Sunday, October 05, 2003

Kashmir Pictures

Whenever I say something like, "I can't wait to go to Kyrgyzstan someday," people tend to look at me like I'm really odd. I think they stereotype much of the Middle East and Central Asia as a sort of barely civilized wasteland, and can't fathom any sort of attraction at all. With that in mind, check out these pictures of Kashmir on Zack Ajmal's blog. That, my friends, is what you find in southern Central Asia, with Islamic themes replacing Hindu and Buddhist ones as you move further north until at last, past the old Silk Road route, past the high peaks of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan and the Tien Shan, Pamirs, and Kopet-Dag of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Iran respectively, until they open out upon the vast steppes where for millennia pastoral nomads have driven their herds through the vast, thinly inhabited plains. And that, my friends, is worth checking out.

UPDATE: Also, check out this New York Times story about Mongolia, where you can see some of the above-mentioned pastoral nomads and vast steppe.

UPDATE: From a Mongolia-phile: "What the go all the way to Khovd and you DON'T try the marmot? Freakin' Euro-trash wannabe travel writer. He's nothing more than a marmot-phobe."


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