If there are two, must see Central Asian countries on the Silk Route, they are Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan; two very different destinations with a mutual history stretching from antiquity to the days of the Soviet Union.
Uzbekistan is the more visited of the two, because of its fabulous culture and Islamic architectural splendour. The cities of Khiva, Bukhara and fabled Samarkand are really unrivalled. Each has its own unique flavour, history and monuments. The sheer grandeur and colour of Samarkand make it peerless, whereas the quiet beauty of Bukhara and the tranquillity of Khiva make both unmissable.
Kyrgyzstan is about the vast mountains, valleys and lakes of the Tian Shan Mountains and the nomadic horsemen that live there, who become our hosts and guides. It’s a wonderful place for hiking and riding. Add in the deserts of Turkmenistan and the bizarre Darvaza Crater and you have an epic journey.
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