From Niyazov to Nazarbayev, Karimov to Rahmonn, each country in Central Asia has been blessed or cursed depending on your point of view to have such individuals at the helm since the fall of the Soviet Union and their own independence in 1991. So, let’s see if we can match the President to the country!
Today I recount a special journey from 2011 - I travel through not one, not two but three countries on my way from the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, to the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent.
Time for another RETRO Review, where we shift back through time to many years back now and I write about a place I stayed at which has remained in the corners of my memory for one reason or another. Today, I’m writing about Gulnara Guesthouse where I stayed in June 2011 when I was in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.
So. Destination Kazakhstan? Perhaps not one you’ve ever considered, possibly. Did you know it’s the ninth biggest country in the world? And is home to the Cosmonaut (Russian) Space Program? Or that it’s capital, Nursultan (or as used to be known, Astana) is one of the world’s more unique cities and capitals?
Dushanbe is the Tajikistan capital. The biggest and most impressive city there is in all of Tajikistan. An interesting destination in a stunning, nay breathtaking country! And today I want to share some of my best photos of the place with you.
Come and discover the different currencies of the countries of Central Asia!
In the red corner, the capital of Turkmenistan. The streets are wide and the buildings are blindingly white, we have Ashgabat as our first destination city. In the blue corner, the leafier capital of almost neighbouring but not quite because of Uzbekistan, where the influence of Russian culture has not been forgotten, and where building and building continues at pace, we have Dushanbe! But if you were to travel to Central Asia, which one would I recommend? Let’s pit them against each other and find out!
Today I’m talking about the day I left Samarkand, last year, to make my way to destination Khiva, via Bukhara across the Uzbek desert. No border crossings involved in this travel expedition, but it was a journey of around 728 kilometres and there was one key factor I think that makes these sort of journeys epic – I wasn’t 100% sure I would reach my destination by the end of the day. Let's see how it went!
Sick of apartments, guesthouses and hotels? Tajikistan is one country where you can still stay with families and take a real look at local life!
Central Asia is a place that leads people to imagine endless steppe, deserts, horses, excessively grotesque buildings in the capital cities, but one thing people probably don't imagine is Europe-like forests on mountains. But that's exactly what you find in eastern Kyrgyzstan!