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Silk Road Explorers Tour

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Xinjiang, China & Pakistan
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Duration

16 days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

16 people

Languages

English

About this tour

Embark on an extraordinary journey with the Silk Road Explorers Tour by Hunza Explorers. This immersive expedition follows the ancient Silk Road, connecting cultures and lands across vast distances. Our adventure begins in bustling Kashgar, China, and unfolds through stunning landscapes, culminating in Islamabad or Lahore, Pakistan, or vice versa.

The Silk Road was a historic trade network, bridging East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and Europe, along with parts of Africa. Our journey mirrors this ancient route, blending land and sea paths that stretched from the Red Sea to India, China, and Southeast Asia.

We mainly trace the southern route, setting off from China, winding through the mesmerizing Karakoram region (Gilgit Baltistan), where the modern Karakoram Highway preserves the legacy of ancient trade. Our path leads us through Pakistan’s diverse terrains, the grandeur of the Hindu Kush Mountains, and the history-rich Afghanistan before rejoining the northern route near Merv. Our expedition unlocks hidden treasures, from rugged landscapes to storied cities.

Traveling west, we tread the footsteps of traders and explorers of old. We traverse Iran’s heart, journey through Mesopotamia, and encounter the allure of the Syrian Desert. Our odyssey concludes in the Levant, where ships once sailed to Italy. Other paths lead through Anatolia or to North Africa, weaving a tapestry of connections.

Amidst the journey, we embrace cultures, witness architectural marvels, and uncover ancient civilizations‘ legacies. Join us on the Silk Road Explorers Tour, where history echoes through the present, uniting us with remarkable tales of human enterprise, exploration, and trade that continue to resonate.

Highlights

  • Kashgar city tour
  • Tashkurgan city tour
  • Cross khunjerab pass
  • Explore all Hunza valley
  • Stop at junction point of three mountain ranges (Karakoram, Himalaya, Hindu Kush)
  • Travel on Karakoram highway from Kashgar to besham
  • Swat city tour
  • Peshawar city
  • Islamabad city tour

Included/Excluded

  • Experienced tour guide
  • Private Transport in China, Pakistan and special car from Tashkurgan China to Sost Pakistan.
  • Rooms on twin sharing
  • Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Airport transfers
  • Visa supporting documents
  • Additional Services
  • Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Entrance Tickets
  • International/domestic air ticket
  • Visa fee

Itinerary

Starting our adventure, we kick off with your arrival in fascinating Kashgar. Our friendly guide and capable driver will be there to greet you, whether you arrive by plane, bus, train, or right within Kashgar. Once we meet, we'll whisk you away to your comfortable hotel in Kashgar.

 

From this vibrant city, our journey follows the ancient Silk Road, a historic network of trade routes connecting cultures across lands. Every step of our trip is designed to let you experience the Silk Road's history, cultures, and landscapes that have left their mark on our world.

Today we will explore the captivating Kashgar city, delving into its unique offerings. Begin by stepping into the time-honored Kashgar old city, where history echoes through its streets. Marvel at the architectural splendor of the Id Kah mosque, a symbol of the city's cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the enduring ambiance of the Kashgar Century-old Teahouse, a place that carries the stories of generations.

Our journey continues to the bustling Kashgar livestock market, also known as the Kashgar bazaar. Here, the lively exchange of goods and vibrant interactions of traders create a dynamic atmosphere. As we navigate through these significant sites, you'll gain insight into the layers of Kashgar's identity, where the past and present intertwine seamlessly.

Today, our journey leads us to Tashkurgan, a drive of approximately 5 hours. En route to Tashkurgan, we'll pause at the picturesque Karakul Lake, a stunning expanse of water that mirrors the breathtaking view of Mount Muztagata. This mountain, standing at an impressive 7,509 meters, holds the distinction of being the second highest among the peaks framing the northern rim of the Tibetan Plateau. While it is often associated with the Kunlun Mountains, its physical connection leans more towards the Pamirs. Mount Muztagata also presents a relatively accessible route for climbing among the world's 7,000-meter peaks, thanks to its gradual western incline and Xinjiang's comparatively arid climate. Successful ascent, however, demands meticulous acclimatization and exceptional physical preparedness.

Upon our arrival in Tashkurgan, we'll smoothly transition to our hotel, ensuring a comfortable start to your time in this intriguing destination.

Embarking on the next leg of our journey, we set our course towards Pakistan. Following the immigration procedures in Tashkurgan, our drive leads us onward, traversing the world's highest overland pass, Khunjerab (also known as Khunzhrav), which stands majestically at 4,693 meters (15,397 feet) above sea level. Along this awe-inspiring route, we'll pause at the zero point, the boundary that marks the meeting of Pakistan and China. A brief stop allows us to capture the stunning landscapes through photographs. Continuing our journey, we arrive in Sost, passing through the renowned Khunjerab National Park. Here, if fortune favors, we may catch a glimpse of the elusive Ibex in their natural habitat.

