As an Owner of Silk Road Treasure Tours I would like to welcome you to my homeland, Uzbekistan, and to experience the culture and hospitality of all Central Asia Stans!For over 3000 years Central Asia has been a cultural and intellectual crossroads, luring travelers, traders, scholars and conquerors . Bordered by the vast Russian steppe to the north, the fairytale beauty of the Caspian Sea to the west, soaring mountains and wilderness to the south, and forbidding deserts and snowcapped peaks to the east, the countries of Central Asia are the ultimate travel destination for anyone seeking the trip of a lifetime. Recently independent, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are the new frontiers on travel itineraries. The countries of this region encompass vast stretches of desert and steppe, pristine alpine lakes and snowcapped mountains, verdant valleys and orchards. The stunning landscapes invite you to swim Kyrgystan's warm alpine Lake Issyk-Kul, trek the Tien Shan or Pamir mountains or raft the Naryn River there and stay overnight in a yurt, take a camel ride over Kazakhstan's singing dunes or the Kara Kum in Turkmenistan and hike the foothills of the Pamirs in Tajikistan. A mix of the ancient world with modern flair, and a dash of Soviet era thrown in, it is home to the warmest people in the world. Bukhara, Tashkent, Samarkand, Merv, and Khiva are the fabled cities of Marco Polo, Tamerlane and Alexander the Great. Minarets spire upwards in clear blue skies vying for your attention with turquoise domes, arched portals and the sophisticated geometry of brilliantly colored tilework on mosques and medressas. Each country offers a myriad of cultural, historical and archaeological treasures. Many are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Ak-Sarai Palace in Shakhrisabze, Khiva's Ichan-Kala or old city where narrow medieval lanes are surrounded by ancient city walls, and the traditional buildings of Samarkand's Registan Square with their blue domes and tiled tesselations. Trade caravans traveled the network of Silk Road routes through here. Caravanserais dotted the desert oases and wealthy medieval cities offering a welcome refuge to weary travelers and pack animals. Many of these have now been converted into boutique hotels, restaurants and shops like the Nughai caravanserai in Bukhara.Each week I will introduce you to the various cultures of Central Asia, Caucasus, China Silk Road, Mongolia and Russia, share my stunning photographs, and what you can expect on your adventure!