Moscow - Silk Road - Kashgar - Lhasa - Beijing



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29 days / 28 nights Trip highlights and features: • Beijing sightseeing: the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City • Xian sightseeing: the world-famous Terracotta Warriors • 29 days of touring in 16 towns and cities • Amazing sights: The Gobi Desert, Lake Issyk Kul, multiple Museums, many ancient Silk Road cities • Train to Lhasa the ‘ Roof of the World’ at 1,149 km • 21 nights onboard train, 7 nights in deluxe hotels • Train travel onboard the private Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express • Cities : Moscow, Volgograd, Khiva, Merv, Ashgabat, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, Bishkek, Kashgar, Turpan, Dunhuang, Lhasa, Lanzhou, Xian, Beijing • Most Breakfasts, lunches and dinners

For exact inquiry on dates and quotations, please, fill in the Personal inquiry >>> form.
 
(157" width="370" alt="SHANGRI-LA EXPRESS/Moscow-Silk-map)
 
Tour Dates 2017 - Sunday October 14th, 2017 to Saturday November 10th, 2017
 
 
Day 1: Moscow, Flight Arrivals
Passengers are met and transferred to the five-star Baltschug Kempinski Hotel, across from the Kremlin, for a two-night stay. Welcome dinner in the hotel.  
 
Day 2: Moscow
After a sumptuous breakfast in the hotel, guests are taken on a city tour, which includes the Kremlin and Red Square. Lunch and dinner are at restaurants in the city.  
 
Day 3: Trans-Siberian Express
Free time before a late morning transfer to Kazanski station to board our exclusive, private Trans-Siberian Express train. Lunch and dinner are on board as we head towards Volgograd  
 
Day 4: Volgograd
On the banks of the Volga River, Stalingrad (as the city was once known in Soviet times) was scene of probably the most important battle in World War II. The Russians finally turned back the Nazi advance to the Caucasian oil fields, in Baku, at this city. It was a true turning point in the war. Prior to the German’s defeat (in which the city was virtually destroyed and cost hundreds of thousands of lives), Hitler’s armies had not lost a battle. After Stalingrad, the Germans never won another battle. We visit the sobering Mamayev Kurgan war memorial, followed by the excellent diorama and interesting museum before returning to our train for dinner.  
 
Day 5: Trans-Siberian Express
A relaxing day on our exclusive Trans-Siberian Express as we head through Kazakhstan’s Kara Kum desert. Enjoy the scenery and the remote villages we briefly stop at from time to time. All meals are served on board today.  
 
Day 6: Khiva
Lunchtime arrival in Urgench, where we board coaches that take us to the 2,500-year old city of Khiva. Located on the Amu Darya, Khiva was once one of the most important trading centers at the crossroads of the routes between Mongolia, Russia, China and Persia. Its former wealth is evident in the fabulous buildings, mosques, bazaars and minarets that are within the walled city and which have been restored with the support of UNESCO for the city’s 2,500th anniversary celebrations. We dine in Khiva before returning to the train for a midnight departure.  
 
Day 7: Merv
After lunch we arrive in Mary, from where we drive to the ancient Silk Road city of Merv, a city left to ‘die’ after the Emir of Bukhara destroyed the dam, which the population depended upon for water. The 50-square mile area houses five different walled cities of which we visit two.  
 
Day 8: Ashgabat
In the morning, we arrive in the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, where we tour this newly reconstructed ‘Las Vegas of the Kara Kum’. The old city has been replaced with a modern, multi-fountained, city centre dedicated to ‘President-for-life’, Saparmurat Turkemenbashi. We return to the train and continue our voyage through the desert.  
 
Day 9: Bukhara
We arrive in Uzbekistan’s oasis city of Bukhara. Smaller than other cities in the country, it is perhaps just as, if not more, impressive as the larger Samarkand. Similar to Khiva, UNESCO renovated much of the city for its 2,500th anniversary in 1999. Immerse yourself in the compelling history of this ancient walled city, with its 140 protected buildings. The highlight of the tour includes a visit to The Ark, the fortified residence of the Emirs of Bukhara, rulers infamous for their cruelty. Lunch provides an authentic experience of traditional local cuisine as we dine within one of the city’s many medressehs (beautifully tiled Islamic schools popular in the area). We then travel out of the city to visit the Emir’s Palace of the Moon and Stars. We return to our train for a midnight departure to Samarkand.  
 
Day 10: Samarkand
Samarkand — the quintessential Central Asian town whose name, more than any other, instantly conjures up evocative images of the Silk Road. Many words have been used to describe this jewel of the Islamic world, ‘the Paris of the Muslim World’, ‘Rome of the East’. The list of its admirers is endless, Marco Polo, Tamerlane and Alexander the Great. Founded in the 6th century BC, its architecture gives an indication of its former status as one of the most important cities in Asia. We spend the day here visiting the many fabulous buildings including the Bibi Kharum Mosque, the Ulag Beg Observatory and the awe-inspiring Registan Square. After dinner near the illuminated Registan Square, we return to the train for a midnight departure.  
 
