Who has travelled the Silk Route

Oct 26th, 2004, 01:25 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 38
Who has travelled the Silk Route

Hi
I would like some feedback from people who have toured the silk route. Did you enjoy it? What in particular? What didn't you like about it? I am totally ignorant about the population/amenities of some of these places on route.
Any tips please.
Thanks
G
mandg is offline  
Oct 26th, 2004, 08:25 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
I haven't traveled the Silk Road, but since you're getting any reply, I'll give it a shot, as my parents have been there 3 times, and many of my relatives have gone recently as well, so I have plenty of 2nd hand information.

Xi'an and Langzhou are large Chinese cities. Xi'an was the capital of China for many important dynasties so lots to see. Langzhou was the last major Chinese city before heading into the semi-desert. The city itself is pretty interesting, with the city overlooking the Yellow River.

After that, you're into the Hexi (River West) Corridor, with several outpost towns, but in recent years pretty built-up due to better transportation, tourism, as well as the Chinese government's push to develop the Northwest. The Gobi desert is to your right (East), and the Qilian Mountains to your left (West). Among these cities the biggest is Jiayuguan, location of the last strectch and gate of the Great Wall. It's becoming extremely touristy.

The town of Dunhuang also has lots of amenities due to tourism, and the opening of an airport.

There's really nothing between Dunhuang and Turpan in Xinjiang. Some of the cheaper tours will use bus between these two areas - long ride with no facilities at all. Better use the train.

Xinjiang is officially a Uygur autonomous region, though it's basically run like another Chinese Province. The majority of the population is the Uygur, who are caucasian muslims from Central Asia. However, in recent years the Chinese government is moving a lot of ethnic Han Chinese into Xinjiang, especially Urumqi, which in many ways is looking like other major Chinese cities.

Many tours will stop here and fly out, but other may keep going to Kashgar, which is a long way by road from Urumqi.

Anyways, I believe you said you're from Australia. While the scenery on this route may be extremely interesting to the coastal Chinese or other people from Western Europe, they may not impress those who've traveled the Western US. And part of it may not be too different from the Australian Outback. However, anybody should find the culture and peoples there interesting.
rkkwan is offline  
Oct 26th, 2004, 10:34 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 38
Thank you v. much rkkwan for the type of info I am seeking. I am encouraged that your parents were impressed enough to have visited 3times. Yes, I spent 3mths in Central Aust. so know hot/cold of desert. + Coober Pedy (desolate) where some people live underground, but enjoyed both experiences.
As you say the culture and people would be quite different.
I wonder how difficult it would be to get to a hospital in case of an emergency. (From that comment you can tell I am not in the flush of youth..but would like one more mild-ing adventure before I leave Earth Planet) and I long to look into a face quite different from mine.
Bye and good fortune
G
mandg is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 11:49 AM
  #4  
epi
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 231
We went on a 3 1/2 week escorted tour of the silk road two years ago and loved it. We went by road from urumqi all the way to Kashgar (having seen langzhou, xian before). It was a LOT of time on the road, but the whole experience was fascinating. Each oasis town was different. Dunhuang, turpan, everything was wonderful. The Buddhist caves were remarkable. I do think it would be a hard trip to do on one's own, but I have no actual way of knowing. Bathrooms between hotels are the desert, we stopped in markets where clearly we were the only tourists they had seen. People were very friendly. The food ranged from acceptable to good, as did the hotels. There is so much to say that it is hard to know what to say. It was a truly unforgettable experience and I highly recommend it. If you want more complete info, post a reply to me and I will go on at length.
epi is offline  
Oct 29th, 2004, 04:47 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 38
Dear epi: Am still losing the battle to try to get a S.Rte tour below $6K AUD.
At first our China budget was $4K a head so an extra two thousand is significant. We can find different tours to fit the budget but the S.Rte looked so good.
Q: One tour has 4 days on the road between Kurla/Kuqa/Aksu, and another just flys over them to Kashgar. Are these 3 areas worth 4 days road travel to see 'ruins'? (maybe a few bricks).
Q: Did you run into any dust-storms?
Q: Was it very cold at night (re clothing). We plan next April.
Q: How was the train. Anywhere to have a fag? Air-con work OK?
Many thanks.
Have asked "laurustravel" of Canada for a land price but could exceed the $6,000 I fear. Daughter wants a full-time guide along as she is (medically controlled) asthmatic. We'll do the full insurance bit.
Pics of Magao Grottoes and Crescent Moon Spring looked special. Do you get a look-see at that building (monastry?) near the oasis.
Many thanks
G
mandg is offline  
Oct 30th, 2004, 12:56 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 71
Epi,

Can you tell me which company you used and how many people were on the trip? I'd be interested in any other information you could provide about your experience.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how difficult a trip was it?

Thanks a lot!
pewang is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
theecoquest
Asia
6
Jun 11th, 2015 06:45 AM
roberty
United States
7
Apr 22nd, 2007 01:01 PM
KarenL
United States
10
Aug 21st, 2006 09:37 AM
gapper
United States
11
Jul 10th, 2006 05:18 PM
Penelope
Asia
4
Oct 8th, 2002 08:53 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:36 PM.