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The Five Stans of the Silk Road

About Uzbekistan

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See all the ‘stans (well, most of them) on this comprehensive 26-day tour through Central Asia. Learn about nomadic life in Song Köl, explore natural landscapes like Kaindy Lake’s sunken forest, and witness the hustle and bustle of capital cities and their bazaars, cathedrals, and historical sites. Along the way, you’ll sleep like the locals do in homestays and yurts to get even closer to this underexplored destination.

What's Included

Local Living: CBT Homestay, Chong-Kemin
Local Living: Overnight in a Yurt, Song Köl
Local Living: Community Homestay, Kŭli Iskandarkŭl
Local Living: Overnight in a Yurt, Aydar Kŭl Camp
Local Living: Erbent Community Stop, Erbent. Half-day city tour (Bishkek). Burana Tower visit (Bishkek). Przhevalsky Museum visit (Karakol). Yurt building presentation (Kizil Tuu). Saty village stay. City tour (Almaty). Charyn Canyon Visit. City tour (Dushanbe). Waterfall hike (Kŭli Iskandarkŭl). City tour (Khujand). Mug Yepe Visit (Istaravshan). Market visit (Khujand). City tour (Samarkand). Walking tour (Bukhara). Chashma Complex and Holy Spring Visit (Nurata). Fortress of Alexander the Great visit (Nurata). City tour (Bukhara). Khiva Ancient City tour. City tour (Tashkent). Felt-making workshop visit. Hikes and picnic lunch. Derweze (Door to Hell). Erbent visit. City tour (Ashgabat). Internal flight. Transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Explore the Soviet-esque capital of Bishkek, Witness how Kyrgyz felt is made, Marvel at Charyn Canyon, Browse the stalls Khujand markets, Stay overnight in a local yurt, Camp under the stars near Derweze crater

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. CULTURE
Central Asia is a region which may be very different to anything you have experienced before. Mixture of Soviet heritage and Islam, summer heat and winter cold, religious conservatism, traffic and crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge.

2. DRESS CODE
Though you can see lots of people in traditional clothes, Central Asia has adopted western style clothing as well. Don’t hesitate to pack your usual travel clothes: in summer it can be shorts and t-shirts, sandals etc. We recommend not to bring tank tops/singlets and any types of clothes with bare shoulders and backs – it is unacceptable in most areas, even in bigger cities. Our tour takes us to many religious sights, where dress code is very strict. We recommend women to have a headscarf in their day bags to cover up when going inside mosques (it’s also a great help in the heat in summer). Best things to pack for the hot Central Asian climate is loose, long clothing – long trousers and sarongs or long skirts for women. In colder months (from the end of October through the end of April) it can rain and snow – bring warm clothes, jackets and comfortable warm shoes for walking.

3. ALTITUDE CONSIDERATIONS
This trip operates at altitudes over 800m (max altitude 3016m at Song Kul ). Whilst we travel slowly allowing plenty of time to acclimatize you may experience headaches, nausea, lethargy, especially when visiting Song Kul & Iskanderkul. It is important to be aware of the affects of altitude on one’s tolerance especially on long driving days.

4. MONEY
Due to the restrictions on changing money in Central Asia region, only notes/bills printed after 1996 and in good condition will be accepted for exchange. Usually 50 and 100 USD/EUR notes get better exchange rate. We recommend to bring smaller denominations as well – many vendors accept them if you don’t have local currency.

2. RAMADAN
According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between May 5th and June 4th, 2019. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can’t at that time.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals Included

24 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 8 dinners

Transport

Private vehicles, plane, walking.

Local Flights

Please be aware that flight delays between Bishkek and Dushanbe can occur. Your CEO may need to make adjustments to your itinerary in case of flight schedule changes.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Standard hotels/guesthouses (19 nts), yurts (3 nts), CBT homestays (3 nts), tented camp (1 nt).

Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

If your call is specifically concerning Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer provider directly at: +7 (727) 2506848

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS

G Adventures Office Central Asia:

Mr. Laziz Otayarov (Operations Manager – Central Asia)
Mobile 1: +99890 963 4779 (24h)
Mobile 2: +99897 921 7087 (24h)

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking though, you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage (please see below for exceptions), and though you will not be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes) we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg/22lb.

Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures travellers! Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags with wheels are acceptable, although we recommend your bag has carry straps as well, as you may be required to negotiate bus and railway station steps. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day walks and day trips.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas and Entry Requirements

Uzbekistan:


PLEASE READ THE ENTIRETY OF THE TEXT BELOW AS THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR ENTRY INTO UZBEKISTAN***

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Uzbekistan.

For AYKU the days spent in Uzbekistan are as follows: Days 13-23

Uzbekistan Visa Exemptions: Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa to enter Uzbekistan for stays up to 30 days:
Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey

Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa to enter Uzbekistan for stays up to 90 days:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine

Citizens that are eligible to apply for E-Visa online:
Australia, Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, China (including Hong Kong), Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, UAE, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, USA, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, Finland, Montenegro, Sweden, The Vatican

With E-Visa, no need to request LOI or apply for Visa at Uzbekistan Consulate or Embassy. The E-Visa is eligible for 30 days, single entry.
Uzbek E- visa website: https://e-visa.gov.uz
For question “Preliminary place of residence in Uzbekistan”, please provide following: “Uzbektourism Licensed Hotels”

Nationalities which are not listed on Uzbekistan Visa exemptions list or not on the E-Visa list are required to apply for Visa Approval/Telex No prior to their Uzbekistan Visa application at Uzbekistan Consulate. In order to get Visa Approval/LOI you will be required to fill out & submit the request form (https://www.gadventures.com/visa-forms/Uzbekistan/). It takes about 7-10 business days to get the approval from Uzbekistan MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Once Visa Approval No/LOI is received we will forward it to you/your agent. Please print out the Visa Approval/Telex No along with duly completed Uzbekistan visa application form & submit to the Uzbekistan Consulate.

Information accurate as of September 12th, 2018


Tajikistan


PLEASE READ THE ENTIRETY OF THE TEXT BELOW AS THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR ENTRY INTO TAJIKISTAN***

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Tajikistan. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.

To apply for Tajikistan visa please follow the Tajikistan E-Visa link: https://www.evisa.tj

Essential info & answers for online E visa application

Applicant Type: Individual
Purpose of the visa type: Tourism
GBAO Permit: No (you will not be required to apply for this permit)
Date of arrival: The date you enter & exist from Tajikistan (below are the days per trip code you enter & exist from Tajikistan)
AWDT – Highlights of Tajikistan: Days 1-5
AWTU – Best of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan: Days 1-5
AYBT – Best of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: Days 9-13
AYKU – Multi-Stan Adventure – Bishkek to Tashkent: Days 9-13

Address in Tajikstan
Dushanbe – “Lotus Hotel” – 1-proezd Lohuti 5 street, Dushanbe
Khujand – “Feruz Hotel” – Lenina street 223, Khujand

If required:
The local operator in Tajikistan – “Panjakent Intour”
Address: 12, Borbadi Marvazi street, Panjakent
Tel: +992 3475 56674

The cost of E Visa for most of nationalities is 50 USD & other detailed info can be obtained by following the link herehttps://www.evisa.tj/index.evisa.html#/getinformed

Information accurate as of September 12th, 2018


Kazakhstan:


PLEASE READ THE ENTIRETY OF THE TEXT BELOW AS THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR ENTRY INTO KAZAKHSTAN***

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Kazakhstan. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.

To apply for a Kazakhstan visa, some nationalities must present an official Kazakhstan Letter of Invitation (LOI).

Noted Exemptions: Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa to enter Kazakhstan for stays up to 30 days (90 days for countries marked with *):

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia*, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia*, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine*, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), namely Azerbaijan, Armenia*, Belarus*, Kyrgyzstan*, Moldova*, Russia*, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR TRAVELERS WHOSE ARE NOT LISTED ABOVE : Once your trip is confirmed, at 90 days prior to your entry into Kazakhstan, you must submit an application for your Letter of Invitation. A link will be emailed to you in your confirmation email. The details will be forwarded to our local agent in Kazakhstan and you will be emailed your Kazakhstan Invitation Letter about 60 days before the trip start date. Kazakhstan LOI’s cannot be rushed.

Kazakhstan visas can be used up to 3 months from the date the visa is issued, and once you have entered Kazakhstan, the visa is valid for a maximum of 30 days. Therefore, please time your application accordingly and do not apply for the visa more than 3 months in advance of your trip.

Input your name the same way it is in your passport. The information on the application form must match your passport (if you have 2 or more names – all of them have to be listed under “first name”). If you have an umlaut or other character not recognized in the English alphabet in your name (ie. ü), please enter it in the longer form (ie. ue).
For the following multi-country trips, the days spent in Kazakhstan are as follows:

AYBT – Best of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: Days 7-9
AYKK – Highlights of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan: Days 7-9
AYKU – Multi-Stan Adventure – Bishkek to Tashkent: Days 7-9

The Kazakhstan Government has implemented a new requirement asking passengers to provide a Letter of Employment (LOE) in order to issue the LOI. Please make sure to attach this LOE to your LOI application below as both are required to begin this process. This should be a letter from your employer, dated and on company letterhead, that states where you work, your role and how long you have worked there. It should also have the issuer’s name, signature, as well as their role and the company address and phone number. If you are retired, a LOE is not necessary.

If your country has an official Kazakhstan Consulate/Embassy, you must choose this as as your ’Visa pickup Embassy’. If you do not see a local Consulate/Embassy on this list or you are unable to go there due to prior travel arrangements, please contact your Travel Agent or G Adventures for further assistance. Certain nationalities may be able to obtain a visa upon arrival at the Almaty Airport, but you must make sure to check with your Embassy if this applies for your nationality before choosing this option.
At time of writing, the below documents will be needed to obtain your visa (however, we do advise you confirm this with your nearest Embassy):
1. A standard visa application form from the Embassy or Consulate where you will collect your visa
2. 1 colour, passport sized photos (taken within 14 days)
3. Payment for the visa (this will be dependent on nationality and will sometimes need to be made at a local nearby bank – check with your Embassy to confirm details)
4. Passport with empty pages and at least 6 months validity
5. Kazakhstan Letter of Invitation/reference number
6. Flight tickets providing entrance and proof of onward travel
7. Copy of travel insurance in a hard copy
8. We also recommend bringing your vouchers and a copy of the itinerary, printable from our website. While this may not be needed, we recommend having a copy on hand if needed.

Information accurate as of September 12th, 2018


Kyrgyzstan:


PLEASE READ THE ENTIRETY OF THE TEXT BELOW AS THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR ENTRY INTO KYRGYZSTAN***

Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself with the Embassy of Kyrgyzstan. Please, keep in mind that all countries require passports valid for at least 6 months from the moment of departure from the country.

Citizens of the following countries can enter Kyrgyzstan without visa for a stay up to 60 days:
Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Vatican, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America.

Citizens of the following countries do not need an LOI, and can obtain a visa at any Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic or upon arrival at the Bishkek airport:
Albania, Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Cyprus, Indonesia, Israel, Macedonia, Mexico, Montenegro, Oman, Philippines, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR TRAVELERS WHOSE ARE NOT LISTED ABOVE:
Once your trip is confirmed, at 90 days prior to your entry into Kyrgyzstan, you must submit an application for your Letter of Invitation. A link will be emailed to you in your confirmation email. The details will be forwarded to our local agent in Kyrgyzstan and you will be emailed your Kyrgyzstan Invitation Letter about 60 days before the trip start date. Kyrgyzstan LOI’s cannot be rushed.

Kyrgyzstan visas can be used up to 3 months from the date the visa is issued, and once you have entered Kyrgyzstan, the visa is valid for a maximum of 30 days. Therefore, please time your application accordingly and do not apply for the visa more than 3 months in advance of your trip.

