Central Asia travel | Asia

With its medieval blue-domed cities, kinetic bazaars and distant yurtstays, Central Asia encapsulates the romance of the Silk Road like nowhere else.

Footprints of History

From Alexander the Great to Chinggis (Genghis) Khan to Timur (Tamerlane), Central Asia’s page-turning historical past litters the land at each flip. From the precise angle and with one eye closed, the storied oasis caravan stops of Samarkand and Bukhara, with their unique skylines of minarets and medressas, actually do appear to be lifted immediately from the age of Marco Polo. Share a spherical of kebabs with an Uzbek dealer or wander an historical caravanserai and historic romantics will discover the previous and current start to blur into one in Central Asia.

Mountains & Yurts

East of the desert and steppe settlements rise the snow-capped Pamir and Tian Shan ranges of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, residence to conventional herding communities and a few actually epic mountain surroundings. Here community-based tourism initiatives can deliver you head to head with nomadic Kyrgyz herders, assembly them of their yurts and on their phrases. Ride out to distant lakes on horseback, hike from one village homestay to a different, or take a 4WD out to distant archaeological websites. The scope for journey and exploration right here is nearly limitless.

Travel off the Map

For many years – centuries even – a lot of the world has regarded Central Asia as an opaque, unknowable space, synonymous with the center of nowhere, somewhat than the heartland of Asia. For a sure kind of wanderer, that is all a part of the attraction of a land that has been largely off-limits to vacationers for the final 2000 years. Head even a bit bit off the crushed monitor and you will possible have the place to your self. The area’s little-visited places, particularly Turkmenistan and most of Kazakhstan, are even additional faraway from the trendy world and provide an addictive curiosity all of their very own.

A Warm Welcome

Whether you need to discover the architectural gems of Bukhara or take a horse trek throughout the excessive Pamirs, in all places in Central Asia you will be greeted with instinctive native hospitality and supplied a shared meal, a serving to hand or a spot to remain. Beyond Uzbekistan’s Silk Road cities, mass tourism has but to make any inroads in Central Asia, lending a sense of discovery to every journey. Add to this the intrinsic fascination of a forgotten area slowly rising as a geopolitical pivot level and you’ve got certainly one of Asia’s most absorbing hidden corners.

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