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To learn more:Traveling with Atlas Obscura amid COVID-19 How We’re Adapting Our Trips Destination Requirements (via Embassy Pages)
Just outside of Khujand, Tajikistan, a gargantuan stone likeness of Lenin gazes purposefully across the horizon. Dismantled and removed from the center of what was once his namesake city (Leninabad), it now sits in the middle of a quaint, grassy field, with all but a few cows to call comrades. In Tajikistan and across much of Central Asia, these Soviet relics are everywhere—some have been abandoned while others stand prominently alongside ancient architecture and majestic mosques. Join us on an epic, two-week, four-country road trip as we wind through Kazakh bazaars, wade in Kyrgyzstan’s glassy Issyk-kul lake, explore a former Soviet military base in Tajikistan, and wander through Uzbekistan’s ancient Silk Road cities. As we make our overland journey, passing a few forlorn-looking Lenin busts as we go, we’ll cover over 2,000 miles; a dazzling diversity of art, music, and architecture; and over two millennia of history.
The listed price of this trip is per person based on double occupancy.
You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you:
Shared Room (subject to the latest Covid-19 guidelines): You'll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender.
Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $630. When booking, please select the single room package option.
Throughout the trip, we'll be staying in comfortable accommodations with standard amenities. In cities, we’ll be in centrally located hotels (three-to-four-star equivalent), while in smaller towns we’ll be in traditional guest houses. In Song Kol, we'll spend one night in comfortable, clean yurts close to the lake.
We’ll be covering a lot of ground over the course of our two weeks across four countries. Most of this transport will take place in a private, air-conditioned minibus, with driving hours per day ranging widely; most days will involve at least a few hours on the road, while our longest day will be around eight hours of driving altogether, with plenty of breaks along the way.
Note that this trip begins and ends in two different locations. You should plan to arrive in Almaty, Kazakhstan by 5 p.m. on Day 1, and to depart from Khiva, Uzbekistan anytime on Day 16. (Note that your departure airport is Urgench International Airport.)
The countries where we'll be traveling do not require visas in advance for travelers of most nationalities. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan all grant visas upon arrival, while Tajikistan requires an e-visa that costs $50 and has a quick, two-day turnaround. We'll provide additional information on visas leading up to the trip.
By participating in this trip, you'll directly support independent, local guides and small businesses. In addition, several of the hotels and guest houses we'll be staying at are family-run—and in Kyrgyzstan, we've partnered with an organization focused on community-based tourism to ensure that proceeds go to both the local families hosting us as well as the maintenance of national parks and trails. We'll spend plenty of time chatting with our hosts, local business owners, and unexpected friends we'll encounter along the way. This trip is ultimately crafted around the idea that no matter what, you can always find time for a chat over a cup of tea.