The Silk Road: Marco Polo & Golden Cities of Central Asia - 2022

Ashgabat • Khiva • Bukhara • Samarkand • Tashkent
  • The Silk Road Land Tour of Marco Polo and Golden Cities of Central Asia including Ashgabat, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent
    TOUR 2000-YEAR-OLD BUKHARA AND LEARN ABOUT ITS HISTORY AS THE INTELLECTUAL CENTER OF THE ISLAMIC WORLD
  • UNESCO-listed ruins, Nisa, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
    VISIT THE RUINS OF THE PARTHIAN EMPIRE IN THE UNESCO-LISTED ANCIENT CITY OF NISA
  • Registan Square, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Asia
    EXPLORE THE MOSQUES, MADRASSAS, AND MAUSOLEUMS OF SAMARKAND
  • Architecture, city of Khiva, Uzbekistan, Asia
    DISCOVER CENTURIES-OLD HANDICRAFT AND FOLK TRADITIONS AT KHIVA, A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
  • Chorsu Bazaar, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Asia
    ADMIRE TASHKENT’S GLORIOUS PUBLIC SQUARES AND ORNATE METRO STATIONS
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  • 36
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Photography Highlights


Photography memories to bring home on your Silk Road adventure

Central Asia is a spectacular destination, unlike any other place you’ve seen. Every horizon brings a new perspective to unleash your imagination: mountain peaks that soar over blindingly blue glacial lakes, deserts that fringe vast seas, and magnificent mosques, mausoleums and memorials — remnants of the great Silk Road, which changed the course of history.

On your Silk Road journey, you’ll see and photograph some of the most staggering natural and man-made landscapes on the planet. And, thanks to your camera or GoPro, you’ll be able to share and remember all the most inspiring moments. Here are some ideas and tips to help you make the most of your visit and return home with shots you can’t wait to show off.

Culture   |   Wildlife   |   Nature   |   Heritage   |   Cuisine


Culture

Culture

If you’re the kind of photographer who loves taking gorgeous shots of the people you meet, then Central Asia is the place for you! You’ll be kept very busy photographing the local bazaars brimming with color and activity, the wide, grandiose boulevards of Ashgabat, and the Cold War space age-themed designs in the Tashkent Metro.

Pro Photo Tip: If you want to take candid portraits of people, holding your camera in front of your face usually gives away your intentions immediately. Instead, practice shooting from the hip or from the chest. Keeping your camera low allows you to snap away unnoticed, and also provides a more interesting angle. For this technique, it’s helpful to use a compact camera or a wide lens on your DSLR, which helps to ensure that you get your subject in the frame.

Culture Tip: Most people in Central Asia love being photographed, especially outside the cities. Just get permission from them first! You may encounter people who ask you to send them their photos later so they can keep them. Be sure to follow up — you never know when you may make a new friend.

Wildlife

Wildlife

Turkmenistan’s Akhal-Teke horses are some of the most beautiful steeds in the world. From their majestic movements to their graceful presence, these horses have been seen as revered animals, and are even featured on Turkmenistan’s national emblem. And of course, these magnificent beasts make fantastic subjects for photographs, as you’ll discover on your visit to a Turkmen horse farm.

Pro Photo Tip: If you’re trying to capture a shot of a horse galloping or trotting past, you’ll need your camera to be able to focus at continuously changing distances. To do this, set your camera to use continuous autofocus. Finding the setting for this varies from camera to camera but look for a focus-mode setting marked “C.”

nature

Nature

Many people underestimate the natural beauty of Central Asia. It’s hard to believe that the mountains are actually as high as they are, or that the lakes are actually as blue as they are. Much of the time, this incredible and pristine nature can be challenging to reach, but your train ride to Samarkand will enable you to enjoy some of the region’s most breathtaking landscapes effortlessly.

Pro Photo Tip: If you’re using a DSLR, using an ND filter can help slow your shutter speed down so you can capture movement in rivers and waterfalls. Some compact cameras also have built-in ND filters. Use a good tripod to avoid camera shake.

Heritage

Heritage

Central Asia is an absolute must for anyone who loves photographing ancient and monumental architecture. Its rich Silk Road history has resulted in some of the most magnificent man-made wonders in the world. You’ll visit the cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva to see dazzling mosques and monuments, featuring intricate blue tiled mosaics, floating arches, and soaring minarets.

Pro Photo Tip: Take time to find a different angle when photographing Central Asia’s fascinating architecture. Playing with perspective is not only a fun thing to do and often results in great photographs — it can also highlight details of a building that heighten your appreciation of it.

Cuisine

Cuisine

Food, friendship, and hospitality all go hand in hand in Central Asia, and you’ll have some great food photo ops on this journey. Learn to make Uzbekistan’s native dish, plov, at a cooking class. At locally-hosted meals, you’ll discover other popular specialties, such as shashlik — skewered meat roasted over hot coals — and the distinctive local bread of Samarkand, which is said to be edible for three years after baking!

Pro Photo Tip: To get a successful picture of an unusual dish, don’t stop at one photo. Snap several shots from different distances and angles. This will not only allow you to choose the best shot later, but also to find the best angle, which you can sometimes only see through the lens.

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