Asia Pacific






TEL AVIV LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE
FOR LGBT TRAVELERS



New York - Following being voted this month as one of the "Top Gay Cities in the World" by Gaycities.com, Tel Aviv's recently launched Visit Tel Aviv-Yafo website has unveiled its new "Gay Vibe" section, highlighting LGBT-focused events, unique tourist attractions and insider tips for travelers to the city.

The website's Gay Vibe section features a calendar of upcoming events, restaurant openings, local hotspots and parties geared towards Tel Aviv residents and travelers alike, as well as a photo gallery and videos.

In addition to the website, travelers can locate (and like) updates and events though the Visit Tel Aviv - Gay Vibe Facebook page and a specially designated YouTube page.

"We are excited about the launch of the Visit Tel Aviv-Yafo website's new LGBT-focused section," said Haim Gutin, Israel Commissioner for Tourism, North and South America, "which further portrays Tel Aviv as one of the world's most progressive and innovative travel destinations."

The website is navigable in five different languages, including English, French, German, Italian and Russian.

For more information, visit www.visit-tel-aviv-yafo.com/gay-vibe. For more information on travel to Israel, visit www.goisrael.com.







SILK ROAD TREASURE TOURS HONORS “LEGENDARY CENTRAL ASIA TRAVEL” WITH NEW TOUR HIGHLIGHTING ALL FIVE –STANS

Travel the Silk Road and explore the exotic Central Asian “-Stan” countries which grew in its wake in this legendary 14 day tour, staring at $5,599 a person.

Chester, NJ – Silk Road Treasure Tours, specialists in travel to destinations along the Silk Routes, is taking visitors back to the heartland of the ancient trading civilizations with its brand new 14 day tour through Central Asia. From the breathtaking minarets and magical bazaars of Uzbekistan to the bold beauty of Kazakhstan’s vast steppes and ice-capped mountains, the “-Stans” intricately blend their rich past, which has found itself at the crossroads of Persian, Turkish, Russian, Mongolian and Chinese cultures, with the vibrant present of being newly independent nations since the fall of the Soviet Union. Discover the exotic world that sprung to life along the pathways of the old Silk trade routes in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, a unique quintet of countries with a warm welcome for the nomadic-at-heart. This small group tour has five guaranteed departure dates from August 26, 2012 to September 12, 2013, starts at $5,599 per person, double* and includes 3 to 5-star and boutique hotel accommodations, domestic flights, ground transportation, Visa support, most meals, entrance fees, and more.


Highlights Include:

● Attending a dinner and folk-show in Bukhara and bargaining for handcrafted souvenirs at Chor-Su Bazaar in Tashkent, Uzbekistan;
● Climbing the Burana tower in Kyrgyzstan, marker of the ancient city of Balasagun;
● Exploring the ancient ruins of the Parthian capital at Nissa, a UNESCO heritage site in Turkmenistan;
● Spending the day in Khojand, one of the most ancient cities in Tajikistan, to visit the Temurmalik fortress;
● Sightseeing tour of Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan set at the foot of the Zailiski Ala-Tau mountain range.

The journey begins in the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent, rightly called the “Star of the Orient” for its central location which facilitated the exchange of trade. Travelers will be awed by the Islamic influence of the architecture where madrasahs, ancient schools of Muslim theology, flourish alongside bustling bazaars, modern monumental parks and the Kaffal Shashi tomb of an ancient Islamic scholar and mystic. Continuing on, the tour crosses into Tajikistan, famous for its alpine lakes and enormous glaciers, where the northern city of Khojand claims to be the birthplace of the original Silk routes.

Across the border in Uzbekistan, Samarkand, arguably one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, fiercely guards its reputation as “The Rome of the East,” a magnificent city so advanced in classical learning and architectural display that it even rendered conqueror Alexander the Great speechless. Between the famous Bibi-Khanym mosque built by Tamerlane to the stunning blue dome of the Gur-Emir Mausoleum, and the singular beauty of Registan Square, which remains the hub of city life, Samarkand continues to impress visitors today. Bukhara, as well: blending the modern and traditional, it delights travelers with its hearty plov dishes, folk shows, and rich scholastic heritage as once the cultural, scientific, and commercial center of the Silk Road. Thousands of ancient scholars and theologians once called Bukhara home; the city’s Kaylan Minaret evidently inspired Genghis Khan with such an appreciation for its beauty that he left it standing despite its religious overtones.

The tour then proceeds into Turkmenistan, particularly famous for its intricately-woven, bold red carpets, where travelers can explore the mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar in the ancient province of Mary and Ashgabat’s own Blue Mosque.

Flying back to Uzbekistan, it's time to stop at Khiva, the fairy-tale city of the Silk Road. Claimed to have been founded by Shem, the son of Biblical Noah, Khiva remains one of the best-preserved towns of the Silk Road, enchanting visitors with its brick-and-majolica-tiled city walls as well as the Khan’s Tash-Hauli Palace and Harem, and the Djuma palace with its distinctive 200 wooden pillars.

Moving along, the tour enters Kazakhstan, the largest country in Central Asia and home to some of the most spectacular alpine landscapes, which, in contrast with the vastness of the steppes below, exist if only to amplify the beauty of Kazakhstan’s hallmark geography. In the capital city of Almaty, travelers will visit the National Museum of Folk Musical Instruments as well as the magnificent Zenkov Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

Finally, the trail ends in Kyrgyzstan’s capital of Bishkek. Once a mere caravan stop on the Silk Road, the city is today a blend of Soviet, Asian and European influences, with its enticing mile-long Dordoy Bazaar as one of the greatest marketplaces in Central Asia. Nearby, the warm alpine lake retreat of Issyk-Kul, one of the largest and deepest of its kind in the world, evokes a lasting impression of the weeks of cultural immersion in Central Asia’s rich heritage.

For more a detailed tour itinerary, please visit: www.silkroadtreasuretours.com/tours/central-asia-tours/legendary-central-asia-travel

*The single supplement is $569. This tour program does not include international flights, charges for additional hotel services and consular fees as Central Asian embassies.

About Silk Road Treasure Tours
Silk Road Treasure Tours specializes in custom private and group tours to the Caucasus, Central Asia Stan countries, and the most fascinating destinations along the Silk Road. Zulya Rajabova, owner of Silk Road Treasure Tours and native of Uzbekistan, provides expert advice to craft authentic and unforgettable journeys for tourists, academics, historians, business and special interest groups that suit both travel goals and budget. Along with a first-rate team of talented, multi-lingual professionals in Central Asia, Silk Road Treasure Tours offers a wealth of local knowledge and provides itinerary planning, travel arrangements, and the best in accommodation and tour guides that satisfy even the most inquisitive traveler.

For more information visit: www.silkroadtreasuretours.com. Reservations and information can be obtained from Zulya Rajabova at (888) 745-7670 or info@silkroadtreasuretours.com.




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