Central Asia

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Whether you want to explore the architectural gems of Bukhara or sleep in a yurt on a mountain pasture, Central Asia offers something for all. And everywhere is the instinctive hospitality of the people, offering a shared meal, a helping hand or a place to stay.

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For decades, Central Asia has been out of focus, a blank on the map of empires. Even today Central Asia brings to mind a desert wasteland of illiterate nomads. The reality, in this addictive and fascinating part of the world, is that travellers visiting these places leave it with best memories, desire to come back again and share their fantastic experiences with the rest of the World.

Central Asia is a vast arena of desert, steppe and knotted mountain ranges stretching from the Caspian to China, and Siberia to the Hindu Kush. It forms both a bridge tying together Europe and Asia. For two millennia it has been a thoroughfare for Silk Road traders, migrating tribes and nomadic empires. Central Asia's epic history, from Alexander the Great to the Khans of Khiva, is a great piece to study.

In spite of some logistical difficulties, the region's storybook history and its present re-emergence as a geopolitical pivot point makes it a gripping place to visit. The flavor of the Silk Road is still there if you search it out, especially in Uzbekistan. Open markets in storied caravan stops such as Samarkand were lifted from the days of Amir Timur. The region's backdrop, especially the snowcapped mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, offers fantastic trekking and mountaineering, passing mountain communities. The region's little-visited oddities, namely Turkmenistan and parts of Kazakhstan, offer an offbeat interest all of their own.