SILK ROAD DISCOVERY
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SILK ROAD DISCOVERY

Afghanistan

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Capital Kabul
Main Cities Kandahar, Herat
Currency Afghan afghani
Official Language(s) Dari, Pashto
Main Ethnic Groups Pashtum, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek
Voltage 230v
Plugs 2-Pin Round
Country Calling Code: +93
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+4.30
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Afghanistan is in April-May and September-October avoiding the summer’s high temperatures which can make sightseeing unbearable, the winter snows which cut off more remote regions as well as the rainiest period which runs from December to April.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)

China

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

Practical Information

Capital Beijing
Main Cities Shanghai, Chongqing, Tianjin, Guangzhou
Currency Renminbi
Official Language(s) Mandarin
Main Ethnic Groups Han, Zhuang, Hui, Manchu, Uyghur
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code: +86 Mainland
Driving Side Right, Left in Hong Kong and Macau
Time Zone UTC+8
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit China is during spring or autumn when the weather tends to be warm and dry, in contrast with the bitterly cold winters and hot, humid summers experienced in much of the country.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)

Iran

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

Practical Information

Capital Tehran
Main Cities Mashhad, Isfahan, Karaj
Currency Iranian Rial
Official Language(s) Persian
Main Ethnic Groups Persian, Azerbaijani, Kurd
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code +98
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+3.30
BEST TIME TO GO

Spring and autumn are undoubtedly the best time to go to Iran, avoiding a very hot summer and an icy winter.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)

Kazakhstan

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

Practical Information

Capital Nur-Sultan
Main Cities Almaty, Shymkent, Karagandy
Currency Kazakhstani Tenge
Official Language(s) Kazakh, Russian
Main Ethnic Groups Kazakh, Ethnic Russian
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code: +7-6xx, +7-7xx
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+5 / +6 (West/East)
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to go to Kazakhstan is in Apr-May or Sep-Oct, between scorching heat and heavy snow.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)

Kyrgyzstan

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

Practical Information

Capital Bishkek
Main Cities Bishkek, Osh, Jalal-Abad
Currency Kyrgyzstani Som
Official Language(s) Kyrgyz, Russian
Main Ethnic Groups Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code: +996
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+6
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Kyrgyzstan is during the summer months as although the heat can be uncomfortable, this is when the country’s bazaars are at their most lively. It’s also the ideal season to explore the country’s mountainous areas and hiking trails that are out of bounds at other times of the year.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)

Mongolia

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

Practical Information

Capital Ulaanbaatar
Main Cities Erdenet, Darkhan, Choibalsan
Currency Mongolian Tögrög
Official Language(s) Mongolian
Main Ethnic Groups Mongol, Kazakh
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code: +976
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+7/+8
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Mongolia is during the summer season which is characterised by sunny days and a little rain to keep the scenery lush and green. Only the southern Gobi is really hot at this time. July is also the time of Ulaanbaatar’s Nadaam Festival. September to October is best to venture into the Gobi Desert. The Altai Golden Eagle Festival takes place in the first week of October. Note that it is possible to travel to Mongolia on the Trans-Siberian Railway at any time of year.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)

Russia

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

Practical Information

Capital Moscow
Main Cities St-Petersburg, Novosibirk, Yekaterinburg
Currency Russian Ruble
Official Language(s) Russian + 35 others
Main Ethnic Groups Russian, Tatar
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code: +7
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+2 to +12
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Algeria for a Saharan safari is March-April or Oct-Nov when the heat of the day is bearable and the nights are less cold than in the middle of winter. Both periods will also allow you to incorporate in your itinerary cities and sites of the Mediterranean coastline – then dry and relatively warm – while October sees the start of the annual date harvest. An added benefit of travelling to Algeria during spring or autumn is far fewer crowds around key cultural attractions and beach resorts.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)

Tajikistan

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

Practical Information

Capital Dushanbe
Main Cities Khujand, Bokhtar, Kulob
Currency Tajikistani Somoni
Official Language(s) Tajik
Main Ethnic Groups Tajik, Uzbek
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code: +992
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+5
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Algeria for a Saharan safari is March-April or Oct-Nov when the heat of the day is bearable and the nights are less cold than in the middle of winter. Both periods will also allow you to incorporate in your itinerary cities and sites of the Mediterranean coastline – then dry and relatively warm – while October sees the start of the annual date harvest. An added benefit of travelling to Algeria during spring or autumn is far fewer crowds around key cultural attractions and beach resorts.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)

Turkey

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

Practical Information

Capital Ankara
Main Cities Istanbul, Izmir, Bursa
Currency Turkish Lira
Official Language(s) Turkish
Main Ethnic Groups Turk, Kurd
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code: +90
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+3
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Algeria for a Saharan safari is March-April or Oct-Nov when the heat of the day is bearable and the nights are less cold than in the middle of winter. Both periods will also allow you to incorporate in your itinerary cities and sites of the Mediterranean coastline – then dry and relatively warm – while October sees the start of the annual date harvest. An added benefit of travelling to Algeria during spring or autumn is far fewer crowds around key cultural attractions and beach resorts.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)

Turkmenistan

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

Practical Information

Capital Ashgabat
Main Cities Türkmenabat, Daşoguz
Currency Turkmenistan Manat
Official Language(s) Turkmen
Widely Spoken Russian
Main Ethnic Groups Turkmen, Uzbek, Russian
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code: +993
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+5
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Algeria for a Saharan safari is March-April or Oct-Nov when the heat of the day is bearable and the nights are less cold than in the middle of winter. Both periods will also allow you to incorporate in your itinerary cities and sites of the Mediterranean coastline – then dry and relatively warm – while October sees the start of the annual date harvest. An added benefit of travelling to Algeria during spring or autumn is far fewer crowds around key cultural attractions and beach resorts.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)

Uzbekistan

Mediterranean Life
Colonial Architecture
Stunning Landscapes
The Sahara and its People
Archeological Sites
Islamic Culture

Practical Information

Capital Tashkent
Main Cities Samarqand, Fergana, Namangan
Currency Uzbekistani Soʻm
Official Language(s) Uzbek, Karakalpak
Widely Spoken Russian
Main Ethnic Groups Uzbek, Tajik
Voltage 230v
Plugs Type C, Type F
Country Calling Code: +998
Driving Side Right
Time Zone UTC+5
BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Algeria for a Saharan safari is March-April or Oct-Nov when the heat of the day is bearable and the nights are less cold than in the middle of winter. Both periods will also allow you to incorporate in your itinerary cities and sites of the Mediterranean coastline – then dry and relatively warm – while October sees the start of the annual date harvest. An added benefit of travelling to Algeria during spring or autumn is far fewer crowds around key cultural attractions and beach resorts.

RECOMMENDED READING

The Outsider (Albert Camus)
The Plague (Albert Camus)
What the Day Owes the Night (Yasmina Khadra)
Fantasia (Assia Djebar)
The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)
Nedjma (Katek Yacine)
Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed (Martin Evans and John Phillips)