Central Asia is most notable for being home to the '-stans': Rugged countries with limited arable land, historically coveted for their position between Europe and East Asia, rather than for their resources.
Popular in Central Asia
Kabul has been the capital of Afghanistan since about 1776. The city has been badly damaged during the various 1979–2001 wars, particularly its western parts.
Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country and, as the world's ninth biggest country by area, is the largest of the former states of the former Soviet Union apart from Russia itself.
In Central Asia
Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia with a population of about 5 million, and an area around half a million km2, or almost the size of Spain.
Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан, formally the Kyrgyz Republic is a Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions.
The Aral Sea, what once was the fourth largest inland body of water in the world, and now more aptly dubbed Aralkum, is in Central Asia, divided between Northern Uzbekistan and Southern Kazakhstan.
The Ferghana Valley is historically the main Silk Road route between Kashgar and Samarkand.
The ancient Persian Empire included areas far beyond modern Persia, now called Iran.