©2012 Chris Carpenter
Photos are courtesy of Dennis Schmitt, Chris Carpenter, and David Morrison. All rights reserved
Leadership by Dr. Chris Carpenter!
Lofty Peaks, National Parks, and Villages of the Silk Road & Karakoram!
August 23–September 9, 2020
This fall, I invite you to join me on a journey to explore the northern Silk Road, including the
oasis cities of Urumqi and Kashgar in northwest China and the Hunza Valley of far northern
The region where China meets Pakistan is wild and scenic, with contrasting landscapes and cultures.
People of the arid valleys channel snowmelt from nearby mountains to water apricot orchards and
grape arbors. Mountain people range highland meadows and spruce forests on horseback, spending
summers in yurts of felt or canvas. We’ll meet groups of Uygher, Kazakh, and Tajik peoples
in Western Xinjiang, and several other cultural groups in Hunza.
The oasis towns of Turpan and Kashgar,
in China’s Xinjiang Province, are cultural centers for the Uygher nationality, with colorful homes
and a rich history of folk art and scholarship. The ongoing flow of people and ideas has engendered
a strong sense of hospitality and has given worldly perspectives to otherwise isolated communities.
Pakistan’s Hunza Valley is encircled by peaks of the Karakoram range. Local residents are followers
of Ismaili, a moderate branch of Islam that places importance on civic responsibility, academic
learning, and equal opportunity for men and women. It is one of the few places in Pakistan where
women do not wear the veil and worship occurs in community centers, not mosques. Under patronage of
the Aga Khan, Hunza has modern schools and numerous cultural restoration programs are underway.
If the prospect of visiting northern Pakistan concerns you, please know that all of the places on
our itinerary (which we visited several times recently) are peaceful, friendly, and secure. Hunza
valley, from Gilgit to the Chinese border, is geographically isolated from other parts of
Pakistan and selfcontained. Residents of Hunza regret that Muslim societies have acquired a negative image in the Western world and they try hard to dispel stereotypes. In
fact, the cohesive
Ismaili community of Hunza is not antiWestern in any sense. Moreover, the government of Pakistan
is very security conscious. We will be welllooked after during this portion of the tour.
We hope you will join us on this unique adventure to explore the cultures, national parks, and
extraordinary, scenic landscapes of Xinjiang and Hunza!
Dr. Chris Carpenter
2019 Brochure (PDF)
Photos are courtesy of David Morrison. All rights reserved