Western China & Central Silk Route

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
5.0 Based on 3 Reviews
  • Adventure
  • Cultural, religious and historic sites
See Itinerary
  • duration 56 days
  • tour type Group
  • minimum participants 2
  • age requirement 18+ years old
  • max group size 24
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts Xian, China
  • Ends Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
  • +30
HIGHLIGHTS Download trip notes
  • Explore Kashgar's traditional Sunday market and Animal market
  • Cross the Taklamakan Desert
  • Exploration of the oasis and the Jiaohe ruins at Turpan
  • Guided tour of the Mogao caves, Dunhuang
The tour Western China & Central Silk Route starts in Xian and ends in Ashgabat. This is a cultural, religious and historic sites tour that takes 56 days. You will travel through Liujiaxia, Kyrgyz Fergana, Xiahe and 28 other destinations visiting Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and 2 more countries. This is a guided group tour. The tour includes accommodation, transport, meals and others.

The Silk Road stems from the 1st Century BC, from a historic need for Chinese merchants to trade the treasures of the Han Empire, including silk, with civilisations further west. It began at the behest of Emperor Wu, by the great Chinese explorer Zhang Qian. Gradually the Chinese pushed further and further west into what is now Qing Shan. Still further west, was the great barrier of the Tian Shan Mountains and once the Torugart Pass had been mastered, the mountains and deserts of Central Asia, Persia and the Oxus River, opened up to Chinese traders and cultural interaction.

This is, therefore, the route that this trip, really concentrates on visiting all the great trading posts and historic cities, such as Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, along the way. We cross the great deserts and the vast mountains and witness the splendour of the civilisations along the way including the great city of Xi'an where it all started. We camp in remote deserts, stay with shepherds in the mountains and discover the religions and beliefs along the way.

5 - Excellent
Based on 3 reviews
5 - Excellent
  • Carolyn C
  • On Nov 22 2018
“A great trip, an organized and a well researched itinerary.”
5 - Excellent
  • Martyn D
  • On Sep 15 2018
“Enjoyed most the mountains of Krygystan”
5 - Excellent
  • David S
  • On Sep 15 2018
“The best way to visit these very isolated places”
Select Tour Version:
  • Day 1: Xi'an
  • Day 2: Xi'an
  • Day 3: Pingliang
  • Day 4: Pingliang
  • Day 5: Xiahe
  • Day 6: Xiahe
  • Day 7: Xiahe
  • Day 8: Liujiaxia
  • Day 9: Zhangye
  • Day 10: Jiayuguan
  • Day 11: Dunhuang
  • Day 12: Dunhuang
  • Day 13: Turpan
  • Day 14: Turpan
  • Day 15: Urumqi
  • Day 16: Urumqi
  • Day 17: Korle
  • Day 18: Aksu
  • Day 19: Kashgar
  • Day 20: Kashgar
  • Day 21: Kashgar
  • Day 22: Kashgar
  • Day 23: Tash Rabat
  • Day 24: Tash Rabat
  • Day 25: Kochkor
  • Day 26: Bishkek
  • Day 27: Bishkek
  • Day 28: Chong Kemin Valley
  • Day 29: Chong Kemin Valley
  • Day 30: Karakol
  • Day 31: Jeti-Oguz Valley
  • Day 32: Jeti-Oguz Valley
  • Day 33: Kochkor
  • Day 34: Son-Kol Lake
  • Day 35: Son-Kol Lake
  • Day 36: Kyrgyz Fergana Valley
  • Day 37: Kyrgyz Fergana Valley
  • Day 38: Arslanbob
  • Day 39: Arslanbob
  • Day 40: Fergana Valley
  • Day 41: Tashkent
  • Day 42: Tashkent
  • Day 43: Samarkand
  • Day 44: Samarkand
  • Day 45: Samarkand
  • Day 46: Kyzylkhum Desert
  • Day 47: Bukhara
  • Day 48: Bukhara
  • Day 49: Bukhara
  • Day 50: Khiva
  • Day 51: Khiva
  • Day 52: Kunye Urgench
  • Day 53: Darvaza
  • Day 54: Ashgabat
  • Day 55: Ashgabat
  • Day 56: Ashgabat
  • Overland Expedition Vehicle, Local Bus, Boat, Jeep, Russian Bus
  • Two Dragoman Crew Members, Local Guides where necessary, One Local Crew Member, Local Crew Member in certain areas
  • Comfortable Hotel 12 nights
  • Basic Hotel 20 nights
  • Guesthouse 3 nights
  • Camping without facilities 4 nights
  • Yurt Camp 5 nights
  • Homestay 3 nights
  • Wild Camp 7 nights
  • 72 Breakfasts
  • 26 Lunches
  • 34 Dinners
  • Any international flights to Xian and from Ashgabat are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Western China & Central Silk Route tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
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GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes

No additional cancellation fees apply for this Western China & Central Silk Route tour. You can cancel the tour up to 61 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 60 days of departure.


For any tour departures within 13 June 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 13 June 2021, a deposit is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 60 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Western China & Central Silk Route tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Western China & Central Silk Route tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Local Payment The local payment is a group fund, paid separately from the trip price on the first day of the tour. It covers everything that the group does together on the ground. This is primarily hotel accommodation and campsite fees, meals whilst camping (but not while eating in restaurants), and included activities and puts money directly back to the local community. The local payment, or kitty system, is unique to overlanding tours and provides maximum flexibility and best value on the road - you can see exactly what is being paid for, you get everything at cost price, it keeps costs competitive by leveraging group expenses and saves on administrative costs. The fund is run by the tour guide, and any excess left over at the end is returned equally to the group. Local prices are estimated in USD when we print the brochure then reviewed monthly as local costs and exchange rates vary throughout the year. It's therefore important once you book your trip to check the website regularly and just before departure for any changes to the amount.

If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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