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The Great Game The Silk Road Through The Pamirs & Karakorum Mountains

Turkmenistan

from $11,795* per person 28 Days May
Luxury accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Wilderness Travel 12 people max
  • Urumqi, china
  • Active & Adventure trips
National Geographic Traveler's Tours of a Lifetime 2010
Our grand Central Asian odyssey links some of the most far-flung and spectacular destinations of “The Great Game,” as the 19th century diplomatic rivalry between the British Empire and Tsarist Russia was known. With long-time Central Asia explorer Roger Williams, we visit the Silk Road outpost of Kashgar, with its world-famous Sunday market, the awe-inspiring Hunza Valley in the mighty Karakorum Mountains, then head to Kyrgystan and cross the spectacular 12,840-foot Kyzyl-Art Pass into mountainous Tajikistan. We journey a remote road across Tajikistan’s spell-binding High Pamirs, with its lakes, canyons and massive glaciers, visit the legendary Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan, and complete our amazing journey in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Along the way, we soak up phenomenal mountain scenery and meet the friendly Uighurs, Tajiks, Hunzakuts, Wakhis, and other peoples whose cultures are deeply tied to this desert and mountain realm.

Locations visited/nearby

Turkmenistan

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Special information

  • May accommodate certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.

Itinerary

Days 1-10
Urumqi, China / Kashgar / Hunza Valley, Pakistan

From Urumqi in western China we fly to Kashgar, an isolated Silk Road oasis with an end-of-the-world feel. After roaming the bazaar, we make a spectacular drive across the Karakorum Mountains to legendary Hunza Valley, a mountain-ringed enclave that was for centuries an independent princely state.

Days 11-13
Tashkurgan, China / Irkeshtam, Kyrgyzstan / Murgab, Tajikistan

Traveling the great Karakorum Highway through the high country of the Tien Shan Mountains, we enter Kyrgyzstan and begin to see the yurts of Kyrgyz nomads with their herds. We switch to 4WD vehicles to cross the Kyzyl-Art Pass into Tajikistan.

Days 14-19
Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan

Continuing across the beautiful lake country of the Pamir Plateau, we cross the border into Afghanistan to visit the magnificent Wakhan Corridor, an 85-mile-long mountain valley where the Panj River marks the boundary between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. This narrow finger of land was set apart at the end of the 19th century by the British Empire to act as a buffer against potential Russian ambitions in India during the Great Game.

Days 20-24
Khorog, Tajikistan / Dushanbe

The Pamir Highway brings us to Khorog, in Tajikistan, and onward to Dushanbe, the capital.

Days 25-28
Khujand / Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Crossing our last border, we enter Uzbekistan and end our journey in Tashkent, the capital. Depart on Day 28.

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