What to Pack for Travel Along the Silk Road
Nearly everyone at the MIR Seattle office has been on one of our signature trips along the Silk Route. Besides the usual advice about comfortable shoes and versatile wardrobe pieces, we’ve compiled a collection of tips on what to pack (and what not to bother with) for a caravan along the Silk Road.
Central Asia is a first-class destination with third-world overtones, so be extra aware of hygiene, hydration and getting sufficient sleep.
- Light layers: for hot, cool or cover-up
- Probiotics: for happy bellies when trying new foods
- Familiar high-protein snacks: for long days, or meals that you don’t care for
- Earplugs: handy in case of crack-of-dawn calls-to-prayer from a nearby minaret
- Hand sanitizer: for general hygiene, “bush stops” or cold-water bathrooms
- Cash: credit cards don’t work in the bazaars (and ATMs can be hard to come by)
- Socks and scarf: keep them in your daypack for entering mosques
- Fold-up umbrella: rain happens
- More than one silk scarf: buy local – this is the Silk Road, for heaven’s sake
- A lot of warm clothes, unless it’s winter or your trip travels to high elevations like the Torugart Pass between Kyrgyzstan and Western China: a thin windbreaker should suffice, though a fleece can be welcome on flights
- A full suitcase: leave plenty of room for fabulous purchases – silks, jewelry, miniatures, carvings, slippers, embroidered suzani (but be sure your suitcase has wheels for convenient handling at border crossings.)
That said, we recommend that you consult your personal physician or local travel health clinic for suggestions on what you can do about digestive disturbances.
(Top photo credit: Michel Behar)
PUBLISHED: July 30, 2014