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What is Yurt? Yurt is a symbol of Kyrgyz home. It is a portable house, which is easy to construct.  Even nowadays Kyrgyz people use yurts on holidays, weddings or funerals. Traditional house is very important for Kyrgyz people. Even the flag of the Kyrgyz Republic depicts a yurt.

The word “Yurt” came from the Turkic jurt. Initially it was translated as “people”, but later it became a home of nomads. No one knows when exactly the first yurts appeared.  Scientists and historians still can’t come to a consensus. There are two most common versions. The first version suggests that Yurts appeared in XII-IX century BC and were the houses of andronovs who lived in Ural, Siberia and Central Asia in the bronze age. But according to this versions their houses were similar to log huts, that are different from Yurts that we have now. According to the second version houses of nomads who lived in the same area in the VIII-V centuries  are almost the same as today’s yurt. It is a well known fact that the yurts were used by the Kyrgyz, Huns, Turks, Mongols, Kazakhs and Turkmens, Karakalpaks, Altaians, Kalmyks, Nogais and Bashkirs.

Yurts have a round shape. Much is being said today about sacred meaning of the circle and significant division of the inner area. But all these reflections appeared much later than the usual form. Scientists say that the nomads who lived in the steppes, chose a round shape due to the fact that it has the least resistance to the wind, which blows constantly. This shape of a home could stand in any hurricane. Later, physicists and builders have proved that the round building is also the most stable and much more capacious than quadrangular one.

Nomads lived in the yurts whole life. As a rule, they were constructed on the mountains, where they can feed the cattle and see the whole world. Yurts have been improved for centuries – all the components can be easily take apart . When nomads moved to a new place all parts of a yurt were hanged on a camels, horses or yaks.

The Yurt has four parts that are not separated by walls. The place ,opposite to the entrance, called «tor» considered to be the most honorary. Here only guests and old men of the family take place. Usually there is always a chests in a yurt, where people fold blankets, pillows and fur clothes, which represents thewealth of the family. Place to the right of the entrance is considered to be a female part called «epchi jak», where women cook and keep all products and dishes. Place to the left of the entrance  is the male part called «er jak», where men hung livestock, horse and hunting equipment.

A good master can construct components of a Yurt in a month, but this traditional house will serve for hundred years. When it’s time to leave this world, a man spends a day before the burial in a yurt.

Thus, the Yurt is not just a house of the nomads, but also a great tradition of many nations. You will certainly experience it, when you first visit Kyrgyz Republic.

Photos from sources: commons.wikimedia.org, stevieonthemove.com, visitkarakol.com, yurtworks.co.uk

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During my unforgettable journey in Uzbekistan I traveled internally between cities by trains – luckily Uzbekistan offers this affordable and comfortable opportunity to explore its numerous awesome treasures! To book the tickets for Uzbek trains you should write in advance to some travel companies in Uzbekistan and ask them to buy you a ticket for a certain commission.

Another option is to buy tickets on arrival in Uzbekistan. Remember that without registration you may not be able to buy the 

ticket – according to the rules you must show it to the cashier. On the spot, buying tickets is cheaper. But the train tickets here are really cheap in fact.

The trains offer compartments with 3 and 6 seats. The train “Shark” goes from Tashkent to Samarkand for 3.5 hours, it leaves Tashkent at 8-30 and at about 12-00 arrives in Samarkand. On the same train, I continued my journey from Samarkand to Bukhara, having spent on the road for about 3 hours.

Uzbekistan trains are half empty, there are not many people here, the air conditioner works. So along the way Tashkent-Samarkand and Samarkand-Bukhara, I was alone in a compartment for three people. I found it to be really comfortable!

The timetable can be found on the website of Uzbek Railways http://www.uzrailpass.uz/. There is no sale on this site, neither for foreigners, nor for residents of Uzbekistan.

Between Tashkent and Samarkand there is a handsome high-speed train “Afrosiob”. Between these cities the train goes only 2 hours. This train is also called Spanish, from the country of acquisition.

I also had 2 night trains: Bukhara-Urgench (runs once a week) and Urgench-Tashkent (runs on certain days of the week).

At the railway stations operates the same system of entry and admission, as at the airport. Accompanies remain outside the territory, leaving people go to the station, showing a passport and a ticket. Then, at the entranceto the station building, the departing person again presents his passport and ticket, puts the baggage on the tape for inspection. And then you have to go to a special table and put a stamp on the back of the ticket. This is called registration.

When I received tickets at the railway ticket office, I noticed that at the very bottom of the form it is written: “the registration of passengers ends 30 minutes before the departure of the train.” However, in reality everyone is allowed to go, everyone helps, the militiamen indicate where the numbering of wagons comes from, help women carry young children, then porters (4000 UZS costs a trolley, that’s a little more than a dollar).

I was really impressed by the stations themselves. There are no homeless people, no gypsies, no idly vacillating personalities etc. Again, everywhere the police, everywhere clean and tidy, the staff always sweeps and rubs something. And the stations are like palaces – all of marble and glass. All buildings are modern, spacious and large. It is very pleasant in them. Remember that it is not allowed to take photos at the railway stations in Uzbekistan.

Enjoy your romantic and fascinating adventure holidays by train along the footsteps of ancient caravans!

Photos from sources – kun.uz, dentons.com, thenational.ae, audleytravel.com

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The history of the Great Silk Route. The route is called “silk” because of the trade item. A “great” came to be called because it linked the endless territories of the eastern regions with western countries, trade revived in numerous cities, located on the way of caravans. That’s why it became a part of history as the “Great Silk Route”. According to archaeological excavations, silk production has started in China in 2750 BC, sometime between V-II cent. BC silk became exported for sale or exchange.

