People leave out Central Asia from their holiday trips more often than not. They get dazzled by all of the pictures and information and tourism options there are in places like France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. They don’t realize that just a bit farther east, there are some incredible countries, full of beauty, history, and culture, just waiting to be visited. And, the tourism in these areas is growing! But the other problem is, due to the last part of these country’s names, people get them all confused. Let’s set the record straight, shall we?
Tajikistan is a central Asian country with Dunshanbe as its capital. One of its bordering neighbors is China. It has a population of about 7.8 million people, and actually has one of the highest literacy rates in the world! It’s known for its beautiful and strong mountains, specifically the Fann Mountains. It’s a great place for trekking and hiking.
Uzbekistan is definitely growing in tourism, due to its tantalizing food and general hospitality. Its capital city is Tashkent, and it has many other cities worth visiting and exploring. Its museums are packed full of historical artifacts, so many people head to Uzbekistan to do a bit of archaeological exploration as well as hiking!
Kazahkstan is neighbor to both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with a capital city named Astana. Ever since the Borat movie, it’s been growing in popularity among tourists! It is known for its lovely natural landscapes, and is a great place for skiing, snowboarding, mountain climbing, and hiking. It’s also growing in size due to oil money.
Turkmenistan is known for some fascinating tourist sites, such as the Gates of Hell, which is a constantly burning crater from an oil rig. It is a desert country, and it is famous for breeding one of the most beautiful types of horses: Ahal-Teke. This country is a great place to go for a horseriding holiday.
Lastly, there is Kyrgyzstan. This beautiful country is also famous for having some incredible natural tourist sites. For example, there is the Lake Issyk Kul, which is a mountain lake that never freezes! It also contains the world’s biggest walnut forests. This country is both landlocked and full of mountains, and its capital is Bishkek.
Of course, let’s not forget Afghanistan and Pakistan. But these two countries do not fall under the umbrella of Central Asia, which are the countries that were formerly under Soviet control. All of these “stan” countries are beautiful and unique in their own way, and all have something to provide for the eager tourist. Pick your poison: will it be horse-riding, trekking, camping, snowmobiling, or rock-climbing? Any and all of these are options in this part of the world.