Input your name the same way it is in your passport. The information on the application form must match your passport (if you have 2 or more names – all of them have to be listed under “first name”). If you have an umlaut or other character not recognized in the english alphabet in your name (ie. ü), please enter it in the longer form (ie. ue).

For the following multi-country trips, the days spent in Kyrgyzstan are as follows:

AYKU – Multi-Stan Adventure – Bishkek to Tashkent: Days 1-7
AYBT – Best of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan: Days 1-7
AYKK – Highlights of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan: Days 1-7

If your country has an official Kyrgyzstan Consulate/Embassy, you must choose this as as your ’Visa pickup Embassy’. If you do not see a local Consulate/Embassy on this list or you are unable to go there due to prior travel arrangements, please contact your Travel Agent or G Adventures for further assistance. Certain nationalities may be able to obtain a visa upon arrival at the Bishkek Airport, but you must make sure to check with your Embassy if this applies for your nationality before choosing this option.

At time of writing, the below documents will be needed to obtain your visa (however, we do advise you confirm this with your nearest Embassy):

1. A standard visa application form from the Embassy or Consulate where you will collect your visa
2. 1 colour, passport sized photo, taken within 14 days
3. Payment for the visa (this will be dependent on nationality and will sometimes need to be made at a local nearby bank – check with your Embassy to confirm details)
4. Passport with empty pages and at least 6 months validity
5. Kyrgyzstan Letter of Invitation/reference number
6. Flight tickets providing entrance and proof of onward travel
7. Copy of travel insurance in a hard copy
8. We also recommend bringing your vouchers and a copy of the itinerary, printable from our website. While this may not be needed, we recommend having a copy on hand if needed.


Please carefully check all the information below prior to submitting***

Once you have received your LOI you can apply for your visa by going to the Kyrgyzstan Embassy you listed in the online application. Please remember that it is your responsibility to check whether passport details, name spelling and dates on the LOI are correct.

Information accurate as of September 12th, 2018


Turkmenistan:

All nationalities require a Visa to enter Turkmenistan. In order to secure your visa, you must first apply for a Letter of Invitation through G Adventures. Once your trip is confirmed, please submit your application for your Turkmenistan Letter of Invitation no later than 40 days before the start of your tour. A link will be emailed to you in your confirmation email. At the approximate 40 day mark from date of first travel, your Visa application details will be forwarded to our local agent in Turkmenistan, which will take around 2 to 4 weeks to process.

Important Note:
If you submit your Letter of Invitation application inside of 40 days from departure date, you will be subject to having your Letter of Invitation process expedited for an additional fee of approximately $70USD per person. It will take approximately 7 to 10 business days in order to process and approve your expedited Turkmenistan Letter of Invitation application.

Once your Letter of Invitation is processed and approved, we will send this information to your CEO guide who will be leading that trip. As our trip crosses in to Turkmenistan overland, Visa can be obtained at the (Shavat) border. Our CEOs will be responsible for presenting the LOIs to Immigration officials, each traveller will then collect their Visa individually in their passport after paying for their Visa Fee and Immigration tax.

Visa fees vary per nationality. European, US, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand nationals pay approximately $60USD per person. Nationals from the United Kingdom pay approximately $90USD per person. Immigration tax paid at the border is approximately $15USD per person.

Important Note:
Visa at the border can be paid only in cash in USD (Good condition notes without marks or stamps are accepted). In case our travellers had no chance to get cash USD in their home country, there is a possibility to withdraw USD cash in Uzbekistan’s bank prior going to border.

The days spend in Turkmenistan are as follows:

AUTA – Best of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan: Days 9 – 13
AYBA – The Five Stans of the Silk Road: Days 22 – 26

Detailed Trip Notes

Border Crossings for AZKU:
Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan border – Kegen – Tup/Kensu border
Tajikistan/Uzbekistan border – Oybek border

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

In general Central Asia is a cash operating region, and travellers cheques are not recommended. Due to bank restrictions, only banknotes printed after 1996 can be exchanged. Better to bring notes without marks or stamps on them. We recommend to bring about 70 USD in small denominations: 1, 5 and 10 USD notes. If you are not able to get local currency it’s always possible to pay in USD or EUR.