The Great Silk Route begins in the basin of the Yellow River in China. It passes along the western part of the Great Wall of China and along the Ili River and reaches Issyk-Kul lake in Kyrgyzstan. From this point the route divides into the southern and northern directions. The southern direction leads to Fergana, Samarkand in Uzbekistan, Iran, Syria, to the Mediterranean. The northern direction goes to the city of Ispidjab in Southern Kazakhstan and is again divided into two branches. One goes to Central Asia, the second – via Turkestan, along the lower reaches of Syr-Darya river goes to the West Kazakhstan, bypasses the north-east side of the Black Sea and goes further to Europe.

Influence of the Great Silk Route on the world economy development. According to Chinese sources, the first caravan with silk went to Western countries in the middle of the 1st century BC. Following this, caravans with various goods from eastern and western countries, from the shores of the Mediterranean, from the Near and Middle East, from the countries of Central Asia, went to China.

Internationally traded became such exotic animals as: the famous horses from Central Asia, from Eastern countries – elephants, rhinos, tigers and lions, birds of prey, etc. Along the trade route were carried dried fruit grown in Central Asia – raisins, melons, dried apricots, oriental sweets and was also started the trade of seeds of vegetables growing in distant countries. So, the Bulgarian and Chinese peppers spread to other countries thanks to the Great Silk Route.

Although silk was spread all over the world, the secret of its manufacture by the Chinese was kept in great secrecy. Nevertheless, there were brave souls who managed to steal this secret. The silkworm cocoons were takenfrom China in cane reeds and in women’s hair. Thus, already at the beginning of new era, silk was cultivated in Byzantium and Sogd. In the latter country, it was cultivated in such quantity that Sogd began to compete with China itself. So, in some Chinese cities there were their trading colonies. And the last point of the Silk Route ended in the ancient capital of Japan – in the city of Narga, where there were outlets selling silk. The main proof of this is the manuscript preserved in the local monastery, written in Sogdian. Then silk began to be produced in Japan and the Caucasus. So, thanks to the Great Silk Route, secrets of silk production were mastered all over the world.

Influence of the Great Silk Route on world culture development. During the trade, the countries located along the Great Silk Route were also involved in cultural ties with each other. The subjects of trade were furs and skins, carpets, dishes, products made of precious metals. For example, during the archaeological excavations in Taraz, Kazakhstan were found surprisingly beautiful silver jugs made by Byzantine masters. During the excavations at Talgar, Ispijab, Otrar Oasis and other medieval cities of Kazakhstan, unique samples of Chinese porcelain ware were discovered. It is clear that such basic necessities as dishes were made mostly on the spot. Local craftsmen tried to adopt the secrets of pottery, imitate other masters, compete with them, contribute something of their own. This is how the exchange of cultures took place.

On the Silk Road there was an exchange not only of objects of material culture, but also of other types of culture, especially in the field of music. So, a beautiful wooden sculpture of the girl-dancer was found in Penjikent, Tajikistan.

The influence of the Great Silk Route on the development of international relations. The Great Silk Route facilitated the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries of the East and the West. According to Chinese manuscripts, the ambassadors sent by the Chinese Emperor Wu Di in 138 year to Western countries returned only 13 years later. After the return of this delegation, China’s trade relations with Western countries continued via Kazakhstan and Central Asia. And finally, from the West started to come caravans with goods to China.

Thanks to trade connections in 568 year diplomatic relations were established between the Türkic Kaganate and Byzantium. The two countries have established a trade-diplomatic union among themselves in opposition to Iran. The exchange of ambassadors strengthened international trade.

The Great Silk Road contributed not only to the development of trade between countries, but also created an atmosphere of friendship and trust on a global scale!

Photos from sources – wildchina.com, windhorsetour.com, orexca.com

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In September 2018, the III World Nomad Games will be held in Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan. Not to miss this great event many tourists have already planned their holidays for the beginning of September in Kyrgyzstan!

Kyrgyzstan initiated the WNG and organized the 1st Games in Issyk-Kul oblast in September 2014, the second WNG were held in 2016.

In 2018 World Nomad Games are planned to be a unique platform on which ethnic games and competitions, ethnic and cultural festivals, scientific conferences, symposiums and round tables are intertwined. The event will express the main directions and principles of the Three values:

Ethno sport, Ethno culture, Science and Ethnic Education!

The main goal of the games is to preserve and revive the historical heritage and cultural diversity of peoples and ethnic groups of the world!

The following messages of the 3rd World Nomad Games are also presented:

* Peacemaking – strengthening and development of intercultural and inter-confessional dialogue, friendship, harmony and cooperation of peoples and ethnic groups of the world!

* Related – to give every nomad in the world and every Kyrgyz a chance to be involved in the WNG project!

* Antique – one of the most ancient games of the world (VII-VIII century), devoted to their roots and ancestors.

* Authentic – real games by nature, retaining the primordial spirit and not changed with the passage of time.

* Spectacular – one of the most striking large-scale events, in its entertainment is not inferior to other international projects and world sports brands.

* Uniting – aimed at uniting and rallying peoples and ethnic groups of the world.

At the time of the Third World Nomad Games, the gorge “Kyrchyn” will turn into one of the largest ethno-sites of the world, where games, competitions, culture, traditions and life of nomads will be presented.

World Nomad Games 2018 will be presented by:

* contests in 37 kinds of ethno-sports,

* festivals and contests “ethno hit”, “ethno folklore”, “ethno fashion”, “ethno dancing”, “ethno dwelling”, “ethno-art” (painting, graphics, sculpture),

* Scientific conferences on nomadic civilization and Altaiism.

