Flying over vast, rolling steppe for three and a half hours without seeing anything so much as a village, let alone a city, is a powerful reminder that Mongolia is the most sparsely populated country on the planet.
The old man had wrinkled skin that was weather-beaten from years spent working in the fields and seemingly possessed no teeth. “I’ve been sitting in the same spot, every day, for the last 10 years,” he said, through my translator. He told us about his 10 children.
As the sunrise woke me, I got my first glimpse of Oman. The contrasting view of the beach below and the rocky Al Hajar mountains was a fitting introduction to a journey that would take me all over the diverse terrains of this fascinating country.
In the northernmost nether regions of Vietnam exists a remote destination that has been open to tourism for a mere six years – Ha Giang, a region virtually untouched by the harmful effects of mass tourism and big industries.
One of the main reasons for the timing of my trip to Kyrgyzstan was to have the chance to check out the country’s National Horse Games Festival, which takes place in August.
Karakol is unlike any other part of Kyrgyzstan. Its scenery, its diversity of people, its attractions, and even its cuisine are all unique and have a wonderfully authentic feel. And after my kitschy Issyk Kul lake experience, unique and authentic were two traits I was craving.
Any good traveler knows that the more challenging destinations are almost always the most rewarding, and this is very much the case with Song-Kul Lake, the second-largest lake in Kyrgyzstan