After crossing the immigration formalities at Sost in Pakistan, we resume our drive towards Ghulkin, Gulmit, or Passu, depending on our route. As we reach our destination, a well-deserved rest awaits, ensuring a comfortable stay at your chosen hotel.

Today's adventure takes us through the enchanting landscapes of small villages along the Silk Route. Following a hearty breakfast, we embark on a drive to the captivating Borth village. Here, the iconic Passu white glacier beckons, and we embark on a hike to its moraine, a 30-40 minute journey that rewards us with unparalleled vistas. The moraine offers the perfect vantage point to marvel at the Passu glacier, as well as the majestic peaks of Passu and Shisper (7611m).

On our return from the glacier, our next stop is the stunning Borith Lake, one of Pakistan's most picturesque lakes. Its inviting waters offer a warm swim for those interested. After absorbing the beauty of Borth village, we set out on a hike to Ghulkin village, a 2-hour trek that traverses the Ghulkin glacier. Ghulkin, yet another gem, welcomes us with its timeless charm. Here, we connect with local culture by visiting traditional houses and families, immersing ourselves in their way of life.

Our journey then leads us to Gulmit, where we explore a 900-year-old house and other captivating sites. As the day draws to a close, we make our way back to our hotel in Passu, Ghulkin, or Gulmit, reflecting on the enriching experiences of the day.

Continuing our journey, today's drive takes us to the charming town of Karimabad. Along the route, we'll seize the opportunity to pause at several remarkable destinations. Our first stop is the mesmerizing Attabad Lake, a sight to behold with its captivating turquoise waters.

Next, we pay homage to the Sacred Rocks of Hunza, an embodiment of the region's spiritual significance. Our path then leads us to Hoper Valley, a haven of beauty. Here, we'll delve into the heart of the valley and venture to Hopper Glacier, a natural marvel that commands admiration.

Homeward bound, we make our way back to Karimabad, but not before pausing in Ganish, one of Hunza's oldest villages. This time capsule of history reveals itself through its ancient buildings and the charm of yesteryears. As the day winds down, we conclude our journey at our hotel in Karimabad, reflecting on the sights and experiences that have enriched our travels.

Get ready for a full day of exploration! Today's itinerary is brimming with exciting adventures. Our first stop is the remarkable Baltit Fort, a UNESCO tentative list site. After exploring the fort and capturing stunning rooftop photos, we'll stroll down to the lively Karimabad Bazaar. Spend some time getting lost in its vibrant atmosphere and local offerings.

Our journey then leads us to Altit, where we'll visit the Royal Garden and Altit Fort, UNESCO tentative list site. These spots provide fascinating insights into the area's rich history and cultural heritage.

As the day transitions to evening, we'll head to Duiker, a renowned sunset spot. From here, you'll be treated to a breathtaking view of central Hunza and Nagar Valley, with majestic snow-capped peaks creating a stunning backdrop. This magical moment concludes a day filled with unforgettable experiences.

Embark on another day of our journey, as we continue to drive along the magnificent Karakoram Highway. Our route is not just a drive but an exploration in itself, presenting us with remarkable sites and stories.

Our first stop is at Rakaposhi, an impressive mountain soaring to a height of 7788 meters, standing as the 27th highest peak globally. Its grandeur is a testament to the awe-inspiring landscapes of the region.

Continuing our expedition, we'll arrive at the remains of the Old Silk Road, located in the enchanting Chalt Nagar Valley. This historical pathway carries the echoes of ancient trade and interaction. Nearby, we'll find the Chinese graveyard in Danyore, a place that holds stories of connectivity from times past.

As we arrive in Gilgit, the city awaits our exploration. Our itinerary includes a visit to the Kargah Buddha. The bustling Gilgit local bazaar beckons with its vibrant atmosphere and local treasures. We'll also make our way to the Danyor rock inscription, an ancient testament etched in stone.

Our day's journey combines the excitement of driving the Karakoram Highway with the enriching experience of discovering these unique sites, immersing us in the history and beauty of the region.

Embark on an exciting journey as we set off for Besham city in the KPK province. Our drive follows the majestic Karakoram Highway, often hailed as the 8th wonder of the world. Along the way, we'll pause at the convergence point of three legendary mountain ranges: the Karakoram, Himalaya, and Hindu Kush.

