A Photo Journey Along The Silk Road

by | Jan 12, 2017

Carving culture and history through the sands of time, few trading routes have continued to capture the imagination of explorers and travellers quite like the Silk Road.

From Istanbul to Xian, traversing mountains and deserts, between valleys and rivers, it is a pilgrimage shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Pockets of antiquity still live on today, having withstood onslaughts from conquerors, natural disasters and looting.

Across Central Asia and spreading into China and the Middle East and, the Silk Road countries form a journey like no other.

In 2015 we travelled through Western China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan over 5 months, documenting the ancient mausoleums and madrassas and exploring the fascinating cultures we came across along the way. It was one of the most inspiring trips we have ever done.

We hope this photo journey across the Silk Road inspires you to wander between the minarets and mosaics as well.

Click here to explore more of our Silk Road posts.

Samarkand Sunset Silk Road Photo Journey

Sunset at the Registan in Samarkand.

Uzbek Lady Extract Silk Road Photo Journey

A lady extract silk from worms in Uzbekistan’s Ferghana Valley.

Aba Khoja Mausoleum Silk Road Photo Journey

The Aba Khoja Mausoleum in Kashgar, China.

Balbals Silk Road Photo Journey

Ancient balbals in Jailoo Kyrchyn, Kyrgyzstan. These are used as memorials for the deceased.

Kutlug Timur Minaret Silk Road Photo Journey

Turkmenistan’s Kutlug Timur Minaret, standing 60m tall, in Konye Urgench.

Shashlik Xian Silk Road Photo Journey

A man cooks shashlik (meat kebabs) in Xian, at the historic end of the Silk Road in China.

Bukhara Tiles Silk Road Photo Journey

Beautiful tile work on one of Bukhara’s Islamic masterpieces.

Yamchun Fort Silk Road Photo Journey

The Yamchun Fort in the Wakhan Valley was an important Silk Road stronghold, which now lies between the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

Registan Night Silk Road Photo Journey

The Registan at night. Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Carpet Silk Road Photo Journey

A lady uses traditional weaving techniques to make a silk carpet in Uzbekistan.

Aidar Yurt Camp Nurata Uzbekistan Silk Road Photo Journey

Sunset over the Aidar Yurt Camp in Nurata, Uzbekistan.

Turkistan Silk Road Photo Journey

A family walks towards the Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi in Turkistan, Kazakhstan.

Registan Walls Silk Road Photo Journey

The walls of the Registan.

Kyrgyz Eagle Hunter Silk Road Photo Journey

Eagles have been used to hunt for centuries. Training these birds of prey is not an easy task, but once they become used to their owners they stay with them for up to 20 years.

Burana Tower Kyrgyzstan Silk Road Photo Journey

The Burana Tower in Kyrgyzstan.

Livestock Market Kashgar Silk Road Photo Journey

A man sorts ties the legs of his goat at the livestock market in Kashgar, China.

Turabek Khanum Konye Urgench Silk Road Photo Journey

Ladies waiting for a bus outside the Turabek Khanum Mausoleum in Turkmenistan’s Konye Urgench.

Gur-e-Amir Samarkand Silk Road Photo Journey

Gur-e-Amir, the sacred mausoleum of the great conqueror Tamerlane, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Bread Silk Road Photo Journey

Bread is the staple diet for people living in Central Asia.

Khiva Minaret Silk Road Photo Journey

The famous Kalta Minor minaret in Khiva, Uzbekistan.

Kashgar Old Town Silk Road Photo Journey

Young boys run through the Kashgar Old Town. Once an important hub, this place is now on the verge of collapse.

Turkistan Silk Road Photo Journey

A man brushes his hand along the mosaic tiles in Turkistan, Kazakhstan.

Kok Boru Silk Road Photo Journey

Young men play a match of kok boru in Kyrgyzstan. Similar to polo, this game requires competitors on horseback to throw a goat carcass into large barrels at either end of a field.

Bukhara Silk Road Photo Journey

The captivating historical centre of Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

Workshop Kashgar Silk Road Photo Journey

A man carves out wooden decorations in a workshop in Kashgar, China.

Tamerlane Mausoleum Silk Road Photo Journey

Approaching Tamerlane’s mausoleum at the blue hour.

Cauldron Turkistan Silk Road Photo Journey

The spectacular bronze cauldron inside the Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi in Turkistan, Kazakhstan.

Petroglyphs Kyrgyzstan Silk Road Photo Journey

3000 year old petroglyphs in Cholpon Ata, Kyrgyzstan.

Kashgar Livestock Market Silk Road Photo Journey

A man inspects his sheep at the Kashgar livestock market.

Turkistan Silk Road Photo Journey

Kazakhstan’s most impressive historical site – the Mausoleum of Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi in Turkistan.

Our Silk Road journey through China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and most of Kyrgyzstan was completed independently, while Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and parts of Kyrgyzstan were explored in partnership with the overland adventure tour operator, Dragoman. All thoughts and images are, as always, our own.

Alesha And Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award winning writers and photographers behind this blog, and we have been travelling the world together since 2008. Adventure travel is our passion, and through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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