Uzbekistan
There are lots of ATM’s to withdraw local currency (UZS), and banks around to exchange USD or EUR. Travellers cheques are not recommended, as only limited amount of banks work with them. Please, note that you can withdraw only local currency (Uzbek Sums) from ATM’s. Some banks in Tashkent allow USD cash advance, but this option depends on the amount of USD cash in the bank.

Kazakhstan
The preferred currency for local transactions is the tenge, and local establishments rarely accept credit cards so keep cash on hand. ATMs in Kazakhstan are accessible in the larger cities, and withdrawals can be made by credit card. There are many currency exchange locations available to exchange EUR, USD, GBP, Russian rouble, Kyrgyz som and Chinese yuan.

Kyrgyzstan
The preferred currency for local transactions is the som, and local establishments rarely accept credit cards so keep cash on hand. There are many of ATMs accessible in Bishkek and other larger cities such as Cholpon Ata and Karakol. Larger cities will also have money exchange locations that will trade EUR, USD, Roubles; some locations will trade GBP, and Chinese yuan.

Tajikistan
The preferred currency for local transactions is the somoni, and local establishments rarely accept credit cards so keep cash on hand. You may be able to pay in USD and EUR in some places, however, it is recommended that you take out somoni at ATMs in Dushanbe; there are very few ATMs outside of Dushanbe, and those that exist are less dependable.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping

In Central Asia It is not customary to tip service providers such as waiters, but it is very appreciated, depending on the service we recommend 3-5%. Tipping shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $2-$3 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

Song-Köl
- Horseback Riding
- Hiking in Song Kül

Karakol
- Russian Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral Visit
- Dungan Mosque

Kolsay Lakes National Park
- Hiking in Kolsay Lakes National Park

Almaty
- Zelyony Bazaar
- Zenkov Cathedral
- Optional Welcome Meeting for Travellers on Combos

Khujand
- Farewell Dinner

Samarkand
- Amir Timur Mausoleum Visit
- Tomb of the Old Testament Prophet Daniel Visit (14000UZS per person)
- Camel Ride

Aydar Kŭl Camp
- Kazakh Singing

Bukhara
- Hammam (Bathhouse) Visit (20USD per person)
- Lyabi-Hauz Visit (Free)
- Carpet Museum (8000UZS per person)
- Jewish Area and Synagogue Visit

Dashoguz
- Bai Bazaar
- Dashoguz Museum

Ashgabat
- Ashgabat Hippodrome
- Ertugrul Gazi Mosque

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

llegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.

G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

Dollar-a-Day Program
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.

Local Dress

Central Asian dress is quite conservative. Plan to pack loose-fitting light clothing appropriate for hot weather and plan to cover knees, shoulders and chest. For women, a hair scarf is recommended, though they are easy to buy in country.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Minimum Age

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

International Flights

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

Max Pax

PRODUCT_LINE: AYBA, ID: 24910

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Bishkek

    Arrive at any time.

    Included Activities:
    Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

  2. Day 2 Bishkek/Chong-Kemin (1B, 1D)

    After breakfast, embark on a morning city tour of Bishkek. Later, depart Bishkek for Chong-Kemin. Along the way, stop at one of Kyrgyzstan’s oldest sights, the Burana Tower and learn about this ancient structure, rare in nomadic culture. Continue along the scenic valley before reaching Chong-Kemin. Stay in a unique guest house that employs the local villagers. Soak in the stunning scenery while exploring the village.

