Why Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan Are Top Travel Destinations

Once the Soviet Union collapsed, its outermost territories became a promised land for adventurous looking for a unique travel destination. The relatively untouched landscape didn’t have lavish hotels and theme parks but boasted a vivid and almost pristine journey for the Silk Road. Its fantastical ruins and mountains make the Five Stan tour a popular bucket list option for intrepid tourists. However, most tour guides and travel websites won’t tell you that you don’t have to complete the entire route. In reality, you can enjoy the highlights of the trip with just two regions.

Trimming Down the Five Stan Tour

Country counters that want to make the most out of their passport’s world stamps consider the Five Stan journey a must-have travel goal. Besides hitting several destinations with one weekend, it also gives you the bragging rights among the handful who’ve completed the Five Stan tour. However, more places don’t always mean better for your travel experience or your savings. In reality, you can enjoy more by sticking to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

In this article, we’ll highlight five locations to highlight in your personalized Two Stan tour.

1. Chuy Valley

The square-cut valley of Kyrgyzstan’s capital makes it the first step toward the sprawling mountains. A week-long journey leads you to the Chuy Valley, where you’ll notice mementoes from the Silk Road’s glory days like the Burana Tower as you pass through.

Song-Kul Lake

2. Song-Kul Lake

Many communities that are within a hiking distance from urban locations still maintain a nomadic lifestyle. This allows you to meet locals who uphold a millennia-old way of living that revolves around shepherding and eagle hunting. However, the traces of modernity are catching up, as next-gen shepherds can be seen with a horsewhip while knowing how to operate a smartphone.

3. Tashkent

Uzbekistan’s modern capital contains over 3 million inhabitants, a stark contrast from Kyrgyzstan’s wide-open terrain. Although you’ll be swapping mountain hiking with urban crawling, there are many sights to see through their Brutalist architecture. It’s a testament to their long-honoured traditions.

4. Khiva

Along Uzbekistan’s westernmost desert dunes is the 1,000-year-old oasis of Khiva. Framed by clay fortifications, you can identify its hallowed halls marked by flowing lines of cursive Arabic. It’s a stark difference from the monochromatic mosaics you’d notice on most religious buildings. Besides its beautiful historical architecture, Khiva is also famous for its weaving tradition that symbolizes the omnipresent geometric patterns.


5. Bukhara

Once an essential caravan stops during the Silk Road’s glory days, Bukhara is now a sprawling neighbourhood of inns established from old merchants’ mansions. The mark of the trade continues to be a vital component of its city culture. You can walk through stalls that sell a variety of goods, from glazed pottery to decorative embroidery.


Whether you’re travelling the West’s hidden wonders or the East’s enigmatic sights, it’s essential to do your research. Although it’s a good idea to listen to fads and travel guides, it’s best to dig deeper and discover personal experiences and local finds. Doing a more in-depth study before your trip can expose you to hidden gems and destinations that can make your journey more fruitful and memorable.

At Ziba Adventures, we inspire people to go beyond their limits and discover the world from a new perspective through tailor-made adventures. Subscribe to my newsletter and explore the wonders of central Asia travel destinations like the Silk road journey today!


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