A special innovation of the games of 2018 will be specially made for WNG the Book of Great Victors, which will preserve the names of the Greats: Great Fighter, Great Nomad, Great Baatyr, Great Archer and of course Great Kok-Boru player!

The renewed symbol of the 3rd World Nomad Games in the form of a SUN reflects the WNG concept and symbolizes the philosophy of the life of nomadic peoples around the world – “We are united by force and in spirit! “.

Don’t miss the chance to witness this great event on the land of nomads – Kyrgyzstan!

Photos from sources – kyrgyzstantravel.kg, backpackingman.com, monkboughtlunch.com, mirror.co.uk

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This is the second article devoted to the most popular attractions of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (Urumqi) that you can add to your Travel China Must visit list. We will advise you to visit 5 most amazing historical and architectural sites of this region.

Kashgar Market

One of the oldest and largest open air markets in the world is located in Kashgar, China, attracting many tourists from all over the world. And this is not surprising – in fact, in the Middle Ages, this city was the main trade point on the Great Silk Route. Sunday market is a place where you can buy everything you want. You will be definitely impressed by the number of trays, the variety of goods and colorful clothes of market visitors. And there are a lot of visitors here, because up to 200 thousand people come here during the day, so it’s better not to come here for people with agoraphobia and ochlophobia.

It is difficult to imagine what can not be bought here, because with a great desire, you can buy here even a horse or donkey, and of course, plenty of souvenirs, ceramics, clothes. Well, for all tired and hungry visitors, amazing Asian cuisine in local cafes will brighten up their Sunday shopping.

Pagoda Sugun – the only Muslim tower-minaret in China, the largest ancient tower in Xinjiang. It is a valuable architectural monument and is protected by the state.

Pagoda Sugun (also known as the minaret of Imin) is a monument of Muslim architecture. It was built on the initiative of theTurfan ruler Imin as a token of gratitude to the Chinese Emperor Qianglong for the mercy granted to them. However, Imin himself did not have time to finish the construction. The minaret’s construction  was  finished by his son, Prince Suleiman. This happened in 1778.

Today, the minaret is a 40-meter building. It has a domed shape, the diameter of the base is 10 meters. At the entrance there are two stelae with carved letters in Chinese and Uighur languages.

In the center of the pagoda is a spiral staircase, along which you can climb to the very top of the building. The upper part of theminaret is an arbor, from which an excellent view of the surroundings opens up. The tower of the minaret harmoniously combines with the Muslim Mosque, located nearby, forming a single architectural ensemble.

Jiaohe Mound – the largest and oldest in the world, well-preserved hillfort. Its total area is 430 thousand square meters. Two rivers, bounding the city from the east and west, make it look like a willow leaf on the map.

Jiaohe was built more than 3000 years ago and therefore is the most ancient city in the Turfan hollow. However, now the city is completely uninhabited. Residents left it at the end of the XIII century, when it was destroyed as a result of a major battle.

During its heyday, Jiaohe was a large fortress, and near ​​its eastern gate you can see the well preserved watchtowers, outposts, sentries and basements.

Among the ruins you can also find buildings that were once objects of religious worship. For example, at the end of the central street there is a large Buddhist temple complex. Its walls were preserved almost in its original form. The facade has a large courtyard, and behind it – Buddhist pavilions with altars. From the east and west there are rows of rooms that were the living quarters for monks.

The ruins of Jiaohe are of great interest to archaeologists and historians who come here to find out what secrets are hiding these ruins.

Kanji well

The largest well of the Jiaohe fortress. Despite the fact that the city itself is uninhabited for the last several centuries, the well has been preserved almost in its original form. It is located in the administrative quarter of the ancient settlement.

The age of the well, like that of Jiaohe itself, is about 3000 years. However, it looks exactly like modern wells: a small well on a paved road with small tiles and vertical piles, to which a cross beam with a cable is attached. The use of the well was similar to the modern one.

The ancient city of Gaochang

Gaochang is the ruins of a once rich, prosperous city. This city, located in the south of the Gobi Desert, in its best years was often compared to a magnificent gem, framed by a lifeless desert.

Gaochang was built in the I century BC. Subsequently, it had taken one of the key positions on the Great Silk Route. This ensured the financial and commercial prosperity of the city. On the same path, Buddhism came to Gaochang, and here one of the first centers of this religion was formed in China. Even now, among the ruins in the streets of Gaochang, you can find buildings that are very similar in appearance to Buddhist sanctuaries, where altars and niches for Buddha statues have been preserved.

The city was destroyed, after having existed for almost 1300 years, in the 13th century during the war between the Mongols who subdued Chinaand the Uighurs. Residents did not stay long in the ruined city, Gaochang very quickly completely emptied.

Today, its former grandeur is reminded only by the ruins of the impressive city walls made from raw bricks. However, the Chinese government intends to reconstruct the monument of architecture and allocates huge funds for this purpose.

Gaochang is open for tourists. Near the gate there are constantly on duty wagons, by which for a small fee you can make a tour of the city and try to imagine ancient Gaochang during its heyday.

Photos from sources – unusualtraveler.com, potolkimaker.com, rutraveller.ru, pinterest.com, topchinatravel.com

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In this article we will describe the most popular and marvelous natural sights of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (Urumqi) that you can add to your Travel China Must visit list.  

Lake Tianchi

Lake Tianchi, located at an altitude of 200 meters above sea level on the slopes of the Bogdo-Ula ridge, 110 kilometers east of Urumqi, is often called the “pearl of Tibet”. Before the lake was called Yaochi, which translates as “jade lake.” In 1783 a modern name appeared, which means “Heavenly Lake”.

