WF's Charlie describes his journey through China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan whilst on our Silk Road Odyssey tour
It has to be sitting on the summit of a mountain in the Pamirs, around Sary Tash, with the view of snow-capped Lenin’s Peak in the background and a golden eagle circling above.
The traditional Uzbek dish of plov. Juicy rice, succulent meat and roasted garlic. Delicious!
Best night’s accommodation?
Nestled within the Tian Shan (or Mountains of Heaven), our yurt camp at Tash Rabat was certainly a night to remember. Drinking vodka toasts with the locals and stargazing at a sky unblemished by light pollution, allowing the Milky Way to show off its majestic beauty!
It has to be horse riding in the mountains and hills surrounding the scenic Son Kul lake. Riding these majestic horses up the rocky slopes to view ancient petroglyphs etched into the rockface was definitely my favourite activity.
Crossing the border from China to Kyrgyzstan. After 7 hours of border checkpoints and having our passports checked 12 times leaving China, we were welcomed back to Kyrgyzstan with a one man band at the Kyrgyz border, along with a man, his dog and a smile.
On my travels through Uzbekistan, I asked my guide to take me to find the best place to buy a carpet - a product the country is famous for. We went to the workshop of the famous Samarkand Bukhara Silk Carpets Company and watched them as they made the splendid carpets by hand. I put on my haggling hat and bought an excellent sheep and camel wool carpet.
I would have loved to have made it through the desert to Khiva, but unfortunately time didn’t permit.
Tips for travellers?
Be prepared for many hours of immigration checks into and out of China. Don’t take any books or maps that could be misconstrued as bad propaganda because these will be confiscated.