It always takes some time to get out of Almaty, and a bit more on the morning of the 1st of September, when proud overdressed parents are obstructing traffic, framing their kids for that all-important photo-op. But in the end, we do get out. Our aim is the banks of the Ili river, to search […]
What’s most wonderful about this alpine valley 70 km east of Almaty is how, instead of narrowing down to a final destination, the gorge opens up into a range of biomes and landscapes: alpine meadows, old-growth forest, glaciers and high peaks are all there for the taking. A full exploration of the area will entail at least a week’s worth of hiking, mountain-biking, climbing and rafting.
Few people make it to Eki Naryn. There are no attractions to speak of (well, there is the swastika forest in Tash Bashat), and it’s some way east of the “Kymys trail” of Bishkek – Issyk Kul – Song Kol – Naryn – Tash Rabat. All the better for those who do, as Eki Naryn is located in a little paradise. For those seeking to fulfill their unattainable dreams of rural idyll – you’re tantalisingly close here.
A spectacularly large arch and brick dome form the crux of Timurid architecture’s greatest legacy in Kazakhstan. Jon Keesecker reports.
Marmots scurry to safety. Horses look on warily from a distance. The bleating of goats announces the arrival of 2 camels, the bony kings of nowhere. Riding on top of them, it’s the bony editor of Caravanistan, getting into the groove.
A beautiful Tajik village in the Nuratau mountains of Uzbekistan to relax and enjoy nature.
An exceptional petroglyph site for its sheer wealth of rock drawings, the Sarmysh Gorge north of Navoi in Uzbekistan preserves 3000 etchings carved into smooth black shale for over 10 km into the gorge.
The village of Ak Dobo (it’s still Orlovka for the locals) does not immediately invite for a stop-over. Just a small village, a bit forlorn. Nothing special on first sight. That is, until you enter the village museum, and discover a treasure trove of Soviet art.
The singing sand dune of Altyn Emel is a geological oddity: a sand mountain that rumbles, but never moves.
The best guess is that the rocks were placed 7,500 years ago; at the time that Stonehenge was created the army stones had already been standing in Sisian for over two thousand years.