Pakistan– a new nation and ancient land, Xinjiang – the age-old cradle of Central Asian Civilization. Between these two territories lies the most exciting stretch of the fabled Silk Route. This is a legacy of unparalleled treasures meant for adventurous tourists.
Since the days of Marco Polo, conquerors and travelers have embarked on this arduous journey on foot, on horse back or on camels. Today, there are modern means; carpeted/paved roads and air-conditioned luxury transport, good quality hotels and all those facilities that a traveler, away from home requires. And this is why, tour operators the world over are selling Silk Route tour packages featuring Pakistan and autonomous region of Xinjiang, China. Your Silk Route Tour awaits you-be it for eight days fifteen days, twenty days or even twenty-one days.
Day 01: Islamabad: Arrival at Islamabad international airport, transfer to centrally located hotel/guest house. In the afternoon site seeing of twin cities (Islamabad & Rawalpindi), visit modern mosque Shah Faisal, Doman-e-koh, Shakarparian hills, Lok Virsa, Modern markets (Jinnah supper & supper markets), Raja Bazaar, Cantt area etc. O/N stay in hotel
Day 02: Islamabad – Taxila – Besham: This morning, we will start our journey (5-6 hrs drive) toward the mountain kingdom of North Pakistan on the famous Karakorum Highway/ancient silk route. En-route visit Taxila Museum (1 hour drive). The modern town of Taxila is 35 km from Islamabad. Most of the Archaeological Sites at Taxila (600 B.C-500 A.D) are located around Taxila Museum. For over 1000years, Taxila remained famous of as a centre of learning in respect of Gandhara Art of Sculpture, education and Buddhism in the days of Buddhist glory. There are over 50 archaeological sites scattered in a radius of 30 km around Taxila. Some of the most important sites include Dharmarajika, Stupa and Monastery (300 B.C – 200 A.D), Bhir Mound (600-200 B.C) Sirkap City(200 B.C – 600 A.D, JundialTemple (250 B.C), and Julian Monastery (200-600 A.D). After our visit we continue our drive, en-route we will stop for a cup of Pakistani tea and rescue break. O/N stay at hotel.
Day 03: Besham – Chilas – Gilgit: It is long day 12 hrs drive but the scenery en-route more then makes up for it. Before reached to Gilgit en-route we will face some interesting photogenic stops at the pre-historic rock carving inscription at Shatial, rocks with ancient graffiti’s at Chilas, view point of Nanga Parbat (9th highest peak of the world) offers breathtaking panorama on behind, the unique point where three mountain rages, Karakorum, Himalayas and Hindukush meet and our next stop will be at confluence of River Indus & Gilgit.
Day 04: Gilgit: Full day sightseeing of Gilgit town. Tour include, visit of famous Gilgit mountain bazaar, suspension bridges, Kargha Buddha and walk along the Gilgit River. After lunch we will take some rest and in the evening, we will watch the “The Wild Polo” at Shahi Polo Ground Gilgit. O/N stay in hotel.
Day 05: Gilgit – Karimabad, Hunza: For half a day, we will drive along the beautiful Hunza river, one of the most special parts of Pakistan, en-route visit Chinise graveyard, monuments, Rakaposhi view points. As we approach Karimabad the peak Rakaposhi (7788m) dominates the sky line to the East. Above Hunza stands the prominent rock spire Bublimating 6000m and the Impressive Ultar peaks. The former Mir of Hunza now lives in Modern Palace in Karimabad. We will have time to Explore the shops and city of Karimabad. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 06: Hunza Valley: The tour will include meeting with local folks, understanding the secrets of their longevity and also visit some of the important historical sites including the recently renovated, simple yet overpowering, Baltit Fort and the Altit Fort.
Day 07: Karimabad, Hunza – Hopar: This morning we will drive by 4×4 jeeps to Hopar village (Nagar Valley) on opposite site of River Hunza for a walk on the Hopar Glacier. After lunch at at Hopar, we will drive back to Duikar (The top village of Central Hunza) for sun set and sunrising photography.
Day 08: Karimabad, Hunza – Passu: Short an hour of driving on KKH along the river with the high peaks all around will bring us to Passu. But before reach to Passu we will stop en-route at Ganesh, (old village): The general belief however, is that the original inhabitants are descendant of soldiers of Alexander the Great, further drive to Gulkin village and walk on Glacier from Gulkin to Borit Lake and trek down to KKH , cross Passu suspension bridges. Overnight stay in hotel.
Day 09: Passu – Khunjerab Pass –Tashgurgan: Leave for Tashgurgan via Khunjerab Pass (16000 ft) – the first small town on Chinese side. This route is a beautiful drive, with views of the high mountains of the Karakoram and the distant Pamir Mountain Ranges. At Khunjerab, now declared a national park, one can see Marco Polo Sheep (ovis ammon poli) and we will have stop for an hour. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 10: Tashgurgan – Karakole Lake – Kashgar : leave for Kashgar en-route enjoy the sceneries of two historic peaks of Pameer range Muztag Ata and Kong pur. Lunch will be served at Karakole Lake. Arrive at Kashgar (5 hrs drive).
End of tour.