    Included Activities:
    City Tour
    Burana Tower Visit
    CBT Homestay

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 160km)

  3. Day 3 Chong-Kemin/Song Kul (1B, 1L, 1D)

    In the morning, embark on an optional hike to the nearby mountains with stunning views. After lunch, take a scenic drive to Song Kul and be immersed in Kyrgyz culture with an overnight stay in a traditional yurt. Experience daily nomadic life, opting to hike the landscape or explore the scenery via horseback. Enjoy delicious traditional cuisine for dinner. In the evening, get cozy in the yurt around the stove.

    Included Activities:
    Overnight in a Yurt

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 230km)

  4. Day 4 Song Köl/Bokonbayevo (1B, 1D)

    Upon arrival in Kochkor, learn about the importance of felt-making to the Kyrgyz culture and local artisans. Learn to craft with locals during an intimate workshop and then head to Bokonbayevo village. Experience a traditional Kyrgyz meal and then spend the night at a local homestay getting to know the local community members.

    Included Activities:
    Bokonbayevo Village Homestay

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s), 130km)
    Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 150km)

  5. Day 5 Bokonbayevo/Jety-Oguz (1B, 1L)

    Take a morning departure to Barskoon Village for a visit to Ak-Orgo Workshop Centre. Observe how traditional yurts are built and learn about the importance of this Kyrgyz craft. Continue to Jety-Oguz Gorge & and overnight in a traditional yurt.

    Included Activities:
    Yurt Building Demonstration

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 60km)
    Private Vehicle (0.80 hour(s), 60km)

  6. Day 6 Jety-Oguz/Karakol (1B)

    Continue to Karakol and stop at the Prejevalskiy Museum followed by a walking tour of the city. See the Russian Holy Trinity Orthodox Church and pagoda-style Dungan Mosque, built by Chinese Muslims in the early 20th Century.

    Included Activities:
    Przhevalsky Museum Visit

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (0.80 hour(s), 42km)

  7. Day 7 Karakol/Saty Village (1B, 1D)

    Cross the border into Kazakhstan embarking for Saty Village. Begin by hiking Kolsay Lake National park. Known for Kaindy Lake, soak in the bright hues and marvel at the eery sight of submerged trees. Feel fully immersed in nature. Tonight, stay at a local guest house and indulge in traditional Kazakh meals – a truly Kazakh experience.

    Included Activities:
    Border Crossing (Kazakhstan – Kyrgyzstan)
    Saty Village Stay

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (4.50 hour(s), 230km)

  8. Day 8 Saty Village/Almaty (1B)

    Boasting stunning shades of red, orange and brown, the Charyn Canyon is a natural wonder comparable in beauty to the Grand Canyon. Take in the stunning views before continuing on to the former Kazakh capital, Almaty. Take a city tour visiting sights such as the Monument of Independence, Zekoy Cathedral, and historical centre. In the afternoon, use free time to continue exploring this modern city. Opt to climb Green Hill for panoramic views, visit the local markets, or sip coffee in one of the plentiful cafes.

    Included Activities:
    Charyn Canyon Visit
    City Tour

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s), 140km)
    Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 230km)

  9. Day 9 Almaty/Dushanbe (1B)

    There may be more travellers joining the group here. Opt to attend an evening welcome meeting to get to know them.

    Transport:
    Plane (1.50 hour(s))

  10. Day 10 Dushanbe/Kŭli Iskandarkŭl (1B, 1D)

    Enjoy a free morning visiting some sights in the capital city of Dushanbe like monuments and the main mosque. After lunch, drive through the valleys and mountains for an overnight at a local home in the stunning Iskandarkul area. Meet the locals and explore the gorgeous landscape of the Fann Mountains.

    Included Activities:
    City Tour
    Community Homestay

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle

  11. Day 11 Kŭli Iskandarkŭl (1B, 1L, 1D)

    Spend a full day exploring. Hike in the mountains to an impressive waterfall. After a picnic lunch, return to Sarytag village.

    Included Activities:
    Waterfall Hike
    Community Homestay

  12. Day 12 Kŭli Iskandarkŭl/Khujand (1B)

    Continue on to Istaravshan and visit an ancient settlement in Ura-Tube. Enjoy an optional lunch in a local chaikhana (teahouse) before driving to Khujand. Explore the city in the afternoon, visiting the museum and a mausoleum.

