Saturday, May 9, 2009

Silk road tentative trip - anyone in?

With a month and a half left until I start professional training, I have been getting a bit restless and am torn between taking one of the trips outlined below. I chose this route because it covers South and East Asia, goes through the Karakoram Highway and mountains which is part of the Silk Road, and enters China in Kashgar, which is where The Kite Runner was filmed and is en-route for "modernization" (read: demolition of Uyghur compounds). The part starting from Beijing is flexible. Anyone interested in joining?

Cost

Transport, air

  • $750 r/t early summer airfare, New York-Frankfort/Munich-Delhi and Chennai-New York return (priced from 22-May to 28-Jun)
  • $100 o/w Islamabad-Gilgit flight
  • $20 + 20,000 SkyTeam Frequent Flyer miles, Kashgar-Beijing, Beijing-Kuala Lampur, Malaysia (or any other asian destination). w/o the miles, it costs upwards of $800.
  • $120 o/w, Kuala Lampur-Chennai.

Transport, ground, estimate:

  • ~$175, transport in India (bus/train/taxis/auto-rickshaws)
  • ~$200, transport in Pakistan to Kashgar, China along the KKH (bus/jeep)
  • ~$150, transport in China including train tickets Beijing-Qingdao
  • ~$50, transport in Malaysia (bus/train)


Food, entertainment, room, other estimate:

  • 12 certain days * $25/day in India
  • 7 certain days * $20/day in Pakistan
  • 7 certain days * $25/day in China
  • 3 certain days * $35/day in Malaysia
  • 16 unknown days * $ 25/day


Visa:

  • $120 Pakistan single-entry
  • $130(?) China single/multi-entry
  • $150(?) India 10-year multi-entry, or less for single


Total cost: $2700 +/- 15% ($2300 - $3100)

Sights

  • Delhi
  • Agra - Taj Majal
  • Jaipur
  • Amritsar - Golden Temple
  • Wagah border crossing w/ Pakistan
  • Lahore, Islamabad
  • Gilgit and Northern Areas
  • Karakoram Highway, old Silk Road, 2nd highest mountain in the world (K2), 8000m+ peaks
  • Kashgar, old Sunday Market
  • China proper (Beijing)
  • Malaysia
  • Chennai (Maderas)

Safety concerns

  • India: (None)
  • Pakistan: Flying to Gilgit to avoid Swat/Dir region of KKH, minimizing time in Punjab province and Gilgit (although these three are pretty safe), avoiding Peshawar (though arguably the coolest part of Pakistan =()
  • China: (None)
  • Malaysia: (None)


View Planned Silk Road / Asia trip in a larger map

1 comment:

east route said...

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