Ashgabat To Beijing (56 Days) Silk Road Highlights & China

Ashgabat To Beijing (56 Days) Silk Road Highlights & China

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tourhub | Oasis Overland | Ashgabat To Beijing (56 Days) Silk Road Highlights & China | 471
tourhub | Oasis Overland | Ashgabat To Beijing (56 Days) Silk Road Highlights & China | 471 tourhub | Oasis Overland | Ashgabat To Beijing (56 Days) Silk Road Highlights & China | 471
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56 Days
From

$5816

$5656

Ashgabat To Beijing (56 Days) Silk Road Highlights & China

56 Days Starting in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan and ending in Beijing, China

Visiting: Ashgabat, Köneürgench, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Dushanbe, Osh, Bishkek, Almaty, Tash-Rabat, Kashgar Prefecture, Dunhuang, Jiayuguan City, Lanzhou, Lhasa, Shigatse, Mount Everest, Gyantse, Chengdu, Xi'An, Beijing

Tour operator:

Oasis Overland

Tour code:

471

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 10

Physical rating:

All Ages / Not applicable

Age range:

18-80

Special diets catered:

Please advise requests

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Active, Adventure Tours

Interests:

Cultural, History

Activities:

Hiking, Rail Excursion

From:
$5816
$5656 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$160
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Tour Overview

Join this challenging expedition along ancient trading routes, following in the tracks of the old Silk Road. Discover some of the oldest cities in the world steeped in history and legend. Visit the legendary 'Stan's' taking in the bizarre city of Ashgabat and the splendour of the Old Registan in Uzbekistan. Get outdoors in Tajikistan and hike in the Fann Mountains. Kyrgyzstan amazes with it's deep mountain lakes and perennially snow-capped peaks, before crossing the mighty Torugat Pass and traversing the whole of China. Pandas, Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall all await!

Highlights

  • Feel the intense heat coming from the Darwaza Gas Crater

  • Explore the ancient medressas, mausoleums and mosques in Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand

  • Stunning journey through Tajikistan over it's High Peaks and Alpine Lakes

  • Wander through the oldest bazaar in Central Asia in the city of Osh

  • Overnight stay in a Traditional yurt at Lake Song Kol

  • Enjoy the stunning mountain scenery, cliff formations and alpine lakes throughout Kyrgyzstan

  • Our first taste of the Great Wall of China near Jiayuguan

  • Venture around Crescent Moon Lake and Ming Sha Hill a desert oasis

  • Discover Lhasa with a guide - one of the highest cities in the world

  • Visit the highest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in the world Rongbuk

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Itinerary

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Day 1 : Ashgabat
Location: Ashgabat
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Ak Altyn Hotel - Ashgabat

Welcome to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital. Founded in the 1880's by the Russian Tsarist government, sits between the foothills of the Koptedag mountains to the south, and the vast Karakum Desert to the north. The city was almost entirely destroyed following an earthquake in 1948 and rebuilt in the Soviet style. Following independence in 1991 the city has been transformed into a futuristic, and in many ways bizarre collection of unique structures and wide streets lined with marble. For many travellers, Ashgabat is one of the most mystifying and unusual cities they will ever experience.

We have some free time and enjoy a city tour of Ashgabat. On the city tour we visit Independence Park, the Ertogrul Gazi Mozque, the Arch of Neutrality, the Turkmenbashi Mosque Mauasoleum and many other sites throughout the city. There are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities, and we will have the chance to explore some of the markets and meet the locals.

Day 2 - 3 : Ashgabat To Kunye Urgench
Location: Ashgabat, Köneürgench
Accommodation: Camp

From Ashgabat there is a gruelling desert crossing as we drive north through the harsh Kara-Kum Desert, a sparsely-populated and remote expanse. We veer off the highway and do some serious off-roading as we cross the dunes to the Darwaza Gas Crater. Also known as the ‘Door to Hell’ or ‘Gates of Hell’, this remarkable sight is the result of a Soviet-era gas exploration accident, when the ground beneath a drilling rig gave way and to prevent poisonous gas leaking out it was decided to burn it off. Originally engineers believed it would all be burned in a few days, but that was in 1971 and the field is still burning to this day. The result is a sight quite like no other as we are able to peer down into the crater and see the fire, and feel the intense heat coming from the flames. Conditions permitting we will get to the crater in the truck and bush camp nearby in the remote desert.

