Central Asia, central region of Asia, extending from the Caspian Sea in the west to the border of western China in the east. It is bounded on the north by Russia and on the south by Iran, Afghanistan, and China.
The region consists of the former Soviet republics (or 5 stans): Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan. In its historical application, the term Central Asia designates an area that is considerably larger than the heartland of the Asian continent. Were it not for the awkwardness of the term, it would be better to speak of Central Eurasia, comprising all those parts of the huge Eurasian landmass that did not develop a distinctive sedentary civilization of their own.
We offer you unforgetable Central Asia The 3 Stans travel: Uzbekistan, Kazakshtan and Kyrgyzstan.
Day 1. Tashkent.
Our travel starts from Uzbekistan.
Arrive to Tashkent and transfer to hotel for overnight.
Day 2. Tashkent — Bukhara.
Early morning transfer to train station to take a train to Bukhara (08:30-15:00). Upon arrival short excursion in old city centre.
Day 3. Bukhara.
After breakfast at the hotel visit Poi Kalon Ensemble (Pedestal of the Great). The square separates the Mir-I-Arab Madrassah and the Kalon Jummi mosque. The Kalon Minaret (in Tajik means «Great») is one of the defining symbols of Bukhara. When it was built by the Karakhanid Arslan Khan in 1127, the Kalon Minaret was probably the tallest building in Central Asia.
It’s incredible piece of work, 47 meters tall, which in 875 years has never needed any but cosmetics repairs. Also visit 3 remaining domed bazaars — Taqi Zargaron (1570), or Jeweler’s Bazaar, Taqi Telpak Furushon or Cap Makers’ Bazaar and Taqi Sarrafon, or Moneychangers’ Bazaar, which were among dozens of specialized bazaars in the town, Magok-I-Atori Mosque – the remains of a Buddhist monastery, a Zoroastrian temple and the mosque of the Arab invaders, all sharing the same space and Lyabi Hauz Ensemble.
Lyabi Hauz, a plaza built around a pool in 1620 (the name is Tajik for «around the pool»). To the east, the Nadir Divanbegi Madrassah, built in 1630, on the west side of the square, and built at the same time, is the Nadir Divanbegi Khanaka.
North across the street, the Kukeldash Madrassah, once was the biggest Islamic school in Central Asia. PM visit the Ark fortress – royal town-within-town, as old as Bukhara itself, home to the rulers of Bukhara for over a millennium, Bolo Hauz Mosque («Mosque Near the Pool») (1712) — the royal court mosque, Ismoil Samani Mausoleum — the town’s oldest building (completed around 905) and one of the most elegant structures in Central Asia, and Chashma Ayub («Spring of Job») — built in 12 century over a spring.
Return to the hotel for overnight.
Day 4. Bukhara — Shakhrisabz — Samarkand.
After breakfast drive to Shakhrisabz (300 km). PM visit Ak Saray (White Palace) — Summer residence of Tamerlane (14 c.), Kok Gumbaz (Blue Dome) — Friday mosque (15 c.), built by Ulugbek in honor of his father and Dorut Tilyavat (House of Meditation) — burial complex of Timur’s forebears. Also visit Crypt of Timur — an underground room, which was discovered in 1963. Drive to Samarkand via Chirakchi (170 km). Transfer to hotel for overnight.
Day 5. Samarkand.
After breakfast at the hotel proceed for city tour. Visit to Gur Emir (in Tajik — Tomb of the emir) — mausoleum of Timur and the Timurids (15 c.), Reghistan square (Sandy place) — ensemble of majestic madrassahs (15-17 cc.), ranks first in Central Asia and among the greatest of all the grandiose and magnificent works of the Islamic world; Bibi Khanym Mosque (15 c.) — the gigantic congregational mosque, once one of the Islamic world’s biggest mosque and Siab market — colorful main farmers’ market. PM visit to Shakhi Zinda (The Living King) — necropolis of Samarkand rulers and nobles. The name refers to its original, innermost and holiest shrine — the grave of Qusam ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad, who is said brought Islam to this area. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Day 6. Samarkand — Tashkent.
Drive to Tashkent. PM visit Old Tashkent and Kukeldash Madrassah will be the first to see. Built in the mid-16th century by the ruler’s vizier Kukaldash, after secular use as a Soviet warehouse and museum, the madrassah is reasserting religious role.
