Central Asia Explorer

A Cultural Odyssey to Samarkand and Beyond

Repertory Trip: Next Offered September 13-October 6, 2023

Roger Williams

Roger Williams has been one of our most versatile guides since 1986, and he shows no sign of stopping. He spent eight years studying Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhist iconography, Himalayan languages, and woodblock art in Nepal, and another two years studying Japanese woodblock art, Japanese language, and Shingon Shu, an esoteric sect of Japanese Buddhism in Japan. If it isn’t the surplus of knowledge Roger brings when he leads a trip that makes him so unique, then it may be his awareness for cultural preservation that keep trip members so loyal to his new adventures. Each year, Roger works with WT to design new trips in fascinating areas. He has led in such far-flung locations as Iran, Pakistan, northern Afghanistan, Kamchatka, Burma, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Madagascar. When he’s not leading, you can find Roger in Berkeley, California, where he is the director of Snow Lion Graphics/SLG Books, a publishing house specializing in Asian cultures. “There should be a rating higher than excellent for Roger,” one trip member wrote after her journey with Roger. “His knowledge, energy, planning, and attentiveness are superlative.”

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Client Testimonials

Roger is brilliant and I am overwhelmed with his knowledge and expertise. His attention to detail, interpersonal skills, and desire to share the history and culture of these countries truly makes a great trip a fantastic and perfect trip. And we are lucky travelers to have him share his knowledge and passion with us.
— Pam S., Culver City, CA
Trans-Caucasus Adventure
Roger is a one-of-a-kind guide who has tremendous passion, knowledge, and leadership that is requisite for travel in Central Asia. This was our second trip with him and I continue to marvel at his ability to synthesize information about the region, cultures, and history in a very accessible way.
— Sandy C., Seattle, WA
Central Asia Explorer
Roger had the right mix of professional trip leader knowledge and experience mixed with the ability to connect with people. His genuine interest in every individual made him one of the best leaders we've ever had the pleasure of traveling with.
— Diane F., Corona Del Mar, CA
Central Asia Explorer
Roger designed a great trip. He is a very informed and friendly person; I would travel with him again.
— Richard M., Minneapolis, MN
From Kashgar to Kathmandu
Loved Roger. . . a wealth of knowledge and compassion.
— Elisabeth C., Carthage, MO
Iran: Treasures of Persia's Ancient Empire
Roger is a great tour leader. His design of trips and preparation for them are the best we've found. I always learn on his trips.
— Jenny S., Houston, TX
Hidden Treasures of Sichuan and Yunnan
Roger is impeccably organized and erudite on this area of the world. We love his enthusiasm and passion.
— Kathe W., Pittsburgh, PA
Hidden Treasures of Sichuan and Yunnan
Roger is fabulous! Knowledgable, personable, committed, concerned, patient, and FUN to travel with!
— Nancy F., New York, NY
Trans-Caucasus Adventure
Roger is the leader you want to have. He has done so much background research and work. He cares about the details. If something isn't working, he works hard to get it fixed. I appreciate how much hard work he puts into a trip. He also never lets it seem as though it has all become routine.
— Jenny S., Houston, TX
Iran: In the Footsteps of Kings
Roger's unparalleled knowledge and deep passion for history in that region was inspiring as it reflected the thorough itinerary he created. He provided an extensive foundation to the footprint's of Persia's past and the culture of the people of Iran. The landscape of Iran became alive with stories and endless details that filled my notebook.
— Joy K., Phoenix, AZ
Iran: In the Footsteps of Kings
Roger was a real pleasure to be with. I will be traveling with him again!
— Diane M., Elm Grove, WI
China's Wild Southwest
Roger is a lot of fun, as well as being extremely knowledgeable! He goes out of his way to make the trip interesting and comfortable for those traveling with him.
— Catherine H., Cambridge, MA
Journey to the Heart of China
Roger is amazing! His knowledge of the history and culture of the area is extensive and he can recall all sorts of information on any number of subjects. His enthusiasm, kindness, and energy never wane.
— Jane F., Naples, FL