Rising early the next morning we leave Darwaza and return to the highway as we continue north to Kunye Urgench, an ancient Silk Road town that was abandoned in the early 1700s and has been left largely untouched since. The old ruins of the town are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the most striking sight is undoubtedly the 60-metre high minaret, that dates from the 11th Century. It is said that when Genghis Khan’s Mongol army invaded this area that the infamous warlord was so impressed by the minaret he ordered for it to not be destroyed!

Day 4 - 8 : Kunye Urgench To Bukhara
Location: Köneürgench, Khiva, Bukhara
Accommodation: Camp

We cross the border to Uzbekistan. Road conditions permitting, we will drive to the edge of where the Aral Sea used to lie. In the 1960s the Soviet Union began an intense irrigation project to boost cotton growth in the region using the then vast sea as its source. The project has led to the sea now shrinking to just 10% of its original size and today as we reach where its edge formerly was, we can see ships sitting incongruously in the middle of what is now a huge desert where we camp for the night.

Continuing further into Uzbekistan, we find well preserved relics from the time when Asia was a centre of empire, learning, and trade along the famous Silk Road. Some of its cities have abundant old architecture, mosques and minarets cloaked with the mystery of the orient dating back thousands of years.

Our first city stop is in Khiva, one of the most noteworthy of the cities and towns of Central Asia. It is a unique monument town, completely preserved in the cultural style of the region, and is a World Heritage Site for its historical significance. It has more minarets than any other place in Asia, and the Juma Mosque, which has an amazing 218 ornate carved wooden columns, is another of the main attractions. We will spend at least a couple of nights here to explore the ancient medressas, medinas, mausoleums and museums and soak up the unique atmosphere.

Continuing south, we bush camp out in the desert before reaching another town with much historical influence that was also on the great Silk Road.

Day 9 - 12 : Bukhara To Samarkand
Location: Bukhara, Samarkand

The name Bukhara is synonymous with the Silk Road, and its name conjures up images of Marco Polo, trading caravans and exploration. The British explorer Alexander Burnes, one of the iconic figures of the Victorian-era ‘Great Game’ was nicknamed ‘Burnes of Bukhara’.

The city is situated on a sacred hill and was founded in the 13th century BC; a centre of learning throughout much of its history, it is home to over 350 mosques and some 100 Islamic colleges. It is an attractive city with narrow streets, green parks and gardens that are a pleasure to wander around and there will be the opportunity for a bout of good-humoured haggling in the bazaar.

The Kyzylkum Desert is about 300,000 sq km and lies between the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya rivers. This is a vast arid plain with a number of isolated bare mountains rising to 900 metres and we journey across it on our way to Samarkand. Scheduled permitting, we may opt to take the local train and rejoin the truck on arrival.

Samarkand itself is the second largest city in Uzbekistan. It dates back 2,500 years, making it as old as Babylon or Rome. Here we have a couple of days to explore the splendid architecture such as the 15th century Bibi-Khanum Mosque which when it was built was considered to have the largest dome in the Muslim world. Today it stands next a noisy and colourful Oriental market. No trip here is complete without a wander around the three edifices of the Registan, once Medieval Samarkand's commercial plaza and today quite possibly the most awesome sight in Central Asia.

Day 13 - 14 : Samarkand To Dushanbe
Location: Samarkand, Dushanbe

From here we drive southwards towards Tajikistan. Time allowing en-route we will make a short stop in the Unesco Town of Shahrisabz. Here still standing since 1380 are parts of the original 65mtr gate towers to Timur’s Summer (Ak Saray) Palace.

Dushanbe is Tajikistan’s largest city, and aptly its name means “Money” in Tajik language. It’s a big showy entry to the country, in stark contrast to the East. You’ll pass a lovely day strolling through parks, admiring the fountains and the wide boulevards punctuated with grand buildings. Visit “Flag Pole Park” or the bazaar, or make the most of being in a city with restaurants specialising in various different cuisines!

