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Traveling for History Buffs: Tracing the Silk Road II

In our previous article we have covered some key attractions pertinent to the Silk Road legacy. From the terracotta soldiers guarding the tomb of China’s first emperor to the ruins of civilization in the steppes of Kazakh.

The Silk Road and its past glory had created a path of cultural assimilation present in just about every corner of your journey. In the second part of our Silk Road tour, we will travel through the mysterious mountains of Kyrgyzstan and later explore the colorful minarets of Iran.

Kyrgyzstan

Probably not the first place you would think of when coming up with a travel destination. Kyrgyzstan is extremely underrated when it comes to tourism, despite having incredible natural and historical potentials. As you explore the endless prairies and picturesque valleys history comes alive with images of merchants carrying goods of immeasurable value through the land.

One of the most historical landmark in Kyrgyzstan is the Tash Rabat, a caravanserai, or resting place for traders and animals alike seeking accommodation as well as food. The structure of Tash Rabat is rather unique, created from solid stone, located far from civilization. Tash Rabat holds mysteries as of regarding its influence and use in the past due to the unusual layout of the building.

While it is believed to be a resting place for travelling merchants, there is also evidence that Christian monasteries have occupied the site as well. Aside from Tash Rabat, there is plenty of other attractions to enjoy in Kyrgyzstan. Burana Tower is a Silk Road minaret now having earned world heritage status from UNESCO.

Also, do not miss a change to shop at the colorful market in Kochkor village. To experience a true nomad life, you could reside in the yurts by the Song-kul lake surrounded by meadows. Other popular activities include hiking and trekking including at the vast walnut forests of Arslanbob which is also home to scenic meteoritic lakes.

Iran

Iran does not hold a particularly favorable reputation in the majority of the world these days. However, its charm is undeniable. Iran is a true experience of what the Silk Road had created with its East meets West influence present in the mystical architecture, culture, also not to mention the scenic panorama it boasts; Iran is surely a destination not to miss.

Marco Polo once did the endearing land journey stretching as far as 1,500 km. You too can follow his steps. Some main attractions not to miss include Mashhad, which runs along the border with Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. Mashhad for centuries had become a corridor through which travelers and invaders alike have crossed.

It is also home to one of the most sacred landmark in Iran, tomb of Ali ar-Riza, a true architectural masterpiece with its glorious golden dome. Mashhad is an important pilgrimage for Shiite Muslim as well. Iran also becomes center for Zoroastrians, especially in Yazd, home to The Tower of Silence, a site for sky burial tradition.

While you are in Iran, you might as well pay visit to the old citadel of the Silk Road, Arg-e Bam in Kerman which stands by an oasis. The now remains of the ruins used to act as an important spot for resting, trading, and defense.

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