Also visit Khast Imam Square — the holy heart of Tashkent and the least Russified or Sovietized part of the city – consisting of Barak Khan Madrassah, Tillya Sheykh Mosque and Kafal Shashi Mausoleum. Barak Khan founded in the 16th century by a descendent of Tamerlane who ruled Tashkent for the Shaybanid dynasty. This is the administrative center of the Mufti of Uzbekistan, the head of official Islam in the Republic.
Tillya Sheykh mosque built in the same time as Barak Khan Madrassah, now employed as the city’s chief Friday Mosque. The highlight is the immense Osman Koran, claimed to be the world’s oldest; in 655 it was stained with the blood of the murdered Caliph Osman.
Kafal Shashi mausoleum — the grave of a local doctor, philosopher and poet of Islam who lived from 904 to 979. The portal, inner dome and arcade date from the 16th century, when his holy reputation attracted a cemetery. Also visit to Chorsu bazaar — the biggest, spice-smelling farmers’ bazaar in Tashkent. Overnight.
Day 7. Tashkent — Fergana.
Drive to Fergana. SS of Kokand en-route and Margilan. Ovenright at hotel.
Day 8. Fergana — Andijan – Osh-Bishkek
Drive to Uzbek — Kyrgyz border (Dustlik) and meeting with your Kyrgyz guide. Transfer to the city of Osh. After lunch visit Sulaiman Mount, one of the main shrines of the Islamic world in Central Asia. On the mount first you visit historical museum, located right in the main cave.
After excursion in the you follow the way of all pilgrims up to the top of the hill where you watch a little mosque of Babur, the Great Mogols Dynasty founder, and take a bird eye’s view of the city. After sightseeing tour transfer to the airport and flight to Bishkek city
АЮ 87 Flight Osh city – Bishkek city (Departure time: 19:20; Arrival time: 20:00)( Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday)
Upon arrival in Bishkek city airport transfer to the city of Bishkek (30 km).
Overnight in a hotel in Bishkek.
Day 9. Osh — Bishkek.
Ala-Archa National Park. Sightseeing tour in Bishkek city.
In the morning drive to Ala-Archa National Natural Park located in a picturesque gorge of Ala Archa 45 km off from Bishkek.
In the National Park you can easily hike along the main gorge of Ala Archa and back to enjoy views of magnificent peaks of Kyrgyz Alatau Ridge (Tien Shan Mountains). After lunch sightseeing tour in Bishkek. Visit central square Ala Too to watch a ceremony of changing of the Guard of Honor, and Manas Monument, the main national hero of the Kyrgyz people, State History Museum (closed on Monday). In the end of the tour visit Osh Bazaar (closed on Monday), the largest and busiest market in the city.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 10. Drive to Kyrgyz — Kazakh border Kordai.
Meeting at the border, transfer to hotel. Accommodation. Recreation.
— Half day city tour around Almaty. Visiting Kok-Tobe — On a hilltop-viewing platform is located, which is visible from the beautiful panorama of the city of Almaty, as well as the endless horizon of the steppe area.
— Medeo, where the high-roller, known around the world.
— Mudflow dam «Medeo» is located 25 km from Almaty. The construction has three successive levels of height. By the dam is a concrete staircase, consisting of 842 steps.
Day 11. Almaty
— Full day, 6 hours. City tour of Almaty. Visiting the Park 28 guards — Panfilov, named in honor of the heroes of the Great Patriotic War; Cathedral — a wooden structure built without a nail; Green market — the old central market called «green» bazaar, because here the first green traded from time immemorial, the rich gifts of nature the Trans.
Republic Square — the main square in Almaty is the largest and most beautiful park in the city with its magnificent ensemble of modern architecture, location, holiday parades, festivals, sporting events, parades, folk festivals; State Museum.
Transfer to the hotel. Overnight
Day 12. Charyn Canyon
— Excursion to Charyn Canyon (200 km). The journey takes about 3 hours one way.
Charyn Canyon, which compared to the beauty of the Grand Canyon in Colorado, located east of Almaty. Unique forms of erosion and weathering of the relief will take you to the fantastic, surreal world of whimsical sculptures of sandstone «Castle Valley,» «Witches Gulch,» and others. The height of the steep slopes, columns and arches up to 150-300 meters. The canyon stretches for 154 km northeast to south-west, along the Charyn River, which is ideal for rafting. It remained rare representative of the vegetation of the globe — Sogdian ash, a survivor of the epoch of glaciation.
— Transfer to the hotel for night or to the airport.