Day 15 - 19 : Dushanbe To Bishkek
Location: Dushanbe, Osh, Bishkek

We drive north in to the Fann Mountains, one of Tajikistan's great ranges (the other being the Pamirs). Peaks of over 5000 mtrs slip by as we head to Iskanderkul Lake at 2200 mtrs. It is said to be the resting place of Alexander the Greats horse, Bucephalus. The glacial lake is a stunning spot for a hike and we aim to visit Tajikistan's highest waterfall (40 mtrs).

Continuing north we arrive in to Khujand - although today the city is not one of the most picturesque, it has had an important role in the history of the Silk Road and was one of the furthest points reached by Alexander the Great. It is said in this area that he wept, saying he had no further territory to conquer. We have time to visit the Fortress and Panjshanbe Market (one of the largest covered markets in Central Asia).

We re-enter Uzbekistan and arrive in the Fergana Valley, known for its silk production and the area that gave the name to one of the greatest routes in history.

Crossing in to Kyrgyzstan our first stop is Osh, the second biggest and the country's oldest, city. Make sure you visit the bazaar, which has occupied the same spot for over 2000 years and used to be a major stop along the ancient Silk Road.

We drive north through stunning mountain views and past the turquoise waters of Toktogul Reservoir, before arriving in the capital city of Bishkek.

Day 20 - 21 : Bishkek
Location: Bishkek
Accommodation: Hostel

Kyrgyzstan's leafy, relaxed capital is a largely Soviet-built city, softened somewhat by its many boulevards and tree lined streets. We take a few days here in a comfortable, friendly hostel to recharge our batteries. We can enjoy the cafés and restaurants dotted around the city, there is no shortage of bars and nightclubs, and for those so inclined there are also a few cinemas and shopping districts.

Bishkek is also home to a number of museums, including the Kyrgyz State Historical Museum and Zoological Museum, which have exhibits that explain more about Kyrgyzstan political and natural history, and there are a number of parks and other public areas worth visiting to watch local life pass you by, the main one being Ala-Too Square, which once was dominated by a large statue of Lenin (this has now been moved to a smaller square in the city).

Day 22 - 30 : Bishkek To Semenovskre Gorge
Location: Bishkek, Almaty
Accommodation: Camp

We head north east to Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis and capital until 1997. Almaty is the largest and most ethnically and culturally diverse city in Kazakhstan. Set in the foothills of the Trans Lli Alatau mountains, the area has a ski resort (Shymbulak) at an elevation of 2,200 mtrs and enjoys a great amount of snow from November through to May. The city has many sights and attractions, including Ascension Cathedral in Panfilov Park; Abay Opera House; Golden Warrior Monument in the Republic Square and the giant Almaty Tower. Or for adrenaline lovers, why not ride the ‘Fast Coaster’ roller coaster, that is located on the side of a mountain and reaches speeds of 45 km per hour.

We continue east looking for amazing camping areas to explore, before crossing back in to Kygyzstan and the area of Lake Issyk-Kul, a mountain lake in the northern Tien Shan Mountains, once used by the Soviets to test their submarine torpedoes!

The area of Altyn Arashan and its surrounds offer the outdoor lover many hiking and horse riding opportunities and we spend a few days here to take in the amazing scenery.

We visit the vast red stone cliffs in Jeti-Oguz and visit the town of Karakol with its attractive houses and tree-lined streets. Behind it are the Terskay Ala-Too Mountains, an unspoilt wilderness populated only by nomadic shepherds.

Continuing around the lake to Semenovskre Gorge the adventurous can hike through lush terrain, following the rivers that wind through the national reserve.

As we travel around Kyrgyzstan we camp, but we also may have the opportunity to use some family homestays, where we are welcomed into a local home for the night. These are subject to availability, but if we can arrange them they offer a fantastic experience, allowing us to feel part of the family for a night and make some new friends!

Day 31 - 34 : Semenovskre Gorge To Tash Rabat
Location: Almaty, Tash-Rabat

Travelling south and leaving behind Lake Issyk-Kul, we make our way to the isolated and breathtaking Lake Song Kol, where we stay in traditional felt Yurts. There will be opportunity to either hike or horse back ride and explore the surrounding area. If we are lucky we may even see a game of Ulak Tartysh - a Kyrgyz version of polo.

