This page is really just a page we needed to make to make sure all our transport articles are in the same folder, but since we have your attention, and before we link to the transport articles below, let’s discuss, in general, what the best way to get around is on the Silk Road.
The best way: self-driving
In short, it’s the car or motorbike. If you have your own or can rent a car or motorbike, it gives you a lot of freedom. Most of the places to visit in Central Asia are not (well-)connected by public transport, so as an independent traveler, you end up relying on local taxi drivers. Not the best way.
Of course you can have a great time without, but your options (and comfort) increase dramatically with your own vehicle. Definitely consider it if you are planning a big trip.
Countries where having your own wheels is not a big plus are Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and depending on what your plans are, Iran.
The Southern Caucasus are smaller and have better connections: quite easy on public transport. In the Northern Caucasus, driving or hitchhiking are both fun options.
Cycling the Silk Road is of course a great adventure, but our personal preference in cycle touring lies elsewhere. The Silk Road region has no cycle paths, dangerous drivers, extreme weather, enormous deserts, terrible cities and a lack of diverse scenery.
The Pamir Highway is nice, though. Kyrgyzstan is also well-loved (but tough on the legs). Regardless of our predilections, plenty of people do it each year and they tend to enjoy it a lot, so read their blogs for a different opinion.
If there is a link, it’s usually the best way to travel between cities. Comfortable, a real experience where you can meet people and enjoy the landscape, and a smaller carbon footprint than airplanes.
We advise to avoid the Caspian and Black Sea ferries if you can travel overland: they are not cheap and there is always a lot of uncertainty regarding travel times, while you can have great adventures circumnavigating these inland seas.
The Persian Gulf ferry between Iran and UAE is more reliable, and actually makes a lot of sense, as circumnavigating the Persian Gulf is more complicated.
An old article on yak riding. Never heard of anyone doing it for an extended time, so we guess it’s probably not a good idea. Anyway, you can read all about it.