Crossing the ancient Silk Road: China and Central Asia

19 August 2018 to 06 September 2018
From £3,580
Trip destination: 
Central Asia

The term ‘Silk Road’ did not refer to a single route but a vast network of roads stretching from Xi’an to the Eastern Mediterranean. Linking India, Europe and the Far East, routes passed through spectacular cities and tiny hamlets, through harsh forbidding mountains, gentle steppe lands and hot deserts. Along its length, intrepid merchants traded in a huge number of items such as beautiful silks, porcelain, jade and fine carpets. Dr Greenbaum will show that the Silk Road was not simply a highway for the trade of precious items: it was the main East–West artery for the flow of ideas. Buddhist monks from India rubbed shoulders with Persian Manichean priests and Zoroastrians, while Nestorian Christians sought converts among the travellers and settlers of the roads.


  • Explore Kyrgyzstan and Lake Issykul, the world’s secondhighest navigable lake
  • Journey through the spectacular Tien Shan Mountains past herds of Bactrian camels and Tajik camping grounds 
  • Visit Kashgar and its famous Sunday Market
  • Explore the oasis town of Turfan with its gardens and orchards – an extraordinary contrast to the barren desert
  • Discover the caves at Dunhuang in Central China and Longmen Caves in Eastern China, two of the world’s richest treasure troves of Buddhist art

Trip scholar

Dr Jamie Greenbaum, Visiting Fellow in the School of Culture, History & Language, Australian National University

Booking details

Distant Horizons
Tel: +44 (0) 151 625 3425

Travel mailing list

Download 2019 brochure