We spend a couple of days driving south through the mountains towards the border with China. On the way we cross vast high plains where Kyrgyz nomads, living in their traditional yurts, practice a lifestyle which has changed little over the centuries. We will stop off at Tash Rabat, an ancient Caravanserai on the old Silk Route.

Day 35 : Tash Rabat To Kashgar
Location: Tash-Rabat, Kashgar Prefecture

The border is crossed via the Torugat Pass in the Tien Shan Mountains which at 3,752 m is one of the highest passes in the world. From here we leave the truck behind and change over to a private transfer to the border, where our Chinese Guide and new Oasis Leader will be waiting, before driving down the pass to Kashgar.

Day 36 : Kashgar
Location: Kashgar Prefecture

Using the public buses around Kashgar, we have a full day guided tour. Kashgar is home to one of the last remaining statues of Chairman Mao, still standing in a watchful gaze across the People's Square. Other highlights we hope to see are Apak Hoja Tomb, a beautiful example of Uyghur Islamic Architecture; Id Kah Mosque, the largest Mosque in the whole of China; Handicraft Street where we can view pots being made, traditional musical instrument workshops and wood craftsmen at work. If we are lucky enough to be in Kashgar on a weekend, we will endeavour to visit the Sunday Livestock Market.

Day 37 - 41 : Kashgar To Lhasa
Location: Kashgar Prefecture, Dunhuang, Jiayuguan City, Lanzhou, Lhasa

We take the overnight train to Jiayuguan and get our first glimpse of the Great Wall of China! We have time to explore in the afternoon and we will overnight here.

Our next train journey takes us to Dunhuang, a city on the edge of the Gobi desert which is situated at a point of vital strategic and logistical importance, on a crossroads of 2 major trade routes on the old Silk Road. We visit the famed Mogao Grottoes (also known as the Qianfodong - the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas). This honeycomb of caves was constructed from the 4th to the 14th centuries, and has an astonishing collection of 492 caves, which are one of the world's richest treasure houses of Buddhist sutras, murals and sculptures.

We also take a trip to the edge of the oasis to Ming Sha Hill and the Crescent Moon Pool. Spring water trickles up into a depression between huge sand dunes, forming a crescent-shaped pond. Here we will be able to scramble up and slide down one of the giant dunes and there is the opportunity to ride on a Bactrian camel (the two humped variety) over the sand dunes.

Boarding our night train, we travel further East to Lanzhou, where we change trains and journey on to Lhasa.

Day 42 - 46 : Lhasa To Shigatse
Location: Lhasa, Shigatse

Tibet, once home to the Dalai Lama. At 3,490 metres, Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. We will have time in the afternoon to relax and acclimatise to the altitude.

We have a full day to explore this interesting city, with our Tibetan guide. Must see sights are the Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Square and the stunning Potala Palace. We hope to also visit the Sera Monastery, where from mid afternoon monks still debate with the aid of flamboyant arm movements!

Boarding our private bus, we cross the mighty Gampala Pass (4790 metres) and we get our first glimpse of Yamdrok Tso Lake. The lake is surrounded by many snow capped peaks and in the distance, and on a clear day, you can see Holy Mount Nyenchen Khangsar, (7191m).

On arrival in Shigatse we visit the home of Panchan Lama - Tashilunpo Monastery. Financed by local nobles, the Monastery was founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama. We overnight in Shigatse.

Day 47 - 49 : Shigatse To Gyantse
Location: Shigatse, Mount Everest, Gyantse

Continuing on our bus journey we arrive at Rongbuk Monastery, which is situated at 4980 metres and is claimed to be the highest Monastery in the world.

Our accommodation tonight will be very basic, but (weather allowing) the views of Mount Everest will more than make up for any discomfort.

We visit Mount Everest Base Camp hoping for a glimpse of the peak, before driving to Tingri, a stopping point on the Friendship Highway, for our overnight stay.

We continue on the Friendship Highway to Gyantse, where there is the option to visit Pelkor Chode Monastery and Kumbum Stupa. The Kumbum, which was built in 1497, is particularly interesting as the structure contains some 76 chapels through 9 levels. We overnight in Gyantse.

