Latest Central Asia Headlines
26 Jan, 2015, 17:51|
Living it up in the Kyzyl Kum desert
Unzbekistan’s great cities of Bukhara and Kiva are threatened on every side by the sandy desert wastes of the Kyzyl Kum desert. But when Ski Krieger arrives, amidst snow and ice, the open-hearted locals welcome them into their world.
14 Jan, 2015, 12:48|
Into the heart of rural Azerbaijan
David Jenkins leaves Baku and heads to the interior of the country, to the mountain village of Lahic, where everyone assumes he’s just another Russian.
8 Jan, 2015, 14:41|
The festive chaos of Christmas in Delhi
A family Christmas always has the potential to be traumatic, but Jenny Seth finds the celebrations in India are subtly different. But still great fun.
12 Dec, 2014, 14:49|
A tiny focus for traditional arts in rural Odisha
The state of Orrisa, now renamed Odisha, is an often overlooked region or India just south of Kolkatta. Bijoy Mishra takes time to explore a small village dedicated to traditional arts.
8 Dec, 2014, 15:15|
Byzantium, Constantinople – or, today, Istanbul
At the frontier between Europe and Asia, Ben Lambert settles down to a sundowner coffee. In Turkey’s largest city he also is treated to an impromptu blast of street music.
20 Nov, 2014, 11:05|
The smiling faces of magical Myanmar
As sanctions crumble a new wave of travellers are flooding into Myanmar. Laurie Daghigh is among them, and reports the traditional Burmese welcome has not yet lost its shine.
31 Oct, 2014, 07:32|
A ‘Hippy Trail’ busride across the Khyber Pass
The glory days of Asian travel have to be the 1970’s, when an early wave of backpackers flooded into a whole new world of drugged-out colour. Donal Conlon digs out an old diary entry of his journey from Delhi to Kabul.
15 Oct, 2014, 11:03|
Stunned by the sights of Samarkand
Once important as a major part of the historic Silk Road, Uzbekistan makes a huge play of its heritage. After feasting on mosques, minarets, museums and medrassas, David Jenkins finds a new ‘m’ to wonder at: mausoleums.
29 Sep, 2014, 12:29|
Marvels of Myanmar
Whether you call it Myanmar or Burma, there’s no doubt that the newest entry on the southeast Asian travel circuit is an untouched charmer. Ellie Williams has the scoop.
29 Sep, 2014, 10:37|
A toast of vodka for every bird species seen
In a remote homestay in rural Kazakhstan, David Jenkins plans his birdwatching visit to the Korgalzhyn wetlands. A Kazakh safari, however, turns out to be nothing like its African equivalent.
23 Sep, 2014, 17:08|
India’s Delhi – a baptism of fire
The more Kelly West tells her friends about India, the less they want to go. Perhaps, she thinks, if she puts it in writing her career as a travel agent might finally take off.
21 Aug, 2014, 12:11|
Death on the slopes of Kyrgystan’s Peak Lenin
Of all the adventure travel activities, mountaineering is certainly one of the most dangerous. On the slopes of one of Asia’s greatest peaks, Binod Shankar finds death brushes unsettlingly close.
14 Aug, 2014, 10:26|
Perhaps the only tourist in Kazakhstan’s biggest city
Arriving in Almaty feels a bit like landing on the moon. Richest of all the ‘Stans, the Kazakhs have money and plenty of it. David Jenkins finds the sudden affluence something of a challenge.
29 Jul, 2014, 10:02|
A sudden Tajik wedding in downtown Dushambe
The capital city of Tajikistan doesn’t often get Western visitors. But David Jenkins, on his tour of ten-letter countries, finds he fits right in.
3 Jul, 2014, 14:22|
High-speed through Hunan – and a taste of China’s past
A new high-speed train hurtles through one of China’s previously remote regions, Hunan, and links huge Chinese cities none of us have heard of. Thomas Bird clambers aboard to find any bits of history not yet built over.
28 Jun, 2014, 17:55|
The unexpected pleasures of hiking in Kyrgystan
David Jenkins is having a jolly hike up a Kyrgyz mountain but then it rains. And that turns to hail. And the porter falls in a river. With all his dry clothes.
19 Jun, 2014, 17:58|
The daily negotiations of expat life in China
It’s the little things that wear Kelsey Cole down as he tries to sort out a corporate takeover gone wrong. In mainland China dealing with hotels and drivers is an endless battle.
14 Jun, 2014, 17:25|
A day in the saddle in the mountains of Kyrgystan
The romance of the Silk Road might survive Bishkek but it doesn’t reach out to the small town of Kochkor. Things get worse when David Jenkins signs up to experience life as a Kyrgyz herder.
