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Silk Route between Ashgabat and Ulaanbaatar

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  • Ulaanbaatar
  • Fergana City
  • Ashgabat
  • Khorgo Volcano
  • Tashkent
  • Kashgar
  • Xi'an
  • Pingyao
  • Sainshand
  • Beijing
  • Khövsgöl Lake
  • Jinshanling
  • Bishkek
  • Lanzhou Market
  • Kunye Urgench
  • Bulgan
  • Karakol
  • Song Köl Lake
  • Chengde
  • Samarkand
  • Wutai Shan
  • Ögii Lake
  • Lijiashan
  • Turpan
  • Mörön
  • Bukhara
  • Bayanbulak
  • Xiahe
  • Kyrgyz Fergana Valley
  • Kharkhorin
  • Darvaza
  • Yan'an
  • Chong Kemin Valley
  • Tsenkher
  • Erlian
  • Pingliang
  • Tsetserleg
  • Orkhon Valley
  • Jeti Oguz Valley
  • Datong
  • Arslanbob
  • Khiva
  • Liujiaxia
  • Heavenly Lake
  • Zhangye
  • Kochkor
  • Lake Karakol
  • Tash Rabat
  • Kochkor Homestay
  • Amarbayasgalant Monastery
  • Chuulut Canyon
  • Dunhuang
  • Nurata
  • Choir
  • Jiayuguan
  • Aksu
  • Fergana Mountains

Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. Starting in the surreal capital city of Ashgabat, we cross the deserts of Turkmenistan via the Darvaza gas crater to reach the phenomenal land of Uzbekistan. We visit the astonishing ancient cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, and enjoy a yurt stay in the incredible Kyzylkhum Desert before arriving at the pleasant capital city, Tashkent. From Tashkent we will venture into the truly breathtaking lands of the fertile Fergana Valley, and head into the mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan. We will fully explore the breathtaking scenery, stay in local homestays and yurt camps, and take advantage of the phenomenal trekking opportunities in this incredible country on a flexible itinerary, before heading for the beautiful city of Bishkek. We continue on to cross the remote and desolate mountains in the south of Kyrgyzstan and cross the Torugart Pass into the incredible country of China. We will visit the stunning Lake Karakol in the colossal Karakoram Mountains before heading to the fascinating city of Kashgar. From here we'll head through the isolated Taklamakan Desert and the oasis of Turpan to the incredible Buddha caves of Mogao in China's remote western provinces. We'll overland past the western end of the Great Wall of China to the Tibetan town of Xiahe, before descending past the Bingling Si Buddha caves and the temples of Mount Kongtong to arrive at the colossal historic city of Xi'an, home of the world-famous Terracotta Warriors. We will continue through the cave village of Lijiashan to the traditional old town of Pingyao. We will move on to the Buddhist temples of Wutai Shan and to the phenomenal Buddha caves of Yungang. We will visit the breathtaking Great Wall of China before heading to the old imperial summer retreat of Chengde, then finally head to the bustling capital of Beijing, home to the famous Forbidden City and countless other highlights. From Beijing we will journey into the hauntingly-beautiful and desolate plains of Mongolia, arriving at the fascinating city of Ulaanbaatar. From Ulaanbaatar we will head west through the central region of Mongolia, past the fascinating Erdene Zuu monastery to the phenomenal natural beauty of the Orkhon Valley and the Tsenkher hot springs. We then make the stunning journey north to the remote and spectacular KhA vsgA l Lake before heading back towards the capital. The country is an overlander's paradise, with challenging roads, stunning scenery such as desolate rolling plains, glistening lakes and beautiful forests in which we can wild camp anywhere we like, and a unique and welcoming culture. Join us on this unforgettable epic overlanding experience on the Silk Road!

  • Day 1 Ulaanbaatar

    Border information: If you are joining in Ulaanbaatar, you will most likely enter Mongolia at Ulaanbaatar Chinggis Khaan International Airport. There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting, but please do not be alarmed if the note is not there as this is often a travel day for the tour leader and they may arrive in the afternoon. If you arrive early, the rest of the day will be free to explore the Mongolian capital! In Ulaanbaatar we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

  • Day 2 Ulaanbaatar

    This morning we head out on a guided tour to see some of Ulaanbaatar's best and most treasured sights, including the Gandan Monastery and the National Museum. This afternoon we will spend a few hours exploring the Black Market. This huge market contains every single item a Mongolian may need, so a trip here will certainly give visitors a fascinating insight into peoples lives, whether they are nomads or urban apartment dwellers.

  • Day 3 OEgii Lake

    Today we drive out of the city and into the vast plains of Mongolia. We hope to arrive at Khar Bukh Balgas ruins in the early afternoon. Khar Bukh Balgas was built during the Kitan period in about 1000CE, and was part of a chain of fortresses that were used to govern and control the northern region and borders of the Kitan state. Upon arrival at the site, we will explore the ruins and learn about the various kingdoms that dominated Mongolia during that era. After our visit to the ruins we will drive to Ögii Lake where many nomadic families spend their summer. The Lake is famed for it's great bird watching opportunities where it is not uncommon to spot at Swan Goose, White Spoonbill and Dalmatian Pelicans. In Ögii Lake we will stay in a local nomadic ger-tent camp set up for guests. These are large gers, each usually containing 2 or 4 beds. Please note that we cannot give any accurate drive time estimations for our Mongolia trip as the journey times are heavily dependent on the state of roads, which is in turn heavily dependent on the weather. The roads in Mongolia are mostly dirt tracks in very poor condition, which means that an even greater degree of flexibility is needed for this trip in all regards.

  • Day 4 Kharkhorin

    Today we have an early start as we head to Mongolia's earliest capital, Kharkhorin (otherwise known as Karakoram). Our first stop on the way to Kharkhorin will be at the Kultigen monument. This massive stone tomb was built in honour of a Turkic prince and warrior killed in a nearby battle. We then continue on a fairly short drive to Kharkhorin. Kharkhorin was famed throughout Asia at the capital of the Mongol Empire. We will visit the ruins of the old city, the Erdene Zuu monastery, and other historical monuments in the area. In Kharkhorin we will stay in a ger camp.

  • Day 5 to 6 Orkhon Valley

    Today we head south, driving into the stunning region of the Orkhon Valley. We will drive to the beautiful volcanic canyon that runs along the Orkhon River and we can take an easy hike along the canyon ending near a pool at the bottom of the Red Waterfalls where we can take a cool swim! We will wild camp in a remote area of the Orkhon Valley tonight. The following day we will continue our journey through the Orkhon Valley to the Tuvkhon Monastery, which we can embark on a two and a half hour trek to visit (the first hour will be uphill!). This monastery was established during the 1650s by Zanbazar, one of Mongolia's most respected religious leaders. The monastery's wooden buildings are integrated with a natural system of caves perched near a hilltop, from which you have beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and the surrounding pine forests. After our visit we will wild camp nearby. Please note that on occasion it is impossible to rech the Tuvkhon Monastery due to river flooding or the ground being impassable - the roads are in a particularly bad state here and are very susceptible to being rendered impossible to drive on if there has been rain recently. Although we will do our best to make this visit, your understanding is appreciated if we cannot. Please also note that the order of our visits to the 2 main highlights in the Orkhon Valley is interchangable, depending on the road conditions.

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Transport

Overland expedition vehicle.

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