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What to see in Karakol-Kyrgyzstan

Located at the crossroads of Central Asia, the city of Karakol in eastern Kyrgyzstan is a fascinating gateway to the region's diverse history, cuisine, and nature. Many unique cultures contribute to the town's culinary history and cultural heritage: Kyrgyz, Tatar, Russian, Dungan, Uighur, Kalmyk, Uzbek, and more. And with both the Tian Shan Mountains and Lake Issyk-Kul nearby, you'll discover limitless outdoor adventure .

This video will show you through some of the more "local" things and places I visited whilst there. Bearing in mind this was photographed by me back in 2012.

I hope it gives you a flavour of the place....

Posted by TheJohnsons 08:26 Archived in Kyrgyzstan Tagged mountains trees sky architecture water view nature park hiking landscape culture temple religion scene travel church mountain green tree river adventure scenery blue valley building panorama summer beautiful heritage wild hill national rock old scenic forest central natural asia ancient tourism historic outdoor landmark peak outdoors alpine kyrgyzstan kyrgyz karakol Comments (0)

The Big Year Out-Gaochang

Gaochang

Here from my epic journey on the silk route in 2012/13 is my look at Gaochang in China. It was one of the highlights for me of the trip, I am a bit into ancient sites, I have a great connection with them, and I don't know why? Anyway I hope you get a taste for what out there and how the Chinese are trying to restore it!

Located 30 kilometres south-east of Turpan City, Gaochang, is an ancient city built on the northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert and to the south of the Flaming Mountains. Built in the 1st century BC, Gaochang, was an important area along the Silk Road. It was burnt down and destroyed in the 14th century due to increased warfare. The old palace and city ruins can be seen today as they've been well-preserved.

Gaochang was once a fertile and prosperous city serving as capital for three western states in ancient times. The location of Gaochang was ideal as it was located in the middle of the Turpan Basin and the city’s layout was designed with high walls and deep moats, making it a significant military fortress for the Western Region for centuries. With an area of about 2 million square meters, the Ancient Ruins contain the outer and inner cities, along with a palace.

The layout of the city is similar to that of Chang’an (capital of the Tang Dynasty at that time, today’s Xi’an). It is said that, “If you want to learn about the prosperity of the Tang Dynasty, Gaochang Ancient Ruins will show you.” The outer city is surrounded by 11-meter high and 12-meter wide mud walls and nine city gates. The inner city is a 3-kilometer long rectangle that shares its southern wall with the Palace in the northern part of the inner city. A pagoda called, “The Castle of Khan” (meaning “Imperial Palace”) stands on a high stage there. With a history of about 1,300 years, Gaochang, has witnessed many ups and downs in the Turpan region. These delicate ancient ruins have been listed as precious cultural relics under state protection.

Posted by TheJohnsons 20:37 Archived in China Tagged architecture desert culture temple history travel ruins vacation fort mountain city china building cave sand place national stone old road bc destination buddhist attraction wall asian asia first antique ancient tourism historic chinese landmark cultural hall outdoors key silk century khan ruin basin protection relics xinjiang floor heat past lecture turpan units gentleman uyghur gaochang jiaohe tripitaka taklamakan tamrin Comments (0)

The Big Year Out-Mount Phousi- Laos

During my travels round Laos in 2013 I visited Luang Prabang and visited Mount Phousi and enjoy the stunning views of Laos.
I hope you enjoy it too!

Posted by TheJohnsons 22:49 Archived in Laos Tagged sky architecture view mount nature park landscape culture temple religion traditional travel statue mountain town green tree river buddhism jungle city laos golden famous sun beautiful heritage wat road forest unesco religious destination sights buddhist attraction asian tradition asia southeast ancient prabang luang tourism brick landmark lao phousi horizontal spirituality Comments (0)

The Big Year Out-Xieng Khuan Buddha Park Laos

I visited this weird and quirky place in 2012 when spending time in Laos near vientiane. It caught my imagination, I hope it does yours! Buddha Park is more curious than spectacular – which makes for a curious spectacle. A rogue monk is said to have attempted to reconsolidate Buddhism and Hinduism into his own brand of mysticism through a prolific collection of sculptures depicting various deities and scenes from both religions. The information provided at the park is less dramatic, simply stating that Bunleua Sulilat constructed this sculpture garden in 1958 before fleeing across the Mekong to Thailand in 1978 and building a sister park across the river in Nong Khai

Posted by TheJohnsons 22:31 Archived in Laos Tagged art sky architecture park landscape monument culture temple religion travel statue thailand tree buddhism city laos building famous vientiane heritage sculpture wat paradise buddha stone tropical tourist sacred religious buddhist attraction asia southeast amazing ancient xieng tourism god landmark palm exotic outdoors monster worship spiritual mythology mysterious figures wisdom khuan Comments (0)

The Big Year Out- Zeravshan Valleyand 7 Lakes of Shing

During my trip across Central Asia I journeyed to this amazing area of Northern Tajikistan. I will let the images speak for themselves. Yes the sky is that blue and yes the lakes are that colour! and glacial cold too! The Zeravshan Valley (also Zarafshan or Zarafshon) is situated in northern Tajikistan, embedded between the impressive mountain ranges of the western Pamir-Alai massive.“Zeravshan” – which means “Golden River” in Tajik –is the main stream which crosses the valley and which supplies its inhabitants with a most precious resource: water. The area is famous for its unique mountain landscapes and its beautiful lakes: the Alauddin lakes, the Kulikalon lakes, Iskanderkul Lake, the seven lakes of Shing among many others. While being an important tourism and recreation destination during the Soviet era of dispatch tourism, it is now an insiders' tip among those interested in mountain trekking, alpinism and the little travelled branches of the silk road

