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Discovery Central Asia #29

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Dear readers,

It is always such a great pleasure and honor to present a new issue of our magazine to your attention. The current one is the first in year 2008 and the twenty-third first since we've started publishing. This issue and its timing mean a lot to us: we still remember the spirit of the New Year, yet already anticipate the approaching advent of the spring, which always brings us new hopes and renewal, as it does to the whole nature. more

World Travel Market 2007

World Travel Market 2007 was the largest event ever staged with record results, un-audited figures reveal as Reed Travel Exhibitions announced. Total numbers of delegates rose 3% to 48,687, Meridian Club buyers increased by more than 12% to nearly 13,000 and international participants went up by 9.5%. Visitor numbers increased to 23,802, a hike of 5.6% more

Kazakhstan Switzerland

Rafael Wiedenmeier

Born:  05.01.1980 (Glarus/Switzerland)
School:  1987-1997Art School Zürich:  1997-2000
Medical University:  2000-2004 more


The feast Navruz by its origin is connected with Old Iranian worship to the Sun and the name of prophet Zaratushtra. Navruz, or Nouruz (Nauriz, Neuroz, etc.) also in translation from Farsi (and Tajik) means “a new day”. That day Old Persian kings put on their heads a crown with a picture of solar year’s cycle for participating in divine services at a Temple of Fire; it was accepted to give expensive presents to their flock at that day. Later on the feast wide-spread and ingrained among many nationalities of Central Asia, as Iran-speaking as Turk, felt the influence of Zoroastrian culture. Islam religion’s appearing didn’t refuse the custom to feast Navruz, organically penetrated into life of Asian farmers and town-dwellers. more

Following in the Footsteps of...

by Ian Claytor

Some tours which travel along the Silk Road are advertised as being “… in the footsteps of Marco Polo”.
Marco Polo (1254 -1324) published an account of his journey,  (“Il Milone - Le divisament dou monde” - "The description of the world" - ” better known in English as “The Travels of Marco Polo”), which he dictated to a fellow prisoner in 1298-9, whilst he was a captive of the Genoese.  It was a great success and widely read.  Many people, however, could not believe some of the 'fantastic' descriptions of animals, places, events and so forth.  Indeed there is still some about whether Marco Polo actually made the epic journey that are described in his memoirs. more

Kyrgyzstan Looking for the Exraordinary

Kyrgyzstan – Look for the Exraordinary
(by Jean-Luc Wenger)

In the 18th century Samuel Johnson uttered the immortal and oft-quoted line: ‘If a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’. After six years of working and living in the heart of London's exclusive St James's Place, I decided to leave the banking industry and the city that seems to be invaded by pigeons. Although I had to be first taught how to spell Kyrgyzstan correctly, I realised quite soon that there is something special about this country. All I initially knew was that yaks live in this area, an animal that can knock down a spruce tree with its head, carry loads of more than 100kg and can sustain in inhospitable lands above snowline! more

South Kyrgyzstan

Nowadays geopolitically independent Kyrgyzstan is separated into the North and South divided by the Fergana, Chatkal, and Talass mountain ridges.
In this article we describe South Kyrgyzstan.
In the territory of South Kyrgyzstan, between the fertile eastern part of the Fergana valley and the mountainous Alay valley lies three regions of the Kyrgyz Republic: Osh, Djalalabad, and Batkent. Osh, the so called south capital, is the largest of them and the second city in Kyrgyzstan, and is over 3000 years old. Its unique geographic position made it one of the most important and strategic cities on the Fergana branch of the Silk Road. For many millennia caravans, loaded with silk, porcelain, gems, cotton, tea and other goods, crossed the lifeless Taklamakan desert and inhospitable passes of the Karakorum, from China and India to Osh. From here they left for Europe through Hudjand, Samarqand, Merv, Bukhara, Khiva. more