Day 50 - 52 : Gyantse To Xi’An
Location: Gyantse, Chengdu, Xi'An
Accommodation: Hotel

Once again we cross the mighty Gampala Pass, with time to visit Yamdrok Tso Lake, before heading back in to Lhasa to catch the high altitude train to Chengdu.

This is one of the world’s classic train routes and will take us almost 2 days to complete! It was said a track could never be built at such high altitude or across such a landscape, but the Chinese have managed to achieve it! We will see snowcapped peaks, turquoise plateau lakes and grazing yaks from our window.

We arrive in Chengdu in the early morning and transfer to our hotel, where we will be based for 2 nights.

Our next stop will be the Panda Sanctuary where we can see these gentle giants. The Sanctuary was created in the 1980’s to house six sick Panda’s and has become one of the most important centres for Panda breeding research in the world.

We take the fast train to Xi’an and have an afternoon to explore the city. Xi'an is well known for its food and nightlife and there are some attractive restaurant districts to wander around in the evening.

Day 53 : Xi’An
Location: Xi'An

Highlights in Xi'an you may wish to see are the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, the Bell and Drum Towers or maybe check out the well preserved City Walls, dating back to the Ming Dynasty.

The Museum of Terracotta Warriors and Horses is probably the most famous, and there will be time for a visit if you wish to see them. These are the most significant archaeological excavations of the 20th century and work is ongoing at this site. Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 in 246 BC, Qin Shi Huang began work on his mausoleum - before becoming the first Emperor of China. It took 11 years to finish and it is believed he built this vast terracotta army to accompany him into the afterlife. The museum covers over 16,000 sq metres - with armies of soldiers and their horses arranged in lines under a giant aircraft hanger type roof. There are over 7,000 figures and it really is a remarkable sight.

Day 54 - 56 : Xi'an To Beijing
Location: Xi'An, Beijing

From Xi'an we begin our last journey - by train to Beijing. After our 15 hr train journey - we will have the chance to explore China's capital and soak up the atmosphere. Beijing is a heaving, thriving place, an economic power house of Asia, and the cultural centre of China. We include a trip to visit the superbly preserved section of the Great Wall, before enjoying our last night party in some of the many bars and clubs in the city.

There is so much to see in Beijing so we recommend staying on for a few days to see all the main sights and also to relax. Well known places to visit here include the largest central square in the world - Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, as well as the largest sacrificial complex in the world, the Temple of Heaven. You will also see the towering skyscrapers and the endless stream of traffic. Nowhere else on earth will you find such a variety of gourmet Chinese restaurants offering the very best of the eight different styles of Chinese cuisine as well as western style dishes. Then there is of course the shopping, and there are countless shopping malls and markets all over the city to pick up cheap Chinese made products. The nightlife too is worth exploring and there are plenty of pubs and clubs to visit before flying out or continuing on with your travels.

Your trip ends after breakfast on the last day of your tour, and we suggest allowing extra time to explore the city at your leisure (depending on the length of your visa).

What's Included

  • Accommodation - approx. 40% camping & 60% simple hostels/hotels/homestays

  • Arrival airport transfer in Ashgabat

  • Turkmenistan Letter of Invitation support and fees

  • Ashgabat city tour

  • Darvaza Gas Craters

  • Yurt Stay at Lake Song Kol

  • Tash Rabat Caravanserai

  • Local English speaking Chinese guide for our time in China

  • China letter of invitation support and fees

  • Guided tour of the Mogao Caves

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What's Not Included

  • Visas

  • Optional Excursions as listed in the Pre-Departure Information

  • Flights

  • Airport Taxes & Transfers

  • Travel Insurance

  • Meals - approx. 55%

  • Drinks

  • Tips

  • Local payment from US$1,400

    Local Payment (LP) is in the addition to the Trip Price and is paid to your Tour Leader at the start of your Trip.

    It covers some of the trip's day to day expenses such as food and accommodation which your tour leader pays direct to local people.

More Info

Join this challenging expedition along ancient trading routes, following in the tracks of the old Silk Road. Discover some of the oldest cities in the world steeped in history and legend. Visit the legendary 'Stan's' taking in the bizarre city of Ashgabat and the splendour of the Old Registan in Uzbekistan. Get outdoors in Tajikistan and hike in the Fann Mountains. Kyrgyzstan amazes with it's deep mountain lakes and perennially snow-capped peaks, before crossing the mighty Torugat Pass and traversing the whole of China. Pandas, Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall all await!

