FOM's Study Tours are educational by definition. They offer a wide range of travel experiences in order to expand members' understanding of Asian cultures.
While each itinerary is meticulously planned by a tour leader, all participants have a role to play. Each participant is expected to do preparatory reading on a topic related to the country they are visiting, and to make a brief presentation to the group at the pre-trip meeting or on the trip itself. (The tour leader will provide a list of suggested topics.)
Pre-trip meetings serve a dual purpose as they are not only informative and fun, but also provide a good way of getting to know own's fellow travelers before commencing the tour. The study aspect of our tours is what makes them unique and memorable.
All of our tour leaders are FOM members who have participated in a minimum of one Study Tour before becoming a tour leader. Some tour leaders have extensive tour leader experience and are very knowledgeable in their field. Our tour leaders usually spend the better part of six to nine months organizing a tour.
All FOM tours include a contribution to the FOM General Fund.
October 20 – November 1, 2017 (12 days, 12 nights)
Registration begins on March 30, 2017.
Registration Deadline is 28 April 2017 Click here to register
Tour Leader: Abha Kaul
Tour Adviser: Patricia Welch
This classic study tour takes us on a journey through China’s Central Asian territories in its north-westernmost Xinjiang province, from Kashgar near the Pamirs to Dunhuang in Gansu, once the frontier town of China on its western borders. We will travel on the northern Silk Road, along desolate deserts and majestic mountains, tracing the path trekked by countless merchants, missionaries and explorers in the great exchange of goods, ideas and cultures over centuries. Several FOM groups have done this tour in the past with China expert, Patricia Welch, and this is a reprise tour for fresh FOM enthusiasts with a new leader.
We will start in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, home of the Uighurs, and see artefacts and relics unearthed along the Silk Road, including the famous 3,000-year-old Tarim Basin mummies in the provincial museum, then travel to the strategic trading city of Kashgar, meeting point of east and west. From there, we will take a train eastwards to the old kingdom of Kucha, noted for its Buddhist monasteries filled with Indian and Central Asian art, notably the remarkable Kizil Caves. Making our way along the northern route rimming the Taklamakan Desert, we will head to the desert oasis city of Turpan in China’s grape-growing and wine-producing region, to admire its striking underground karez irrigation system, the abandoned ruins of sprawling, ancient mud-built Silk Road cities, Jiaohe and Gaochang, both recently listed as World Heritage Sites, as well as the striking Bezeklik Caves.
At Turpan we will board a bullet train to end our travels at the desert outpost city of Dunhuang in Gansu province, once the gateway into China and the furthest limit of the Chinese Empire, marking the western end of the Great Wall beyond which lay the vast deserts and high mountains of Central Asia separating China from the west - India, Persia, Turkey and the Mediterranean. In Dunhuang we will visit both, the lovely Yulin Caves and the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Mogao Caves containing the world’s biggest repository of Buddhist art from the 4th c. onwards including during Tang China’s heyday, till they were forgotten, hidden from view, and rediscovered by “Foreign Devils” in the early 20th c.
This trip of a lifetime takes us to remote and historic sites through ancient highways used in global trade and exchange since earliest times. We will cross through lands written about by intrepid explorers from the ages; enjoy the naans, rice pulaos, local fruit, vegetables and meats of the region; and learn about the history of the various groups and travellers who lived in and traversed these parts before us. There are lengthy bus and train rides involved through long stretches of desert, and days without suitable restaurants, so participants must be fully prepared for this, but we will stay busy and comfortable in modern vehicles and the best hotels possible. Fabulous sights and great learning experiences await us all the way.
The approximate cost of this study tour is SGD$6,200 per person, which includes all airfare, train fare, double-sharing accommodation in top quality hotels (single room supplements are an extra $750), all meals, bottled water, transport, entrance fees, guides, tips, and also travel insurance and a contribution to the FOM general fund. It does not include visa fees and personal expenses such as alcoholic drinks, laundry or phone calls.
Deposit Payment: $1,500 per person
Information on further payments will be sent out later with a detailed itinerary to registered participants.
All travellers must have updated membership status with FOM.
Overseas FOM members will be added to the list of participants after an initial registration period of two weeks, giving local members priority.
First pre-trip meeting: Wednesday, May 3, 6.30 pm (Venue TBA)
Do enter this date in your calendars!