Monday, September 30, 2013

The Stans

During the month of August I had the most extraordinary experience traveling around Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan with the fam. Needless to say, I knew next to nothing about this part of the world- we just don't tend to cover much of Central Asia in the American education system. But each country was uniquely fascinating, from their role in the Silk Road to the influences that impacted their cultures ie. everyone speaks Russian in addition to local languages due to their inclusion in the former Soviet Union. Turkmenistan alone was mind-blowing; it's considered the North Korea of Central Asia and deserves it's own post, so keep an eye out for it. (For a head start, check out the extremely beautiful but incredibly bizarre city of Aşgabat.)

My amateur interest in filming trips started last summer when I was awarded a research grant to study textiles in Southeast Asia. I decided to make a short movie covering my experiences in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand (I watched the sun rise over Angkor Wat three consecutive mornings to get the perfect shot for the opening scene). I found that the video was such a wonderful souvenir that I did the same for a family trip to Cuba last winter. 

Throughout the Stans trip I captured footage of the ruins, monuments, mosques, madrasas, deserts and markets that we visited. I figured it would be an interesting insight into an area of the world relatively unknown to the West. Enjoy!

P.S. Make sure to watch it in HD. 


  1. Dear Chantal,
    It was such a pleasure working with you and your family in ancient Central Asia countries and we look forward to seeing you again in Central Asia, its fascinating festivals and events! Wishing you great success and prosperity! Best, Silk Road Treasure Tours team, guides and tour operators...

  2. Lovely video. Really enjoyed it. Can I come on your next holiday please? I'll carry your bags.