics.

Irma from El Paso, TX Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/07/14 - 05/25/14
On this tour, you will see the wonders of the ancient Silk Road, and, as importantly, you will learn much about the transition of these 5 former Soviet Republics into independent nations. Be prepared to be provoked and intrigued.

Frederick from St Petersburg, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/05/13 - 09/23/13
My wife and I completed this program this past Fall. We can highly recommend this tour- sights were stunning and the Tour Director "Jamma" was excellent. Do expect that border crossings will be a challenge but once those are completed the "activity level" will be much more comfortable. Expect some warm days! Fred & Marge from St. Petersburg, FL

Sandra from Lawrence, KS Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/17/13 - 11/04/13
I loved this trip! It was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, to actually see and be on the Silk Road. Our guides were superb; the fall weather was perfect; and the sights, sounds, and foods were all well beyond all expectations. I'll cherish the memories forever! This is a trip for those with a love of history, adventure, and the ability to cheerfully handle most anything from long walks and bus rides to occasional short nights. It was my magic carpet ride!

Carl from Reston, VA Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 10/17/13 - 11/04/13
This program deserves a mixed review. We had an excellent group leader, the mix of people was nice, and we saw many interesting things. The food, though well prepared, became predictable and boring over time. With a few exceptions, the hotels were not up-to-date, and there were no outside lecturers, surprising given the "little known" character of the countries we were visiting.

Ray from Stanwood, WA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/24/13 - 11/11/13
This was a fascinating trip from start to finish. An area of the world little visited by Westerners, the journey exposed us to art, architecture, crafts, culture and customs with which we were wholly unfamiliar. We were well received by locals who sought to be photographed with us, witnessed weddings and were welcomed into homes. It was a spectacular trip which we were fortunate to share with a small savvy group of fellow travelers, most with former Road Scholar experience. Our guide was versed in eight languages, seven of which were required on the trip. We were quite impressed with the local guides/instructors and appreciate that Road Scholar manages to provide such capable people to illuminate our travels.We saw falconry, horse games in Kyrgyzstan, local dance, music, fashion as well as historic sites, cities ancient and new. We learned about traditional building methods, craft and cuisine. Looking back, I must entirely commend the design of this program. The experience and exposure provided was wide and varied. There was never a dull moment!

Denny from Olathe, KS Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 06/06/13 - 06/24/13
We just completed the Silk Road in Central Asia in June. The experience was exactly as we anticipated. It was HOT and some days were challenging but exactly as described in the published literature from Road Scholar. If you were like us, you knew virtually nothing about the countries in Central Asia except the Silk Road goes through them. Our experience was wonderful. The program director was a highly experienced tour manager and did everything in his power to make everyone confortable and happy. His knowledge of Central Asia was amazing and his willingness to share information wonderful.

Everyone going on this trip needs to read the brochure closely. It describes the challenges of this trip (remember 5 land boarder crossings). Do not assume the conditions are better than described. If your expectations are for USA/European accommodations and toilets, do not go on this trip. However, if your expectations are to see parts of thw world not visited by most people and you are adaptable and have a sense of humor, this trip is for you.

Ricardo from Honolulu, HI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/16/13 - 06/03/13
Aloha! I was part of the May 16 group. The programming was an engaging mix of history, architecture, touristic sightseeing, foodways, and (of course) shopping. The opportunity to talk with local specialists including historians and archeologists plus our meeting with US embassy personnel in Bishkek,Kyrgyzstan enhanced the experience. Our group was 24 well-travelled and highly diverse individuals; there was never a dull moment. The Hawai'i Four just had a reunion at Dan's for curry dinner. It was "show and tell" with stories, photos, purchases!

Willie from Fresno, CA Number of programs attended: 25
Date attended: 05/16/13 - 06/03/13
I traveled May 16-June3, 2012. We had 24 in our goup and probably some of the most interesting variety of people who were kind and sensitive. The border crossings were amazingly interesting. The locals were friendly and frequently wanted to take pics with us. We were some of the few Americans who travel in the Stans. This trip certainly has changed my perspective of this area of the world and want to see more in this area.

Gay from Austin, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/18/13 - 05/06/13
Fantastic trip! Our group leader used his broad knowledge of history and current events in a busy, interesting, fun format with spontaneous cultural opportunities. I loved seeing how different individuals, governments, and other entities affect each other in this global world. Gay G.

Catherine from Naples, FL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/16/13 - 06/03/13
a well paced program with very diverse content

Miriam from Brooklyn, NY Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 04/18/13 - 05/06/13
Great tour in this somewhat remote and unexplored part of the world. Good tour content, great tour leader, exotic experience. The people are so very friendly and the sights amazing.

Judy from Slidell, LA Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 04/18/13 - 05/06/13
Fabulous experience and above and beyond expectations! Loved the Silk Road trip.

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"Playing backgammon in Bokhara" Uploaded By: Olga
"Playing backgammon in Bokhara" Uploaded By: Olga

"Carpet shop in Bokhara" Uploaded By: Olga

"School girls in Khiva" Uploaded By: Olga

"Honey seller in Tajikistan" Uploaded By: Olga

"Bread seller in Almaty" Uploaded By: Olga

"Goint to mosque in the snow" Uploaded By: Olga

"Music shop, Samarkand, Uzbekistan" Uploaded By: Ricardo

"Camel market, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan" Uploaded By: Ricardo

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
17 nights of accommodations
48 meals: 17 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 15 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
27 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences
4 Performances
3 Flights during the program


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