Explore Kyrgyzstan to Turkmenistan

Trip Code: KFSMC

Why we love it

Skirting the border with Afghanistan, get glimpses of the other side, from the hair-raising Afghan-built ovrings (footbridges) to the exotic imports on display in Khorog's local bazaar., Soaring along the renowned Pamir Highway is an unforgettable experience, especially in fine weather when the mighty peak of Muztag Ata rears its head., Steeped in Silk Road history and immortalised in many great tales, the UNESCO-protected town of Khiva is as photogenic as it is legendary., Witness the eternal flames of the Darvaza Crater, known as the 'Door to Hell', as you camp nearby – one of the strangest, most mesmerising geological oddities on earth., Ashgabat rose from the devastation of an earthquake in 1948 and has enjoyed a surreal and futuristic makeover – witness its often bizarre, but certainly memorable architecture on a city tour.

Is this trip right for me?

This trip visits places as high as 5000 metres above sea level, which can cause altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more details on travelling at altitude and ensure you are familiar with signs of AMS.

This is the ultimate Central Asian road trip. Travellers who enjoy the journey even more than the destination will get the most out of this trip. Daily drives range from 3 to 10 hours in duration. Depending on traveller numbers, the group may be split into two vehicles. Though the longer travel days and single night stays can be tiring, you'll be in a private vehicle, and much of the scenery in this part of the world is simply stunning.

Medical facilities can be as far away as 2-3 days' drive at times, as some locations are very remote. During this journey the group will spend time in remote areas without home comforts or easy access to medical facilities. You will need to have excellent physical health to join this trip and consult with your doctor before travelling if you have any ongoing illnesses or injuries.

The diversity of the seasons here makes for incredible scenery, but the weather in this region can be unpredictable. It’s best to wear layers at all times of the year in case conditions change during the day. At night the temperature can really drop, so bring your warm clothes. Camping can be especially cold at the start and end of the season. Even in the warmer months the temperature can be low in the mountains.

Tourism is strictly controlled in Turkmenistan, with Letters of Invitation needed in advance in order to apply for your visa (which you can then get on arrival) and guides tending to be protective of what tourists see and fiercely proud of their nation and its leaders. Those used to more freedom of exploration and tour guides with a more global perspective may find their experience here different from in other destinations.

There is one night of basic camping included on this trip in the Karakum Desert. Sleeping bags, mattresses and tents are all provided, but there are no bathing or permanent toilet facilities at the campsite.

In the Pamirs you'll stay in local homestays, with the whole group often sleeping in one large room on mattresses on the floor. Bathroom facilities are outdoors, and it won't be possible to take a shower every night of the trip.

Please note that this trip can involve a lot of walking. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 2,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 (Guesthouses or Homestays) and Day 20 (Camping) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. Due to the demands of travelling at high altitudes a Passenger Self-Assessment Form is required for this trip.
3. This is a multi-country trip. Please read the visa section of the Essential Trip Information carefully for the visa requirement. Please note that you will need to obtain your Tajikistan e-visa & GBAO permit before travelling on this trip.
4. This trip is a combination of KFST and KFSM our most popular itineraries. As such the make up of your group and your leader may change on Days 17 and 20.
5. You'll need to provide a clear passport scan and fill in the application form in order for us to apply for Letter of Invitation for Turkmenistan. Please check with your booking agent for the application form.
6. Independent travel is not allowed in Turkmenistan. If you have post trip accommodation booked with us, you will also need to arrange tours to further explore Ashgabat. You may consult your Turkmen leader on what to book and what to do for your post tour days at an additional expense. Otherwise, you won't be allowed to leave your hotel without a guide in Ashgabat.
7. As Central Asian immigration and customs officials are notoriously strict, please make sure you keep all forms for when you exit the country. A lost customs or immigration form could result in a fine or being detained at the border. You must also declare ALL currency when entering and exiting the country; keep all currency exchange slips or ATM receipts.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.
Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller suitcases or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry or handles. A lockable bag or small padlock is useful as your luggage may get stowed separately and unattended while you travel on public transport or trains.
Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

ESSENTIALS:
- Day pack: for carrying essentials when exploring destinations like water, camera, snacks, jacket, etc.
- Lightweight clothing: A mixture of covering lightweight clothing and some warm layers (depending on the season) are recommended. It is best to check the weather and seasonal information before travelling. Please also bring clothing that covers arms and pants/skirts that go past the knee for entry into local religious sites. For women travellers, a light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms.
- comfortable shoes for full day walking/trekking: Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and lip balm

RECOMMENDED:
- Personal medical kit: we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent.
- Water bottle: We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
- Spare batteries. Our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras most days but we recommend you take spare batteries for your camera.
- Electrical travel adapter plug
- Inner sleep sheet/bag for trains or overnight stays in yurt
- Money belt
- Torch or flash light
- Hand sanitizer

OPTIONAL:
- Ear plugs to guard against street noise and snorers.
- A good book, a journal and music player for overnight train rides and longer drives.
- Images from home: During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos / postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country etc.

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

MORE!
If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

Physical rating

4

Joining your group

Rich Hotel, 111, Timiryazeva St, Bishkek, KYRGYZSTAN, Phone: 996 312 322038

Joining instructions

Finishing your trip

Hotel Mizan Отель "Мизан", 55 Arcabil (1939) Sayoly, Ashgabat, TURKMENISTAN

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 25

Lunches included: 7

Dinners included: 8

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

CENTRAL ASIA
The Central Asian diet relies heavily on meat based dishes.There are options available for vegetarians, however these may at times be limited to plain noodles, bread, fruit, nuts, yoghurt, cheese, eggs etc. Those with particular dietary needs may choose to supplement meals with supplies bought from home or stock up at markets and supermarkets as you travel.

Climate & seasonal information

UZBEKISTAN
It can get very hot in summer months, particularly in July when temperatures can be above 40C. Be prepared for cooler nights when in the mountains, desert at night or when travelling in April/May or October/November.

SEASONAL WEATHER
Tajikistan can experience extremes in temperature - from scorching heat in summer in the cities, to below freezing temperatures at altitude. Be prepared for all weather, particularly in April/May and September/October.

TAJIKISTAN HOLIDAYS & EVENTS:
International Workers Day - 1st May
Victory Day - 9th May
Ramadan - 5th May - 4th June 2019, 23rd April - 23rd May 2020
National Unity Day - 27th June 2019
Kurban Bairam (Feast of the Sacrifice) - 12th August 2019, 31st July 2020
Independence Day - 9th September

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below.

Intrepid’s Local Operator: +99893 3337248, +99891 5206833

Intrepid’s Local Operator: +996555303025

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on a different Intrepid trip than your own.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

HOMESTAYS:
Please note that at our homestays you might be required to share a room with people of other genders, or with your leader. Because we stay at real people's homes, beds might be pull-out couches or mattresses on the floor, or even a yurt in their backyard. Some of the accommodation along the way is very basic, staying in local guesthouses, yurts and homestays with limited facilities. Some facilities are shared and some accommodation has cold water only or no bathroom facilities.

Transportation


Privacy Preference Center