central asia heritage 1

Central Asia: rebuilding a heritage

I spent a couple of weeks this summer in Central Asia, visiting the Silk Road nations of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. These countries have had a chequered history. From a rich heritage as trading posts, and at the heart of Timur’s vast empire, all three nations have natural beauty but also magnificent historic cities, fortresses, mosques and madrassahs which play a substantial part in their[…]

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turkistan and otrar 04

Turkistan and Otrar: Exploring Kazakhstan’s deep south

We arrived in Turkistan on a Thursday. It was our first day in Kazakhstan; after an overnight train journey from Bukhara to Tashkent, we took a private bus to the border. Kazakhstan was a shock to the system right away; very different from Uzbekistan, less Islamic and less developed, the wide open spaces and long distances were immediately striking. The drive north took us along[…]

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night train from bukhara - 2

The night train from Bukhara: Travels through Uzbekistan

It’s quarter to ten on a Wednesday night, and I’m standing on a station platform in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. I’m here on a trip-of-a-lifetime, bucket-list kind of adventure – and that’s saying something for someone who travels as much as I do. But for many years now I’ve dreamed of visiting the beautiful squares and madrassahs of Uzbekistan, with their towering turquoise domes and exquisite mosaic[…]

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reasons why i love taiwan 1

5 Reasons you will love Taiwan…

Taiwan is a country I have long been fascinated with the idea of visiting. Independent but not, culturally part of China but not, it doesn’t quite fit neatly anywhere. I finally ticked it off my bucket list in March 2017, and it was almost inevitable – I loved the place. Here are 5 reasons why I love Taiwan. 1. The stunning landscape Let’s start with[…]

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