Silk Road Travel is a transformative, transportive experience. You can close your eyes almost anywhere along the historic route through Central Asia and turn back the clock a thousand years. In the corners of your mind you see camel and horse caravans inching towards the horizon, heaving with silks, precious stones, and spices as they amble towards Europe.
A major stop along the ancient Silk Road, Samarkand has emerged as one of the world’s true culinary destinations. The various ethnic groups that have passed through the city all left their delectable mark on Uzbek food, which fuses Turkic, Tajik, Mongolian, Russian, Jewish, and other traditions.
As a young man, the 14th-century Turko-Mongol military leader Timur sustained crippling injuries to his right hand and hip. The latter caused a rather severe limp, earning him the nickname Timur-e Lang or “Timur the Lame”—the origin of his European moniker, Tamerlane.
The block of former Soviet republics—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan—is the new frontier for audacious adventurers. Here’s what you need to know about visiting Central Asia.
Zegrahm Field Leader Gary Wintz is what you might call a cultural conduit between East and West. For most of the past 35 years, Gary has been traveling outside the United States researching, writing, photographing, and lecturing about distant lands and cultures.