Russian Geographical Society (RGO)
Welcome to join unique expedition along the legendary routes of Silk Way
(Xinjiang (China), April 16-30, 2013)
The Experienced Tourist agency in Novosibirsk (Russia) and in China worked out this unique Route. The participants are supposed to be the people from Russia as well as International.
The Chinese have built good modern roads and we will have a comfortable bus, so although on some days we will have to go a long way, but we will manage, if we want to see and to feel the place.
An experienced English speaking Russian guide is a participant of the Expedition.
So, if you feel a Call and find it possible for you to participate-write to: firstname.lastname@example.org from rgo-sib.ru and we will discuss details
D01 arrival to Urumchi:
In Urumqi meet guide and vehicle at the airport and transfer to the hotel and check in .Morning rest, in the afternoon visiting Urumqi Museum. See the dried mummies show, local ethnic culture show, xinjiang history shows (Museum on this day because on the next day we have a long transfer).Time permitted, we will browse the local night market.
D02 Urumqi - Turpan.
Drive to Turpan, the distance is 180 km , then we will get to Turpan, the lowest (Aidingkol Lake, -154 meters) Driest (annual rainfall only 16 mm) hottest (in Summer the air temperature can reach 49.6 degree) Sweetest(raisins sugar contain is more than 78%) place in China. We will visit the Karez Well (underground irrigation System which has history over 2300 years, with total length of the underground tunnel over 5000km) Jiaohe Ruins (local people called Yarkhotto, the only city which was made out of clay and mud dug out), Flaming Mountains, Grape valley. After dinner try to see the local dance and songs.
Morning drive to Korla. 636km 8-9hours drive.We will pass by the ancient Silk Road Mid road Pass- The silver Mountain Pass, then we will get to Korla. Korla is the capital of Bayinguoleng Mongolian autonomous Prefecture, which is not only the headoffice for Tarim Petro company, but also famous for fragrant pears. Then we will proceed to Taklamakan desert highway. En Route we will see the Desert Poplar forest, the Tarim River Bridge. Then we will stop at Tarim Oil Base Oil Workers Recreation Center to stay overnight there.
D04 Lunnan /Tazhong/Cherqan via desert highway 600km
N.B. visiting Tohar’s places is Highlight for us. In the 1990th archeologists excavated many mummies in Taklamakan desert, well preserved in sand. After having faces restoration done they saw that those people (Toharians) looked like Europeans and lived 4000+ years ago. Nobody knows where they came from and where to they had gone. Of course, there are many legends about it.(like the one that the last Tsar flew away by the great dragon-in Google you can a lot of materials)
So, we drive along the Taklamakhan deserthighway, when we get to Tazhong which is the middle point of the road, we turn direction to Cherqan via another desert highway. Then we get to Cherchan (There are family tombs of Tokharians in this placе (as you wrote) and then we finish our journey in Cherchen (hotel for night).
D05 Cherchen/Niya/ keriya/Khotan. 580km. 9 hours drive
Morning we go to visit the ancient tomb of Zaghuluk (Tokharians) , then we drive to Khotan along the southern silk road to Niya which is along the rim of the Taklamakhan desert - Niya in history was an important stop along the Southern Silk Road.
D06 Khotan sightseeing and rest
Khotan is the capital of Khotan prefecture. This is an agricultural area of Xinjiang. More than 90 percent of the population is Uyghur, local Muslim. The Khotan town was the most important stop along the ancient Southern Silk Road. In history. Buddhism was popular in this place. Thus there are many historical relics here. When we visit here, we will visit the local handicrafts workshop like Ikat Silk (local language is called Atlas Silk), hand woven Silk and Woolen Carpet, mulberry tree bark papermaking , watermill for grinding cooking oil , woolen felt making workshop. And then we will visit the Malikawat Ancient Ruins. The local Bazaar . The Jade River, and the Jade factory.
D07 Khotan-Yarkand 270 km 5 hours drive.Morning drive to Yarkand.
En route we will passby Karghlik,the starting point of K2 tour as well as the Xinjiang Tibetan Highway. Upon arriving at Yarkand. We will go to visit the local Golden Roofed Mosque which is called by local people Amanishakhan Tomb. Amanishakhan was a great compiler of Twelve Mukham (the grand melody) The Tomb is located to the biggest mosque in town.
D08 Yarkand-Kashgar 250km 5 hours drive.
