It’s probably the most secretive and bizarre country in the world — a nation hidden in the desert between Russia, China, India, and Iran — and we thought that you might like to get to know it. Welcome to Turkmenistan!
The name Uzbekistan carries with it an air of mystery. During our trip along the Silk Road, I was amazed to discover that three of the Silk Road’s most important cities lie in Uzbekistan: Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand. These cities were key stops for traders passing by with their caravans and camels loaded with silk, spices, and other items. Today, Uzbekistan is opening up to tourists — but get here quick, because this country is poised on the edge of mass tourism!
If you had asked me few years ago about Central Asia, my mind would have fumbled for country names; images of how a Central Asian city might look, thoughts about their local cuisine or even customs and clothing. But today, Central Asia is slowly coming into its own, and generating a rising awareness amongst travelers. Commonly referred to as the “Stans”, the countries that make up this region are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
The five ‘Stans are located in Central Asia, and share borders with India, Russia, and China. What you’ll find in these five ‘Stans are a mix of desert, mountains and grassland landscapes. These countries were formed under Stalin’s rule but now 20 years post independence, they are emerging with identities of their own. Welcome to the lands of the five ‘Stans: Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Around the world, there are millions of people who struggle because they lack a basic necessity that some of us take for granted: the ability to build a livelihood and provide for their families; simply put, a job. I’m not talking about a fulfilling career or high-paying salary, but the security of being able to feed yourself and family at the end of the day.
Before my trip many people asked me, is Uzbekistan a good place to visit? The answer is undoubtably Yes. Uzbekistan was possibly the most remarkable, underrated and surreal country I’ve ever visited. Most of the time I was there, I struggled to believe that anything I was seeing was real. The architecture there looked straight out of the most magical chapter of One Thousand And One Nights, and to do it justice, you really just have to see it for yourself.
The Silk Road is made up of the countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. This part of the world is full of unique culture, ancient history, and delicious cuisine. Here are a few of our top tips on the best time to visit, and everything you need to know before visiting Central Asia