Tag Archives: central asia

Issyk Kul: Kyrgyzstan’s Lake District

issyk kul

Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan Wispy clouds hang low¬†over the choppy dark indigo waters as the howling winds create ripples on the water surface. Backdropped by tall and mighty Tien Shan mountains,¬†the water stretches into the horizon, far beyond where the eye can see. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought this was a sea. […]

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World Nomad Games in Photos

world nomad games photos

The 2016 World Nomad Games in Photos “If Genghis Khan were alive, he’d want to be here,” the host at the World Nomad Games 2016’s opening ceremony announced as fireworks lit up the skies. Indeed, Genghis would have been proud to be at the World Nomad Games. Held from 3 to 8 September on the […]

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World Nomad Games — A Festival of Yurts, Horse Races and Eagle Hunts

WORLD NOMAD GAMES

Welcome to the World Nomad Games 2016! I’ve come to Kyrgyzstan to attend and experience the World Nomad Games, a celebration of nomadic culture through sports and traditional art, song and dance. On the shores of Lake Issy Kol in Kyrgyzstan, flaming horsemen gallop alongside women dressed in multi-coloured traditional costumes, while men wearing tall […]

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Best Destinations for Overland Travel: From East Africa to the Silk Road

On safari in Etosha

raveling overland is a fantastic way to really get to know a region. Watch the world fly by and sample every bit of it as you slowly weave your way through the back roads of a country. See what exists between the large towns and cities and the tourist traps and you’ll often be surprised […]

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Photo Essay: Sand Dunes of the Gobi Desert

View from Khongoriin Els

s the wind blows, I hear faint music in the air. The whistling tune is a hypnotic and eerie one, and it seems to echo out of nowhere. I’m standing on the top of the highest sand dune in the Gobi Sand. So where is the music coming from? “From the sand,” my local guide Amaraa says. “They call this […]

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Silk Road Travel Guide

silk road travel guide

The Silk Road is the greatest travel route of all time, spanning 8,000km across continents, weaving through deserts, mountains and grasslands and bringing traders from East to West and vice versa. The original overland odyssey has long lured travelers, from the likes of the world’s first professional traveler, Marco Polo, to modern-day Silk Road author, […]

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Overland Travel in Central Asia: Tips and Review

Driving through the mountains of western Iran

Traveling Central Asia is the stuff of dreams, evoking images of golden sand dunes, vast steppes, yurts, and exotic ancient architecture. For centuries, this region has been closely tied to the Silk Road and has acted as a crossroad for the exchange of goods, people and knowledge between Europe and Asia. The first travelers came […]

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Witnessing the First World Nomad Games in Central Asia

Kazakh wrestling

A Photo Essay of the World Nomad Games 2014 ithin ten minutes of arriving, I watched as Kazakh wrestler and his Afghani opponent flew well off the mats and directly over my head into a crowd of excited spectators. While the danger of being squished beneath three hundred pounds of Central Asian sportsmen would come […]

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Traveling Iran — What it’s Like

traveling in iran-rev2

As a curious traveler, I believe visiting a place for myself is the best way to learn on-the-ground knowledge and to see a place beyond the headlines. My recent visit to Iran – just like my previous trips to troubled lands like North Korea and Palestine – further reaffirmed that what we see in the media isn’t always the real truth. As […]

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Photo Highlights of Iran: from Persian Architecture to Outstanding Hospitality

The Zagros Mountain in western Iran

Mention Iran and many think of burkha-clad women, burning flags and war. But these stereotypes can’t be further from the truth. For those who are curious and open to new discoveries, Iran is packed full of surprises. It is a relatively safe country to visit and there’s so much to see and do in terms […]

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Is Ashgabat the World’s Strangest City?

Turkmenistan Royal Palace ashgabat turkmenistan

A Visit to Ashgabat in Turkmenistan When it comes to peculiar sights, Turkmenistan is off the charts. First it’s the Darvaza gas craters, burning gas craters that resemble the gates to hell, that tops my list of the strangest sights I’ve seen. And. as if it weren’t bizarre enough, Ashgabat brings it to a whole […]

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The Gates to Hell — Darvaza Gas Craters in Turkmenistan

Darvaza burning gas crater by day

In the middle of the Karakum Desert, a roaring fire burns from deep beneath us, its flames dancing in the darkness taunting and teasing us. The walls of the oval crater drop vertically down into the abyss of fire — one careless step and you may well be on your way to hell. They named […]

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The Walled City of Khiva: A Place of Myths and Legend

Sunset from Konya Ark

The flaming orange yolk is quickly making its descent, taking with it the blanket of gold it has splashed on the sand-colored medressas and turquoise minarets of the city. By this time, all the other travelers around me have all gone and I’m all alone on the watch tower of Konya Ark, save for another traveler […]

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Bukhara — Uzbekistan’s Holiest or Most Touristy City?

The dome of Mir-i-Arab medressa

With a history spanning a thousand years, Bukhara is dubbed Central Asia’s holiest city by many publications including Lonely Planet. As part of my Silk Road journey with Oasis Overland, we spent some time in Bukhara, learning about its history and much revered architectural marvels. The collection of medressas, minarets and mosques was outstanding and […]

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Uncovering Silk Road History in Samarkand

Turquoise domes are omnipresent in Samarkand

We travel not for trafficking alone, by hotter winds our fiery hearts are fanned. For lust of knowing what should not be known. We take the Golden Road to Samarkand. — James Elroy Flecker, The Golden Journey to Samarkand Indeed, nowhere else is as evocative of the Silk Road as Samarkand. This ancient city was […]

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