Upon arrival in Kashgar we can visit the great Sunday Market which is the biggest one in Central Asia. The animal market is a must visit place where you can take pics of the local farmers and their herds who are trading. Even outside the market you have chance to see the local barbers doing shaving of the farmers in open area. And the we will visit Eidkha Mosque, the Appakhoja Tomb. As well as the old city. If time permitted we can also go to visit the Daily Commodity market where you can do some shopping.
D09 Kashgar-Karakol Lake and back to kashgar (night at hotel)
We have 2 nights in Kashgar and will find time (On the 8th day may be) for sightseeing and shopping if interested.
N.B. Here we would like to change a little your route for the one we suggested before.
The road to Karakol lake is only 200km one way and the road condition is good. It takes us something like 7 hours for round trip. If we go to the Karakorum Highway, I do not think we have spare time for shopping in this day.
D10 Kashgar -Aksu 463km
We drive from Kashgar to Aksu along the national highway. 0r we just drive northward toward Sino_kirghizstani border to Aheqi county to see the local falcon hunters and local Manas Singers.
D11 Aksu to Bay to Kizil 250km 5 hours drive
We have a leisure day to drive to Kizil Cave. In the afternoon, we will have a sightseeing in Kizil. And we will stay here overnight Kizil Thousand Buddha caves.It was once the biggest Thousand Buddha Cave in Western Region. The hotel here is very new and clean and quiet.
D12 Kizil-Kuqa Morning visit the Tianshan Grand Canyon. And the we will drive back to Kuqa County. Visit the local mosque and Subash Ruins . 120km drive.
D13Kuqa-Urumqi Another long day driving to urumqi/750km and 10 hours drive.
D14 Urumchi: Morning free and shopping, afternoon drive to airport and fly back to sweet home
The cost can be $1250-1500 depending on the number of participants-Russian and foreign)and is inclusive of:
1. Chinese guide service(obligatory)
2. hotel accommodation on the basis of double occupancy with breakfast in three star hotels
3. site entrance fee as per the itinerary
4. air conditioned coach service
5. travel insurance the quotation does not include
1. tips for the driver and guide (demand from Chineese)
2. telephone bills , laundry service and other expense of personal nature
3. lunch and dinner not included. The guide and driver will take you to restaurant and order meal at the clients will. And also the meal for driver and guide also shall be paid by the clients.
4. Airflights return tickets
5. visa cost
Our web-site presents the Novosibirsk Branch of the Russian Geographical Society (RGO). Siberia is the homeland of the Novosibirsk Branch, and this fact determines its tasks and goals: to unite all geographers, scientists, teachers, professionals and plain nature-lovers; to study and solve actual problems of our environment; to bring together the society and nature; to provide description of the most picturesque and interesting places and help organize tours there.
The Russian Geographical Society is one of the oldest in the world.
The RGO is a public organization, one of the oldest geographical societies of the world. On August 18, 1845 a conception of the Minister of Internal Affairs A.Perovsky on creation of the Russian Geographical Society in St.Petersburg was approved by the Supreme command of Emperor Nikolay I.
The main idea of the founders of the Society was surveying the native land and the people inhabiting it, that is. to collect and disseminate geographical, statistical and ethnographical data about Russia.
Some of the founders of the Russian Geographical Society include: admirals I.F.Kruzenstern and P.I.Ricord, vice-admiral F.P.Litke, counter-admiral F.P.Vrangel, academicians K.I.Arseniev, K.M.Baer, P.I.Keppen, V.Y.Stuve, military geographer, geodesist and writer M.P.Vronchenko and others. The very idea of the Society proved to be so interesting and useful that the best minds of Russia participated in its activities from the very beginning, and a son of Niklay 1 – Great Prince Konstantin NIkolaevich – agreed to become its first president.
The main task of the Russian Geographical Society is collecting and disseminating authentic geogra[hical data. Expeditions of the RGO played an important part in developing Siberia, the Far East, Middle and Central Asia, the World Ocean, in the development of sea-faring, in opening up and surveying of new lands, in establishing meteorology and climatology. Since 1956 the RGO is a part of the International Geographical Union.
The Novosibirsk Branch of the Russian Geographical Society is headed by the Academic Council and by the Presidium elected by it.
At present the NB of the RGO comprises about 100 full members.
The Novosibirsk Branch of the Russian Geographical Society conducts seminars and conferences, organizes field researches in various parts of the country.
We welcome everybody to participate in the activities of the Geographical Society. We would gladly publish your stories about your travels, expeditions and your witnessing unusual phenomena at our site.
We welcome any information from citizens of Siberia and the Far East.
We would also assist members of the RGO in setting their own sections within our site.
The Russian Geographical Society The Novosibirsk Branch Vitaly Komarov