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From the editor

Living in a country and having time to appreciate its magic, charm and idiosyncrasies is entirely different to a once off vacation or seminar abroad. Whichever route you take, we hope that your lasting impressions reached your expectations. Central Asia allows for a radically different exposure to countries whose history and tradition are not just cherished, but venerated. DISCOVERY Central Asia's objective is to enable you to make a discerning choice ...read more

Culture Shock. Caviar
True caviar is far too an expensive commodity to buy without some sound guidance. It is often too rare and too precious a pleasure for most. One of the luxuries in Central Asia, are local markets selling an array of bottled or loose caviar. Always buy from refrigerated vendors, located inside the bazaar. It will last about 1 week at home in your refrigerator and should be stored in the coldest part, usually in the meat compartment. When in the bazaar ask to smell and taste the product as it should never smell or taste fishy or salty. Jet black, golden yellow, gray, or dark brown, the eggs should look shiny, translucent, firm, perfectly whole and distinct. You can buy as little as 100 grams ...read more
Culture Shock. Plov
The Ark, a majestic ancient fortress attracts widespread visitors to Bukhara. Occupying about 4 hectares in the centre of Bukhara, it towers almost 20 metres above the town. Built by the townsfolk this historical site was repeatedly an arena of impetuous events. Respectable elderly mullahs, with their famous wispy white beards, narrate bygone stories of life within the Ark, everyday happenings, traditions and habits. Historians too, have stories to tell, recollecting moments of Emirs and events of ancient Bukhara ...read more
24 Hours in Khiva
Legend has it that Khiva was founded when Shem, son of Noah, discovered a well. The town certainly existed by the 8th century, as a minor fort and trading post on a Silk Road branch Caspian Sea and the Volga. In the early 16th century Khiva was made capital of the Timurid Empire, becoming a busy slave market and pivot of the khanate of the next three centuries. Until Russia finally wrested the region from the Timurid grasp in the 19th century, even the boldest hearts feared encounters with these fierce tribesmen and their desert territory ...read more
Wine. The flavour of Parkent Wine
Like art, music and literature, -wine appreciation is a subject of aesthetics. What is your poison? ~ fruity, heady, perfumed, flowery or a woody bouquet ? Are you a red, white or Rose drinker? Do you partake in dry, sweet or semi sweet? Does your allegiance lie with a Pinotage, Muscat or Reisling. Or do you only quaff 'a glasson a special occasion?...read more
Art design
Samarkand art Gallery
Samarkand Art Gallery, is a vast and incomparable cultural centre close to the Registan. The gallery has an extensive and diverse spectrum of art with many contributing partners, not only in Uzbekistan but also from abroad. The gallery is situated in one of the most picturesque buildings of Samarkand ...read more
Nature. Tien-Shan
The Tien-Shan Mountains, in Kyrgyzstan, stretch for 2000 kilometres from East to West. The Eastern part of the Central Tien-Shan known as the Tengri-Tag, is a complex network of colossal mountainous ranges. Scenery includes, never ending chains of snow covered peaks, giant mountains, the start of many a waterfall, mineral springs, wild animals and if you're lucky birds of prey ...read more
People. My life, my world.
Asian women, like any woman in the world, want the time to do what they like best. Some are absorbed in their private lives, others devote their time to their family and some work an 18 hour day. One such lady is Stekaylo Galina Nikolaevna, the general manager of the Poytaht Hotel. Stekaylo, an economist, graduated from the Institute of National Economy of Uzbekistan. She started her working career at the Tashkent Municipality, taking hotel room reservations. In 1993 she was appointed as vice-president on the board of directors of the Joint-share company Shodlik Hotel. She completed an internationally recognised course on hotel management and currently is the general manager for Poytaht Hotel, which opened its doors in May 2002 ...read more
Five years in Uzbekistan
In August 1997, Ronald Kleijer, an artist from Nootdorp, Holland, took his backpack and headed for Tashkent. In 1994 he had previously traveled to Central Asia, resulting in his studies at the Royal Academy of Art at The Hague, being molded by his experiences abroad.
Taking root in Tashkent, Ronald's life has flourished both professionally and personally, bolstered by his Uzbek wife, Gala, and their daughter Neeltje ...read more
Fashion. Block Printing
The art of block printing material came into existence many centuries ago. Printed cloth was originally formulated for serviceable items such as dresses, scarves, the lining of men's gowns, tablecloths, bedspreads and for funeral shrouds. With the advent of industrialization this unique art almost became obsolete in Uzbekistan. ...read more
The blue legend of Rushtan
Rishtan is a small village in the Southern part of the Fergana Valley, approximately 5 hours drive from Tashkent. En route from Tashkent you pass the elongated Karakul Reservoir, over the winding Kamchik pass, through the recently finished tunnels into the Namangan Province. Rishtan is situated half way between Kokand and Fergana, near the border between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan ...read more
Events. Litle discoveries
Every issue we will bring you a selection of what we have recently discovered, that may be of interest to you. We found a wonderful pianist, whose fingers truly know the meaning of jazz. Ancient arts that had almost become extinct are starting to once again emerge in both Samarkand and Bukhara. Just when you thought that you had seen everything there was to see, a newly renovated historical site has been proclaimed in Samarkand and opens to tourism in the fourth quarter of 2002... ...read more
Embassies
Entry into Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan requires the following:
~ 2 black and white photographs
~ Letter of invitation (or sponsorship)
~ Valid visa... ...read more
Travel Tips
Would you take a stroll through the Bronx after dark, flaunting flesh, with your handbag, and jewelry flashing? Of course it would never, ever enter your mind. For the very same reason when on business or holiday abroad, act wisely, don't let your actions allow you to fall prey to violence. Media worldwide warns of an increase of crime, rape and theft of travelers to foreign countries... ...read more
Festivals. Asia Fair 2003
Belasia is a non-profit organization founded in 1992. Its aim is to promote social, cultural and economic understanding with Asian countries and their inhabitants. One of its social highlights is the annual Asia Fair... ...read more

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