I have a serious fascination with South and Central Asia. You know, the -stans — Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan — plus Iran and India. This interest is part of my infatuation with the Silk Road, so I also throw in Turkey, the Levant, Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang, and eastern China for good measure, too.
See, one of my most ambitious goals in life is to travel the Silk Route, starting in Turkey or Lebanon or Israel and endiing in Beijing or Shanghai or Hong Kong. We could do much of this now by train as others have if we wanted — and it would be fantastic — but I’m thinking about something bigger, something that would put more stamps in my passport and gray hairs on my head. Clearly I’m going to need more money and skills. I’m working on the latter by learning some languages. Hopefully the money will sort itself out.
I figure there’s at least a decade (at least!) before we have the money (and probably much longer for the skills). So here’s your chance to recommend things to see along the way. Or try to talk me out of it. Or just post ridiculous things about the Silk Road or the ‘Stans.
What’s currently on my list of things to see?
- Shah Mosque and Naghsh-i Jahan Square in Isfahan
- The ancient ruins of Persepolis
- Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet
- Karakul and Tianchi Lakes in Xinjiang
- The Khyber Pass near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border
- . . .
p.s. — You may see some Central Asian history here in the future.