Journey by private jet to discover ancient civilizations and enduring cultures, exploring centuries-old centers of trade, religion, and power, as you travel to the temples of Egypt and Thailand, the palaces of Jaipur and Oman, the trading hubs of Samarkand and Hoi An, and beyond.

Starting at: $149,950 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Pyramids of Giza
 The enigmatic Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza
 The Great Pyramids of Giza (All dates except October 31-November 23, 2024)
 The tomb of Ramses II, Valley of the Kings. Credit: Egyptian Tourism Bureau
 Karnak temple complex, Luxor, Egypt
 View of the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
 Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel
 Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel
 Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem
 View of Masada
 Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
 The Registan complex, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
 Cupola of the Sher Dor Madrassah, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
 Shakhi-Zinda necropolis, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
 Wat Arun at twilight, Bangkok, Thailand
 The Grand Palace, Bangkok
 Statue at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok
 Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Bangkok, Thailand
 Amber Fort, Jaipur, India
 Amber Palace, Jaipur, India
 Doorway, Amber Palace, Jaipur, India
 Amber Fort, Jaipur, India
 Amber Palace, perched on the hill in Jaipur
 City Palace Museum, Jaipur, India
 The newly restored Palace of the Winds in Jaipur (2023 and 2024 dates only)
 Ancient observatory in Jaipur
 Prayer flags at Boudhanath Stupa, Nepal
 Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
 Durbar Square, Kathmandu
 Sculpture at the temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal
 Prayer wheels at Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
 Cliff-side Taktsang Monastery with prayer flags, Bhutan
 Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Paro, Bhutan
 Paro Dzong, Bhutan
 Riverfront at sunset, Hoi An, Vietnam
 The canals of Hoi An
 The Japanese Bridge at Hoi An
 My Son Sanctuary, near Hoi An
 Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman
 Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman
 Big Ben and Westminster Bridge, London, England

Ancient Crossroads of Asia and the Middle East by Private Jet

23 days from $149,950

Journey by private jet to discover ancient civilizations and enduring cultures, exploring centuries-old centers of trade, religion, and power, as you travel to the temples of Egypt and Thailand, the palaces of Jaipur and Oman, the trading hubs of Samarkand and Hoi An, and beyond.

or Call 855-330-1542


Experience a breathtaking sweep of history and culture as you journey to discover ancient civilizations and enduring cultures, exploring centuries-old centers of trade, religion, and power. From Egypt’s pyramids to the gilded palaces of Thailand, discover the magnificent monuments to religion, culture, and power that have endured through the centuries. Travel in the comfort of a custom-fitted Airbus 321, flying direct to remote destinations across Asia. Venture to the spiritual sites of Jerusalem and Kathmandu, the historic trading ports of Muscat and Hoi An, and the Silk Road capital of Samarkand, delving into the unique heritage of each destination alongside a Smithsonian Journeys Expert.

Highlights Include

  • Egypt: Join an Egyptologist in Luxor to explore the astonishing temple of Karnak and the pharaohs’ tombs of the Valley of the Kings; then spend a day among the Pyramids of Giza.
  • Israel: In the Old City of Jerusalem, encounter the sacred sites of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity on a tour led by Israeli and Palestinian guides.  Ascend Masada to explore King Herod’s first-century ruins, and visit the town of Bethlehem.
  • Uzbekistan: Trace the history of the Silk Road among the majestic, mosaic-covered religious monuments of Samarkand, a World Heritage site and one of the oldest cities in the world.
  • Thailand: Cruise the Chao Phraya River through Bangkok, detouring into the klongs (canals) to witness local life. See the world’s largest reclining Buddha at Wat Po and the sacred Emerald Buddha, enjoy a culinary adventure, and experience the contemporary art scene.
  • India: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Jaipur. Admire the intricate architecture of the Hawa Mahal and Amber Fort, visit the Jantar Mantar observatory, and gather for a festive dinner featuring music and a Rajasthani polo match.
  • Nepal: Discover a wealth of World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, exploring the palaces and temples of Bhaktapur and Patan, as well as the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath or the Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath.
  • Bhutan:  Visit the fortress and monastery of Paro Dzong and delve into Bhutan’s timeless artistic traditions in Thimpu. Then opt for a strenuous hike to the iconic Tiger’s Nest monastery, perched on a cliff side high above the valley floor.
  • Vietnam: In the World Heritage site of Hoi An, meander past traditional shophouses and French colonial buildings, travel through rice fields and rural villages, and visit the Cham ruins of My Son.
  • Oman: Encounter the cultural gems of Muscat, a fabled port city set between mountains and sea. Sail a dhow on the Gulf of Oman and get acquainted with local life in the desert outpost of Nizwa.