Our next stop takes us to the viewpoint of Nanga Parbat, also known as the "Killer Mountain," standing tall at 8126 meters. Its awe-inspiring presence is a sight to behold. Continuing our adventure, we'll reach Chilas, where we'll encounter the sacred rocks of Chilas and indulge in a delicious lunch.

As our journey continues on the Karakoram Highway, we'll traverse the Kohistan valley, surrounded by stunning landscapes. Eventually, we'll arrive in Besham, a destination that marks the end of our day's expedition. Upon arrival, we'll transfer to the hotel, ensuring a comfortable and relaxing stay.

Embarking on a new leg of our journey, we'll drive towards the enchanting Swat Valley, often referred to as the "Switzerland of Pakistan." Our route takes us through the picturesque Shangla Pass, unveiling breathtaking vistas along the way.

Upon reaching Swat, a realm of natural beauty and historical significance awaits our exploration. Our itinerary encompasses a visit to the Swat Museum, a treasure trove of artifacts that recount the region's rich history. Additionally, we'll explore Saidu Sharif Stupa, a symbol of ancient heritage that stands tall in the landscape.

As we delve into the city, we'll have the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the local atmosphere. Our time will be spent discovering the town's charms, mingling with its vibrant energy, and experiencing the essence of Swat Valley.

Our day's journey combines the allure of the Shangla Pass with the cultural and historical gems of Swat, creating an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of this captivating region.

Today unfolds as a splendid opportunity to delve deep into the captivating beauty of Swat Valley. Fondly referred to as the "Switzerland of Pakistan," this idyllic destination boasts a treasure trove of Buddhist heritage sites that whisper tales of antiquity.

Our day's journey takes us to a plethora of historical sites, each a testament to Swat's rich past. We'll begin our exploration at the Butkara Stupa, a marvel from the 2nd century BCE that exudes ancient allure. The Shingardar Stupa and Nemogram, dating back to the 2nd–3rd century A.D., continue our journey into the past.

Amluk Dara Stupa, also hailing from the 2nd–3rd century A.D., and the Najigram Stupa & Monastery add to the enchantment of our expedition. As we traverse this ancient landscape, we'll uncover the layers of history that have shaped Swat's identity.

Should time permit, we're poised to further enrich our experience by visiting more heritage sites. Our day's endeavor, bathed in the charm of Swat's Buddhist treasures, invites us to connect with history and immerse ourselves in the awe-inspiring essence of this breathtaking valley.

Embark on a journey today as we trace the Grand Trunk Road to reach the vibrant city of Peshawar. Our route takes us through a tapestry of history and heritage, punctuated by a visit to the remarkable Takht-i-Bahi.

This UNESCO-listed Buddhist monastic complex stands as a testament to antiquity, with its origins dating back to the early 1st century. Perched atop a lofty hill, Takht-i-Bahi evaded the tides of time, preserving its architectural splendor. As we explore its intricate design and immerse ourselves in its serene atmosphere, we're transported to a bygone era.

Adjacent to this marvel, the ruins of Sahr-i-Bahlol await our curiosity. A fortified city dating from the same period, its ancient remnants offer a glimpse into the past, adding depth to our historical excursion.

With the sun setting on our exploration, we arrive in the bustling city of Peshawar. Our sojourn continues as we settle into our accommodations, ready to uncover the stories and experiences this city has to offer.

Dive into the heart of Peshawar, often referred to as the "City of Flowers," as we set out to uncover its rich tapestry of history and culture. Our day of exploration unfolds with a visit to Bala Hissar, an ancient fortress that has stood as a sentinel of time.

Next on our itinerary is the Peshawar Museum, a treasure trove of artifacts that narrate the region's past. Immerse yourself in the stories these relics hold, as we traverse through corridors of history.

A moment of tranquility awaits at the Mahabat Khan Mosque, an architectural masterpiece that stands as a testament to faith and artistry. As we marvel at its intricacies, we're reminded of the harmonious blend of spiritual devotion and human ingenuity.

Cunningham Clock Tower, an iconic landmark, beckons us with its historical charm. Our journey continues to Chowk Yadgar, where the pulse of Peshawar's vibrant life beats loud. Delve into the old bazaars, where the past mingles seamlessly with the present. As we wander through their bustling lanes, we gain insight into the traditions and commerce that shape this city.

Peshawar unveils its many facets, each contributing to the city's unique allure. With the day drawing to a close, we return to our accommodations, our hearts and minds enriched by the experiences of the day.

Embark on a journey towards Islamabad, a modern metropolis that blends culture and progress seamlessly. Our route carries us through the historical echoes of Taxila, an ancient city that tells stories of civilizations past. At the Taxila museum, we immerse ourselves in the artistry and artifacts of yesteryears, each piece a testament to the people who once walked these lands.

