Explore the fabled Silk Road as you journey through Central Asia’s Five ’Stans: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan.

Starting at: $7,595 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Bukhara Palace, Uzbekistan  The Shah i Zinda, Samarkand, Uzbekistan  The Sher Dor Madrassah, Registan Square Ensemble, Samarkand, Uzbekistan  Cupola of Bibi Khanum Mosque, Samarkand, Uzbekistan  Facade detail of the Sher Dor Madrassah, Samarkand, Uzbekistan  Dried fruit and spices at Siab Bazaar near Bibi-Khanum, Samarkand, Uzbekistan  Statue of Magtymguly, Independence Monument, Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan  The Mausoleum of Turkmenbashi, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan  Vendor selling traditional bread at Panjshanbe Bazaar, Khujand, Tajikistan  Zenkov Cathedral (detail), Almaty, Kazakhstan  Zenkov Cathedral, Almaty, Kazakhstan  Cupola of the Sher Dor Madrassah, Samarkand, Uzbekistan  Traditional falconer with hawk

The Silk Road: A Journey to Central Asia

Featuring the Five “Stans” of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan

16 days from $7,595

Explore the fabled Silk Road as you journey through Central Asia’s Five ’Stans: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details


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A fascinating tour in a fascinating world. Don't miss it.

- Bechir R.

Our trip to the Silk Road cities of days of yore was a fascinating journey into the past. Ancient cities like Bukhara and Samarkand took on a modern cast after our fabulous Smithsonian trip there.

- Adrienne D.

Central Asia with Smithsonian Journeys was an eye-opening experience to a little-known part of the world. One of the most memorable trips I have ever taken.

- Janice S.

Our trip to the Five Stans with Smithsonian Journeys was extraordinary. Exploring the Silk Road fulfilled a lifelong dream—particularly Samarkand with some of the most magnificent Islamic architecture on the planet.

- Laura G.


See All Journeys Dispatches ››


Aug 31 - Sep 15, 2019 Departure
Laura Kennedy

Laura Kennedy

Laura Kennedy served almost four decades as a U.S career diplomat with much of her career spent working in or on the former Soviet Union. She also served multiple assignments in Geneva and Vienna on multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation  (conventional, nuclear and biological) as well as a number of temporary assignments at the United Nations in New York. Laura Kennedy’s assignments included Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus 2004-5, Ambassador to Turkmenistan 2001-3, Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva 2010-13 with concurrent service as U.S. Special Representative for Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention issues, Deputy Commandant of the National War College where she also taught for two years 2007-9, Charge d’Affaires in Armenia, and Deputy Political section chief in Moscow and Ankara.

At the outset of her career, Laura was detailed to serve with an official US exchange exhibit in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, an assignment which left her with a deep appreciation for public diplomacy as well as an abiding interest in Central Asia.  She retired in 2013 but was recalled to service in 2014 to head the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan and then the U.S. Mission in Vienna where she served as the U.S. Governor on the Board of the International Atomic Energy Agency. She retired again in 2015.
Laura is an elected member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and serves on the boards of the World Affairs Council in DC, the Arms Control Association, Foreign Policy for America and the Advisory Council of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation. She has lectured at various U.S. and international civilian and military institutions and universities and has previously accompanied a Silk Road tour.
After receiving her B.A. from Vassar College, Kennedy did graduate work at Stanford and American University (M.A.).  She is married to a fellow former U.S. diplomat and has two sons.

Sep 21 - Oct 6, 2019 Departure; Aug 29 - Sep 13, 2020 Departure
Hugh Neighbour

Hugh Neighbour

Hugh Neighbour brings many years of experience as a diplomat for the U.S. and an officer in the U.S. Navy, mostly working overseas.  Specialized in political and economic affairs, he was posted in Latin America, Asia/Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and North America.  Hugh was awarded the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award as well as a number of Department of State awards for distinguished service. 

Since retiring from the U.S. State Department in 2010, Hugh has worked as a consultant in both Washington and overseas, served as an official observer for several elections overseas, and lectured aboard high-end cruise ships. Several times a year, Hugh directs a course in advanced foreign area studies to select groups in the Washington region.  Hugh will offer a fresh, up-to-date perspective on the history, culture, and current affairs of the fascinating peoples and places you will visit.

Apr 18 - May 3, 2020 Departure; Oct 3 - 18, 2020 Departure
Ronald Wixman

Ronald Wixman

Throughout Ron Wixman's education he specialized in the peoples, cultures, and nationality issues in the Balkans and the former USSR. As a professor at the University of Oregon he taught courses on these issues and became a founder and participant in the Russian and East European Studies program at the university. In addition to having done research in the area on folklore, history and politics in the Balkans itself he became a renowned specialist on the geopolitics of both the Balkans and the USSR. He served as a consultant on ethnic and nationality issues in these regions for the CIA, the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon, and a number of other governments, including the Academy of Sciences- Institute of Ethnography of the USSR in Moscow, the Institute of Ethnography of China in Kunming, the immigration courts in Canada and the U.S. dealing with refugee issues, and many others.