Central Asia Travel Articles and Photos

Thailand and Kyrgyzstan: Travel, Media, and Fear of the Unknown

Kyrgyz Mountain Kids

If you keep up with the news, it’s hard not to notice that Thailand and Kyrgyzstan have been in the midst of political turmoil and violent protests this past week. In an effort to offer a foil to images of bloodied protesters in Bishkek, I posted a link to a series of photo essays from our visit to Kyrgyzstan in 2007.Some friends thanked us, while another also … [Read more...]

Marshrutka Monologues (or, Why We Travel the Way We Do)

Kyrgyz Marketing

I thought Americans liked to travel in comfort. I don’t know why you take a marshrutka. You should take the marshrutka. There you will meet the real people. -- Two competing local views on whether or not we should subject ourselves to long-distance rides on marshrutka minivans, the dominant form of public transport in the Caucasus and Central Asia. … [Read more...]

Tajikistan Visas and GBAO Permits

Tajik Border Controls

No one seems to know what is needed to get a visa to Tajikistan. Even the Foreign Ministry in Tajikistan had problems advising Audrey's former Tajik colleagues at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty regarding what was required. It appears to be embassy specific and heavily dependent on the relationship between Tajikistan and the country from which you happen to be … [Read more...]

Kyrgyzstan Visas

Known as the most visa-friendly country in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan’s visa was a piece of cake – no Letters of Invitation (LOIs), no questioning. Just fill out an application, pay the fee in the morning and return in the afternoon for the visa. We did this in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.If you are flying into Bishkek, don’t bother to get your visa in advance. Visas on … [Read more...]

Golden Camel Awards, Part 1: Food and Markets

Camel Crossing

Welcome to the first and only Golden Camel Awards, a camel’s eye view of the best and worst that Central Asia and the Caucasus have to offer!While most people don’t travel to the Caucasus and Central Asia solely to explore the cuisine, we had our share of pleasant eating experiences there. We also occasionally felt the wrath of a post-Soviet culinary hangover. … [Read more...]