Crossing the border by train from Tashkent to Shymkent was much easier than I’d expected! Besides being asked about 15 times to show my passport from the very entrance of the train station to the actual Uzbek-Kazakh border, everything went smoothly.
A caravanserai was a sort of inn with rooms, stables and food, not far from modern-day guesthouses, where traders and merchants could rest for a few days with their animals, usually for free.
Our chai master near Song Kol lake wore traditional Kyrgyz clothes of bright kök (blue) and kara (black), worked the fresh sheep fleece with her bare hands to make saddle cushions and sewed pillows and tapestry in her free time. She welcomed us in her yurt to learn and live with the Kyrgyz shepherds in the wild plains of central Kyrgyzstan. Rahmat chai master!
Kyrgyzstan is that little country landlocked between Russia, China and its other Central Asian sisters had for a while now caught my attention with its mysterious culture, a mixed heritage of the old Soviet Union, Asia and the Middle East, that I wanted to discover.
I’ve just crossed from Thailand into Laos at the Huai Kon border crossing near Nan. It was the easiest thing in the world and it’s not touristy at all over here. So if you’re interested in a bit of an adventure in rural Thailand and Laos, read on!
Often called the last frontier of Vietnam, Hà Giang borders China and offers some of the most spectacular landscapes I have seen in over a year of traveling around Vietnam. It offers misty, green and brown hills in the background, and dusty, bumpy roads weaving through the country side from lower valleys to high mountain passes and the paddies! So many green, lush paddies everywhere! The air is saturated with the scent of the leaves and wood burning on the mountain slopes, and it’s fresh! Coming from the traffic and pollution of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Hà Giang is like a breath of fresh, cold air.