Lake Tianchi was formed as a result of the glacier, it has the shape of a crescent with a length of 3.4 km and a width of 1.5 km. Thetotal area of ​​the lake is 4.9 square km, the maximum depth reaches 105 meters. The water in the lake is amazingly clear and transparent, and the scenery along the banks resembles the Alpine – dense coniferous forests surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks. All this adds quite a special charm to these places.

Tourists who come to China, to the area of ​​Lake Tianchi, should see the following attractions: “Shimen” (stone gate), “Luntan Bioye” (Emerald crescent on the Dragon Lake), “Rock supporting the sky”, rock 

“Sacred Needle”, “Snowy Landscape “,” Pines and fir “,” Morning Fog “and” Flying Falls “. In ancient times there were a lot of cultbuildings nearby, but to this day only the ruins of several monasteries have been preserved.

Red (Fiery) Mountains

This mountain chain in the Turfan basin had formed about 50 million years ago. The  mountains are one of the spurs of the Tien Shan, they have a length of 98 kilometers and a width of 9 kilometers. The highestpoint is 832 meters above sea level.

Its name was given to the mountains because of the characteristic reddish color of the sandstone and the bizarre shape of the slopes. This combination under certain lighting (usually at sunset) makes the rocks looking like a flame.

In addition, the Turfan basin, in which the mountains are located, itself is also called “fiery  land.” The highest recorded airtemperature here is + 49.6 ° C, and the land temperature is + 82.3 ° C.

Pasture of the Southern Mountains of Nanshan

Two hours’ drive from the city of Urumqi, at the foot of the Nanshan Mountain, there is a natural Southern pasture. On the local emerald meadows, thousands of cows are grazed, which are kept by local Kazakhs – they appeared here several hundred years ago and still lead the same lifestyle as their ancestors. 

For a fee, you can rent a horse from them and make an unforgettable horse ride. Lovers of romance will be able to rent a yurt for the night, as well as taste dishes of local cuisine cooked according to traditional recipes.

Southern pasture is a favorite place for recreation of locals and visiting tourists. The main local attraction is the glacier, located inthe upper part of the mountain. The height of the glacier reaches two thousand meters. To get to it, it is best to use the services of a guide.

Kunlun Mountains

Kunlun Mountains, one of the largest mountain systems in Asia, is located in China. It extends in a direction close to latitudinal, from the Pamirsin the west to the Sino-Tibet mountains in the east, bordering Tibet from the north.

The highest peak of Kunlun Mountains is Aksai-chin that exceeds 7000 meters. The vast majority of the numerous “six-thousanders” is still not subdued here. In the central part of the mountains lies the Arkatag Range (the Przheval’skiy Range). Unlike other great mountain systems of Central Asia, active volcanoes exist in the Kunlun Mountains. Volcanoes occupy a strip with a length of 1,050 kilometers from west to east. Through the Kunlun Shan Kou pass lies the road to Tibet and in 2006 the railway Kunlun tunnel was opened.

Currently, Kunlun Mountain provides unlimited opportunities for climbers – lovers of first ascension. The area is very promising, for carrying out complex hiking trails.

The Takla-Makan desert

Takla-Makan is a desert that is located in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, in the west of China. It is the largest of the sand deserts of the world, its area is over 300 thousand square kilometers. The relief of the desert varies from the lowlands in the north-east to the sandy ridges of complex configuration, also called whale backs and pyramids up to 300 meters.

Through this desert from the beginning to the end runs only the river Khotan, which crosses the desert even in the summer. All other rivers flowing from Kun-Lun penetrate deep into Takla-Makan for a maximum of 200 kilometers and gradually dry out in the sands.

Most of the desert has no vegetation, only here and there there are rare thickets of tamarisk, saltpeter, reed. On the outskirts of the desert and in river valleys there are poplar, loch, camel thorn, annual saltworts and saxaul.

Visit to these impressive natural sights of this part of China will make your holidays truly bright and unforgettable!

Photos from sources – crystallinematrix.wordpress.com, tour-beijing.com, chinadiscovery.com, advantour.com, mymodernmet.com

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Day
1
Day 1: Arrival in Osh.
Itinerary
Arrival in Osh. Transfer to Mountain Yurt Camp (Base Camp) on Edelweiss Meadow at Lenin Peak foot. A walking trip to lakes across Achik-Tash River Valley. Overnight at the Base Camp (3600m).

You are to arrive in Osh early in the morning so that all the members of the group could depart from Osh together at 9 a.m. To transfer from Osh to the Base Camp (280 km) takes from 6 to 7 hours. Before leaving Osh we shall call at a supermarket, so that everyone could buy whatever they may need during the trip or in the mountains. We shall provide each participant with a lunch box and a bottle of mineral water, so that they could have a snack on their way, while at the Base Camp you will have a nourishing hot meal made by professional cooks.

The road from Osh to the Base Camp runs across two mountain passes - Chyyyrchyk (2,408 m) situated near the village of Gulcha and Taldyk (3,615 m) near the village of Sary Tash forming ‘gates’ that mark the end of the downhill into the Alay Valley.

The Kyrgyz portion of the M41 Pamir Highway, which it was once so difficult to construct at such high altitudes, has recently been renovated, and now you will surely enjoy driving on its perfectly smooth asphalt.

Gradually driving up along the M41 road to the Taldyk Pass, then down to the bottom of the Alay Valley and then again up to our Base Camp in the Achik Tash Valley, you will make the first acclimatization steps.

