Deserts and dictators. Yurts and nomads. Silk Road cities, staggering yet underrated mountain ranges, Soviet detritus, and one of the world’s greatest road trips.
This is Central Asia. The ‘Stans. Never well understood, but absolutely worth an attempt to understand.
A glimpse of Pik Lenin (23,000+ feet) along the Pamir Highway near the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.
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Three years. Yes, we are aware that this is an insanely long time to be on the road and living out of backpacks. So before we attempt to enlighten you with our travel secrets, we reflect.
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We realize that we may confuse our readers occasionally. One day we’re writing about Tajikistan and the next day about Myanmar, all while traveling through Thailand.
Why so much bouncing around? Continue Reading »
No one seems to know what is needed to get a visa to Tajikistan. Even the Foreign Ministry in Tajikistan had problems advising Audrey’s former Tajik colleagues at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty regarding what was required. It appears to be embassy specific and heavily dependent on the relationship between Tajikistan and the country from which you happen to be applying. In other words: Continue Reading »
I just want to go home. I’m tired of all this visa stuff.
– A distressed traveler at the Kazakh embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
So what does sex have to do with Central Asian visas? Simple, really. Thinking about, planning around, and procuring visas for Central Asian countries begins to dominate one’s time and mindspace — almost to the point of obsession. We’ll leave it to you to do the rest of the comparison. Continue Reading »
The following is a bulleted list of sites and markers along the famed Pamir Highway, all the way from Osh, Kyrgyzstan to Khorog, Tajikistan. This particular list follows the southern route (Langar to Ishkashim) along the Wakhan Valley that traces the Tajik-Afghan border. Continue Reading »
If you’ve ever wondered how to travel to the Pamir Mountains — how to get there and what transportation and accommodation options you’ll have once you get there, this is the post for you. Continue Reading »
The Pamir Highway, roughly speaking begins in Kyrgyzstan and winds its way through Tajikistan. Here’s an outline of some of the highlights of one of the world’s greatest road trips. Continue Reading »
A couple of notes, dear reader. We are headed to Myanmar and things may be quiet, or they may not. We just don’t know. If you don’t hear from us on the home page, take a look at “The Very Latest” on the left-hand sidebar. Twitter seems to have worked in most countries, even those with heavy internet controls and painfully slow connections.
We are also still catching up on Central Asia. It left an impression on us that has rendered us far behind in our writing. While we figure out Myanmar, we offer you the following: the best people, food and landscape/cityscape shots from a journey that still leaves us surprisingly nostalgic for the intensity, challenge, and people of Central Asia. Continue Reading »
When we arrive in a new location, we usually seek out the local market. This is how we orient ourselves. Markets provide an easy way to meet real people in a friendly context. They also offer an insight into local food and culture. Central Asian markets proved no different. We found ourselves frequently sampling local fruits (OK, having fruit heaped upon us by the lapful) and talking with vendors about their products. We decided that the markets, the vendors and the produce in Central Asia deserved a video. Continue Reading »