Visually stunning, the Kipchak mosque near Ashgabat is equally baffling in its disregard of religious sensitivities.
There is so much great architecture outside of the tourist centers of Uzbekistan: Bukhara, Samarkand, Shakhrisabz and Khiva. The village of Katta Langar is one of those places in Uzbekistan that Soviet rule never quite got a hold on, and the rush of contemporary life and formulaic tourism has also passed by this little town.
Yes, beauteous is a word, and it perfectly describes the Aksu-Zhabagly nature reserve. Located near Kazakhstan’s southern capital Shymkent, the town of Zhabagly is the gateway to a huge area of wilderness that straddles the border with Uzbekistan.
Lake Esik, 80 km from Almaty and easy to reach, is a beautiful place to experience the nature of Kazakhstan.
The underground lake of Kow-Ata, conveniently located in the middle of nowhere (but on the Ashgabat – Balkanabat road) has been billed by local tour operators and travel writers alike as a magical underground lair, a holy and mysterious thermal spa; a swimming experience like nowhere else on earth.
Is it really like that?
Or does it smell like pee?
Chimgan, the Charvak reservoir and the Chatkal nature reserve are the perfect place to get away from the Tashkent heat.
At the heart of the Tien Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan, Merzbacher lake is a geological oddity and a convenient stop-over for anyone trekking to the Inylchek glacier, on the way to the mighty peaks of Tengri Khan and Pik Pobeda.
Herat is slowly regaining its place as one of the tourism higlights of Afghanistan and the Silk Road. Take a walk along its most famous landmarks.