It is so easy to disappear into the vast deserts and sweeping steppes of Central Asia undiscovered by mass tourism. Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan are lands of obscure corners yet to be mentioned in guidebooks and villages so tiny that no map marks their position. For over two millennia great explorers and merchants have plied the region’s trade routes and mountain passes.

Heading here you’ll find buzzing cities, chaikanas and madrassas. You will have a drive through red deserts and see mountain lakes, be a rare guest at nomads’ yurts and stroll in oriental bazaars with narrow corridors full of spices, sweetest melons and colorful artwork. Samarkand, Khiva, Bukhara, Merv, majestic Tien Shan and peaceful Issyk Kul are just some of the treats on your plate.