Our Base Camp is located on the Edelweiss Meadow (3,600 m); however, we recommend that you reach the Lukovaya (Leek) Meadow (3,800 m, +200 m) to minimise the symptoms of the altitude sickness. Some may have a walk down the Achik Tash valley to lakes, which are in numbers scattered around the hilly area. They are highly picturesque and even allow for swimming.

Upon arrival at the Base Camp (3,600m) you will be accommodated in comfortable in four- berth base tents per 2-3 members. Tents feature with electrical outlets, individual lighting - desk camp, wooden deck flooring, mattresses, covers, pillows and furnishing: blanket cover, pillowcases and bed sheet.

Meals
B L D
Accomodation
Base Camp
Day
2
Day 2:Hike up to Puteshestvennikov Pass
Itinerary
Hike up to Puteshestvennikov Pass (4,200m). Going further up along the ridge. Overnight at the Base Camp (3,600m).

The acclimatization walking trip to the Puteshestvennikov Pass is an amazing Pamir trekking and an important stage in the preparation for the three ascents. Very soon you will get accustomed to breathing at a high altitude, your organism will begin working properly, your heartbeat will stabilize and your eyes will become open to the incredibly beautiful ragged surroundings.

As we leave the Lukovaya (Leek) Meadow behind us we walk along a beaten path to a waterfall and further to the saddle of the pass. It takes from 2 to 2.5 hours to get there, so there is no need to hurry. On the pass we shall have a rest, a snack and a photo session on the background of grandiose panoramas.

We shall then walk on up along the ridge, as high as possible, following the guide’s advice and trying to breathe regularly.

By the evening we shall return to the Base Camp.

Meals
B L D
Accomodation
Base Camp
Day
3
Day 3: Acclimatization ascent to Petrovsky Peak
Itinerary
Acclimatization ascent to Petrovsky Peak (4,700m). Overnight at the Base Camp (3,600m).

Distance covered during the day: 14-15 km.

Altitude difference: +1,130м; -1,130m.

Altitude of the lowest point (Base camp): 3,600m according to the GPS

Altitude of the highest point (Petrovskiy Peak): 4,730 m according to the GPS

Category of difficulty: I (F)

Step 1: Departing from the Base Camp on the Edelweiss Meadow; traversing the Achik Tash River Valley crosswise; crossing the numerous broad branches of the Achik Tash River; approaching the foot of the grass-covered slope, on which we shall go up to the ridge.

Step 2: Starting to climb the slope towards Petrovsky Peak; the steepness of the slope reaches 35° in some places; getting onto the ridge and further along it on a long path; the relief consists of grassy slopes, which then pass into a mixture of grass and scree and then scree alone.

Step 3: As you reach the portion of the route consisting of mixed rocks and snow, you must put on belay systems, crampons and high gaiters and make your ice-axe ready at hand; the guide carries the main rope; attention: the slope’s steepness reaches 50° in places.

Step 4: As soon as you reach the snow-and-ice portion of the slope, you must make rope teams (if the guide regards it necessary to do so); from this moment on you must set the pace by the weakest member of your group; all the members of the group must climb close to each other; as the team reaches Petrovsky Peak, all must stay together, no one is allowed to detach from the body of the group; the group may stay on the summit for 20 to 30 minutes, in case there is no wind; in windy weather people must not remain there for more than 10 minutes; climb the mountain in thunderstorm or snowfall is strictly prohibited.

Step 5: The group will descend the mountain along the same route as they climbed it; the descending technique consists in doing what you did when you were ascending, only in reverse order.

Congratulations on your First Summit of the Pamirs!

Meals
B L D
Accomodation
Tents
Day
4
Day 4:Transfer to the Tashkungeysay River valley
Itinerary
Transfer to the Tashkungeysay River valley. Setting up the advanced base camp. Overnight. Altitude difference: 3,600-3,600 (~12 km).

Altitude difference: 3,600-3,600 (~12 km).

Today we begin a trek that will end in ascending Yukhin Peak (5,130 m).

As we cross the Achik Tash River, we go up to the crest of Petrovsky Peak - an easy climb onto the familiar ridge - and then walk down into the green, warm and fantastically beautiful valley of the Tashkungeysay River. There we turn southward and move along a series of grassy, gently sloping hills - a very light walk made even easier by the small amount of things required for the journey (see the bonuses below):

BONUS NO. 1!!! During this trek and ascent of Yukhin Peak you will only have to carry the equipment and clothing you may need on the following three days - days 4, 5 and 6! We shall transport the rest of your things (clothes, equipment and food), which you, assisted by the guide, prepare and pack in advance for the next ascent of Mount Razdelnaya, to Camp 1, where you will arrive as you descend from Yukhin Peak!

BONUS NO. 2!! Your backpacks with the clothes, equipment, food and whatever is necessary to set up a camp during the following three days - 4, 5 and 6 - will be carried on horseback to the advanced base camp! From the advanced base camp the horses are sent back to the Base Camp in the Achik Tash River valley, and you will carry your things for yourselves for the rest of the trip - on days 5 and 6.

We set up the advanced base camp on the bank of the river for the easy access of water, as close to tomorrow’s climb as possible. The travellers themselves put up the tents and prepare meals from the food they were provided with in advance.

The Tashkungeysay River valley is much warmer than the Achik Tash valley, so you will hardly feel cold during the night

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Accomodation
Hotel
Day
5
Day 5:Climbing onto the north ridge of Yukhin Peak.
Itinerary
Setting up the assault camp. You may need to work out a part of the route. Overnight. Altitude difference: 3,600-4,300 (~6 km).

Altitude difference: 3,600 - 4,300 (~6 km).