Uzbek Encounters

Our well-arranged journey through Uzbekistan presents us with many of the splendors the country can offer. Beyond the modern shops of the cities lie the old towns, shimmering with turquoise and blue domes and conjuring images from the Tales of Thousand and One Nights. We visit beautiful mosques, madrassas, and mausoleums, both ancient and newly built, with the superb workmanship of old in tile setting, mosaic work, and woodcarving. In the courts of the madrassas--students nowadays attend modern universities--craftsmen set out their wares recalling the trade goods of the ancient Silk Road: silk carpets and scarves, embroidered tablecloths and robes, stringed instruments, silver ornaments, ceramic dishes, and wood carvings. more

The Ugam-Chatkal National Park

Ugam-Chatkal is the state national wild nature park, created in 1992 by reorganization of Chatkal biosphere reserve. It is located at Chatkal ridges of Western Tien-Shan, encompassing Akhangaran, Brichmulla and Chirchik lumber reserves, and has a total area of 668350 hectares, which makes it  the largest nature protection complex in Uzbekistan. more

Mirages of Kizil-Kum - Following Birds of Passage

“The torrid heat is here. The wind takes away the rest of the moisture. It looks like a sea of quick sand instead of water and innumerable sand dunes instead of waves stretches around. Bare red-yellow sand is everywhere you can observe. Feet sink in it, a caravan is hardly moving ahead…”. more

Ingan Zhubangaliyev
The “Famous People” column of this issue is devoted to the prominent Kazakh artist Ingan Jubangaliyev. We were thinking a lot about whom you might be interested to know and decided that a picture of a nation is perhaps best viewed through creative work of an original, distinctive artist, who has found his own unique way in art.
Ingan Jubangaliyev's paintings express his individual inner universe, and yet they do also reflect his nation's soul, an authentic Kazakh archetype. His pictures convey his ideas through a symbolic language, laconic and precise. We decided to ask the artist some questions, so you could better understand and feel the unique artistic culture of Kazakhstan through the eyes of an artist - Ingan Jubangaliyev. more
The Main Dish in Kazakh Cuisine

For many centuries the favourite dish of Kazakh cuisine has been Besbarmak: well-boiled large pieces of meat (horse-flesh or mutton) served with thin layers of rolled out slices of dough which has been boiled in a rich bouillon, and drinking the bouillon, (called “sorpa”), afterwards. Surprisingly, although a Kazakh dish, the modern name (“besbarmak”) has the Russian roots.  Russian settlers, were astonished by the fact that it is eaten with the hands and so they called it “five fingers”, which translated into the Kazakh language is “bes barmak”. Over the course of time this name has supplanted the original Kazakh name, “yet”, which meant simply “meat” more


After passing   through   the  fertile  and hospitable lands of the densely populated valley between the rivers Syr-Darya and Amu-Darya, travelers along the Great Silk Road are faced with the wild and arid flats of the Karakuma Desert. Trade caravans would never have been able to survive the thousand-kilometer trek over loose sand dunes and powerful hills stretching as far as the Caspian Sea, if not for oases such as ancient Merv, a cradle of one of the most ancient civilizations on Earth. more

In the Footsteps of the Pioneers

In 1928 Rickmer Rickmers and his German-Soviet expedition explored some remote glaciers of the eastern Pamir mountains in modern day Tajikistan. In 2004, I joined Joerg and Lydia  from Germany to repeat a section of his explorations and traverse the central section of the huge Fedchenko glacier, one of the largest outside the polar regions. more

Kashgar: Oasis on the Silk Road

Kashgar: the very name resonates within the Western world's collective conscience  it is one of those places that everyone has heard of, many dream of visiting, but only relatively few actually reach. Yet those that do invariably go home with wonderful memories and tales to tell of this fabled city. more


Dilshod Eshmatov

Dilshod Eshmatov is a young talented Uzbek artist, whose gift is so vividly seen in his landscape paintings. Done in a realistic manner, they testify that their author has mastered impressive technical skills, and reveal him as a uniquely hard working, deeply sensitive and rigorously attentive artist. more

Discovery Central Asia #23

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