Globe Trekker TV Shows:Central Asia - Uzbekistan and Kirghistan
Author: Ian Wright
Publisher: Globe Trekker - 1997
Format / Quality: DVDRip
Size: 370 Mb
The former Soviet Republics of Uzbekistan & Kirghistan are in the heart of Central Asia. The area is a vast inaccessible wilderness, surrounded by harsh deserts and high mountains. It was once the site of the ancient caravan routes and its towns were oases on the Great Silk Road of the East. Traveller Ian Wright's journey begins in the smallest of these oasis towns, Khiva. Khiva is a strange time capsule in the middle of the Kara-Kum desert. The city grew up around one small well and the old inner town with its mud streets and squares has been perfectly preserved as a museum. Ian wanders the streets and attends an Uzbek wedding. Later that evening he takes part in a wrestling contest.
The Central Asia region - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan - has, for many years, been off limits to the independent traveller. But thanks to loosening bureaucracy in the new autonomous states, these beautiful, mythic lands are now ripe for exploration. Central Asia enjoys a sunny climate with largely unspoilt blue lakes, snow-capped mountains, and vast arid deserts. The locals have managed to preserve their traditional nomadic culture in a world that is fast becoming homogenous. So many empires and kingdoms have swept through the region at different times, it's no wonder that Central Asia, the original site of the legendary Silk Road, is so rich in heritage. The mountains of Central Asia have been dubbed 'The Roof of the World', containing some of the highest and most beautiful peaks on Earth. Since the routes are so remote, with varying difficulties, you will often find themselves with the captivating landscape all to yourself. Other popular activities include hiking, climbing, rafting, mountain biking, and kayaking.
No country in Central Asia seems to have it so good, yet at the same time have it so bad, as Uzbekistan. The region’s cradle of culture for more than two millennia, it is the proud home to a spellbinding arsenal of architecture and artefacts, all deeply infused with the raw, fascinating history of the country. But as students of that history know, it’s also sprung a few bad apples over the years. Tyrants enamoured by the country’s physical bounty have run the territory we now call Uzbekistan since time immemorial. Concentrating on the good, if there was a Hall of Fame for Central Asian cities, Uzbekistan would own the top-three entries: Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva. The names practically epitomize the region, conjuring up images of knife-twirling dervishes, serpentine desert caravans and architecture that blends with the sand.
Kyrgyzstan is tucked into Central Asia’s geographical vortex amid a massive knot of colliding mountain ranges. Monster mountains and their associated scraggy valleys, glaciers, gorges and ice-blue lakes dominate over 90% of the country. Keen on trekking or horse riding? Just pick a range – there’s plenty to choose from – and head to the jailoos, high-altitude summer pastures of glorious, untrammelled alpine scenery. In true nomadic style, spend the nights camped under a star-crowded sky or bed down in a yurt. Be warned though, the Kyrgyz are renowned for their hospitably and guests are often treated to fermented mare’s milk and bowls of fresh yogurt.