Day 11: Tashkent
We arrive in the capital city of Uzbekistan and spend the morning touring this pleasant modern, Soviet-style city. Tashkent was almost completely rebuilt after a devastating earthquake leveled it in 1966. Our tour also includes a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts. Lunchtime departure for Kirgizia.  
 
Day 12: Bishkek
Today is spent touring the capital of Kirgizia, Bishkek  
 
Day 13: Lake Issyk Kul
A day at Kirgizia’s Lake Issyk Kul, the end of the line.  
 
Day 14: Travel To Kashgar
We transfer to Bishkek airport and take a private charter flight over the Pamir Mountains to Kashgar in China. Upon our arrival in Kashgar, we transfer to one of the city’s best hotels for a one-night stay.  Day
 
Day 15: Kashgar, Shangri-La Express
A day to enjoy the centuries-old tradition of Kashgar’s vibrant, world renowned bazaar before joining the Shangri-La Express and departing for Turpan.  
 
Day 16: Turpan
The oasis of Turpan lies some 400 feet below sea level and is the lowest place in China. Whilst here we visit the Flaming Mountains, best viewed at midday, and the 3,000-km long and 2,000-year old underground irrigation system. Lunch is set in the idyllic setting of the Grape Valley vineyards.  
 
Day 17: Dunhuang
This morning we visit the fascinating Mogao Thousand Buddha Cave Complex, which contains almost 500 grottoes, carved between 700 and 1,700 years ago, and filled with an amazing collection of sculptures and murals depicting the evolution of Buddhist religious art over a 1,000-year period. Over 2,000 statues and 45,000 murals remain. In the afternoon, we visit the Sand Dunes where the more adventurous can take a camel ride to Crescent Lake. We dine in Dunhuang before returning to the train for a late night departure.  
 
Day 18: Gobi Desert
Today we pass through the Hexi Corridor, with its snow-capped peaks of the Daban, Datong and Tulai Shan, beyond which lies the Tibetan plateau. On the far side of the corridor lies the Gobi Desert.  
 
Day 19: Climbing to the Roof of the World
Golmud is the starting point for the new 1,149 km ‘roof of the world’ line to Lhasa. It is the beginning of our historic ascent to the ‘roof of the world’ – Lhasa. From here, it will be a 12-hour daylight journey to reach the Tibetan capital. Upon arrival, we transfer to the Lhasa Hotel for a four-night stay.  
 
Day 20: Lhasa Due to the altitude of the city, today is spent around the hotel for acclimatization purposes.  
 
Day 21: Lhasa
Today is spent at leisure exploring the delights of this once difficult to reach city.  
 
Day 22: Lhasa
Today we visit the 13th century Jokhang Temple, Tibet’s holiest shrine and the adjacent Barkhor market before having lunch with traditional folk music. The afternoon’s treat is a visit to the spectacular 17th century Potala Palace, former seat of the Tibetan Government and the Dalai Lama’s winter residence. Containing thousands of rooms, it dominates the city’s skyline and is one of the architectural wonders of the world.  
 
Day 23: Lhasa
On the third day, you will have a chance to venture further a field, to the surrounding countryside outside of Lhasa.  
 
Day 24: Shangri-La Express
Morning visit to Norbu Lingka, the Dalai Lama’s Summer Palace. We bid farewell to Lhasa in the late afternoon and board our exclusive Shangri-La Express, giving passengers time to relax and reflect on our visit to Lhasa - the ‘roof of the world’  
 
Day 25: Lanzhou
Upon our arrival in Lanzhou, situated on the Yellow River, we take a trip down to the river during our short stop here.  
 
Day 26: Xian
Lunchtime arrival in the ancient city of Xian. Over most of the past 2,000 years, Xian was a booming metropolis, vying with Rome and Constantinople for the title of the world’s greatest city. Capital of China during the Qin, Han and Tang dynasties, Xian is today’s capital of the Shaanxi Province. The afternoon is dedicated to visiting the world famous Terracotta Warriors, discovered by peasants barely 30 years ago. The 6,000 Terracotta figures, arranged in row after row of warriors and horses, are one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century. We return to the train for an evening departure of our Shangri-La Express train.  
 
Day 27: Beijing
A relaxing final morning on the train as we head towards Beijing, where we arrive mid-afternoon. Passengers transfer to the 5 star Pennisula Palace (or similar) for a two night stay.  
 
Day 28: Beijing
After breakfast, we spend the morning on a tour of Beijing, including the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City. Our afternoon sightseeing program includes the Great Wall and in the evening, we visit Tiananmen Square. Our last night features our farewell Peking Duck dinner.  
 
Day 29: Beijing Flight departures
Passengers are transferred to Beijing"s airport for international flight departures.
 
 
Schedule and Fares – prices are per person
 
From Moscow, October 14th, 2017
 
Heritage Class >>>
Twin Share – EUR 12995
Single – EUR 17595
 
Gold Class >>> 
Twin Share – EUR 19995
Single – EUR 27295
 
For exact inquiry on dates and quotations, please, fill in the Personal inquiry >>> form.
 
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