Silk Road tour — from China to Uzbekistan through Kyrgyzstan
- Best Season: mid-June — Mid September
- Duration: 9 days
- Category: combined – 7 days auto / 2 days easy trekking or horseback riding
- Level of difficulty: easy
- Group size: any
- Transport: Jeep or Minivan (2-6 pax); Minibus (6-12pax).
- Requirements: weatherproof warm clothes, trekking boots, hat, sleeping bag with mat, sunglasses and sunscreen
Day 1: Meet at the Torugart border point. Transfer to Tash-Rabat caravanserai (12th -13th century) –2.5-hour drive. Meet your host family of shepherds. Dine and sleep in a yurt camp.
Day 2: After breakfast in your yurt, visit the Tash-Rabat Caravanserai building. Then transfer to the northern shore of Song-Köl Lake (“The Final Lake”), 3016 meters above sea level, (about a 6-hour drive). Lunch en-route in Naryn. Upon arrival meet your host family of Kyrgyz shepherds. Dinner, bed and breakfast in a yurt.
Day 3: Spend a day at the lakeside. Watch and/or participate in the everyday life of the shepherds: milking mares; making traditional Kyrgyz milk products like kymyz (a fermented mare’s milk) or airan (a sour dense milk product); tending cattle. Meals and accommodation in Shepherd’s Life or CBT yurt. Optional: horseback riding.
Day 4: Leave for the mountainous Kyzyl-Oi Village on the way to the south (about 5 hours). Drive along the Kara-Keche road and observe the biggest coal mine in Kyrgyzstan. Lunch in Kyzart village or lunch-picnic en-route. Continue on the way alongside the mighty Kökömeren River. Arrival at Kyzyl-Oi Village with a population of 160 families. Dinner, bed and breakfast at a CBT home-stay.
Day 5: Early morning departure to Kara-Suu Village (7-8 hours drive). On the way, pass the beautiful Suusamyr Valley, Chychkan Gorge and Toktogul Water Reservoir. Lunch en-route. Late evening arrival. Dinner, bed and breakfast at a CBT home-stay.
Day 6: Start your trek (or horseback tour) to the Sary-Chelek Reserve and Lakes. Set off northwards to the Kara-Suu Gorge and cross the river by wooden bridges. The gorge narrows and the slopes are covered with a beautiful silver fir forest. Further on the track passes below a waterfall and then climbs over a pass to Kara-Suu Lake (Trek time: 5 hours and by horse: 4 hours). Overnight stay in a tent.
Day 7: Breakfast, then continue the trek to the Kotormo Pass – 2,446m. On the descent from the pass, stop for a picnic lunch in a field. After lunch continue the trek and see the 5 lakes of Sary-Chelek (Trek time: 6-7 hours and horse time: 5-6 hours). Transfer from Sary-Chelek Lake to Arkyt village. Dinner, bed and breakfast at a local home-stay.
Day 8: Morning departure to Osh (5-6 hours of driving). On the way visit an 11th century architectural complex in Özgön. Arrival in Osh, dinner, bed and breakfast at a CBT home-stay.
Day 9: City tour in Osh (about 4 hours): visit the sacred Sulaiman-Too (Prophet Solomon’s mountain) and Osh bazaar, one of Central Asia’s largest open-air markets. Optional lunch and dinner in a café serving Kyrgyz dishes. Bed and breakfast at a CBT home-stay.
Day 10: Transfer to the “Dostuck” border point. Departure to Uzbekistan
— Tash-Rabat Caravan Serai (12-13th centuries, an important point on the Great Silk Road);
— Song-Köl (Son-Kol) lake, mountain lake on 3016 m.
— Özgön (Uzgen) Town 11th century architectural complex;
— Sulaiman-Too (Prophet Solomon’s mountain) in Osh.
5 nights CBT home stays
3 nights CBT yurt stays
1 night in a tent.
4 Lunches and 2 Lunch-picnics