Horsing Around in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan of Central Asia

The Uzbek capital of Tashkent shows its Soviet and Persian pasts and cultural Muslim present. The horse country of Kyrgyzstan has a Soviet-esque capital, Bishkek, and pristine Lake Issyk-Kul, where eagles soar, horses run free and snow-capped mountains stretch as far as the eyes can see.  

Retracing the Silk Road and Persian Roots in Uzbekistan

As a major producer of silk since the 4th century, Uzbekistan was an integral part of the Silk Route, the ancient trade route linking China to the west. Bukhara and Samarkand were on this route and have UNESCO-recognized historic centers that are 1,500 to 2,500 years old. Shakhrisyabz is even older and also on UNESCO’s list. All three cities have stunning examples of Persian architecture.

Carpe(t) Diem in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is Central Asia’s most elusive country with few tourists, making it also the most fascinating. That’s especially true for a journalist as Turkmenistan has no freedom of the press. But it is well worth visiting … seize the day, just not carpets.