Magic Carpet Ride of Bureaucracy in Turkmenistan

I like carpets, ones from the near east above all else. A nice little footnote to go with the narrative of my journey studying and traveling in Central Asia, for me at least is the carpets in this part of the world. Central Asia is unrivaled when it comes to the production of carpets and […]

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The Do’s and Please Dont’s of Turkmenistan

Let’s face it everyone, Turkmenistan has a reputation that precedes it. The country has often been associated with the trope of the eccentric “hermit kingdom.” Characteristics such as extreme cults of personality surrounding their leaders, isolationism, strict control of all information within the country by the government, downright bizarre laws and a high functioning propaganda […]

Trekking Union of Kyrgyzstan

Trekking Union of Kyrgyzstan / Cоюз пешеходного туризма Кыргызстана Website: tuk.kg Location: Kiev Street 168 Phone: 0556 10 19 33 Email: trek@elcat.kg Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 9-5pm, Thursday: 9-7pm, Saturday: 10-12pm (equipment rentals only) When moving to a foreign country, it is always difficult figuring out how to do the things you want to do. […]

Long and Winding Road from Bishkek to Osh, Kyrgyzstan

This past weekend, I visited Osh, the “southern capital” of Kyrgyzstan. I’ve always wanted to go because I heard the 620-kilometer Bishkek-Osh Highway, the only main road connecting Russia with the south of Central Asia, was gorgeous. I also wanted to see “the south.” People always talk about Kyrgyzstan’s cultural, linguistic, and political “north-south divide,” […]

Restaurant Hawaii in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan

One of the most bizarre restaurants I have ever been to in Kyrgyzstan is called “Restaurant Hawaii,” a dining destination outside of Bishkek in a small town called Tokmok. For most people, this restaurant is one of three reasons to visit Tokmok, an otherwise sleepy, dilapidated, still-Soviet-looking town. The other two reasons to visit are […]

Bokunbaeva: Exploring a Soviet Pioneer Camp near Bishkek

The best parts of Kyrgyzstan summers are weekend getaways to Lake Issyk Kul, one of the world’s deepest and highest lakes. Issyk Kul, which means “hot lake” in Kyrgyz, is the ultimate beach destination. It’s “hot” because it never freezes – but that is due to its salt content, not because it’s actually hot. Lake […]

Seven Things to Love in Almaty

Seven Things to Love in Almaty By Eirene Busa For those looking for a spring weekend getaway in Central Asia (and who isn’t?), book a trip to Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city and previous capital. Almaty is clean, modern, full of spacious, well-manicured parks, and it has a stunning backdrop of the snow-covered Ala-Too Mountains (or, […]

Top Ten Reasons Americans Should Visit Turkmenistan

This past week, I took a break from Kyrgyzstan and spent a few days traveling through Turkmenistan, visiting the cities of Ashgabad, Mary, Merv, Geok-Tepe, and Turkmenabad. This trip was arranged by The School of Russian and Asian Studies and The London School of Bishkek for participants of The Central Asian Studies study abroad program. […]

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