4 independent reviews for Central Asia overland tour, the stans

Reviews for Central Asia overland tour, the stans

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review 5 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The variety. From the stunning architecture of Tamerlane's Samarkand to the burning gas crater at Darwaza, from the sung liturgy in Almaty orthodox cathedral to the walk round lake Song Kul in the clear blue light at 3000 metres, from the demonstration by the Eagle hunter at Isshy-kul to meeting the boys fishing by the bridge over the Zeravshan river at Panjakent. I could continue

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

There is some walking involved but can be tailored to the individual. Only two of us walked back up the Charyn canyon the others in the party taking the transport. The young Disraeli on his Grand Tour remarked that drinking bad wine doubles your appreciation of the good. In similar vein the odd night spent camping or a yurt heightens your appreciation of a shower at the next hotel

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The local people would certainly benefit from our spending and they are not over run or put out by visitors.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent. There was one day when the programme faltered with an excursion which took far too long over difficult tracks. However we were able to adjust the schedule the next day and the had a bonus day in Almaty.

review 27 Sep 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing the crater and the mountains.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

To be prepared for long journeys on rough unsealed roads.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, purchased items which supported small communities.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

The guides were excellent and knowledgeable about each Stan we visited.

review 7 Oct 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Spending time with nomads in Kyrgyzstan and seeing the wonderful architecture of Uzbekistan.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take practical luggage with wheels as there is a lot of carrying bags over considerable distances when crossing borders. Don't book Turkish Airlines as they were a disaster on the routing London - Istanbul - Tashkent. Book the direct service!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Only to a small degree. The group felt that there was little to distinguish us from any other tour group doing pretty much the same itinerary. I only felt that we made some contribution in Kyrgyzstan.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was very fast-paced with little leisure time. However, I did feel that it was a trip of a lifetime and it was clear that we saw so much. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who wanted to gain a comprehensive overview of the region.

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for taking the time to provide us with feedback on your trip. Were pleased that you enjoyed traveling through Central Asia - its a fascinating region. You mentioned that the responsible travel aspect of this trip could perhaps be improved upon, and so that is something that well be taking into account when next reviewing our itineraries. Much of the trip is city based - Central Asia is of course well renowned for its incredible Silk Road cities and it is perhaps a little harder to emphasise this element of the trip in countries such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan than it is in places such as Kyrgyzstan, where a strong community based tourism programme is in place, and many of the highlights are based around smaller, more rural areas. However we are always keen to make improvements to our trips where we can, and our Central Asia team will be looking at how we can include some additional activities into this tour, with a focus on learning a little more about local life and ensuring that they benefit the communities that we travel through. Thanks again for your feedback - this is always very helpful and assists us to continually review our trips. We hope to see you on one of our tours again in the future.

review 29 Sep 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Kyrgystan was the highlight for me. Our guide was the best and I really felt we were participating in responsible travel more than on other parts of the trip. The culture, food and activities were the best. Bermet added four or five excursions which for a small additional cost, added to the experience. Experiencing yurts, and local culture, family home stays and home prepared food were all great.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be open to everything!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Not really aside from Kyrgyzstan. I think Native Eye could have done better with the restaurants we used and the excursions that benefited local people. In general we visited government sites and dined at tourist establishments. I would have liked to see more excursions that visited local people to learn about their culture, crafts and food preparation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

The trip was great, just feel a few more small additions would have made it even more meaningful. Group size was great and accommodations for the most part were really great. Food, except in Kyrgyzstan was quite boring and repetitive. Uzbekistan was just sites, with no cultural additions. I was disappointed not to learn more about carpets and Suzani.

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for taking the time to provide us with feedback on your trip. Were pleased that you enjoyed traveling through Central Asia - its a fascinating region. You mentioned that the responsible travel aspect of this trip could perhaps be improved upon, and so that is something that well be taking into account when next reviewing our itineraries. Much of the trip is city based - Central Asia is of course well renowned for its incredible Silk Road cities and it is perhaps a little harder to emphasise this element of the trip in countries such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan than it is in places such as Kyrgyzstan, where a strong community based tourism programme is in place, and many of the highlights are based around smaller, more rural areas. However we are always keen to make improvements to our trips where we can, and our Central Asia team will be looking at how we can include some additional activities into this tour, with a focus on learning a little more about local life and ensuring that they benefit the communities that we travel through. Thanks again for your feedback - this is always very helpful and assists us to continually review our trips. We hope to see you on one of our tours again in the future.

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