former soviet union

kyrgyzstan's alpinad festival

Introducing: Kyrgyzstan's Alpinad Festival

Introducing: Kyrgyzstan’s Alpinad Festival Out of my tent and onto the trail at 05:00, the mountains of Kyrgyzstan’s Ala-Archa National Park look somehow less imposing before the sun rises fully to illuminate the top of ‘Young Communists’ Peak nearly 6500ft above. Despite my pre-dawn enthusiasm, I’m quickly put in my place as one after another …

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defender of the fatherland day kyrgyzstan

Photo of the Week: 'Defender of the Fatherland Day' in Kyrgyzstan

Defender of the Fatherland Day in Kyrgyzstan Throughout the post-Soviet world, some of the most interesting days of the year are the holidays that see their origins from the Soviet era. ‘Defender of the Fatherland Day’, still celebrated in a number of former Soviet Republics on the 23 of February in relation to the founding …

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11 Things to Do in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan

11 Things to do in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan Catch Cultural Performances on the Cheap Whether looking for tickets to the Bishkek Philharmonic, State Puppet Theater, Russian Drama Theater, Opera and Ballet, or any of the other numerous theaters in town; tickets range from free to just a couple of dollars. Schedules can be a bit hard …

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9 Reasons to Visit Tajikistan

Stay Local – Tajikistan Hospitality Central Asia is well-known for its tradition of open hospitality, and the Tajiks often seem like the best of the lot as far as willingness to open arms and homes to travelers. You could spend days on end wandering through mountain villages in Tajikistan, confident that there will always be …

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8 Reasons to Visit Kyrgyzstan

Alcoholic Horse Milk Perhaps a remnant of Soviet culture, drinking culture is big in Kyrgyzstan. While vodka is usually the preferred imbibition, another option does exist. Kumis, a slightly alcoholic horse milk popular in a number of Turkic cultures, is particularly prevalent in Kyrgyzstan. Stalls on the country’s mountainous roadways or yurt tents at many of …

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Photo of the Week: View above the Tajik Wakhan

  Something seems special about staring across a wide valley towards Afghanistan. All through the Tajik Wakhan, I find my eyes lingering at the villages just across the border and wondering what life is like there. This photo, taken above the village of Langar, is nearly to the end of the Tajik Wakhan. Several kilometers …

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Photo Essay: Bukhara Uzbekistan

Bukhara: Ancient City of the Silk Road For nearly two thousand years, Bukhara’s vibrant civilization and well-established economy kept it as a center of culture and commerce on the fabled Silk Road. Genghis Khan conquered here, British explorers languished and died in its prisons, and even the Soviet Union fought before and eventually conquered Bukhara’s …

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Old Town Tallinn Estonia from Above [Photos]

Tallinn, Estonia has a fantastically preserved medieval old town, built in the 15-17th centuries—which is a pleasure to walk about. It’s got cobbled streets, cathedrals, bell towers, and now plenty of souvenir shops, restaurants, bars to appease the tourists. The old town feels devoid of local life, but the buildings are well kept and it’s …

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