Turkmenistan

Silk Road: The Five ‘Stans of Central Asia

The five ‘stans of Central Asia - Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan – must rank amongst some of the world’s least visited and least well-known destinations, making this trip a true journey of discovery. Offering an incredible diversity of both scenery and culture - from the architectural wonders of Uzbekistan’s Silk Road cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva to the epic scenery of the Tien Shan ‘Mountains of Heaven’ - we’ll cross vast deserts and mighty rivers and experience local hospitality in homestays in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. For much of the time we’ll be following ancient trade routes and discovering the remains of a bygone age but we will also experience the Central Asia of today from the bizarre white-marble city of Ashgabat to the cosmopolitan cities of Tashkent and Almaty. This is the perfect trip for anyone who has ever looked at a map and wondered exactly what the
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Ashgabat to Tashkent Overland

Turkmenistan has some of the remotest scenery on Earth. Most of the country is covered by the inhospitable Karakum Desert. The indigenous people are the Turkmen who mainly live outside the urban centres, many of whom still live a nomadic or semi-nomadic way of life. The rural Turkmen are a hospitable people whose cultureand way of life has altered little in hundreds of years. Uzbekistan is most famous for its incredible historical cities. Samarkand was once home of the mighty warlore Timur, and home of the great Registan Square, where beautiful madrassas are loaded down with ornate majolica and azure mosaics. Bukhara perfectly captures the atmosphere of Central Asia before the Russian domination, and has many spectacular buildings such as the Ark Fortress, the Ismail Samanid Mausoleum and the Kalyan Minaret (Death Tower). The third of the main UNESCO sites is Khiva and is the best preserved Khanate. Its long and bloody
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