Mode of Transport

The Oasis expedition truck will be your new home giving you a comfortable & secure base with which to experience your trip. We use a purpose built truck which has been converted especially for this expedition, which passes through all types of terrains from soft sand, mud, rock and potholed roads to tarseal. It is reassuring to know that these vehicles can handle the tough conditions that they are put through. The truck is equipped with all of the equipment we may need en-route, including a professionally compiled expedition Medical Kit, large water & fuel carrying capacities, an extensive range of spare parts as well as the kitchen sink, (well almost!) so all you need is your sleeping bag, a roll mat and your own personal gear!

If your trip goes to China or South East Asia, we use a range of local transport, from private charter vehicles and trains, to overnight buses and longtail boats.

Seatbelts

All Oasis Overland trucks are fitted with seatbelts. For your own safety and security we recommend that travellers wear these at all times whilst the vehicle is moving. Most of our overland trucks also have a ‘beach area’ which is a chill out zone to be used when the truck is not moving.

Accommodation

Accommodation is split throughout this trip between simple hotels and hostels and camping. The variety of accommodation provided is great and often a totally unique experience, including bush camps with no facilities, yurts and simple village pensions. Some are well managed and some very basic. Oasis uses roomy three-person tents but only for two people. They are specially made for us to meet the tougher conditions of an expedition trip and have mosquito netting sewn into the door and windows. It would also be a good idea to bring your own freestanding mosquito net so as to give you the freedom of sleeping under the stars at night. At bush camps you will be living off the truck, so there will be no showers or en-suite facilities, so digging your own toilet pit with the shovels supplied is essential!

Check out our Q&As

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    As detailed in the itinerary.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • What is the maximum group size?

    Maximum 10 people.

  • Do I need pre-trip accommodation?

    Due to strict regulations concerning tourism in Turkmenistan, it is a requirement that all travellers use the designated hotel in Ashgabat before their trip starts, where we are registered with a local authorised tour operator, and hotel costs must be paid in full to Oasis Overland before departure. Just log in to My Oasis Account and select the accommodation / transfer required, or contact us direct. We will require your flight number, arrival time, and arrival date so please ensure this information is forwarded to us as soon as you have booked your flight. Please book this service as soon as you have booked your flight and no later than 10 weeks prior to departure, after which a late booking fee will apply. If you have booked through a travel agent you will not have an account allocated, so please contact your agent to request pre-trip accommodation and airport transfers. Double, twin, and triple rooms will be provided subject to availability, where requested. However when not available we may need to book other rooming arrangements, and will fit these as closely as possible to your request. Those travelling solo will be put in shared rooms to reduce the costs to them, which may be a twin/triple share with other Oasis Overland travellers. Single rooms may be available in some cities for solo travellers, and we will arrange this for you on request, subject to availability. If you are arriving early in the morning and you would like to check in immediately, you may have to reserve your room for the previous night to ensure direct check in, otherwise you may have to wait until normal check in times (usually 1pm to 2pm).

  • What to expect at meal times?