The jet tour is operated by TCS World Travel. The aircraft is operated by Titan Airways Limited.


Day 1 — London, England

Arrive in London and transfer to your hotel overlooking Hyde Park. This evening, meet fellow travelers, trip staff, and your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 2-3 — Luxor and Cairo, Egypt

Step aboard the private jet for your flight to Luxor, Egypt. Here, an Egyptologist joins you to explore the extraordinary temples and tombs of ancient Thebes, the capital of Egypt for centuries and now a World Heritage site. Tour the glorious temples of Luxor and Karnak, where colossal columns etched with hieroglyphics rise up on the banks of the Nile. In the Valley of the Kings, the burial site of New Kingdom pharaohs such as King Tutankhamun and Ramses II, descend into royal tombs decorated with astonishing art. Visit the colonnaded Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, dedicated to the longest-reigning female pharaoh. Take a day trip to Giza, just outside Cairo, to encounter the last remaining Wonder of the Ancient World: the legendary Pyramids and see the enigmatic Sphinx. (B,L,D)

Day 4-6 — Jerusalem and the Holy Land

In the golden-stone lanes of Jerusalem’s Old City, people of many countries and faith intersect, from Roman Catholic nuns and Egyptian Copts to Orthodox Jews and Muslim clerics. Peel back the layers of history as you explore this fascinating World Heritage site, where the pilgrims of three major faiths have come to worship for millennia. Accompanied by Israeli and Palestinian guides, experience the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock as well as the Western Wall, the holiest prayer site in Judaism. Meander through the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed after the Last Supper; and follow ancient lanes to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the hill where Jesus was crucified. Travel into the Judean Desert to Masada and ascend by cable car to see the fortress-palace of King Herod and the site of the first Jewish Revolt. On an excursion to Bethlehem, tour the Church of the Nativity and view the spot believed to be the manger where Christ was born. Stop in at the Armenian Church, where Saint Jerome translated the bible for the first time from Hebrew to Latin in the 4th century. (B,L,D)

Day 7-8 — Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Your next flight brings you to the fabled city of Samarkand, once an important crossroads on the Silk Road. With evidence of human settlements dating back as far as 1500 BC, Samarkand is one of the oldest cities in the world. Stroll through Registan Square, flanked by majestic madrasas and mosques clad with luminous mosaics. Learn about the discoveries made at the Ulugh Beg Observatory and admire the exquisite interior of Gur-e-Amir, the ornate tomb of the medieval conqueror Timur, also known as Tamerlane. Then visit the enormous Bibi Khanum Mosque, built to honor Timur’s wife in the 15th century—and once the largest mosque in the Islamic world.  Get a taste of Uzbekistan’s rich textile traditions on a visit to a workshop where silk carpets are woven. (B,L,D)

Day 9-10 — Bangkok, Thailand

Fly into bustling Bangkok and enjoy two days immersed in this city’s exuberant culture. Glide along the Chao Phraya River, which winds through the heart of Bangkok, cruising past historic temples and palaces, and detour into the klongs, or canals, for a fascinating look at local life. See the world’s largest reclining Buddha at Wat Po, then stroll through the dynamic Creative District, a once-forgotten corner of old Bangkok that has been transformed by street art, innovative businesses, and eclectic art galleries.

