Central Asia & China
If you love history and culture, then Central Asia & China are great destinations. We have been lucky to travel through them many times as part of our group overland tours, and we always found something new and exciting to explore. We have recommended friends go to visit and they have always come back impressed.
In terms of overlanding destinations, this is definitely the least travelled by independent travellers in our experience. It is very possible to take your own vehicle through, but there are challenges in terms of bureaucracy, permits, compulsory local guides, and of course visas (no matter what your nationality). That said, there are definitely intrepid travellers making their way along the Silk Road and beyond, and it’s a destination that we look forward to returning to in the future when the kids are bit older and more likely to appreciate the incredible architecture, history and cultures.
Our Top Experiences in Central Asia & China
When it comes to wild camping in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan deserves a special mention. Beautiful mountains, rivers, grasslands and lakes, and the freedom to camp pretty much anywhere you like. There's a reason Kyrgyzstan is firmly in our Top 10.
A unique accommodation option in Central Asia & China is home stays. We stayed in yurts, cave houses, Russian general's houses and simple houses in rural villages. This is where we got to experience local hospitality and local food most intimately and to see how the local people really live.
Food & Markets
We love the fresh food markets throughout Central Asia & China - not just for the great produce available (and at a good price), but also for the atmosphere. We have had some sensational food throughout the region, although special mention goes to Georgia and to the incredibly diverse and delicious food we have eaten in China.
As an architect's grand-daughter, I have always loved looking at buildings, and Central Asia & China is an amazing destination to see a variety of modern and ancient architecture, often sitting comfortably alongside each other in cities such as Baku and Tbilisi.
Did you know Georgia is the home of wine? And that China produces some very drinkable reds? And you can go wine tasting in Uzbekistan? We love wine tasting wherever we travel, but some of our most memorable wine tastings have been in Central Asia & China. Pete dreams of one day taking wine makers from elsewhere around the world on a tour of Georgia... watch this space!
There's history wherever you travel, but Central Asia & China have plenty to keep even the most ardent history-buff happy. From Genghis Khan to the Chinese dynasties and much more. The Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an rate a special mention here because even though we have seen so many photos of them before, they were still unbelievably impressive in real life.