Blogging from the Wild

Just back from...Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan

Recently back from his journey to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, Sales Manager Sean fills us in on the highlights of his trip.

Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan: Homestays, Borders and Desert Storms

Tour leader, Carly Fillis, writes from the field about local hospitality and the fickle weather of the desert, as she leads our Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan: Cities of the Silk Road tour.

A to Z of the Silk Road

The Silk Road was one of the world’s most important trade routes, traversing deserts, mountains and plains from China to Constantinople with branches down to India, the Middle East and North Africa. More than just goods, the Silk Road transported religion, culture and ideas between east and west. In our A to Z we take a look at some of the key people, places and events in the history of the Silk Road.

Top Five Places to Visit on the Silk Road

Interest in the Silk Road is growing rapidly, with travellers intrigued by the ancient routes which saw the exchange of goods, religion and ideas between east and west. The routes cover such vast areas that it can be difficult to decide where to visit, so we’ve put together a list of the top five places to see on the Silk Road, from cultural hotspots to incredible landscapes.

Culinary Delights in Uzbekistan

Tour leader Carly Fillis recently led our Cities of the Silk Road group tour. Below she talks about how the food and abundance of fresh produce in Uzbekistan was surprisingly different to her expectations...

An Encounter with Turkmenistan's Heavenly Horses

Tour leader Carly Fillis has just returned from leading our Cities of the Silk Road group tour to Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Below Carly reflects on getting up close and personal with Turkmenistan's iconic horses...   We arrived at the Akhal-Teke stud farm late in the morning. As a horse rider…

Marble and Mud: The Extremes of Turkmenistan's Architecture

Tour leader Jude Holliday has just returned from leading our Journey Around the Caspian Sea group tour. Below Jude looks back on her time in Turkmenistan and the contrasts between its glittering capital and rural village life...   Ashgabat has a new airport. It opened in September 2016 and cost …

Turkmenistan’s Darvaza Gas Crater Turned Into World’s Biggest Barbeque

The world’s biggest barbeque is to take place this summer at Turkmenistan’s Darvaza Gas Crater, to celebrate the country’s 25th year of independence. Located in the Karakum Desert, the natural gas crater, also known as “The Door to Hell”, is over 60 metres in diameter and has been burning continuous…

The Mysterious Desert Lands of Turkmenistan

Tour leader Antonia Morris recently returned from leading our Cities of the Silk Road group tour. Below Antonia reflects on her time in Turkmenistan. Our journey now heads towards Mary in Turkmenistan, with the heat ever increasing and the temperature rising to the high 30s. As luck would have it…

Just Back From: Turkmenistan

Operations Manager Craig recently returned from leading our Turkmenistan: The Forgotten 'Stan group tour. We asked Craig a few questions about his favourite memory, his tips to travellers and what it's really like to explore Central Asia's most unusual country. Best view First sight of the…

Never a Dull Moment in Turkmenistan

Saturday night in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital city. From my seventh floor hotel window I can see the disco in the hotel garden below. I can hear it too – a combination of western, modern dance music and Russian pop – but have no fear, dear reader, if you are thinking of coming here, the plug is…

Heavenly Horses and the Gates of Hell - on the Road in Turkmenistan

Waking to the sound of clattering hooves as a ‘heavenly’ Turkmen horse trots past my hotel window is a pretty unusual experience; in Turkmenistan you learn to expect the unexpected – it’s what makes it such an exciting destination. It’s my third trip here and the fascination builds with each returni…

Flashback Friday: 48 hours in a Turkmen Ferry Terminus

Flashback Friday - to Summer 2006. This is certainly one where the independent traveller in me got the better of the commercial tour operator. In my defence, always wanting our clients to experience real travel situations rather than dumbed down run-of-the-mill activities, has I think been one of…

Lunar Landscapes in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan, we were discovering on this recce tour, hasn’t quite yet got the hang of foreign tourists. Staff in government-owned hotels greet us with stares somewhere between trepidation and rabbit-in-the-headlights. Their English is usually very basic, their interaction with overseas tourists ext…

Leaving the Marble Madness of Ashgabat

It didn’t take long to leave the glaringly white, dazzlingly surreal, marble city of Ashgabat, so close is the ever-encroaching desert. If ever there was a prime example of man’s wish – and inability - to tame nature, this must be it. No amount of tree planting on these desert plains in the shadow o…

Crumbled Empires and Extraordinary Architecture

We bade a sad farewell to our Turkmen guide and our trusty drivers - they had driven us through the Karakum desert with great skill and good cheer, had set up camp and cooked us a delicious barbeque supper while we gazed into the depths of the Darvaza flaming gas crater - and now we set off on foot …

Border crossings and Turkmen shenanagans

I always enjoy border crossings and after last week’s journey from Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan where a total of nine officials scrutinised my passport and made three phone calls – and that was just to get out of Uzbekistan – I was looking forward to today's crossing back in to Uzbekistan. Turkmenist…

President and people of the Silk Road

Here in Turkmenistan (second time around for me) the President is taking precedence - and playing havoc with our itinerary!  We are caught in the lead-up to this country's glorious 20th anniversary of its independence and His Excellency is busy being seen out and about in all the important places.  …

Helen & Marianne Exploring Turkmenistan

Here we are in Ashghabat, the capital of Turkmenistan; a city of gleaming white marble and imposing monuments, nestling between the Kopet Dag mountains and Karakum desert. The modern spectacle of Ashghabat provides a stark contrast to the rich archeaology of the surrounding country. Bronze age tumul…

Happy Birthday Professor Sarianidi!

Today is a very special day.  We are visiting the working archaeological sight of Gonur Depe, which some believe is the 5th of the world’s ancient civilisations dating from the 4th millennium BC and birthplace of Zoroastrianism … always one of the major highlights of a visit to Turkmenistan.   We ar…

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