Bob Atkinson

If you are looking for an introduction to the Five Stans then this is a great tour to open the doors for you. Whilst independent travel is taking off in the Stans, travelling with Wild Frontiers took the hassle out of the borders, ensured you had decent transport that minimised waiting around and allowed you to cover some vast distances within a relatively short time. Impossible otherwise. Using an experienced tour leader throughout and knowledgeable local guides in each country, this trip gives you a real insight into these rapidly developing countries and a link back to the past of the Silk Road. From stunning mountain scenery to vast desert plains, ancient history to modern architecture not seen in the West with amazing bargains on handmade silk and ceramics goods made by craftsmen.

This trip is packed with variety. Yes some of the travelling days are long, but the chance to see places that few others get the opportunity to, and before they become truly 'modern' should be grabbed now. The variety is also there with accommodation styles. Amazing home stays high in the mountains of Tajikistan to retro Soviet hotels in Kazakhstan and quirky B&Bs in Uzbekistan. Every night a surprise and different to the next. The mosques and madrassas are stunning. This trip has really whetted my appetite to go back and discover more in depth. If you can afford the time to stay longer in Turkmenistan then it's worth the expense to visit the Darvaza Craters, and the `Yangikala canyon. They are like nowhere else you will have been on earth.