Experience the city’s exciting culinary scene from all sides, sampling everything from street food and local specialties in hole-in-the-wall joints to an inventive tasting menu at an acclaimed restaurant. You’ll also have the chance to learn how to make authentic Thai dishes during a cooking class. Venture into the Grand Royal Palace, the residence of the King of Siam from 1782 until the early 20th century. Inside the exquisite Wat Phra Kaew temple on the palace grounds, admire the mysterious Emerald Buddha—only 26 inches tall, but the most revered Buddha image in Thailand. (B,L,D)

Day 11-13 — Jaipur, India

Our next stop is Jaipur, a planned city built as a royal capital in the 18th century. Home to numerous World Heritage sites, this so-called “Pink City” is known for its rose-hued buildings, painted pink in 1876 in preparation for the arrival of the Prince of Wales. Delve into the intriguing history of Rajasthan’s maharajas as you explore Jaipur’s architectural masterpieces, including the 16th-century Amber Fort and the City Palace, home to the royal family’s vast collection of textiles, costumes, armory, and miniature paintings. Visit Jantar Mantar, an open-air royal observatory created by Maharaja Jai Singh, and view the honeycombed façades of the Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds. As the sun sets, gather for a festive evening of cocktails, folk music and a match of polo, considered the royal sport of Rajasthan. (B,L,D)

Day 14 — Kathmandu, Nepal

Fly above soaring Himalayan peaks to colorful Kathmandu, where Buddhist and Hindu traditions have intermingled for centuries. Set out into the World Heritage-listed Kathmandu Valley to visit two ancient cities: in Patan, stroll the expansive Durbar Square, filled with temples, towering pagodas, and detailed brickwork; and in Bhaktapur, visit the Palace of 55 Windows, named for its beautiful wooden window frames, as well as the intricately carved Golden Gate. Then venture into the Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, dedicated to Shiva and built in the Nepalese pagoda style; or explore the iconic Boudhanath Stupa, where thousands of pilgrims gather daily. (B,L,D)

Day 15-16 — The Kingdom of Bhutan

Travel by chartered jet to the Kingdom of Bhutan, where a rich and timeless culture endures among emerald valleys and snowcapped peaks. Arrive in Paro and head to the Rinpung Dzong, a spectacular example of Bhutanese architecture perched in the hills overlooking the Paro Valley. On an excursion to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital city, visit the Dechen Phodrang Monastery, a monastic school that houses 12th-century paintings and other important Bhutanese artifacts. At the National Textile Museum, learn about thangka weaving techniques, and see examples of locally made textiles and traditional dress. Return to Paro and take part in a range of activities or simply relax at your stunning hotel, a showpiece of Bhutanese craftsmanship set among lovely parklands. If you wish, hit the trails for a vigorous hike to Taktsang Palphug Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, built high on a cliff side more than 10,000 feet above sea level. (B,L,D)

Day 17-19 — Hoi An, Vietnam

Fly to Hoi An, a World Heritage site located on the central coast of Vietnam. The exceptionally well-preserved old city was a thriving trading port from the 15th to the 19th century, and its buildings and street plan reflect a vibrant confluence of cultures. Meander down enchanting streets, exploring Chinese guildhalls and French colonial gems, teahouses and temples, and a stunning Japanese covered bridge. Just outside of town, encounter quintessential Vietnamese landscapes of brilliant rice fields dotted with traditional villages.  During your stay in Hoi An, savor the region’s unique cuisine, which incorporates culinary traditions from across East and Southeast Asia. (B,L,D)

Day 20-21 — Muscat, Oman

Flanked by the Arabian Desert and the sea, the Sultanate of Oman was once a powerful maritime empire with a reach that stretched from China to East Africa. Discover the delightful capital city of Muscat, dominated by the rugged Al-Hajar Mountains and towering minarets. Tour Al Alam Palace, one of the six official residences of Oman’s ruling monarch, and visit the National Museum. Explore the ornate Grand Mosque, built to host up to 20,000 worshippers amid its gem-studded colonnades and marble courtyards. Step back in time in the labyrinthine Muttrah Souk, one of the oldest markets on the Arabian Peninsula. If you wish, take an excursion to historic Nizwa, where you’ll visit the impressive 17th-century Nizwa Fort; meander among silver and ceramics sellers in the souk; and sample Omani coffee, dates, and halwa—a traditional dessert. Conclude your visit with a tranquil cruise on a traditional Omani sailing dhow, enjoying beautiful views of Muscat and the rugged mountains and desert that surround it. (B,L,D)

Day 22 — Return to London, England

Board the private jet a final time for your flight to London. This evening, toast your journey to Asia’s cultural crossroads at a celebratory farewell dinner.

Day 23 — Depart for Home

Depart for the airport to connect to your commercial flight home.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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