    Overland truck expedition - When 'on the road' with the expedition vehicle or camping, we usually cook using gas or over open fires in a rota system and you can expect to cook in a group of two or three people approximately once every ten days depending on the number of people on trip and whereabouts you are. Your cook group will have to decide on what to cook, utilise stocks from the truck stores and locally obtain ingredients from markets, shops etc and rustle up a meal. But don't worry if you're not a Gordon Ramsay as the rest of the group and the Tour Leader usually lend a helping hand. Here is an idea of what to expect at meal times: Breakfasts: Usually simple - we help ourselves to cereal, toast, hot drinks and on occasion we will splurge with a cooked breakfast. Lunch: Cold and usually quick. The cook group will put out bread, tinned supplies and maybe make a salad. Dinner: Cooks come into their own in the evening and will always attempt to cook up some delights. When the truck is parked up for a few days in a town or city most people usually like the option to eat out at local restaurants - so we often don't cook all meals when at these locations. Meals whilst staying in Hotels/Hostels/Pensions are not included in the local payment price. Local transport - China & South East Asia - We have the opportunity to check out the local restaurants and sample the fantastic street food. Options range from international restaurants with a wide range of cuisines on offer, which tend to be more expensive, to local delicacies cooked in front of you at hawker stalls or in small cafes, where the choices are more limited but much cheaper. Some breakfasts will be provided by our hotels or guesthouses, which are usually quite simple and offer a mixture of local and Western options. In the evenings Overland truck expedition - When at a bushcamp or campsite where you and your tent buddy will put up the tent, and then lend a hand with getting out the tables, stools, firewood and water containers. The fire grates need to be taken out, the fire lit and someone can fill the kettle and make hot drinks while the cook group prepares the evening meal. Then just sit back & chill and enjoy the rest of your evening! Local transport - China & South East Asia - Mostly staying in towns and cities, your evenings are free to check out local bars and cafes, and experience the places we visit as night falls. We also spend some evenings in more remote areas, where options will be more limited, but these quieter and relaxing spots are a great opportunity to enjoy being off the beaten track and soak in the atmosphere, usually over a few drinks with your fellow travellers.

  • Where does the trip start?

    The trip starts from the Ak Altyn Hotel at approximately 8am on the morning of Day 1 of your trip. A breakfast buffet is included in the room price. There is a lobby bar, an outdoor swimming pool, and a currency exchange booth in the hotel, and opposite the hotel is the Circus. Behind the circus is a popular outdoor cafe, called Iceberg. Trip Joining Point: Ak Altyn Hotel - Ashgabat Start Time Day 1: 08:00 Address: Magtymguly Avenue No.140/1, Ashgabat, 744000 Telephone: +993-12 36 37 00 Website: www.akaltyn.com Email: info@akaltyn.com

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Airport Transfers are included in the cost of your adventure. On arrival into Ashgabat airport you will be met by a local representative who will take you to the group joining hotel, where you will need to present your passport and be registered with the Turkmenistan Tourism Authorities. The driver will have your name on a sign with Oasis Overland. The return airport transfer can be arranged through your hotel / hostel and is not included, it is at your own expense. We regret these services cannot be arranged via the Oasis office before departure.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    Starting in Istanbul - If you plan to collect your Iranian visa in Istanbul, we recommend that you arrive at least five working days before your trip departure date and take in to account any days the embassy/consulate may be closed (holidays, weekends etc). Starting in Tbilisi, Bishkek or Dushanbe - Please note that our trip leaves the city on Day 1 - we recommend arriving a day or two earlier if you wish to make the most of the sights and attractions of the relevant city and surrounding areas. Starting in Ashgabat - Because of restrictions on tourism in Turkmenistan, we advise arriving no earlier than the day before the trip begins. Please note that pre-trip accommodation in Ashgabat must be booked and paid to Oasis Overland before travelling. Return flights must be booked for at least the day AFTER the trip is due to end, but flexible tickets are best in case of unforeseen delays. You may wish to allow some extra time to explore your departure cities. One way ticket - If you intend to travel on a one way ticket to meet up with one of our trips, without possessing an onward flight ticket - we recommend that you have a copy of your payment confirmation/receipt (that you will be sent at time of your balance payment) available at immigration to assist easy entry. Departure Taxes - Please check with your Travel Agent or Airline if your flight ticket already includes a departure tax payment out of the country. If it does not - please budget for approx US$30 to $70 USD - to be paid in US$ only.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes, if you are travelling solo. On our Overland Adventures and Ultimate Expeditions, we will pair you up with a tent buddy of the same sex when we camp and the same goes for twin & shared rooms in hostels, so there is no need to go it alone! If you specifically would like to request your own single room whilst on the trip, this may be requested subject to availability and additional fee.

  • How many people do you take on your Trips?

    On most of our Overland Adventures and Ultimate Expeditions our vehicles can carry a maximum of 24 travellers, the average however is around 16-20 on any one trip. Our Small Group Adventures have a maximum of 18 people per Tour Leader, although again the average is around 10-14 people.

Reviews of this Operator

Giles  

LIMA to RIO (87 days) Kingdoms & Carnivals

31-Jan-2020

Life changing, exhilarating, wonderful, at times tough and challenging.