Today we are to get up early, as we have much to do. As we cross the stream that rises from the glacier, we approach a steep uphill, which will bring us onto the ridge leading to Yukhin Peak. Thus we have to climb some 500 vertical metres. Apart from the steepness (about 45°), we shall face no particular difficulties during the trip; however, in some places we may have to work the route, depending on the relief conditions for the moment. The guides will do their best to make the climbto the assault camp as smooth, stable and confident as possible.

As we reach a suitable site at an altitude of about 4,300 m, we set up the camp. As on the previous day, the participants cook their supper for themselves. Water can be obtained from a nearby glacier or snow accumulations.

Meals
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Accomodation
Base Camp
Day
6
Day 6: Ascend to the top of the Yukhin Peak
Itinerary
Ascend to the top of the Yukhin Peak (5,130 m) with camping equipment. Descend to Camp 1 (4,400m). Overnight at the Camp 1 (4400m).

After breakfast we break up camp, put on crampons and belay systems, including helmets, and make a rope team. We are to climb the snow-covered and corniced north ridge sloping at about 30° to Yukhin Peak. The guide will select the climbing technique, depending on the weather and the condition of the snow cover. You must follow strictly the guide’s instructions. The climb takes about 4 hours. At the beginning of the last fifth of the route the snow-covered ridge is intersected by a narrow crosswise crevasse, which you will have no special difficulties to overcome. So here we are on the summit!

Congratulations on your Second Summit of the Pamirs!

We first descend to Camp 1 set up on the moraine of the Lenin Peak glacier along the west ridge covered with snow and numerous cornices. In about 40 minutes we come up to the start of a steep downhill to Camp 1 (4,400 m). Instructed by the guide, you will quite soon get to Camp 1, where you will find your things and equipment for the ascent of Razdelnaya Peak, which we deliver there in good time, as we have already mentioned.

Accommodation in four- berth tents in Base Camp per 2-3 members. Hot delicious dinner in the Yurt.

Meals
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Accomodation
Base Camp
Day
7
Day 7: Rest day in Camp 1 (4,400m). Training on ice. Optional: ascending a 4,750-metre Peak.
Itinerary

In the middle of the tour you will have a free day, which will enable you to have a rest after the two summits and prepare for the third one.

After breakfast we shall ice training near Camp 1.

If time permits and if we have enough aspiration, we can climb the ridge leading to the peak to an altitude of 4,750 metres assisted by the guide. This gently sloping ridge runs up parallel with the glacier, and it seems to be begging us to try it on our free day.

Today it is just the time to hold a discussion among the group of the plans concerning the forthcoming ascent of Mount Razdelnaya: preparing and setting the equipment, repairing and adjusting the footwear, clothes and backpacks, receiving the guide’s instructions in climbing tactics and warnings about possible dangers on the route, assembling and packing food and common equipment, distributing the whole load of things to be carried among the participants, checking personal first-aid kits. Today you must solve all the problems with your personal equipment, footwear and clothing that have arisen before, as tomorrow they may delay both you and the rest of your group.

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Accomodation
Base Camp
Day
8
Day 8:Ascent to Camp 2 (5,300m). Overnight at Camp 2 (5,300m).
Itinerary

This day is very similar to the summit day of those attempting Lenin Peak: early wakeup and breakfast, with all the participants departing together as a single group at the time appointed by the guide.

First uphill along the Lenin Glacier to the foot of the grandiose North Face then further up across menacing crevasses on the steep slope, covered in very deep snow (80m-long stretch, gradient 35-40 degrees) using fixed ropes or climbing in a zigzag. Do not forget to stock your backpacks with sufficient amount of water and UV-protection cream (factor 25 and higher)! After leaving the camp we climb up the North Wall (mind that in case of much snow on the slope there is a threat of avalanches), then traverse the slope keeping to the right aiming at the plateau colloquially known as “Skovoroda” (Frying Pan). Carry on across the scree slope to Camp 2. Roping up is highly recommended on the whole stretch.

Preferable departure time is before 06:00 A.M. Climb time: 5-8 hours. The participants are to carry the equipment and cook meals for themselves.

BONUS NO. 3!! You will not need to hire alpine tents and then carry them to and put them up in Camps 2 and 3! You would sleep in tents that our team had brought to and erected in these camps in advance, before the mountaineering seasonbegan.

Meals
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Accomodation
Base Camp
Day
9
Day 9: Ascent to the top of the Razdelnaya Peak
Itinerary
Ascent to the top of the Razdelnaya Peak (6,148m). Descend to Camp 2 (5,300m). Overnight at Camp 2 (5,300m).

Ascent to the slope of 25-30-degrees steep keeping to the left of the rocks aiming for the ridge. The wind may be very strong on this section. Turn left and carry on along the level ridge towards the top of the Razdelnaya Peak (6,148m, deep snow). Climb time: 4-7 hours. Congratulations on your Third Summit of the Pamirs!

Camp 3 (6,100 m) is located right under the summit; however, you will descend directly to Camp 2 (5,300 m), as at a lower altitude you can sleep better and feel less cold in the night. It takes you about 2 hours to descend to Camp 2 (5,300m).

In case you are caught by bad weather Camp 3 will serve as a security camp to sleep in. In the case of forced overnight stay at Camp 3 you would sleep in tents that our team had brought to and erected in these camps in advance, before the mountaineering season began).

Meals
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Accomodation
Base Camp
Day
10
Day 10:Descend to Camp 1 (4,400m) and further descend to the Base Camp (3,600m).
Itinerary

Just as you were climbing up, only in reverse order: moving in rope teams, the members must keep close to each other. Before we start descending, the guide will provide you with instructions, which you must follow strictly as you are going down. You must never relax and lose concentration during the descent.

