Silk Road holiday, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
Description of Silk Road holiday, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetThis trip takes in the fascinating silk road country of Uzbekistan, and the lesser-visited, mind-boggling country of Turkmenistan.
Uzbekistan has seen recent dramatic improvements to its infrastructure, meaning itís now possible to travel several legs of our journey on the new ĎAfrosiyobí bullet train. Itís a great experience travelling on this modern train, with the chance to mix with the local people and watch the scenery roll past the window. Travelling by public transport of course has another benefit too; itís better for the environment as it reduces our reliance on specially chartered vehicles. When coaches are being used, we keep the size of the coach to a minimum, so rather than using gas guzzling 40-50 seaters we opt for more environmental friendly 15-25 seat coaches that use less fuel and therefore admit less carbon.
All of our coaches are installed with central water-tanks, where our Tour Leaders are encouraged to recommend guests to refill their bottles rather than purchase single-use plastic bottles.
Both countries are cultural treasure troves, harbouring a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites such as historically significant city of Merv or the 'open air museum' of Khiva. When we visit these fascinating sights not only do we learn about the region's rich history and diverse culture, but our entrance fees help to contribute to the upkeep of these special places, ensuring they are looked after for generations to come.
PeopleUzbekistan is known for its bustling bazaars, they are a haven for anybody interested in local quality handicrafts and seeing artisanís at work. We visit several on this trip, and with the help of our expert local guide we promote responsible bartering for the handicrafts, intricate woodworks and souvenirs on display. This responsible approach ensures striking a balance between tourists not paying over the odds, and allowing for a decent and fair price to be reached for the products purchased, meaning both parties walk away happy.
One reason we use local tour leaders is so they can help bridge any cultural gaps between us and the local people. As well as helping to unlock many aspects of the destination; employing a local tour leader, local guides, drivers, and cameleers all contributes in supporting the local community through employment and training. Our suppliers for this trip are small locally-owned companies and over the past 25 years we have built a long standing, mutually beneficial and respectful relationship.
As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. Weíre members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe itís important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.