Lonely Planet Central Asia


Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Central Asia is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Sample lamb kebabs and nan bread from roadside grills, hike through the spectacular canyons of the Kyrgyz Alatau Range, or marvel at Yasaui Mausoleum's beautiful architecture; all with your ...

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Lonely Planet Central Asia

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Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Central Asia is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Sample lamb kebabs and nan bread from roadside grills, hike through the spectacular canyons of the Kyrgyz Alatau Range, or marvel at Yasaui Mausoleum's beautiful architecture; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Central Asia and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet's Central Asia Travel Guide:

  • Colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries show you the simplest way to tailor your trip to your own personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips save you time and money, and help you get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips - including hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, and prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - including eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, and hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights give you a richer and more rewarding travel experience - including customs, history, the Silk Road, religion, art, literature, film, music, architecture, landscapes, border crossings, outdoor activities, wildlife, environment, and cuisine
  • Over 65 maps
  • Coverage of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Almaty, Taraz, Astana, Tashkent, Khorezm, Karakalpakstan, Bishkek, Tamchy, Naryn, Dushanbe, Khojand, Khorog, Ashgabat, Merv, and more

eBook Features: (Best viewed on tablet devices)

  • Zoom-in maps and images bring it all up close and in greater detail
  • Downloadable PDF and offline maps let you stay offline to avoid roaming and data charges
  • Seamlessly flip between pages
  • Easily navigate and jump effortlessly between maps and reviews
  • Speedy search capabilities get you to what you need and want to see
  • Use bookmarks to help you shoot back to key pages in a flash
  • Visit the websites of our recommendations by touching embedded links
  • Adding notes with the tap of a finger offers a way to personalise your guidebook experience
  • Inbuilt dictionary to translate unfamiliar languages and decode site-specific local terms

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Bradley Mayhew, Mark Elliott, Tom Masters and John Noble.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in.

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

Includes: Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In addition to listing the best accommodations in this intriguing region, this guide also covers the history and architecture of the cities along the famous Silk Road. Central Asiahas all the information you'll need on border crossings and visas, plus special language sections to help you express yourself on the road.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781741799538
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
  • Publication date: 6/1/2014
  • Series: Lonely Planet Travel Guides Series
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 520
  • Sales rank: 309,884
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Bradley Mayhew Bradley started travelling in South-West China, Tibet and northern Pakistan while studying Chinese at Oxford University. Upon graduation he fled to Central america for six months to forget his Chinese and then worked in Beijing in a futile attempt to get it back. Since then he has spent two months in the Silk Road cities of Bukhara and Khiva, two months trekking in Kyrgyzstan and has enjoyed extended trips to Iran, eastern Turkey and Ladakh. He has also worked on Lonely Planet's India, Indian Himalaya, Pakistan, Karakoram Highway, South-West China and Tibet guides. Bradley is also the co-author and photographer of the Odyssey Guide to Uzbekistan, and has lectured on Central asia at the Royal Geographical Society. He splits his time between Sevenoaks in south-east England and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Richard Plunkett Richard grew up on a farm/vineyard in central Victoria, and got the travel bug during a solo journey around India aged 18. He started work as a cadet journalist on the Melbourne age after dropping out of university, left for an extended trip through the Middle East, went broke, came home, and got a job as an editor at Lonely Planet. Besides covering Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan for this book, he's worked on the India, Indian Himalaya and Delhi guides; next up is Bangladesh.

