CENTRAL ASIA: A fascinating part of the world, having emerged from the brutal Soviet era. Rich with history, the playground of all the world’s great conquerors. The Mongol armies of Genghis Khan and his descendants grew strong here on the way to conquer half of Europe.
But the Mongols were by no means the first or last. Culture carried along the Silk roads enhanced lands from Beijing to Budapest. Turkic, Uzbek, Uighur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Persian, Hazara, Chinese, Russian, all melted and blended, while retaining their own strengths. Amazing architecture, deserts, lots of lamb, and many of the world’s great bazaars.
Kazakhstan: There a very high probability some of your DNA comes from Kazakhstan. As the human family moved out of Africa, across the Middle East, it found fertile pastures in the plains of central Asia. Families formed tribes; tribes formed armies; armies…….
Tajikistan: The most beautiful country I have visited yet. Also probably one of the hardest to travel in. Maybe that is no coincidence. Many of the towns pre-date the silk road era, right back to Alexander …..
Kyrgyzstan: The central Asian country I’d probably head back to first, Kyrgyzstan is easier to visit than it is to spell. Visa-free entry, mostly good roads and transport, better food than its neighbours…..
Uzbekistan: Another huge former Soviet republic, Uzbekistan is mandatory for history buffs. It contains three of the greatest Silk Roads cities, Khiva, Bukhara, and the gob-smacking…….