Posted by TheJohnsons 22:23 Archived in Tajikistan Tagged mountains buildings architecture landscape culture temple travel ruins mountain river province scenery valley famous heritage rural hill old road historical medieval central destination tradition asia ancient tourism fortress archaeological journey outdoors civilization sunlight silk remote citadel discover location tajikistan magnificent pre-islamic zeravshan zoroastrianism sogdiana clay-bricks pendjikent proto-urban sughd panjakent sarazm geographical soghdians Comments (0)

The Big Year Out-The Registan

After having travelled through Turkey, Iran, and Turkmenistan, we entered our fourth country on our journey along the Silk Route, Uzbekistan. I recall it being a very dry and dusty country, or maybe that’s because most of my destinations in Uzbekistan were like this. It just seemed that Tashkent (the capitol) was the only place to have full and free flowing water and grass and trees. Outside of Tashkent it seemed like time had stood still and you could still get a feel of the days of the Caravansary that used to dot the country along the Silk route. Here a slide show of one of the most beautiful and iconic places in Uzbekistan, The Registan, in Samarkand. Yes it really is that blue. Thankfully the Russians although supressing any kind of Religion during their occupation, did have the foresight of restoring after many earthquakes much of the Registan as you see it today. Working as recently as 1987, twenty years of hard work and money and people with patience and the eye for the historical detail have made The Registan great again!

Posted by TheJohnsons 21:11 Archived in Uzbekistan Tagged art sky night architecture mosque sunset monument culture temple religion history traditional travel square eastern city building heritage dusk mosaic old road muslim medieval central asia ancient tourism historic dome landmark decoration pattern silk islam ceramic illuminated ornament tile exterior facade uzbekistan minaret samarkand complex islamic madrasa registan madrasah samarqand sher-dor Comments (0)

The Big Year Out-Wenmiao Temple & Dayun Si - Wuwei

During my journey across the Silk route into China, we travelled to the ancient city of Wuwei, here we visited the Wenmaio Temple . Beautifully ornate and spread over a large area. The ancient Bell tower Dayun Si built during the Ming dynasty, also in the city of Wuwei . Houses a Tang dynasty bronze bell, which I had the pleasure of striking! The pictures speak better for themselves. Info taken from:https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/gansu/wuwei/confucian-temple.htm The Confucius Temple is known also as the Wenmiao Temple in Chinese, and is situated in the southeast of Wuwei City. This ancient complex dates from the Ming Dynasty having been established in 1439 on instructions from the reigning emperor and with the strong backing of public subscription. The construction of the original temple took just two years but various extensions have been added over succeeding centuries. The complex covers an area of a little over 1,500 square meters and is the largest and best-preserved temple dedicated to Confucius in Gansu Province

Posted by TheJohnsons 21:06 Archived in China Tagged trees architecture view leaves landscape culture temple scene history travel town green grass plants province scenery city china map building garden south beautiful country old historical beijing land site capital tradition asia image shrine tourism chinese united state outdoor gate department landmark republic geography area decorations perspective political gansu illustration wuwei eps Comments (0)

The Big Year Out-Kashan


View Food from our Journey & The Big Year Out & Things we wish we had done & Photos of us & Photographic Equipement & Visas & Transport and bookings on TheJohnsons's travel map.

Kashan

Kashan is much smaller than Tehran; we arrived by bus about 3.00pm. We managed to get a taxi to near enough the Noghli home stay. As with some Iranian taxi drivers, they say they know the way, but are not really sure! Sometimes, they try and ask you for more money than was agreed. Taxis the world over seem to be like this.

Finally we arrive at Noghli, it appears that there are no rooms left, but they do manage to find us one twin for one night, and then we have to swap night two for a single room and one of us sleeps on the floor.IMG_0006.JPGIMG_0005.JPG

A Traditional home, the owner allows women not to have to wear their scarves all the time, a welcome relief. Local food is served (at extra cost), and very nicely put together in an arch underneath the first floor on a long table, in front of the courtyard.

Next day we walk to the ancient merchant houses and hammam, all very cheap to get into and easy to find once you’re on the main street. We spent most of the day walking round these, yes we do things slowly.IMG_0111.JPGIMG_0031.JPGIMG_0118.JPG

We also visited finn Gardens which are supposed to be the finest examples of Persian gardens. It was a bit like going to wisely on a bank holiday, it was heaving, so perhaps we didn't enjoy that one as much as we could have.IMG_0142.JPGIMG_0143.JPG

Basically that was it for Kashan, it really isn’t a big place and actually if you were of the mind you could do it passing through toEsfahan.

Posted by TheJohnsons 01:06 Archived in Iran Tagged sky architecture water desert mosque park culture temple religion fountain history traditional travel city building famous house garden heritage place old historical pool muslim medieval tourist cityscape fin wall east asia middle ancient tourism historic dome relax iran persia courtyard outdoor landmark decoration persian islam kashan iranian perspective islamic Comments (0)

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