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Discovery Central Asia

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From the editorial board

Just the other day at the office we got into a big brain storming session on how we were going mark our 5 year anniversary in 2007. 5 years of continuously gathering and elaborating on the practical and indispensable information you need to make the best of your journey in and around Central Asia has not always been the easiest of jobs but it is definitely a passionate one and we will strive to give you a good view of what tourism is in this region through Discovery Central Asia. more

Ceramics of Rishtan

The names of master of Rishtan pottery, those who over many tenerations have held and handed on the secret to creating the dazzling blue and white glazed wares from clay we today admire and cherish, are firmly embedded in the memory of those who continue this millenia old craft in the Ferghana valley.
At the end of the XIX century articles of the Rishtan potters were exported to Russia, where they were exhibited and where they made for popular sales items. more

In the tracks of Marco Polo
Uzbekistan is famous for its situation along The Great Silk Road and slowly but surely the country is gaining a reputation as a tourism destination not only for culture tours but equally for those interested in archaeology, eco tourism, ornithology, mountain trekking, camel safaris, to name but a few. more
Modern miniatures
The art of the miniature painting is well known and spread throughout Uzbekistan, introduced to the area at the time of the Persian conquest. Not only are miniatures historic documents, depicting court scenes or episodes of local lore but they are also the expression of their time. This is very much the case with the miniature paintings by Abduhakim Karimov. His works stand out as they are the impersonification of his very own style. more
The Takhtakaracha pass
The first mention of the pass leading from Samarkand to Shakhrisabsz (Kesh) goes back to Arab, Persian and Tajik travel notes of IX-XII centuries. It was the hayday of the Silk Road and its branch leading down south towards the Indian Ocean was of prime importance. This particular leg was called "The Emir's Road" and the Takhtakaracha pass was indeed a considerable shortcut and still is today. more
The Ichan Kala Walls
Opinions vary widely as to traveller's favorite places in Central Asia but ranking high on the "favorite" list is the walled city of Khiva, the IchanKala.
This with good reason. The fortification clay walls of the Ichan Kala are preserved to the point that you as a visitor will be delving into a town where the medieval spirit still reigns, as nowhere else in Central Asia. more
Cave of the fire-worshippers

Beshpeshagor, the Valley of Five Caves, must be one of the least known yet mysterious and picturesque places of wild nature in Uzbekistan. So well hidden by the Molguzar mountain range south of Jizzak, that rarely a foreign visitor stumbles upon the path that leads to a world of uninhabited canyons overgrown by forests of thorny pistachios, where once influential Sufi leaders and their followers congregated. more

Nuratau Nature Reserve
It is surprising that even in this fast-paced century we live in, some corners of the world have been preserved, where time has an entirely different meaning and nothing much has changed since time remembered. The same type of houses, the same farming plots, the same day-to-day cares. more
My travel: Rofftop of the World
Neville McBain is Director of British Council in Iran An ardent traveler, with his family or solo, he has explored the furthest corners of Central Asia. A gifted raconteur, he draws a vivid oral picture of his many adventures and encounters en route. more
Kazakh traditional lifestyle
If there is any one object that perfectly defines Kazakhstan and that you should definitely seek out while travelling this part of the world, it is the white yurt on a background of the rich green of a Jailau alpine meadow. Live like a Kazakh for a couple of nights and you will get a deeper comprehension of the original Kazakh culture. more
Hunting with Golden Eagles
Hunting is a deep-rooted tradition in Kazakhstan, for many reasons. For one, the nomadic tribes roaming the steppes, the vast uncultivated lands of Central Asia, depended on the one widely available and indispensable staple food that is meat. Also, the fierce winds and below minus temperatures in the winter made fur hats, coats, gloves, boots and blankets indispensable. more
A great Clean-up at Son-Kul
In June of this year, the Kyrgyz Tourism Association, whose members are organized in the "Hospitality Kyrgystan" community program took the great initiative to organize and hold a great clean up happening, a much applauded eco-action on the shores of lake Son Kol. more
Don't rush through Osh
The travel trend of 2006 in Central Asia shows great demand in combination tours, exploring several neighboring Central Asian countries during one holiday. Travel involving border crossing; this has put certain border towns right back into the limelight they once enjoyed. more
Greek petra = stone
glyphe = to draw
"used to denote pictures drawn or etched onto stones, drawings, left for us on high rocks and in deep caves can provide evidence of the way of life and the environment of times long past when man had not yet developed a system of written signs. more
Supporting traditional crafts
Traditional crafts form an essential and integral part of all cultures. In Central Asia there are many different forms of handicraft, found both throughout the region or distinctive to one particular area or ethnic group. more
The "Oimo 2006" Festival-Exhibition in Tamchi
At the end of July 2006, the first of a series of annual crafts festival and exhibition was held in Tamchi, on the shores of Lake Issyk Kul. "Oimo 2006", ("Patterns 2006"), organized by the Central Asian Craft Support Association, (CACSA), and the Kyrgyz Ministry of Culture as part of the programme "100 Cultural Activities", brought together craftsmen and women from all over the Central Asian region to the small lakeside resort and provided a showcase for their products. more
The Ak Kalpak
The Kalpak, properly called the "Ak Kalpak" (white Kalpak), is a hat usually made from four panels of white felt with traditional patterns stitched into them as decoration. It is worn by males of all ages especially in rural Kyrgyzstan, and is a symbol of the nation. (One writer has even written that "what the baseball cap is to the Americans, the Kalpak is totheKyrgyz") more
Visit to Turkmenistan
It is 3 o'clock in the afternoon and finally, from the deck of the "Azerbaijan" the captain signals land ahead. Turkmenistan at last. It has been a long journey from Baku, but the sight of Turkmenbash' s Caspian coastline revitalizes me and I go back to my cabin to pack... more
Sights of Afghanistan
Afghanistan is a very ancient country, the first mention of which was made in the chronicles of VI century ВС, when it was included in the Persian Empire of Akhaemenids. In about 330 ВС. Afghanistan was conquered by Alexander the Great. more
My travel: Kashgar Xingjiang
Popular Chinese proverb says, "If you have been to Xinjiang but have not visited Kashgar, it means that you have not been to Xinjiang"... For Kashgar and its Sunday Bazaar is the highlight of Xinjiang. The word "bazaar" in Uighur means actually "fair". The custom of making it to the "fair" in time is widely spread in those places, where Uighurs live and Kashgar is world famous for the Sunday bazaar. more
Ite Mice & Ite 2006
The 20th International Travel Expo
Hong Kong
Growths in Attendance and Scale
continued to mark another
Successful more
My travel: Impressions from Persia
It was with some trepidation that I approached the Iranian frontier from the small, Turkish border town of Dogubeyazit. The seeds of war were seemingly being sown as the row over Iran's nuclear programme intensified. I had been warned. The news that morning had shown damming reports of the programme and the world was frighteningly poised to act. more
New baggage policies for flyers
British Airways and franchise partner BMED, who operates flights between Almaty and London are to make changes to its baggage policies.
The new guidelines are introduced to bring them in line with recommendations by the UK Department for Transport and requirements by Heathrow airport's operator, BAA. more

Discovery Central Asia #17

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