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Silk Road Train Adventure

13 days / 12 nights – Tour Silk Road Adventure

Departure from Frankfurt/Main, arrival in Ashgabat (ca. 1-2 days).
Trainride to Dashoguz (1 day) and Kohne Urgench (1 day) afterwards drive to Khiva (2 days).
Busride to Bukhara (3 days).
Trainride to Samarkand (2 days), Taschkent (1 day) and Almaty (2 days).

Tour-Program:
Frankfurt – Ashgabat – Dashoguz – Kohne Urgench – Khiva – Bukhara – Samarkand – Taschkent – Almaty – Frankfurt

Departure from Frankfurt/Main to Ashgabat.

  1. Day: Arrival in Ashgbat. Check In at the hotel. Time for rest. Breakfast. Tour of the city. Dinner (B/D)
  2. Day: Breakfast. Visit to a Basaar.Trainride to Dashoguz. Lunchbox. Overnight on the train. (B/D)
  3. Day: Arrival to Dashoguz at 08:00. Breakfast. Departure to Kohne Urgench. Tour of Kohne Urgench and afterwards, drive to turkmen – Uzbek Border. Bordercrossing. Drive to Khiva. Check In at the hotel. Dinner. (B/L/D)
  4. Day: Breakfast. Sightseeingtour in Khiva (UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old city fortress Itchan Kala with its minarets, medresses and masoleums). (B/D)
  5. Day: Breakfast. Busride to Bukhara, approx. 7 hours. Picknick on the way in at typical uzbek teehouse – “choyhona”. Check In at the hotel. Dinner in the Medresse Nodir Divan Begim. (B/P/D)
  6. Day: Breakfast. Sightseeingtour of the city (UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Masoleum of the Samanids, Kaljanminarett, Kaljan Mosque and Medresse Mir – i – Arab). Dinner. (B/D)
  7. Day: Breakfast. Trainride to Samarkand. Check In at the hotel. Sightseeingtour of the city ( previously UNESCO World Heritage Site , the Registansquare). Dinner. (B/D)
  8. Day: Breakfast. Continued excursion of Samarkand (UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ulugbeck Observatorium, Afrosiab, Gur Emir Masoleum). Dinner. (B/D)
  9. Day: Early breakfast. Trainride to Tashkent. Check In at the hotel. Sightseeing tour of the city (Khast Imam Complex, Old City). Dinner (B/D)
  10. Day: Breakfast. Visit to a local Basaar. Trainride to Almaty. Dinner – lunchbox. Overnight on the train. (B/D)
  11. Day: Breakfast – lunchbox. Lunch in the train restaurant. Arrival in Almaty. Check In at the hotel. Dinner. (B/L/D)
  12. Day: Breakfast. Sightseeing tour. (B/D)
  13. Day: Departure to Frankfurt/Main. Arrival in Frankfurt.

Explanation of abbreviations:

B- Breakfast
L- Lunchbox
P- Picknick
D- Dinner

Hotels:

Tashkent Palace 4*
Asia Khiva 3* or. Malika 3*
Asia Bukhara 3* or. Omar Khayyam 3*
Asia Samarkand 3* or. Grand Samarkand 3*
Hotel Kazakhstan 3* in Almaty
Hotel Grand Turkmen or Ak Altyn 4*in Ashgabat

Services included:

  • Double room accommodation (based on twin rooms): Ak-Keme**** or Golden Dragon**** or Silk Road Lodge*** Hotel in Bishkek
  • Transportation (German minibus or bus with a/c)
  • Mineral water (1 litter per person per day)
  • Full board from Day 1 till day 3 according the program;English speaking guide according the program
  • Entry fees to museums
  • Porterage service at hotels and airport according the program.

Services not included:

  • Single room accommodation in Hotels
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Cost for Kyrgyz and Kazakh visas
  • Fees for video and photo shootings
  • Tips and private expenses of tourists

Price: starting at 2900.- EURO (plus taxes/fees at time of ticketing)

Optional we create your individual tour along the Silk Road even longer or shorter. Just send us your details we create your tailormade Silk Raod Adventure.

Your Request

Make a tour request here or call us +49-69-95 90 97 00!!!

The Silk Road
The Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade, a major reason for the connection of trade routes into an extensive transcontinental network. The German terms Seidenstraße and Seidenstraßen “the Silk Road(s)” were coined by Ferdinand von Richthofen, who made seven expeditions to China from 1868 to 1872. The term Silk Route is also used. Although the term was coined in the 19th century, it did not gain widespread acceptance in academia or popularity among the public until the 20th century. The first book entitled The Silk Road was by Swedish geographer Sven Hedin in 1938. The fall of the Soviet Union and ‘Iron Curtain’ in 1989 led to a surge of public and academic interest in Silk Road sites and studies in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

Use of the term ‘Silk Road‘ is not without its detractors. For instance, Warwick Ball contends that the maritime spice trade with India and Arabia was far more consequential for the economy of the Roman Empire than the silk trade with China, which at sea was conducted mostly through India and on land was handled by numerous intermediaries such as the Sogdians. Going as far as to call the whole thing a “myth” of modern academia, Ball argues that there was no coherent overland trade system and no free movement of goods from East Asia to the West until the period of the Mongol Empire. He notes that traditional authors discussing East-West trade such as Marco Polo and Edward Gibbon never labelled any route as a silk one in particular.

History
From the 2nd millennium BCE, nephrite jade was being traded from mines in the region of Yarkand and Khotan to China. Significantly, these mines were not very far from the lapis lazuli and spinel (“Balas Ruby“) mines in Badakhshan, and, although separated by the formidable Pamir Mountains, routes across them were apparently in use from very early times.

