A lot of travelers circle Kyrgyzstan’s Issyk Kul lake without seeing much beyond the Karakol region (we almost did). But there’s a lot of great stops, and the north and south shores offer dramatically different landscapes. We checked out Tamga–at the lake’s very southernmost–point and found it to be a charming little place to break up […]
The Emin minaret in Turpan, rather than a Buddhist temple or Confucian garden, seemed like an appropriate first destination when I arrived in western China. Xinjiang province (technically an “Autonomous Region”) is home to China’s largest Muslim population—mostly ethnic Uighurs and mostly Sunni—numbering around 10 million. There are also millions of Muslims elsewhere in China, […]
Not to be confused with the Buddhist rock drawings called Tamgaly Tas, Tamgaly (or Tanbaly) is a much more ancient site of human ritual, 150km west of Almaty. It’s an atmospheric, interesting place that tracks the evolution of human culture in this area over the past 4000 years. To get out there, take the road […]
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.