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Report 1780: Seven Weeks Across Asia - Part 4, Kyrgyzstan

By Eleanor from UK, Spring 2008

Trip Description: Trip report of a journey starting in Siberia, through Mongolia, across China and over the mountains into Kyrgyzstan from April to July 2008

Destinations: Countries - Asia, Other Countries

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Day Tours; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 7: Background to the Trip

photo by Michael

The high plateau

This originally started as a grand idea to catch the train from Scunthorpe to Beijing. We’d always been intrigued by the Trans Siberian Railway. Rather than fly to Moscow for the start of the journey we thought there might be a bit of one-up-manship in doing it all by train

We then began to think that this would be a long time sitting in a train and time could be better spent seeing more of China. We would fly to Irkutsk and start from there as Michael had always been fascinated by the thought of Lake Baikal.

We would then catch the train into Mongolia for a few days and then into China. The plans grew as we added Tibet and the Silk Road. Michael then said that if we got as far as Kashgar then perhaps we ought to finish off in one of those ‘...gystan’ places he’d studied as part of Russia when he was at University. (There are advantages to being married to a geographer.) Kyrgyzstan was added to the itinerary.

We booked through Audley Travel who we use for all our major trips. We spent several hours talking to their country specialists and after a bit of tweaking came up with a seven week itinerary.

  • Fly to Irkutsk
  • Trans Mongolian Train to Ulaan Baatar
  • Train to Beijing
  • Train to Pingyao
  • Train to Xian
  • Train to Llasa
  • Train to Lanzhou
  • Fly to Dunhuang
  • Train to Turpan
  • Train to Kashgar
  • Car across Torugart Pass into Kyrgyzstan
  • Fly from Bishkek back to London Heathrow.

In the end we didn’t get to Tibet as it was closed to foreigners after the riots. We ended up driving the length of the Silk Road instead.

I have presented this as four separate trip reports as it covers such a long trip. This is Part 4.

Russia is covered in Trip Report 1777
Mongolia is covered in Trip Report 1778
China is covered in Trip Report 1779.

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