Must-see places in Central Asia
Going to Central Asia, you will probably visit the city of Almaty, where is major international airport is located. Staying in Almaty, visit the alpine skating rink Medeo. This place is very picturesque: mountains with evergreen fir trees and snowy peaks on the background of blue sky, people gliding beautifully. Near the skating rink there is a lift to another attraction of Almaty - the Shymbulak ski base. Gondola road with length of 1,500 meters will lift you to an altitude of 3200 meters above sea level.
From the city center in 15 minutes you can climb to its highest point at 1130 meters - Kok-tobe hill, where the TV tower, entertainment park and ferris wheel are located.
If you are lucky enough to stay in Almaty for a few days, be sure to visit the Charyn Canyon - the younger brother of the Grand Canyon in the United States. Lovers of mountain lakes can visit the Big Almaty Lake, Lake Issyk, Kolsai Lakes and Lake Kaindy. Nature lovers will be also interested in the Altyn Emel State Nature Reserve, Tamgaly Tas petroglyphs and hot springs.
History buffs should visit the city of Turkestan, which was setteled in the V-th century and in the XVI-XVIII centuries was the capital of the Kazakh Khanate. The city is located at the intersection of the caravan routes of the Silk Road from Samarkand and Bukhara. The city has the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassawi, a Sufi poet and philosopher of the XII-th century.
The inland semi-freshwater Lake Balkhash and the almost extinct Aral Sea are unique.
Fans of exoticism and thrills can visit the Baikonur Cosmodrome - the world's main platform for launching spacecraft, from where the first man was sent into space.
In the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur Sultan, visit the main attraction and symbol of the capital, the Bayterek monument. As well as the resort village, called "Kazakhstani Switzerland" - Borovoe.
Issyk Kul Lake is the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan, surrounded by the ridges of the Northern Tien Shan at an altitude of about 1,600 meters above sea level.
Tash-Rabat, hidden in the mountains of the Naryn region, is a 600-year-old stone building. According to legend, there was a monastery on the site of the ruins, which was later converted into a caravanserai on the Silk Road. Overnight in the yurts installed here overlooking the starry sky is a very impressive sight.
Fans of jeep and bike tours will be interested in the Pamir Highway, a mountain road with a length of more than 700 km. It runs along the border with Afghanistan and China, connects the cities of Dushanbe, Khorog with the city of Osh in Kyrgyzstan.
Fans of hiking, ecotourism and extreme sports will love the Fann Mountains located between the Pamir-Alai and Gissar ranges. Mountain lakes, turbulent rivers, numerous mountain gorges and passes are very impressive.
History buffs will be interested in the Hissar Fortress, built during the Silk Road.
The white marble city of Ashgabat will surprise tourists with its buildings and the largest mosque in Central Asia.
Turkmenistan has the oldest city in Central Asia that has survived to this day - Merv.
The burning gas crater of Darvaz in the Karakum desert, which is called the "Gates of Hell", often attracts the attention of tourists.
The ancient necropolis of Gonur Depe is a Bronze Age castle. It is partially reconstructed and is mostly a maze of dilapidated clay walls.
While in the truly eastern city of Tashkent, visit the old part of the city: the Minor Mosque, the Hazrati Imam ensemble, the Museum of the History of the Timurids, etc.
In the cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva there are many minarets, mausoleums and madrassas, preserved from antiquity. Oriental bazaars abound in delicious sweets and interesting souvenirs.