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Does It Yurt? Travels in Central Asia or How I Came to Love the Stans

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Conjuring images of nomadic horsemen, spectacular monuments, breathtaking scenery and crippling poverty, Central Asia remains an enigma. Home to the descendants of Jenghiz Khan's Great Horde, in the nineteenth century the once powerful Silk Road states became a pawn in the 'Great Game' of expansion and espionage between Britain and Russia, disappearing behind what would be Conjuring images of nomadic horsemen, spectacular monuments, breathtaking scenery and crippling poverty, Central Asia remains an enigma. Home to the descendants of Jenghiz Khan's Great Horde, in the nineteenth century the once powerful Silk Road states became a pawn in the 'Great Game' of expansion and espionage between Britain and Russia, disappearing behind what would become known as the 'Iron Curtain'. With the collapse of the USSR, the nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were born. Since independence, Central Asia has seen one civil war, two revolutions and seven dictators. An insightful mix of travel, history and reportage, in Does it Yurt? journalist Stephen M. Bland takes the reader on a voyage of discovery. Travelling to a desert sea, a collapsed Russian gas rig daubed the 'Gate to Hell' and along the 'Heroin highway' atop the roof of the world, the author sets out to explore these lands, unearthing the stories of the people and places behind this fascinating region. Written sharply, vividly... If you're looking for an antidote to chirpy travel-guide descriptions of Central Asia, then this is the book for you.' -- Sam Tranum, author of Daily Life in Turkmenbashy's Golden Age. 'Packed with insights into every corner of the region.' -- Paul Wilson, Trailblazer Guides writer and author of The Alphabet Game. 'Weaves together my favourite elements of a travelogue: historical context and current observations mixed with a dry sense of humour and amusing anecdotes... Does it Yurt? will result in my journey to Central Asia being that much more rewarding.' -- Ric Gazarian, author of 7000KM To Go and Hit the Road India; top 500 travel blogger. 'Stephen M. Bland's writing captures the magical whirlwind flavour of Central Asia in this very perceptive and insightful book. Those who have visited this wonderful part of the world will instantly recognise and reminisce on the many stories of potholed journeys by shared taxi, generous encounters with friendly locals and the inevitable run-ins with bumbling bureaucracy. Those who haven't yet visited will be inspired to book their next adventure as soon as they can put the book down. A thrilling ride from start to finish.' -- Nick Rowan, author of Friendly Steppes: A Silk Road Journey 'Deserves to be shared among friends, as well as having a designated place on your shelves. Stephen M. Bland succeeds in bringing the region alive, and his story is an interesting and hard-to-decline invitation to join in his travels.' -- Eugenette Morin, writer


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Conjuring images of nomadic horsemen, spectacular monuments, breathtaking scenery and crippling poverty, Central Asia remains an enigma. Home to the descendants of Jenghiz Khan's Great Horde, in the nineteenth century the once powerful Silk Road states became a pawn in the 'Great Game' of expansion and espionage between Britain and Russia, disappearing behind what would be Conjuring images of nomadic horsemen, spectacular monuments, breathtaking scenery and crippling poverty, Central Asia remains an enigma. Home to the descendants of Jenghiz Khan's Great Horde, in the nineteenth century the once powerful Silk Road states became a pawn in the 'Great Game' of expansion and espionage between Britain and Russia, disappearing behind what would become known as the 'Iron Curtain'. With the collapse of the USSR, the nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were born. Since independence, Central Asia has seen one civil war, two revolutions and seven dictators. An insightful mix of travel, history and reportage, in Does it Yurt? journalist Stephen M. Bland takes the reader on a voyage of discovery. Travelling to a desert sea, a collapsed Russian gas rig daubed the 'Gate to Hell' and along the 'Heroin highway' atop the roof of the world, the author sets out to explore these lands, unearthing the stories of the people and places behind this fascinating region. Written sharply, vividly... If you're looking for an antidote to chirpy travel-guide descriptions of Central Asia, then this is the book for you.' -- Sam Tranum, author of Daily Life in Turkmenbashy's Golden Age. 'Packed with insights into every corner of the region.' -- Paul Wilson, Trailblazer Guides writer and author of The Alphabet Game. 'Weaves together my favourite elements of a travelogue: historical context and current observations mixed with a dry sense of humour and amusing anecdotes... Does it Yurt? will result in my journey to Central Asia being that much more rewarding.' -- Ric Gazarian, author of 7000KM To Go and Hit the Road India; top 500 travel blogger. 'Stephen M. Bland's writing captures the magical whirlwind flavour of Central Asia in this very perceptive and insightful book. Those who have visited this wonderful part of the world will instantly recognise and reminisce on the many stories of potholed journeys by shared taxi, generous encounters with friendly locals and the inevitable run-ins with bumbling bureaucracy. Those who haven't yet visited will be inspired to book their next adventure as soon as they can put the book down. A thrilling ride from start to finish.' -- Nick Rowan, author of Friendly Steppes: A Silk Road Journey 'Deserves to be shared among friends, as well as having a designated place on your shelves. Stephen M. Bland succeeds in bringing the region alive, and his story is an interesting and hard-to-decline invitation to join in his travels.' -- Eugenette Morin, writer

47 review for Does It Yurt? Travels in Central Asia or How I Came to Love the Stans

  1. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Porter

    A really enjoyable read! Having only originally been intending to visit Uzbekistan, this book has forced me to rethink my summer travels plans to include more of the region. Laugh out loud at times and full of bizarre and intriguing history. Highly recommended, particularly if you too are intending to visit Central Asia.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anoushka Dobothrer

    A witty and engaging adventure through part of the world I knew little about prior to reading this. Thoroughly enjoyable and informative.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alistair

    Great mix of history and experiences. Liked it so much I bought it twice, although that's because I stuffed up the first order and it never arrived! Great mix of history and experiences. Liked it so much I bought it twice, although that's because I stuffed up the first order and it never arrived!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christy

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  6. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dominique Paul

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vivien Murphy

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jakub Krupa

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ivy

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paulina Gole

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ana

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Jones

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Mohan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Bland

  19. 5 out of 5

    rosemary baird

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Keig

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shailendra

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cristina

  25. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karen Anderson

  27. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gazmend Kryeziu

  31. 4 out of 5

    Betty

  32. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Piper

  33. 4 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  34. 5 out of 5

    Consuelo Murgia

  35. 4 out of 5

    Aan Krida

  36. 5 out of 5

    Megan White

  37. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Mukherjee

  38. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  39. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

  40. 5 out of 5

    Maria Georgieva

  41. 4 out of 5

    Nour rfi

  42. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  43. 5 out of 5

    Haris Mohammad

  44. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

  45. 4 out of 5

    Dee

  46. 5 out of 5

    Manda

  47. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Muscat

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