A vivid display of Turkmenistan’s huge gas reserves is the Darvaza gas crater. In the 1970s, Soviet engineers accidentally collapsed this cavern about 260 km north of Ashgabat, while exploring for gas in the Karakum Desert. The escaping methane was lit, intending to quickly burn it off and avoid poisoning nearby villages, but it has continued burning ever since. Photo by Amos Chapple.


Paintings by an Uzbek artist, Saira Keltaeva.

Saira Keltaeva was born on 16 May 1961 in Kumyshkan, Tashkent region, Uzbek SSR. In 1979 Saira Keltaeva graduated from the National Music Art School, boarding arts class on easel painting, she was taught under the guidance of Art teacher A.P.Perova - national artist of Uzbekistan. The same year she entered Theatre and Art Institute in Tashkent. Saira Keltaeva is a member of the Creative Union of Artists at the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. Saira’s works are exhibited in museums and Art Galleries, as well as in private collections in Korea, China, Turkey, Germany, Holland, Italy, France and the United States.


It’s hard not to be charmed by Afghanistan. #wardak #kunar #nangarhar


The Sunken Forest of Lake Kaindy in Kazakhstan

Kaindy Lake is a 400 meter long lake in Kazakhstan’s portion of the Tian Shan Mountains located 129 km from the city of Almaty. The lake was created after an earthquake in 1911 that triggered a large landslide blocking the gorge and forming a natural dam. Subsequently, rainwater filled the valley and created the lake.

The lake is famous for its scenic beauty particularly the submerged forest and the imposing trunks of spruce trees that rises out of the lake water. The water is so cold (even in summer the temperature does not exceed 6 degrees) that the great pines still remain on the trees, even 100 years later. (x)


The Television Center in Almaty (Alma-Ata), Kazakhstan, 1996. The building was built during the Soviet Era and unfortunately lacks information about its architect and construction date. It was inspired by the historical cities of Central Asia, whose regional capital was Almaty. The design recalls the Persian muqarnas (complicated geometric niches and domes clad in tiles or mirror) of the mosques and madrasas of Registan, Bukhara, and Khiva. The style was adapted to the cityscape by using metal cladding and glass.


Capitals of Central Asian Countries:
Astana, Kazakhstan. - “Capital” (x)
Tashkent, Uzbekistan. - “Stone City” (x)
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. - “Pishpek (churn)” (x)
Dushanbe, Tajikistan. - “Monday” (x)
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. - “City of love” (x)
Kabul, Afghanistan. - “Named for Kabul river.” (x)