Central Asia Refresher

Central Asia MapEvery once in a while it’s nice to remind ourselves about places that may not be on the top of our travel lists, but we forget exist or never knew existed. As I’ve been sharing some upcoming travel plans with people it’s suddenly starting to strike a nerve how much of the population is unaware of other smaller countries or entire regions to boot! On a recent trip into a book store for some quick guide book hunting my conversation with the clerk went something like this:

“Excuse me, do you happen to have any travel guides on Central Asia or Tajikistan,” I said.

The clerk scratches his head and replies, “Hmm… Why no, no one goes there.”

“But you’re missing a HUGE chunk of the world and I’m going,” I responded.

An older gent with his head tucked in an Eyewitness Travel Guide for France looks up in curiosity.

“Then you’re probably the only one going then,” he concluded.

“Thanks, I’ll look online,” I said.

After this conversation at the bookstore I have found myself being questioned as to why I’d want to go any placed that ended in -stan or where the heck Tajikistan is, but the better question will always be, why not?! Anyhow, I didn’t start all this to moan and groan. Instead I just wanted to provide a quick Central Asia refresher. Wikipedia is one of the best places to start for the basics which I’ll just throw out right here/right now. Central Asia is comprised of the following: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, western China, northeast Iran, Afghanistan, western Pakistan, and central-east Russia south of the Taiga.

The borders of Central Asia have been defined a number of ways, but in one of the broader cases this is probably your best bet. There – I feel much better now. If you’ve got some Central Asia travel experiences to share please feel to tell all. For those who hadn’t a clue before, I hope this provides a small amount of insight.