Our Trip Along the Silk Road Summarized

The picture is taken from the webpages of Vodkatrain who operate the tour

 

 

The Silk Road has its name from the trade of silk and other things between Asia and Europe, but the routes used were actually many. They all go through Central Asia, through changing landscape, countries and cultures. On my trip from North Korea to Turkey I made stops on the following places:

 

China: We made one stop at Urumqi, which is a city much different to East Coast China. People are friendlier, the food is like the ex-Soviet countries and most people are muslims. The city feels really Central Asian.

Khazakstan: We stayed in the capital Almaty, which had really good night life and some beautiful mountains lying next to it. The city feels quite like Moscow and more people speak Russian than Khazak.

Uzbekistan: This is the country we spent the most time in and for good reason. We visited Samarkand and Bukhara which have been capitols of one of the Worlds greatest empires where mosques, madrassas, tombs and minarets are built to be the most beautiful ever.

Turkmenistan: We visited Turkmenabat and traveled through the country to see that the capital Ashgabat had gotten all the oil money resulting in a white marble city with lots of fountains and Golden statues. The city has no soul as everything felt a bit fake/un natural, but it was so fascinating to see.

Iran: We stayed in Mashad, Isfahan and Teheran and it was a favorite even though we were tired of mosques and markets which was all there was to see in these cities. The reason being that Iran has the most warm hearted people who showed us that they welcome foreigners by inviting us to their homes, giving us small gifts and just showing genuine interest in us.

Turkey: We went to Ankara and Istanbul which both are cities with a lot of history and are good for cheap onwards flights. The food is also great and it is quite liberal making it a nice place to celebrate having completed the journey

 

Of the total 25 days we spent approximately 200 hours on the train, which I think was just as great as the stops made inbetween. The Silk Road is a trip everyone should have on their bucket list.

Alma-Ata Meaning the Father of Apples

Almaty was the capital of Khazakstan until 1998 when it was replaced by Astana, but it is still has the reputation of being the most cosmopolitan city in Central Asia. We were there just for two days when the Khazaks were clelebrating Victory Day making it even more lively.

Children were marching and singing songs in the streets, old people who were veterans from WW2 were standing alongside soldiers by the park monuments to be taken pictures of and the young people were raving with us in the clubs like there was no tomorrow. Some being quite rich and insisted on buying us drinks for a small chat that usually only consted of them only asking about our nationalities and what had brought us to Khazakstan as that was as far as their vocabulary reached.

On our guided city walk we got to visit a couple of museums, we saw a beautiful cathedral built only by women and the Tian Shan mountains laying South of the city, separating Khazakstan and Kyrgizstan. There is a cable car going all the way up from the city to the Chimbulak Ski Resort, laying at around two thousand meters height but we decided to rent a van with a driver for a cheaper price plus having the possibility of stopping at several viewpoints along the way.

Upcoming Travels

Travelplanning

I always have a lot of trips to look forward to, and during the next few months I will travel to the following places:

November 14.-16. Ireland: Celebrating my birthday together with my girlfriend doing christmas shopping and visiting breweries and destilleries

November 21.-30. Cuba: Sailing through the Canarreos Archipelago. A free study trip with Kilroy and G-Adventures

December-31-January 4. Turkey: Celebrating New Years in one of my favorite cities; Istanbul. Business Class tickets that I won with TK through an Instagram competition earlier this year

March 30.- April 4. Sri Lanka: Renting a motorcycle to explore remote villages of the up and coming country

April 4.-13. Maldives: Cruising through the Vadhoo Canal on a Dhoni Boat with G-Adventures. Experiencing local life on the beaches and fishing villages of Dhiggaru, Felidhoo and Enboodhoofinolhu.

April 25.-30. North Korea: Traveling from Beijing over to their mysterious neighbor in the east

May 1.-25. China, Khazakstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey: on the Silk Road with Vodkatrain

 

Have you done any of these trips and have anything to share or recommend from your own trip? Feel free to comment!