The Great Game
Roger is a flexible leader who listens to his travelers and absolutely cannot do enough for people. He looked after us well and programmed as much variety into the trip as possible.
— Mary R., New York, NY
Trans-Caucasus Adventure
Roger was well organized, with careful planning and terrific knowledge of the culture and religion. His interaction with the group was unlike anything we have experienced on prior trips. He is a real treasure for WT, one of your best.
— Donald H., Farmington, CT
The Best of Southeast Asia
Roger was nothing short of outstanding as a trip leader...managing people as well as logistics of a 25+ day intensive trip. He has a clear desire to share his knowledge, interest, and excitement about Southeast Asia. We've had a lot of good Trip Leaders and I'd rate Roger as #1 on my list.
— Greg W., Pittsburgh, PA
The Best of Southeast Asia
Roger is an exceptional trip leader with an historian's grasp of the influences shaping this part of the world.
— Kathe W., Pittsburgh, PA
The Best of Southeast Asia
I'm struck again with the magnitude of the incredible adventure you led us on. I have pretty much traveled the world since that trip, with adventures galore...but nothing has, or ever will, compare to it.
— Aleen S., Cedar Mountain, NC
The Great Silk Road
Roger is simply a brilliant organizer and always finds the very best services available. He also brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to anything Asian.
— Elizabeth M., Providence, RI
The Burma Road: Kunming to Rangoon
Roger has tremendous skills as a trip leader. He has a real gift with people and his relationship with local guides enriches the areas we visit.
— Joan L., Baltimore, MD
Journey to the Heart of China
Roger is the best tour leader with lots of experiece and profound knowledge of the subject area. Kudos to him and WT.
— Tan Kiet T., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tribal China
There should be a rating higher than excellent for Roger. His knowledge, energy, planning, and attentiveness are superlative.
— Debra B., Jackson, WY
Central Asia Explorer
Roger's extensive travel experience and knowledge of Asian culture and Buddhism greatly enhanced the trip. And all the planning he did before and during the trip ensured an excellent itinerary and made everything run smoothly.
— Nancy R., Walnut Creek, CA
Tribal China
Roger provided a unique and enjoyable travel experience. His knowledge and familiarity with the sites visited and enthusiasm for these countries and peoples made this a great travel experience.
— Judy A., Davis, CA
The Burma Road: Kunming to Rangoon
Roger is a wealth of knowledge and very well traveled. He takes his duties as trip leader extremely seriously and goes out of his way to please each client.
— Terri H., Berkeley, CA
Armenia and Beyond
Exceptional dedication, passion, and professionalism. Roger has the right personality and attitude for this.
— Jonathan T., Boston, MA
Passage to India
Roger is clearly a well-seasoned professional. He is passionate about India and it shows everyday, whether it is interacting with the locals or talking about the iconographics and sites.
— Grace L., Boston, MA
Passage to India
I can understand why Roger has such a big following. He worked all the time to make the trip the best it could be.
— Marsha S., New York, NY
The Great Game
Tibet is a place like no other on the planet! Roger’s language skills and knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism opened many doors.
— Connie D., Alamo CA
Heart of Tibet
Exceedingly knowledgeable, very caring.
— Priscilla and Franklin O., Malvern PA
Mystical Bhutan
Roger knows how to run a trip. He’s very organized and clearly communicates the daily plan. Also, he's a lot of fun and I was impressed with his expertise on Buddhist iconography.
— Fran M., Mill Valley, CA
Hidden Himalayas
Roger is remarkable. This trip showed him at his best. We could never have traveled across the roof of the world without his preparation and energy. Thanks for a grand experience!
— Ruth and Frank H., Edmonds WA
In the Footsteps of the Great Game
Roger takes good care of his travelers and we learned a lot about the people, their culture, and history. His love for this part of the world is infectious.
— Ruth G., Del Mar CA
In the Footsteps of the Great Game
Roger is great! Hard working, knowledgeable, personable. He really makes a difference.
— Bill R., Walnut Creek, CA
Passage to India

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