(Chester, NJ, June 21, 2012) – Silk Road Treasure Tours, specialists in travel to Central Asia, uncovers the vibrant traditions of Uzbekistan’s bazaars and craftsmanship on an 11-day ‘Shopper’s Paradise.’ Uzbekistan’s master craftsmen are famous for jewelry, luxurious silks (the highly prized ikat pattern has been seen down the runways of designers such as Gucci and Oscar de la Renta), intricate embroideries, and Central Asian carpets. Guests will indulge in a feast of senses including the Uzbeki aromatic pilaf, the haunting music of the dombra and tambur, and the bustle of the markets in the cities of Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, and Samarkand. This small group tour has 8 guaranteed departure dates from July 21, 2012 to May 1, 2013 and starts at $3,359 per person, double and includes 4-star and boutique hotel accommodations, Visa support, most meals, a wine tasting, silk and carpet making workshop, and more.
The tour begins in Tashkent, the center of the Great Silk Road for several centuries, where guests put their bargaining skills to the test at the famous bazaars, including the old Chorsu Bazaar, and handicraft centers, as well as visit museums, art galleries, and ancient sites. After a short flight to Urgench, guests will stop in the fairytale city of Khiva to explore the antiquities of Ichan Kala (Old City) and the Khiva Silk Carpet Workshop to watch apprentice carpet makers hand-weave silk rugs patterned after Khiva-style majolica tiles, doors and miniature paintings.
On day four, guests will embark on a sightseeing drive to Bukhara through the Kizilkum desert, which was the main portion of the Silk Road connecting the East to the West, for a picnic at a local Chaykhana (tea-house). The following day in Bukhara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for producing a variety of Central Asian carpets, guests will explore 16th century trade domes, silk bazaars, carpet workshops, puppet and jewelry markets, and more. In the evening, guests will watch a folklore show featuring local dancers, singers and fashion stars. On day six, guests will visit the Summer and Winter Residences of the local Emirs of Bukhara – a nice place to shop for suzani (the traditional embroidered wall-hangings and quilts which have become a popular choice among interior designers in the USA), adras chapans, jewelry and more; the Museum of Applied and Decorative Art; and the Summer Palace Silk Road Bazaars, followed by a wine tasting in a centuries old Nugai Karavansarai.
Continuing along the Golden Road to Samarkand through Rabota Malik Karavan Serai, guests will stop at the Gizhduvan School of Ceramics for an introductory workshop. Moving on to explore Samarkand’s handicraft centers, Registan Square, and the Green Bazaar, guests will quickly realize Samarkand is truly a shopper’s paradise. From Samarkand, guests will enjoy a day excursion to Shakrisabz, a World Heritage Site known for carpet weaving and fine wine. The last full day will be spent in Samarkand visiting the Art & Crafts Center and a paper factory; attending a silk making workshop where they will learn all about making silk carpets; and enjoying a traditional dinner with an Uzbek family.
Price includes all costs aside from consular fees, gratuity for the guides and international airline flights: Visa support; local air tickets from Tashkent to Urgench; air-conditioned ground transportation; English-speaking guides/escort; hotel accommodations in double room at 4-star Tashkent Palace Hotel and boutique properties in Samarkand, Khiva, and Bukhara; meals: breakfast and dinner; entrance fees to museums and monuments; folklore show in Bukhara; wine tasting; silk making workshop; pre-departure travel package and Silk Road gifts; Uzbek language classes; unlimited travel counseling.
For more information visit: www.silkroadtreasuretours.com.