12 independent reviews for The Silk Road small group tour

Reviews for The Silk Road small group tour

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review 1 Oct 2023

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The differences in the countries, wide variety of nationalities, friendliness of people and fantastic fresh food throughout the trip all made for a very happy trip.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

You may experience a wide variety of weather conditions requiring specific clothing. Comfortable shoes and sandals are essential. Google translate is also useful. This trip is fast paced and very informative.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, both accommodation, guides and transportation all benefited local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was an extremely interesting insight into a part of the word we had previously not know much about.

review 25 Sep 2023

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Most of it! the stunning buildings mainly in Uzbekistan, the night in the yurt, the eagle hunters ....

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't expect any 'downtime' - there isn't really any, it's full-on and action packed.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, to a certain extent though several of the hotels replaced towels and even bedding after one night which is totally unnecessary. Also still providing tiny plastic bottles of shampoo etc when a refillable wall dispenser is the shower area is much better. The water refill system worked perfectly and none of us ever had the need to buy bottles of water.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Well organised from UK end and perfectly carried out, exactly according to the itinerary while on the road. Guides and drivers were efficient, friendly and unfailingly helpful. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip.

review 20 Sep 2023

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

My first holiday as a single (recently divorced) it was reassuring that there were 6 singles to enjoy this great trip. It was a good mixture of nature and glorious buildings, also illustrating well the differences between the three countries: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Economics, Geography, Farming and Crops, were all different. I perhaps noticed crops a little more as years spent with an Agricultural Research Scientist husband had taught me to notice such things. Also as the weather turned, wonderful to see particularly in Kyrgyzstan the animals (horses, cattle, sheep and goats) being bought down to the valley for the winter.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

It was fast moving, so at times quite tiring. I now use packing cubes in my suitcase, which I label, so that I always know where to find items. I felt this saved me oodles of time. A good water bottle, even with a filter is essential. My chosen dates, beginning of September were good. Even at the lower altitudes of the holiday, the afternoons were not too too hot. The Met Office app ahead of the holiday gave enought forward weather data to help me decide what to pack.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We very much stayed in local hotels, run by locals, so that our monies should have been going back into the local communities. I hope it did.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was a fascinating holiday on a number of fronts. I had not done too much history homework ahead of the holiday, rather just wanted to experience where I was in the world, the geography - an unmade major road in Kyrgyzstan that was is supposed to being improved by the Chinese, but we were told that Afghanistanis and Pakistanis were now being employed because they are cheaper! Another reason to look at a wider map of the area. At the eastern end of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, there were many more residents with a more Asian appearance - well we were not far from China, and Xinjiang, the area where so many are being oppressed, so this was hardly surprising.

review 29 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The eagle demonstration, we had the opportunity to put on the gauntlet and actually hold the eagle on the arm. There were many highlights to this holiday from visiting the city's of Uzbekistan with their wonderful Muslim architecture, the mosaic work is amazing, to spending a night in a yurt high in the mountains. Once it was dark, because there is no light pollution or pollution of any sort, the pitch black sky was filled with shining bright stars and incredible sight. We were fortunate enough to have two brilliant guides, Tahir and Aziz, who were incredibly knowledgeable, were extremely proud of their own countries and while being very friendly were also very professional.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be aware that this trip is very full on and can be quite exhausting.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Difficult to tell but we had two meals in the evening in family homes where clearly the family was being paid for their hospitality. Also we used trains for part of the time which probably had less impact on the environment than if we had used road transport.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The holiday was very well organised and the guide's first-class.

review 1 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Scenery in Kyrgyzstan, amazing!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Advertised as Leisure/Moderate, not altogether sure that this is a fair description.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Certainly benefited local economy, given the amount of coach travel Im not sure there was any environmental benefits.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

An informative, interesting, and awe inspiring holiday.

review 11 Sep 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

So many 'Wow' moments would be impossible to choose just one favourite!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Dollars are widely taken in many shops and markets (although you will also need the local money for smaller purchases and some restaurants). Pounds and Euros can be changed at Exchange facilities but aren't so recognised 'on the street'. The country as a whole is far more westernised than I expected so no real issues about dress code.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. Our guide was local, we had several meals at family homes and stayed in small traditional hotels where possible. Large water containers provided so we could fill up our smaller bottles rather than buy new all the time.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Magical. Khiva was amazing and I was worried the trip had peaked too soon, but Bukhara and Samarkand were both just as incredible in their own right, as was the overnight yurt.

review 25 Jun 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The culture and architecture. Guides were very knowledgeable and gave a great history of the silk road itself.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared and take some sturdy walking shoes

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Benefit was that we used local hotels and not hotel chains owned outside the country and shopped at locally owned shops.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A great introduction to the STANS and the silk road

review 10 Jun 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Hard to say - lots of fantastic elements and a great variety! Spending the night in a yurt in the Jeti-Oguz valley was a fun, unique and very comfortable experience. Really enjoyed experiencing the train travel

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The hiking days were more leisurely than I had expected, and I imagine this was tailored to our group which covered a wide age range. Furthermore there are a few long distances in the coach, particularly in Kyrgyzstan. As such, this trip might not best suited to people who are keen for a lot of walking in the outdoors. Equally there aren't any rest days, just short periods (i.e. a few hours) and evenings which are free so it is quite intense - but worth it for everything that's included in the schedule!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

With the exception of where we stayed in Almaty, all the hotels were small and (I think) locally owned businesses. We were introduced to local craftspeople when it came to souvenir shopping opportunities who would teach us about their crafts. There were no flights during the tour despite covering large geographical areas (we travelled by coach and train). We couldn't drink tapwater but to reduce plastic waste we were asked to bring our own bottles to refill from large bottles for the group.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was fantastic - loved learning about the history and culture of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. We had fantastic local guides and the countries were both beautiful and welcoming places. I'm definitely keen to return and see more of Central Asia!

review 20 Jun 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Swimming in the lake in the desert.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Unless you know your history well , 10 day trip is good introduction to the culture and lifestyle in Uzbekistan

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes eating and shopping helped the locals as they heavily rely on tourism. Having been provided large water cans each day helped reduce using small individual bottles .

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

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review 7 Jun 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Bukhara Ancient Citadel, Registan Square Samarkand, Train journey to Almaty

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

It's full on from the moment you arrive so plenty of stamina is required. Consider taking probiotics before your holiday to avoid stomach/bowel problems.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I would like to think so. We ate at a local family's in Kyrgyzstan and stayed in a Yurt Camp run by locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I enjoyed our holiday very much although I would have liked to have had some free time which was meant to happen but never did!! We usually arrived after 5 to the hotel which meant little time to relax.

review 28 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Uzbekistan as a whole was the most interesting part of the trip. The night in a yurt in the mountains in Kyrgyzstan came a close second, with spectacular views of the Milky Way.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure you try the local food. Take socks and a torch for your night in the yurt, and a spoon and fork for picnic lunches. Take a fabric carrier bag for your shopping so you don't have to use a plastic bag.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We visited local restaurants and bought local food. Plastic water bottles are a real problem creating litter almost everywhere. We were encouraged (rightly so) to hold onto and refill one smaller plastic bottle from a larger bottle supplied by the leader.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This was a really memorable experience, full of contrast.

review 11 Aug 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The livestock market at Kashgar.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

It was very hot throughout, so take loose, cool clothing.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Supported local people by eating in some homes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was very interesting, with an insight into post Russian life. The scenery in Kyrgyzstan was spectacular. The only downside was the guide in China was poor and we didn't spend enough time in the market.

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