Lucy Jenner (Google Reviewer)  

I can't recommend Oasis enough....

07-Nov-2022

I can't recommend Oasis enough. I have done two trips with them to Africa (Victoria Falls to Cape Town in 2013 and Nairobi to Vic Falls in 2017). The first trip was my first real travelling experience so I picked a shorter one but it just meant I had to go back for more a few years later because I loved it so much. The trips were well organised and went to amazing places with a good mix of structure and freedom, and it never felt like we were rushed even though a lot was packed into the time. The tour leader and driver looked after us well. I was lucky that the groups I was with were great too, because that can have such an impact.

Ivano Forte (Google Reviewer)  

We have been on 2...

31-Oct-2022

We have been on 2 trips with Oasis through Africa. Both trips were fantastic!! The whole experience from initial booking and lead up communication, to the trip itself, with the wonderfully knowledgeable, hard working, friendly and fun crew, to all the amazing places we visited, things we saw and adventures we had, it was all a truly amazing experience!! Highly recommend Oasis Overland.

Brenda  

SANTIAGO to BUENOS AIRES (31 days) Patagonian Adventures

15-Dec-2019

At 78 years old it has been one of the highlights of my life! The crew were 1st class and the rest of the travellers really looked after me. Highlights were Bariloche and Patagonia

Roy Smith (Google Reviewer)  

I've been on 3 trips...

28-Oct-2022

I've been on 3 trips with Oasis, the Silk Road and 2 in Africa, about 33 weeks in total, and planning on another now that covid restrictions aren't preventing it. I find the trips are organized so that you get to see the highlights along those routes, and you're travelling with people a mix of nationality and age so a solo traveler like me isn't alone. These trips are great value, would not have had such a terrific range of experiences otherwise.

Laura  

NAIROBI to HARARE (41 days) Apes & Lakes

30-Jun-2020

Really loved this trip. The pre-trip information was great and Katie really went out of her way to help me. I though that camping for so long would start to get tiring but it really didn't plus there were plenty of opportunities to upgrade and some of the time this was very cheap. So many amazing things to see and do. Seeing the Gorillas in the wild was a highlight for me! Would highly recommend and hope to do another trip in the future.

Laurence Zerafa (Google Reviewer)  

If you like adventure travel,...

31-Oct-2022

If you like adventure travel, daily camping with the odd brick and mortar accommodation, moving daily from one place to another often off the beaten track, getting as close as possible to locals, in the company of like-minded fellow travelers, and at reasonable prices, then this is the travel company for you.

Michael Miranda (Google Reviewer)  

I highly recommend traveling with...

02-Feb-2023

I highly recommend traveling with Oasis Overland. I did a 75 day trip through Africa with them in 2017 and I had an amazing time. From Victoria Falls, the Serengeti, and Great Zimbabwe, I got to see so many once-in-a-lifetime places in a much shorter time period than I would have been able to navigate on my own. The guide and driver were great and I always felt like all situations were handled well as things came up (like there was coup in Zimbabwe while we were there). The bus was comfortable enough and it was very conducive to socializing with other travelers. The group I traveled with was a good mix of nationalities and ages so everyone could find people to hang out with. I think Oasis does a good job of providing a mix of planned activities and free time and offers a good selection of excursions in the places we stopped.

Linda Duncan  

NAIROBI to KIGALI (13 days) Gorillas & Gameparks

01-Dec-2019

Wonderful - well organised, great team, great co- travellers, amazing locations. Certainly challenging at times as weather very wet - apparently unusually so. Fast paced as well but expected that. I would go again at the drop of a hat. Thinking about the “Stans” trip in Central Asia..

Dino  

CAPE TOWN to JOHANNESBURG (17 days) South Africa & Lesotho

19-Dec-2019

Awesome adventure, White water rafting, sleeping amidst elephants, game drives, adrenaline hits, great company what more could you ask for!

Dates & Availability

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Wednesday - Tuesday

May 29, 2024 - Jul 23, 2024
$5816 $5656 (USD)

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Monday - Sunday

May 19, 2025 - Jul 13, 2025
$6449 $6271 (USD)

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Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Oasis Overland requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of oasis overland charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 33% of booking price.

    At 45 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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