    Included Activities:
    Mug Tepe Visit
    City Tour

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (2.25 hour(s), 145km)
    Private Vehicle (1.25 hour(s), 80km)

  13. Day 13 Khujand/Tashkent (1B)

    Some travellers will be joining the group here as they start their journey into Uzbekistan.

    Included Activities:
    Market Visit
    Border Crossing (Tajikistan – Uzbekistan)
    Orientation Walk

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 178km)

  14. Day 14 Tashkent (1B)

    Enjoy a free day to explore.

  15. Day 15 Tashkent/Samarkand (1B)

    Travel on to Samarkand. Take an orientation walk and opt to visit the Amir Timur Mausoleum.

    Included Activities:
    Orientation Walk

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (4.50 hour(s), 310km)

  16. Day 16 Samarkand (1B)

    With free time, enjoy the Samarkand sights, have a cup of tea in a local tea house, or wander around the bazaar.

    Included Activities:
    Samarkand City Tour

  17. Day 17 Samarkand/Aydar Kŭl Camp (1B, 1D)

    Travel out into the desert to visit the Nurata Shrine and remains of the Alexander the Great fortress. Continue on for an evening in a local yurt camp. Opt to ride a camel or enjoy an evening Kazakh singing show.

    Included Activities:
    Chashma Complex and Holy Spring Visit
    Fortress of Alexander the Great Visit
    Overnight in a Yurt

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (4.50 hour(s), 280km)

  18. Day 18 Aydar Kŭl Camp/Bukhara (1B)

    Travel to Bukhara, one of the most charming cities in the country. Opt to visit the old city bazaars, have dinner with a local family, or visit a traditional hammam (bathhouse).

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))

  19. Day 19 Bukhara (1B)

    There is plenty of time to explore the artisan shops and wander the narrow twisting streets and alleyways. A centre for pottery, cloth, and Turkmen carpets, the Old City is centered around Lyabi-Hauz, a delightful pool of water surrounded by ancient mulberry trees, where you can sit at café tables and let the evening drift by. There is also the option to take in a local puppet show held in an old caravanserai or indulge in a Turkish bath.

    Included Activities:
    Bukhara City Tour

  20. Day 20 Bukhara/Khiva (1B)

    Enjoy a full day’s travel through the desert to reach UNESCO-listed Khiva. Get to know the place on a late afternoon walking tour.

    Included Activities:
    Orientation Walk

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours, 450km)

  21. Day 21 Khiva

    Enjoy a free day in Khiva to explore the city.

  22. Day 22 Khiva/Dashoguz (1B)

    In the morning drive to the Uzbek-Turkmen border. After border procedures, drive to Dashoguz. Opt to explore the city and it’s Bai Market with free time.

    Included Activities:
    Border Crossing (Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan)

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 60km)
    Private Vehicle (0.33 hour(s), 15km)

  23. Day 23 Dashoguz/Darvaza (1B, 1D)

    Drive to Kunya Urgench to visit the ancient capital of the Khorezmian Empire. Proceed to Darvaza, also known as the “Door to Hell”. Enjoy a delicious barbeque dinner. Spend an evening camping under the stars.

    Included Activities:
    Kunya-Urgench City Visit
    Darvaza Gas Crater Visit

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (2.00-2.50 hours)
    Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 300km)

  24. Day 24 Darvaza/Ashgabat (1B, 1L)

    After breakfast transfer to Ashgabat. On the way, stop at Erbent, a desert community, and observe the local way of living.

    Included Activities:
    Erbent Community Stop

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
    Private Vehicle (2.50-3.00 hours)

  25. Day 25 Ashgabat (1B)

    Take the day to explore Ashgabad. Take a tour of the city in the morning and visit several city treasures such as the National museum or Neutrality Arch.

    Included Activities:
    Ashgabat city tour

  26. Day 26 Ashgabat (1B)

    Depart at any time.

Contact our travel experts for more details

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