Crossing the Ancient Silk Road
China and Central Asia
Departing: Wednesday 19 August 2020
Returning: Sunday 6 September 2020
Duration: 19 days
The ancient Silk Road passed through spectacular cities and tiny hamlets, through forbidding mountains and vast open steppes. it is now possible, once again, to explore the lost cities, marvel at the great artistic achievements and discover the magic and beauty of these ancient routes.
The term Silk Road was not a single route but a vast network of roads stretching from Xi’an to the eastern Mediterranean. Linking India, Europe and the Far East, routes passed through spectacular cities and tiny hamlets, through harsh forbidding
mountains, gentle steppe lands and hot deserts. Along its length, intrepid merchants traded in a huge number of items such as Baltic amber, beautiful silk, fine carpets and porcelain.
But the Silk Road was not simply a highway for the trade of precious items; it was the main East-West artery for the flow of ideas. Buddhist monks from India rubbed shoulders with Persian Manichean priests, and Zoroastrians whilst Nestorian Christians sought converts among the travellers and settlers of the roads. Advances in navigation led to the decline in the land routes and the great sites and artistic treasures of the Silk Road were buried in the sands of the desert and lost for generations but dry sand is a wonderful preservative. With the gradual opening of routes across western China, it is now possible, once again, to explore the lost cities, marvel at the great artistic achievements and discover the magic and beauty of these ancient routes.
- Explore Kyrgyzstan and Lake Issykul, the world’s second highest navigable lake
- Discover the desert city of Turfan with its gardens and orchards
- Visit the Dunhuang and Longmen Caves; two of the world’s richest treasure troves of Buddhist art
HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE
ACTIVITY RATING: MEDIUM
Price per person, not including flights. Single Supplement £860.
$5,170 - please note that this US Dollar price is based on the exchange rate in June 2019. Contact the operator for the most up-to-date price information.