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Table of Contents

The Authors 5
This Book 9
Foreword 10
Introduction 13
Facts about Central Asia 15
History 15
Geography 37
Geology 38
Climate 38
Ecology & Environment 39
Flora & Fauna 43
Government & Politics 46
Economy 48
Population & People 51
Education 52
Peoples of the Silk Road 53
Science & Philosophy 61
Arts 61
Society & Conduct 64
Religion 67
Regional Facts for the Visitor 72
Suggested Itineraries 72
Planning 76
Responsible Tourism 80
Tourist Offices 80
Visas 81
Documents 85
Customs 87
Money 88
Post & Communications 93
Internet Resources 95
Books 96
Films 100
Newspapers & Magazines 100
Radio 101
Photography & Video 101
Time 103
Electricity 103
Weights & Measures 103
Laundry 103
Toilets 103
Health 104
Women Travellers 116
Gay & Lesbian Travellers 117
Disabled Travellers 118
Senior Travellers 118
Travel with Children 119
Useful Organisations 119
Dangers & Annoyances 119
Legal Matters 123
Business Hours 123
Public Holidays & Special Events 123
Activities 126
Accommodation 128
Food 131
Drinks 137
Entertainment 139
Spectator Sports 140
Shopping 140
Getting There & Away 141
Air 141
Land 150
Sea 154
Travel Agencies & Organised Tours 154
Getting Around the Region 158
Air 158
Bus 160
Train 161
Car & Motorcycle 162
Hitching 163
Local Transport 164
Kazakstan 165
Facts about Kazakstan 167
Facts for the Visitor 177
Suggested Itineraries 177
Visas & Documents 178
Embassies & Consulates 180
Money 182
Post & Communications 182
Time 183
Food & Drinks 183
Orientation 184
Almaty 184
Around Almaty 206
South-East Kazakstan 209
Zailiysky Alatau & Kungey Alatau 211
Kol-Say Lakes 211
Charyn Canyon 213
Karkara Valley 213
Lake Kapshaghay & the IIi River 214
Altyn-Emel National Park 214
Taldy-Korghan 214
Around Taldy-Korghan 215
Zharkent 216
Khorgos 216
Dostyk 217
South Kazakstan 217
Taraz 217
Around Taraz 219
Shymkent 219
Around Shymkent 221
Turkistan 222
Kyzylorda 224
Baykonur Cosmodrome 224
Aralsk 225
West Kazakstan 226
Algobe 226
Atyrau 227
Aktau 229
North Kazakstan 231
Astana 232
Around Astana 235
Lake Burabay 236
Petropavlovsk 237
Kostanay 238
Karaghandy 238
East Kazakstan 239
Pavlodar 240
Semey 240
Around Semey 245
Oskemen 245
The Altay Mountains & Lake Markakol 248
Uzbekistan 249
Facts about Uzbekistan 251
Facts for the Visitor 256
Tashkent 261
Around Tashkent 276
Fergana Valley 278
Kokand 281
Fergana 284
Margilan 285
Rishdon 286
Shakhimardan 287
Andijan 289
Central Uzbekistan 290
Samarkand 290
Around Samarkand 300
Shakhrisabz 302
Central Asian Architecture 303
Bukhara 309
Around Bukhara 321
Termiz & Around 322
Khorezm & Karakalpakstan 323
Urgench 323
Around Urgench 325
Khiva 326
Nukus 333
Hojeli 336
Moynaq 337
Kyrgyzstan 338
Facts about Kyrgyzstan 339
Facts for the Visitor 346
Bishkek 351
Around Bishkek 366
Lake Issyk-Kul & the Central Tian Shan 369
Balykchy 371
Cholpon-Ata 372
Ananyevo 374
Karakol 375
Around Karakol 381
The Southern Shore 386
The Karkara Valley 387
The Central Tian Shan 389
Bishkek to Kashgar via the Torugart Pass 392
Bishkek to Naryn 397
Naryn 400
Naryn to Jalal-Abad 402
Naryn to Torugart 403
The Silk Road 405
The Torugart Pass 410
Bishkek to Osh & the Kyrgyz Fergana Valley 412
Lake Sary Chelek 414
Jalal-Abad 415
Arslanbob 416
Osh 417
Ozgon 422
The Alay Valley 423
Southern Kyrgyzstan 425
Tajikistan 426
Facts about Tajikistan 426
Facts for the Visitor 434
Dushanbe 436
Around Dushanbe 441
Northern Tajikistan 442
Khojand 442
Penjikent 444
The Pamirs 445
Khorog 448
Around Khorog 450
The Pamir Highway 450
Turkmenistan 453
Facts about Turkmenistan 455
Facts for the Visitor 460
Ashgabat 464
Around Ashgabat 473
Western Turkmenistan & the Caspian 476
Turkmenbashi 476
Balkanabat 479
Dekhistan 479
Eastern Turkmenistan 480
Saraghs 480
Mary 480
Bairam Ali 482
Merv 482
Margiana 485
Tagtabazar 485
Gushgi 485
Badkhyz Nature Reserve 486
Turkmenabat 486
Repetek Desert Reserve 487
Gaurdak 487
Northern Turkmenistan 488
Dashoguz 488
Izmukshir 489
Konye-Urgench 489
Xingjiang 492
Facts about Xinjiang 493
Facts for the Visitor 499
Central Xinjiang 504
Urumqi 504
Around Urumqi 509
Turpan 510
Around Turpan 512
Daheyan 514
Kucha (Kuqa) 514
Around Kucha 516
Northern Xinjiang 516
Yining 516
Around Yining 518
Tacheng 518
Jeminay 519
Burqin 519
Hanas Lake Nature Reserve 519
South-West Xinjiang (Kashgaria) 521
Kashgar 521
Around Kashgar 532
Kashgar to the Khunjerab Pass 532
The Southern Silk Road 534
Yengisar 535
Yarkand 535
Karghilik 536
Hotan 537
Hotan to Golmud 539
Afghanistan 540
Kabul 546
Around Kabul 546
South & West of Kabul 547
Kandahar to Herat 548
Herat 548
Afghan Turkestan 548
Language 549
Russian 549
Kazak 553
Kyrgyz 553
Mandarin Chinese 554
Tajik 556
Turkmen 557
Uyghur 558
Uzbek 558
Gazeteer 559
Glossary 562
Acknowledgments 566
Index 569
Abbreviations 569
Text 569
Boxed Text 575
Map Legend
Metric Conversion
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