As we traverse this path, we encounter heritage sites that breathe life into history's pages. The remnants of the past stand as silent witnesses to the passage of time, offering a glimpse into the lives and achievements of those who came before us.

Arriving in Islamabad, we're greeted by the city's modernity, a harmonious juxtaposition to the historical treasures we've explored. Our day concludes as we settle into our accommodations, with the knowledge that we've traversed through time and space, from ancient Taxila to the contemporary capital.

Embark on a comprehensive exploration of the twin cities, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, each with its own distinct charm and character. Our day begins with a visit to the majestic Faisal Mosque, an architectural masterpiece that stands as an emblem of devotion and modern design. We then pay homage to the nation's unity at the iconic Pakistan Monument, an embodiment of national pride.

Delve into the cultural tapestry of Pakistan at the Lok Virsa museum, where artifacts and exhibits unravel the rich heritage of the land. The bustling Raja Bazaar in Rawalpindi invites us to immerse ourselves in the local marketplace, a sensory journey of sights, sounds, and scents.

As the sun begins its descent, we venture to the tranquil Margalla hills, a haven of natural beauty and serenity. The panoramic vista from these hills offers a breathtaking view of the twin cities, a sight to behold. We conclude our day with a delightful dinner at a restaurant nestled in the hills, savoring the flavors as the city lights twinkle below. Our return to the hotel in Islamabad marks the end of a day brimming with exploration and discovery.

Tailoring our itinerary to your flight schedule, we ensure that your exploration continues seamlessly. Should your flight be scheduled for the evening or night, we seize the opportunity to uncover more gems in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. As the day progresses, our exploration widens its scope, allowing you to immerse yourself further in the local culture and sights.

As the evening or night approaches, we make our way to the airport, your departure point. Our dedicated service concludes here, accompanying you to the airport as you embark on the next leg of your journey. It has been our pleasure to guide you through the vibrant cities of China and Pakistan, and we wish you safe travels to your destination.

Durations

Multi day

Languages

English

Destination

Gilgit Baltistan
Islamabad
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Pakistan

Frequently asked questions

The Silk Road Explorers Tour is a captivating journey that follows the ancient trade routes of the historic Silk Road, connecting East and West. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich cultural, historical, and natural treasures along this legendary path.

The tour commences in the vibrant city of Kashgar, China, and concludes in either Islamabad or Lahore, Pakistan. The reverse route is also available, starting in Pakistan and ending in Kashgar.

The best time for the Silk Road Explorers Tour is from April to October when the weather is more favorable for travel and exploration.

The Khunjerab border is typically open for tourists from May to November. However, border opening dates can vary due to weather conditions, so it's advisable to check closer to your travel dates.

Yes, you can do that, but we recommend coordinating with our team for a smooth transition and to ensure your safety and comfort during the journey.

Yes, most travelers require a visa to enter Pakistan. Please check with the Pakistani embassy or consulate in your country for specific visa requirements.

Yes, we provide the necessary visa support documents required for your Pakistan visa application upon confirmation of your tour booking.

The tour features visits to iconic sites such as Kashgar Old City, Id Kah Mosque, Karakul Lake, Tashkurgan, Khunjerab Pass, Passu Glacier, Hopper Valley, Attabad Lake, Baltit Fort, Hunza Valley, and many more.

Yes, the Silk Road Explorers Tour is designed to cater to a wide range of travelers, including history enthusiasts, cultural explorers, and nature lovers. It offers a blend of historical sites, local interactions, and breathtaking landscapes.

Yes, the tour package includes comfortable accommodations for the duration of the journey. We ensure that our guests have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Absolutely! The tour itinerary includes visits to local markets, villages, and historical sites where travelers can engage with the local communities, learn about their traditions, and gain insight into their way of life.

While the tour involves some walking and light hiking, it is designed to be suitable for most fitness levels. However, participants should be in good health and prepared for some outdoor activities.

Yes, the entrance fees to the mentioned sites and attractions in the itinerary are included in the tour package, allowing you to explore these remarkable sites hassle-free.

Booking the tour is simple! You can directly book through our website or get in touch with our expert team via email or WhatsApp. We're here to assist you every step of the way.

Absolutely! We understand that every traveler has unique preferences. Our team is more than happy to work with you to customize the tour according to your interests and preferences.

We recommend packing comfortable clothing suitable for the weather, sturdy walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, a camera, and any personal items you may need. Our team can provide a more detailed packing list upon request.

Tour's Location

Xinjiang, China & Pakistan

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Hunza Explorers

Member Since 2023

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