You must be particularly careful, when walking through areas with crevasses, and thrice as careful, when you overcome these crevasses on ice bridges. However, the strain will soon be replaced by plenty of positive emotions, when the doors of the heated yurt will open before you in Camp 1 on the moraine of the Lenin glacier! There you will have a short rest with tea/coffee and biscuits and proceed further down to the Base Camp following the familiar path across the Puteshestvennikov Pass.

Congratulations! You have made three ascents and conquered three summits in the Pamirs during one tour!

What next? As you have partaken of the pleasures of high-altitude mountaineering, are you ready to taste something more exciting next year and attempt on Lenin Peak climb or is it just what you wanted and you are quite satisfied? In any case, you are the Winners today! And the prizes are a ceremonial cake and a red-hot sauna!

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Accomodation
Base Camp
Day
11
Day 11:Rest day/ Reserve day in case of bad weather. Overnight at the Base Camp (3,600m).
Itinerary

We should take into account the Pamirs’ ill temper and put one day in reserve, which we can use if the weather be bad. An advancing cold front can bring ample precipitation, cold wind and low temperatures, which would make any ascent impossible. On these days the participants have to stay in tents or gather around a heater in a yurt and talk and sing songs to a guitar accompaniment.

However, the unpredictable Pamir Mountains may bestow upon us perfect weather throughout, and our tour will go smooth from beginning to end. In this case we can spend our day doing whatever we want: our Base Camp offers a volleyball pitch, and we can organise a friendly; we can hire bikes and ride in the hills covering the Achik Tash valley; our camp also provides badminton and darts; we can visit a shepherd’s house in the neighbourhood and familiarise ourselves with the traditional nomadic life and the crafts nomads are engaged in; or right at the camp we can order a master class in cooking authentic pilaf from a professional cook. Or you can simply rest, doing nothing!

Meals
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Accomodation
Base Camp
Day
12
Day 12: Drive from Base Camp of Lenin Peak to Osh. Hotel check-in. Overnight at the hotel.
Itinerary
So, our tour is over. After breakfast we pack our things and drive back. The iridescent hills of the Achik Tash valley… The boundless Alay valley… the bridge across the Kyzyl Suu River and the uphill serpentine road to the Taldyk Pass… then the downhill serpentine to the Gulcha River valley… the city of Osh. Check-in at the hotel in twins/double rooms, with breakfast.

In Osh you can walk about the city, visit the Sulaiman-Too Mountain and the Museum organized just within the hill or call at the Osh bazaar to buy a couple of souvenirs. The most popular souvenirs are handmade felt items, which vary greatly in type and color and are nice to the eye and heart.

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Base Camp
Day
13
Day 13: Transfer to airport. Departure.
Itinerary
Transfer to airport. Departure.
Meals
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Accomodation
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Day
1
Arrival in Tashkent
Itinerary
Meeting at Tashkent airport. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Guided sightseeing tour around Tashkent: Khast-Imam Square, Barak-Khan Madrasah, Kafal-al-Shashi Mausoleum, KukeldashMadrasah, the oldest bazaar of Tashkent Chorsu; after lunch: Museum of Applied Arts, Independence Square, Amir Timur Square. Overnight rest in hotel.
Meals
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Accomodation
Hotel
Day
2
Tashkent - Samarkand
Itinerary
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to railway station. Departure from Tashkent to Samarkand by high-speed train Afrosiyob (08:00-10:10). Meeting at Samarkand railway station. Transfer to hotel and check-in. Guided sightseeing tour around Samarkand: Registan Square (Ulugbek Madrasah, Sher-Dor Madrasah, Tilla-Qori Madrasah), Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (Tamerlane’s sepulcher). Lunch. After lunch: Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis, Ulugbek Observatory.

New Year night at restaurant, holiday show (beginning at 22:00 PM).

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Day
3
Samarkand
Itinerary
Breakfast in hotel. Leisure time. Lunch and Master-class for cooking manty (nationaldish of Uzbek cuisine), and tasting of manty at traditional House U Zarify. After lunch, walk along the festive Samarkand. Evening meal at restaurant. Overnight rest in hotel.
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Accomodation
Hotel
Day
4
Samarkand - Bukhara
Itinerary
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to Bukhara. Arrival in Bukhara and check-in to hotel. Leisure time. Walking along the evening city, visiting souvenir shops and workshops. Overnight rest in hotel.
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Hotel
Day
5
Bukhara. Night train to Tashkent
Itinerary
Breakfast in hotel. Guided sightseeing tour around Bukhara: Ismail Samani Mausoleum, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo Khauz Mosque, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Ulugbek Madrasah; after lunch: Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, KukeldashMadrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade. Transfer to railway station. Night train to Tashkent №661/662 (20:55-06:30). Overnight rest in train.
Meals
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Accomodation
Train
Day
6
Tashkent. Departure
Itinerary
Meeting at Tashkent railway station. Leisure time. Depending on departure time, walking in the city centre, visiting Tashkent Metro. Transfer to airport. Departure from Uzbekistan.
Meals
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Accomodation
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Day
1
Tashkent - Margilan (morning train) - Kuva- Fergana
Itinerary
Transfer to railway station. Departure for Margilan by the speed train 060 (08:05-12:47). Meeting at the exit from the building of the railway station. Meeting with guide. Visiting Yodgorlik silk factory which is famous for handmade khan-atlas. Visiting an oriental bazaar and the Said Ahmad Khoji Madrasah, whose cells these days are used as handmade carpet making workshops. Transfer to Kuva. Visit to the ancient settlement, and monument to the famous medieval astronomer and the mathematician al-Fergani.Transfer to Fergana, check-in at hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
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Hotel
Day
2
Fergana - Rishtan - Kokand - Tashkent
Itinerary
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Rishtan, visiting pottery workshops of Rustam Usmanov and Alisher Nazirov (unique hand-made ceramics). Transfer to Kokand. Sightseeing tour around Kokand: Palace of Khudayar Khan, Mausoleum of Modari Khan, Juma Mosque, necropolis Sarymodor.

