A city that knows what it likes – white and gold. Ashgabat. Turkmenistan’s capital and largest city has a reputation of being strange and deserted, and it definitely was. A sea of white, grand buildings dominate the urban landscape of Ashgabat and while there were people on the streets, its emptiness was extremely noticeable. After…… Continue reading Three Weeks in Central Asia (Part 13): Turkmenistan – A City of White
Turkmenistan’s landscape is dominated by deserts. The fifth and final Stan of my trip through Central Asia was Turkmenistan. Notoriously known as being closed, reclusive and politically isolated, there was a sense of accomplishment as my passport got stamped with a Turkmen entry stamp. The country is the eleventh least visited nation in the world,…… Continue reading Three Weeks in Central Asia (Part 12): Turkmenistan – The Journey to the Gates of Hell…
Departing Bukhara we had an 8 hour drive through the Kyzylkum desert; the 15th largest desert in the world, towards Khiva. Khiva is quite isolated and sometimes left out on some Uzbek itineraries but I am so glad I visited this wonderful city. In fact, upon reflection it made my Top 15 Cities I’ve ever…… Continue reading Three Weeks in Central Asia (Part 11): Uzbekistan – Khiva; in the middle of the desert.
Heading west from Samarkand was a 1.5 hour high speed train trip to another well known Silk Road pit stop. It was around 10:30pm when we arrived at Bukhara. Our bus was waiting to take us to our hotel, which turned out to be more memorable than most occasions where I’ve been taken to a…… Continue reading Three Weeks in Central Asia (Part 10): Uzbekistan – Bukhara, The Silk Road Continues
Intricate designs both inside and outside The Silk Road. The series of interconnected trade routes between western Europe and eastern China operating during the 2nd Century BC and 15th Century AD. At it’s epicentre, the ancient city of Samarkand. Uzbekistan’s most visited city is one of the oldest continuously populated cities in Central Asia. It…… Continue reading Three Weeks in Central Asia (Part 9): Uzbekistan – Samarkand, the Silk Road awaits
As my Central Asian journey continued I walked over the border into Uzbekistan.. COUNTRY NUMBER 50!! – And half way to my goal! Gone are the stunning landscapes of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and the surprising modernity of Kazakhstan. In its place the Silk Road. The ancient network of trade routes – yes there wasn’t just…… Continue reading Three Weeks in Central Asia (Part 8): Uzbekistan – A Tashkent stopover
Red sandstone formations in the Jeti-Oguz region My trip in Kyrgyzstan (kihr-giz-stan) was just full of highlights, as you saw in Part 2. This time, I’ll focus on my last two days as we head down the Tian Shan Mountains closer to the Kazakh border. Wildlife As we said bye to Song-Kol and headed back…… Continue reading Three Weeks in Central Asia (Part 3): Kyrgyzstan – A dynamic landscape