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Discovery Central Asia #29

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From the editorial board

Dear readers,

Almost two decades have passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, an empire which once was so seemingly unbeatable and solid. The heritage of seventy years of Soviet power could definitely not be erased by the recent seventeen years after it, even if the newly independent states had a strong and consistent will to do so, and limited attempts to overcome that were so far futile. more
  1. The 2008 Berlin
    ITB Travel Fair

  2. Tourists From Uzbekistan May Travel by Train to Lake Issyk Kul Since This Summer

  3. For the 3rd Bishkek
    International Travel Fair, 2008

  4. KITF 2008 The 2008 Kazakhstan International Travel Fair,

  5. The 2nd “Osh City on the Great Silk Road” International Travel Fair more


KITF 2008: A Club for Travellers from 34 Countries of the World

On April 24-26, Almaty saw the 8th International Tourism & Travel Fair  KITF 2008.  The event was organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Almaty City Akimat jointly with Iteca of Kazakhstan and ITE Group of Exhibition Companies. more


Rich and brown calm, soft or spacious space-run

Translate the two Kazakh words 'bay' and 'konir' into English and you get 'rich' and 'brown', with alternatives for 'konir' including 'calm', 'soft' and 'spacious'; the Russian 'kosmodrom' gives you 'space-run' if you take the Greek roots literally. Of course most people understand kosmodrom as cosmodrome, or space centre, but it hardly matters as long as we all know what we're talking about. more



Each of the regions traversed by the Silk Route has its own drinking traditions. The medicinal qualities of Chinese tea are well known; as are those of kumys, fermented mare's milk drunk in the Turkic countries, and airan, a steppe drink made by mixing yoghurt, spring water and usually a little salt. Armenian cognac is as highly esteemed as the sometimes delicate, sometimes rich wines of Georgia and the dark syrupy elixir that is Turkish coffee. But from China to the Black Sea the chief, the foremost, the supreme alcoholic beverage is vodka, which you can find in an astonishing variety of forms. more


Green, Ancient, Classical

Cities, like people, have their destinies: unpredictable, convoluted, complex; sometimes kind, more often cruel. Take  - for example -  Tashkent. Roughly 2,000 years old, it was invaded by Arabs in the 8th century and the Mongols in the 13th; then came Tamerlane in the 14th, annexation by the Khokand khanate at the beginning of the 19th, and capture by the Russians in 1865. In November 1917 the Soviets took over. Then the occasional earthquake, of which the most recent one in 1966 left some 300,000 people homeless. Needless to say, the damage was made good. more



One of the most remarkable cultural treasures that came to light following the démise of Soviet Union in 1991 was the State Art Museum of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, named after I.V. Savitsky - more commonly known as the Savitsky Museum of Art or simply the Nukus Museum.  Nukus, often better known as the town nearest to what remains of the dying Aral Sea, is the capital of the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan in northwestern Uzbekistan; and, while still seemingly remote from the rest of the country, it is only a 90-minute flight from Tashkent and a 3-hour drive from the celebrated city of Khiva. more


Just an ordinary life

Nuriya apay gives me a cup of milky tea. We're sitting at a little table in a teashop in the courtyard. When I put my pen and notebook away she opens up. In a way she's right: her life seems to have been lived much as countless other Soviet women lived theirs. She worked for 40 years in a factory in daily contact with poisonous chemicals. Once she believed in Soviet communism and lived according to its rules. Now she believes in Islam and lives by Muslim rules. She prays. more

Travel Expo

New Developments Enhance Attractiveness of the Travel Expo

That ITE & ITE MICE have a highly international profile of exhibitors has always been its key attraction, a result of which is the Travel Expo being largely organized by geography. However, conscientious efforts in recent years to beef up the overall attractiveness by highlighting travel sectors or themes will start producing concrete developments this year. These include a greater presence of cruise, hot spring & spa, Hong Kong travel agents, and a stronger support from chambers of commerce and event industry associations in the region of Greater Pearl River Delta. more

Frunze City

Anyone flying into or out of Manas airport in Bishkek could be excused for being confused.

Their ticket will contain the airport code FRU, and this seems to be such an odd choice for the code because none of these letters even appear in the name, “Bishkek”, nor in the name of the airport,

These codes are allocated by IATA, (the International Air Transport Association) which represents some 240 airlines  about 94% of all the international air traffic.  There are almost 18000 different three letter combinations, (actually 17576), and some of them are hard to understand, although with a little knowledge of local history and geography the logic behind the choice reveals itself. more
Lenin Peak

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian revolutionary, a communist politician, the main leader of the October Revolution, the first head of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic and from 1922, the first de facto leader of the Soviet Union. more

A communist; or maybe not...

Alexander Dubček (November 27, 1921 – November 7, 1992) was a Slovak politician and briefly leader of Czechoslovakia (1968-1969), famous for his attempt to reform the Communist regime (Prague Spring). Later, after the overthrow of the Communist government, he was Speaker of the federal Czechoslovak parliament. more

Communisms dead! Long live communism?

Relaxing into my seat I get another of these rushes I've been having, a real buzz coursing through my body. Wow! Nice... No drugs either, just natural endorphines. Maybe it's the road, six months of it, they say it can do things to your head... and I think it's done something to mine too. I don't think I'm quite as rational as I once seem to have been... my priorities, they used to be so neatly arranged somewhere up in my cerebrum, have got a bit tangled recently. Oh well... that's the road for you. And this particular rush? Brought on by another road, a brand-new shiny black smooth cambered white-lines down the centre (not sure if that's strictly accurate, but hey...) road - oh how effortlessly we glide. more

XAMAR Gallery

The Effect of Negative Positive

Gayrat Lekimovich Ibragimov was born in 1980. In 2000 he graduated from the P.P. Benkov Republican College of Art, and then in 2005 from the K. Behzad National Institute of Art and Design. Since 2006 he has been a member of the Artists' Association of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. more

Yalla... Beginning
DVD Review. In a flash

At the beginning of the 1960s Uzbek art music was flourishing in Tashkent. The Dance Orchestra of Uzbekistan and its soloists, especially National Artist of Uzbekistan Batir Zakirov, became hugely famous. But that all changed with the rise of the Beatles, who became the most popular group in the world, including Uzbekistan; imitators flourished, drowning out Uzbek music. more

Discovery Central Asia #24

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