Bishkek to Istanbul overland tour, 79 days
Description of Bishkek to Istanbul overland tour, 79 days
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People would be forgiven for grouping the ‘Stans’ under one – albeit captivating – Silk Road umbrella. They each offer entirely different experiences ...
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.
PlanetBuildings/ Energy/Water-Approximately 50% of the time on this trip is spent camping, often out in the bush, rather than on designated camp sites, as these are not a common feature in many of the countries we visit. The rest of the time is spent in simple hotels/guest houses. As with all our tours we try to choose small, locally run hotels rather than international chains in order to support local communities more directly. We also stay in a traditional mud brick home stay in Garmeh, Iran and have dinner with the host family. Wonderful rooftop views over the date palms, ensure a great place to watch the sun set. Our stay provides an income directly to the local family and is a wonderful way to promote inter cultural relations.
Similarly, in Kyrgyzstan we stay in a yurt on the edge of Lake Song Kol and in another homestay near Lake Issy-Kul.
Camping obviously involves minimal use of electricity and if we're out in the bush we can only use the water that we carry-no chance to leave taps running, the air conditioning or heating or lights on! Filling up and carrying jerry cans of water helps concentrate the mind on how much water you consume!
Waste: at the point of booking a tour with us, all our travellers receive detailed pre-departure information which contains a large section on travelling responsibly. This includes advice on minimising the amount of waste they create on the trip. This informs travellers on what they can do before they go, for example removing toiletries from unnecessary packaging and taking a reusable water bottle and gives advice on what they should do whilst on the tour, for example, disposing of litter appropriately.
All of this information on waste reduction is re-iterated at the pre-departure meeting at the start of the tour, with specific advice for the areas we visit on the tour. As a company we have a big commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling in our UK office. We are very aware of the environmental impact of our office in the UK, so we recycle and compost as much of our waste as possible. We try to reduce paper usage, but when necessary we use recycled paper and stationery. Our brochure is available to view or download online and the paper version is printed on stock produced from sustainable sources and vegetable based inks.
PeopleFriends and Neighbours: On all of our trips we try to ensure that as much of the trip costs as possible are spent locally and at a grass roots level-helping to sustain local communities. On this trip we stay in traditional yurts on the shores of Lake Song Kal. This provides additional income for the local community which they further augment by providing guided hiking or horse riding opportunities.
Travelling with Respect: In our detailed pre-departure information travellers are advised on travelling with respect and what they can do before they travel, to help achieve this and what they can do while they are travelling. We recommend for example, that they learn some of the local languages before they travel, to help them interact with the local people and read up on it's history and culture; that they do not take photos of local people without asking for permission first and are respectful in terms of their behaviour and dress during their trip.
In Iran, we have a local guide travelling with us for the duration of our time there. This helps us find out more about the history, language and culture of the country and to engage more fully with the local community.
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