In respect of our NomadXpress’ tradition, after the Balkans and Middle East “Best of”, here you have our personal list of tops in Central Asia, including Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
The list is not exhaustive nor following any specific ranking. It is only the spontaneous outcome of our free memory and imagination across these timeless countries still peripheral (luckily) for the mass tourism
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are definitely amazing for their riveting urban symbols: Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Almaty and Astana. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, instead, charmingly offer a more sauvage, countryside experience. All together they make an essential tile in our ongoing Silk Road adventure.
1. KHIVA (Uzbekistan), and its still faultlessly preserved ancient town.
2. YODGORLIK SILK FACTORY in MARGILON (Fergana Valley – Uzbekistan), to get guided through the timeless Silk production cycle.
4. KARAKUL LAKE (Tajikistan), the highest navigable lake in the world, almost 4000 m above the sea level.
5. SAMARKAND (Uzbekistan) a city remarkable for its impressive Timurid architecture.
6. WAKHAN VALLEY (Tajikistan), closely separating two distant countries: Tajikistan and Afghanistan. A lunar landscape at edge of the world !!
7. BUKHARA (Uzbekistan), a truly magic city with many nuanced contrasts inside…and the perfect place for buying souvenirs in one of the several bazaars situated in its old town.
8. ALMATY (Kazakhstan), a vibrant city with lots of exciting views and activities!
9. Savitsky Museum in NUKUS (Uzbekistan), hosting a huge “prohibited” collection of Soviet Art.
10. BULUNKUL (Tajikistan), an out-of-the-world hamlet encased within the grandiose Pamir mountains. Perfect base to hike to the stunning Yashil-kul Lake.
11. 25 hours SOVIET TRAIN from Aktau to Kungrad (Uzbekistan), enjoying the desert landscape while crossing from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan.
12. HITCHHIKING along the Pamir Highway (Tajikistan) … and getting rescued by merry truck drivers.
13. Getting invited by a local for a cup of ever-present çay (tea) and “unfresh”sweets.
14. Getting fed up with manti and plov, among the Central Asia most common dishes which you will find everywhere.
15. Spending a quiet night in a HOMESTAY in the remote and authentic Sarytag (Tajikistan), surrounded by the imposing Fan Mountains.
16. Staying in a yurt with a local shepherd and his family along the shore of Song-Köl Lake (Kyrgyzstan).
17. Crossing the Bartang Valley (Tajikistan) by jeep while gazing at dramatic places in the middle of nowhere.
18. Enjoying a typical horse ride in Kyrgyzstan.
19. Trekking during 4 exhausting days around Arslanbob (Kyrgyzstan), overcoming strenuous mountain passes and slippery rocky paths…and getting rewarded by the awesome views of green pastures, pristine waterfalls and turquoise, alpine lakes.
20. Eating delicious shashlyk with locals at Osh Bazar in Tashkent (Uzbekistan).
21. Living the stirring NIGHT LIFE in the Central Asia top cities: Tashkent, Dushanbe, Almaty and Samarkand.