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Central Asia

The vast plains of the piece of orient that lies between China and the Middle East remains a mystery to most of its visitors. Without larger numbers of western tourists or expatriates taking its sandy and stony paths, the area has lagely kept its reputation as a closed and secretive society, which perhaps has only recently been brought towards the edge of the European eye.

Central Asia or Turkestan is the heart of the Silk Road as it became known to the west with Marco Polo. To scratch the surface of its secrets, the main equities the distiguished traveller should bring are time and patience.

Covering a vast territory, 5 independent republics in the heartland, and over 30 entirely different ethnic groups Central Asia features some of the worlds most unique heritage, landscape and tradition and is commonly difficult to be put in context with much of what is known to the western traveller.

The most commonly known associations to the Central Asian part of the Silk Road include Tamerlanes cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, the mountain passes of Kyrgyzstan over to Kashgar in China and perhaps the colourful bazaars of the region. Less directly associated but imediately connected to the history of the Road connecting the antique Rome and the court of the Chinese Emperor, are the thriving handicrafts, the Shaman traditions, the Heavenly Horses of Ferghana now known as the Akhal Teke and the Pamirs and Tien Shan Mountains as some of the remotest and most challengeing climbing and trekking areas in the world.

Join us on a voyage through this exciting area which is certainly worth more than a single visit!

Click here to continue reading about the History of Central Asia and the Silk Road!
Aksakal relaxing at a Chaykhana  Photo © Jim Squires
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