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Central Asia

rogers

10+ Posts
Anyone been to central Asia?
Thinking of going there next summer from Turkey. Any recommendations on how to travel around -Stan countries? And are there any etiquette rules we should keep in mind when talking to locals?
 

Eleanor

1000+ Posts
Central Asia is a big area and it would help if you could pin it down a bit more.

The main etiquette rule is probably 'respect their culture, beliefs and background'. Don't judge them through western eyes. This is particualry true when it comes to clothes and covering up. So many tourists ignore this and do cause offence, even if they didn't intend to.
 

rogers

10+ Posts
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - these are the countries we are visiting but haven't decided on particular cities. Still, I'd like to travel around Tian Shan and then go to eastern China and fly back home. I do hope three weeks will be enough for this journey
 

Eleanor

1000+ Posts
I've been to Kyrgyzstan but it was with out own car, driver and guide (the easy way to travel...) We left Kashgar and drove across the Torugart Pass into Kyrgystan. We spent a few days in Naryn and Bishkek.

I don't know how easy it is to travel around by yourself. Lonely Planet may be the best source of information as well as the Lonely Planet forums.
 

rogers

10+ Posts
Checked out Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor - in Central Asia thre're so many interesting places but we won't have time to check out all those. We've decided to fly to Astana, spend a day there and then take a trip to Aral sea and Baikonur Cosmodrome, from there go to Shymkent and all those nature parks that are in its vicinity, form there to Tashkent, Samarkand (definitely we'll spend three to four days there and also for one day go to Bukhara), Panjakent, Dushanbe and from there we'll take a shared taxi to Mardz (want to hike around Badakhshan and Pamirsky National Parks but we won't be climbing any peaks; we still have to decide which trails we'll take there; but guess we'll have to spend the night in homestay places and then somehow reach Murghab) and then we'll head to Kashgar from Sary-Tash through Irkeshtam Pass. Then either by air or train we'll go to Bishkek. There we most probably rent a car and go to Issyk Kul, then to Almaty, hike around mountains there and drive back to Bishkek and finally go home.
We've also been considering another route - from Shymkent fly to Almaty with flyarystan (there're some nice Christmas flight and hotels deals, especially offers from cheapoair hotels) and travel through the same places but in reverse direction from Almaty and fly back home from Tashkent.
Those are ambitious plans but hope we'll be able to visit all those places.
 
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