From turquoise-colored lakes to ancient walled cities, the “Five Stans” of Central Asia are home to some breathtaking sites that deserve a spot on traveler’s bucket lists.
Spanning 1.5 million square miles, the “Five Stans” include Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzebekistan, Kyrgystan and Kazakstan and are home to nearly 68 million people. According to Mother Nature Network, the suffix “stan” means “land of” in Farsi, and each of these country’s names referenced the tribes that historically lived in those lands, including the Kazakhs, Uzbeks and Turkmens. All of these countries share a common legacy of nomadic heritages tied to the famous Silk Road that spans across them.
So from Registan Square to the dramatic Charyn Canyon, here are nine destinations that are not to be missed: