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Central Asia

Central Asia is the vast area of Asia, without outlet to the sea, and stretching from the Himalayas to the Central Russian steppes, from the Caspian Sea to the Tibetan Highland. Geographical knowledge about Central Asia had been widening not much because of its’ remote location from Europe and difficult of access mostly its regions. Even in the middle of XIX century Central Asia seemed to European scientists like «terra incognita». Geographical knowledge of Chinese about inner regions of Asia were very scant and, in point of fact, did not go beyond the areas bordering to the major trade caravans’ ways. As an example “The Map of Medial Empire” of Li Shentsi is usually given. On this map the territory of Central Asia is shown very relative and it is impossible to determine neither its dimension nor its stretch. Wish to wipe this huge blank spot off the geographical maps inspired organizers of research expeditions. Alexander Gumbolt in 1843 was the first who marked out Central Asia as a self-dependent geographical region.

Nowadays, the Central Asia region includes Mongolia, Western China, Punjab, Northern India and Northern Pakistan, North-East Iran, Afghanistan, Asian regions of Russia which are located to the south of taiga zone, and five former Soviet Union’s Central Asia republics – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. There is one more method of Central Asia determination, which is based on ethnic structure of population. At the heart of this method is regions populated of Eastern- Turkic people, Mongolians and Tibetans. Those regions are Xinjiang (China), Southern Siberia (Russia), five former Soviet Union’s Central Asia republics and Afghanistan.

Central Asia was always historically associated with nomadic people inhabited its space and with the Great Silk Road. During the centuries cultures of many civilizations clashed and mixed on this area. People inhabited Central Asia save invaluable achievements in architecture, science, philosophy and literature, keep each generation admiring and revering great persons of keen intellect of the past.

The vast territory of Central Asia is noted for wide variety of climate and landscapes. Boundless steppes are widespread in Central and Western Kazakhstan, sandy deserts are covered the most part of Uzbekistan, majestic Tien-Shan mountains and the Pamir dominate Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Two the biggest Asian rivers – Amu Darya and Syr Darya - spring from these mountains. Streaming down the summits, the rivers run to the West, branching out in valleys of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and flow into the Aral Sea. Lake Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan) is one of the largest and the most beautiful lakes of Eurasia.

The present day Central Asia represents a great world’s value as well as the region, which attracts a great attention of tourists. Central Asia is unique by its natural beauty, numerous historical monuments and traditional hospitality of local people.

Central Asia