10 Jun, 2014, 13:48|
A complex, budget-friendly tour of all India
Alexandra Fournell’s plans to visit India are endlessly complicated by her friends’ travel wishlists. This means she ends up visiting almost every part of the country on a 360-degree tour.
9 Jun, 2014, 18:39|
Carpet-bagged by a wily Delhi textile salesman
Jason Smart has, up to now, brushed off carpet salesmen across Africa and the Middle East. But his first line of defense is indifference while his wife, fresh from India’s Taj Mahal, is anything but.
9 Jun, 2014, 14:50|
No road rules at all in present-day China
China’s rapid urbanisation has launched a whole generation of first-time drivers. Kelsey Cole reflects on a culture where the well-being of others is hardly a priority.
31 May, 2014, 13:11|
A Sheki introduction to rural Azerbaijan
In the little town of Sheki in central Azerbaijan David Jenkins finds a charming hostess/guide and an unexpected link with Scandinavia.
28 May, 2014, 16:27|
To spit or not on the streets of Dhakar
There are countries and cultures where spitting is acceptable – in some it seems almost compulsory. In Bangladesh David Jenkins decides it should be made a capital offence.
22 May, 2014, 12:53|
An unconventional visa run in a Bangladeshi Embassy
It’s easy enough to get visas in London. Almost every country has embassies. But Jason Smart is in Qatar. Doha is different, and getting an Indian visa had been a nightmare – but Bangladesh proves a breeze.
4 May, 2014, 11:32|
The diabolic hospitality of the Kingdom of Bhutan
The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is famously – and officially – happy. At the end of a somewhat stifling official group tour Matthew Crawford makes a break for reality on the streets of Thimpu.
15 Apr, 2014, 22:52|
Adventures and insights on Everest’s flanks
D B Goman
On the foothills of Mount Everest, in the shade of Chomolungma, D B Goman starts out in litter but quickly climbs to find a Himalayan world of mountain peace. A high-altitude trek brings him very close to heaven.
15 Apr, 2014, 16:18|
Another lazy day in downtown Dali
Tourists touring Yunnan flood to China’s iconic city of Lijiang, but tend to overlook nearby Dali. Jenny Richardson says they are missing a lot.
8 Apr, 2014, 16:07|
Kabul’s only tourist goes shopping – and finds souvenirs
Afghanistan is now far from any sort of tourist destination. But it was once a key stage on the 1970’s ‘Hippy Trail’. Robin Ratchford flies in to the capital finds that – on Chicken Street – all the same handicrafts are still on sale.
28 Mar, 2014, 15:30|
Taking in the temples of Khajuraho
The guide/client relationship isn’t one that should be strained, especially perhaps in India on a trip lasting several days. Patrick Moon finds managing his driver/guide something of a challenge as he tracks the crazed roads of Madhya Pradesh.
19 Mar, 2014, 11:27|
In at the deep end when TEFLing in China
Day one as a volunteer teacher in Nanshan, China, and the pupils are taken to the local swimming pool. Jennifer Richardson finds herself left fully dressed on the sidelines as the children sink or swim.
4 Mar, 2014, 11:59|
Hampi’s ‘season’ sighs to an end as India’s scene moves west
India’s migrant expat community settles in to Hampi for some winter rock-climbing, then follows the season on to Gorkana, the next stop on Asia’s social calendar. Hammock-bound Michael Britton seems to be the last to leave.
18 Feb, 2014, 20:38|
Armenia comes to terms with the aftermath of communism
After six months in Yerevan, Tom Allen finally takes to the road on his bicycle, reflecting on a country still recovering from the collapse of communism and emerging, blinking, into the 21st century.
14 Feb, 2014, 21:41|
Hack, slit and, squeal: death comes to Georgetown
Life at its rawest goes through its cycles in the poorer districts of Madras. In deepest South India Colin Todhunter soaks up the atmosphere of the daily dramas that pervade the streetscenes of Chennai.
7 Feb, 2014, 17:54|
Mountain madness at the wintry foot of Everest
It’s not usual to choose midwinter to trek to Everest Base Camp. But Binod Shankar finds it’s a great time to visit Nepal’s high Himalayas and see a new year’s sun rise over the world’s highest mountain.
16 Jan, 2014, 13:55|
More camels than cameras at Pushkar’s famous fair
Bonnie Lynn finds camels aplenty when she rocks up to an Indian desert for Rajasthan’s annual livestock festival. More than that, there are games and antics to pass an unforgettable few days.