Chinese jade and steatite plaques, in the Scythian-style animal art of the steppes. 4th–3rd century BCE. British Museum.
Some remnants of what was probably Chinese silk dating from 1070 BCE have been found in Ancient Egypt. The Great Oasis cities of central Asia played a crucial role in the effective functioning of the Silk Road trade. The originating source seems sufficiently reliable, but silk degrades very rapidly, so it cannot be verified whether it was cultivated silk (which would almost certainly have come from China) or a type of “wild silk”, which might have come from the Mediterranean region or the Middle East.

Following contacts between metropolitan China and nomadic western border territories in the 8th century BCE, gold was introduced from Central Asia, and Chinese jade carvers began to make imitation designs of the steppes, adopting the Scythian-style animal art of the steppes (depictions of animals locked in combat). This style is particularly reflected in the rectangular belt plaques made of gold and bronze, with other versions in jade and steatite.[citation needed] The tomb of a Scythian prince near Stuttgart, Germany, dated to the 6th century BCE, was excavated and found to have not only Greek bronzes but also Chinese silks. Similar animal-shaped pieces of art and wrestler motifs on belts have been found in Scythian grave sites stretching from the Black Sea region all the way to Warring States era archaeological sites in Inner Mongolia (at Aluchaideng) and Shaanxi (at Keshengzhuang) in China.

The expansion of Scythian cultures, stretching from the Hungarian plain and the Carpathian Mountains to the Chinese Kansu Corridor, and linking the Middle East with Northern India and the Punjab, undoubtedly played an important role in the development of the Silk Road. Scythians accompanied the Assyrian Esarhaddon on his invasion of Egypt, and their distinctive triangular arrowheads have been found as far south as Aswan. These nomadic peoples were dependent upon neighbouring settled populations for a number of important technologies, and in addition to raiding vulnerable settlements for these commodities, they also encouraged long-distance merchants as a source of income through the enforced payment of tariffs. Soghdian Scythian merchants played a vital role in later periods in the development of the Silk Road.

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LARGEST VODKA TRAIN – MOSCOW TO BEIJING

The original Vodka Train – largest international group on Trans-Siberian Train.

Three weeks, twelve nations – The most exciting active tour of the summer 2010 
the “Largest Vodka Train Tour“ – From Russia to Mongolia and China completed

  • Moscow, August 20th 2010 – From June twelve to 30th almost 100 adventure and sports enthusiasts from twelve countries were on their way by train, by foot, bus and ferry – at the Vodka Train Tour 2010. This summer offer included among other things a boat party on the Moscow River, cross country running along the Eurasian border, a bath in icy Lake Baikal and a stay in exclusive Mongolian yurts. It was the largest organized cultural, sports and event tour of Vodkatrain-Travel.
  • Start for all participants, coming from Australia, Barbados, China, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, the USA and more countries, was Moscow – on 20th anniversary of Russia’s independence. With a boat party on the Moskva River the organizers rang a unique, challenging and inspiring journey for the international participants. At the first stage they took the Trans-Siberian railway via Kazan to Yekaterinburg and the “border of Eurasia”. Sightseeing and cross-country races were program at each station. Fun and sport mated the euphoric participants from all over the world, also at a picnic in the Eurasian border, when half of the group at the European, the other half on Asian terrain drank on each ones health.
  • Irkutsk was the next exciting stop on the Vodka Train Tour. From here the international travelers took a two-day break after the journey along the historic Trans-Sib route on Lake Baikal. Hardly any of the participants went swimming in seven degrees cold lake, which is known as a rejuvenating spa. A ferry brought the group to the island of Olkhon for another cross-country run and accommodation in traditional wooden huts and with folklore in the evening.
  • Back to Irkutsk they continued with the train to Mongolia which was a pure cultural experience: unspoiled nature, adventurous cinematic scenes in public trains, cross-country races in a remote monastery and shaman fire dance in the exclusive hotel Mongolia with rooms as Mongolian yurts. 

„The journey was emotionally and physically was the best ever” wrote a participant from Australia to the organizers after her return „You helped make it a trip of a lifetime for me” said another participant and “The Vodka Train was an exciting, enjoyable and memorable holiday/adventure. It was everything and more than what we were expecting…”.
  • The final stage was Mongolia to China. The cosmopolitan group was not only in the Gobi desert, they also took fascinating pictures of the Hanging Monastery in Datong and the surrounding caves.
    The farewell, after a walk on the Great Wall, was not easy after three weeks. Some enthusiasts of the Vodka Train Tour 2010, already planned a revival meeting after their return home where they will surely talk a lot about this tour.
    “The journey was emotionally and physically the best ever” wrote a participant from Australia to the organizer Jürgen Schreiter from SMS Frankfurt Incentives (Vodka Train Tours) after her return „You helped make it a trip of a lifetime for me” said another participant and “the Vodka Train was an exciting, enjoyable and memorable holiday/adventure. It was everything and more than what we were expecting…”.
  • More about the largest Vodka Train Adventure you find on Twitter, Facebook or as a free download on iTunes. 
More photos in printformat (for press), or video trailer of this and other tours we can send to you on request.
  • Visit also our general Incentive Agency at www.Incentives-Worldwide.com

Background:
Vodkatrain.biz by SMS Frankfurt organizes unusual tours and adventures for groups, individuals and corporate incentives with a personal touch and spezial care.
Find out more about our Adventure Trips, cultural events and incentives such as the Vodka Train tour with swimming at Lake Baikal and trekking in the Gobi Desert or Heli-Skiing in Kamtchatka and Safari Rally events in Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East at www.incentives-worldwide.com.

Company contact:
Jürgen Schreiter, CEO – SMS FRANKFURT GROUP
Burgfriedenstrasse 17
60489 Frankfurt am Main
Germany
Phone: +49-69-95 90 97 00
www.SMS-Frankfurt.com

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