Departure for Tashkent by the speed train 059 (16:53 - 20:45). Meeting at the railway station.
Transfer to hotel and check-in. Overnight at the hotel.

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Hotel
Day
3
Tashkent. Departure
Itinerary
Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out at 12:00. Leisure time (without any transport and excursion services). Visiting bazaars and walking around the city are recommended. Transfer to the airport. Departure.
Meals
B _ _
Accomodation
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Day
1
Arrival in Tashkent
Itinerary
Arrival in Tashkent by flight HY 604 at 16:55. Meeting at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Tashkent.
Meals
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Accomodation
Hotel
Day
2
Tashkent - Nukus
Itinerary
Early breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport. Departure from Nukus by morning flight HY 011 (07:10-08:55). Group gathering. Visit to the Museum named after Savitsky. Accommodation at the hotel after 14h. Proceeding to and visiting Mizdakhan Complex (Khodjeyli district) Visiting Mizdakhkan: Caliph Erejep, Jumart-kassab hillock, half-underground Mazlumkhan-sulu Mausoleum, Shamun-nabi Mausoleum. Back to Nukus. Overnight in Nukus.
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Hotel
Day
3
Nukus - Kungrad - Ustyurt Plateau - Sudochye Lake - Aral Sea
Itinerary
Early breakfast at the hotel. At 07:00 in the morning departure from Nukus. Proceeding to Kungrad, then up to Ustyurt Plateau. Transfer to Sudochye Lake. Proceeding to Village of Urga, first Russian settlement in Khorezm and Aral Sea region, lunch en route. Then transfer to Aral Sea. Photographing canyons en route. Arrival at camp site; descent to shoreline. Dinner. Overnight in tents.
Meals
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Accomodation
Tents
Day
4
Aral Sea - Muynak - Khodjeyli - Khiva
Itinerary
Breakfast in tent camp. Camp disassembly. Proceeding to Muynak along the bottom of the disappeared sea. Visiting monument to the victims of the Second World War (now a monument to the Aral Sea), which is the highest point of the town of Muynak providing a wonderful panorama of the town and the bottom of the former sea.

Visiting famous Cemetery of Ships in Muynak. Next visiting a museum at the House of Culture in Muynak, where you can familiarize yourselves with the works of artists F. Madgazin and R. Matevosyan, who used to depict the Aral Sea and the Amudarya River. Lunch in traditional guest house of Muynak. Transfer to Khiva. Overnight in Nukus.

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Day
5
Khiva
Itinerary
Breakfast at the hotel. Guided city tour in Khiva, visiting Ichan Kala (historical inner city): Pakhlavan Mahmud Complex, Kunya- Ark Fortress, Islam Hajji Madrasah & Minaret, Tash Khauli Alakuli Khan Palace, Juma Mosque, Muhammad Amin- Khan Minaret & Madrasah, and Avesta Museum.

Overnight rest in hotel.

Meals
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Accomodation
Hotel
Day
6
Khiva - Bukhara
Itinerary
Breakfast at the hotel. Ride across the famous Kyzyl-Kum desert and along the Amudarya River to Bukhara. Lunch en route. Arrival to Bukhara. Leisure time. Visiting the souvenir shops and workshops. Overnight at the hotel.
Meals
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Accomodation
Hotel
Day
7
Bukhara
Itinerary
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Bukhara: Mausoleum of Samanids, Chashma Ayub Mausoleum, Bolo-Khauz Complex, Ark Citadel, Po-i-Kalyan Complex (Kalyan Minaret and others), Abdulaziz- Khan Madrasah, Architectural Ensemble of Kosh-Madrasah, Ulugbek Madrasah. After lunch continuation of sightseeing program in Bukhara: Lyab-i Hauz Architectural Ensemble, Kukeldash Madrasah, Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah, domed shopping arcade. Overnight at the hotel.
Meals
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Accomodation
Hotel
Day
8
Bukhara out-of-town guided sightseeing tour. Bukhara - Samarkand
Itinerary
Breakfast in hotel. Out-of-town guided sightseeing tour (4 km from Bukhara): Sitorai Mokhi-Khosa Palace, memorial complex of the Islamic saint Baha-ud-Din Naqshband, Chor-Bakr Memorial Complex. After lunch transfer to Samarkand. Arrival in Samarkand, transfer to hotel and check-in. Overnight at the hotel.
Meals
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Accomodation
Hotel
Day
9
Samarkand - Tashkent
Itinerary
Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing program in Samarkand: the most impressive square in the entire Central Asia - the Registan Square (madrasah of Ulugbek, Sher- Dor madrasah, Tilya-Kori madrasah), Gur-e Amir mausoleum - necropolis of the Timurids. After lunch: Bibi-Khanym mosque, architectural ensemble Shah-i-Zinda, Ulugbek observatory. Transfer to the railway station. Transfer to Tashkent by premium service train Afrosiab (17:00-19:10). Meeting at the railway station. Transfer and accommodation at the hotel.
Meals
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Accomodation
Hotel
Day
10
Tashkent. Departure
Itinerary
Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out untill 12:00. Leisure time (without any transport and excursion services). Visiting bazaars and walking around the city are recommended. Transfer to the airport. Departure.
Meals
B _ _
Accomodation
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