Your next vacation will be to a "stan" country. Which one do you pick?

For whatever reason, your next vacation must be to a country that ends in “stan”. According to Wikipedia, your choices are: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan. I intentionally left off Hayastan (native name of Armenia) because it’s a native name and I thought it might be too easy.

So which do you pick and why? I’m going to pick Pakistan. My college roommate was from Pakistan and he made it sound like an interesting place. AFAIK, I’ve never met anyone from the other countries. Pakistan is also probably the most advanced of the lot.

Without doing any research, Kyrgyzstan. Probably because of Gravity’s Rainbow.

I already live there.

Stanislaus County, CA.

Kyrgyzstan, because Kyrgyzstan. Hey, it’s as good a reason as anyone’s got to go to any of these places.

ETA: Is U-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan an option? If so, then that.

Kazakhstan - because I’d like to visit the Baikonur Cosmodrome.


I picked Kazakhstan because I am currently in Afghanistan, so it would be silly to go here on vacation. Kazakhstan is a huge country with lots to offer. I’d like to retrace some of the silk road and explore the countryside.


I’ve been to Uzbekistan, and really want to go back, so that’s my pick. Although, Kazakhstan would be nice, and someplace new for me.

Kazakstan. I didn’t make it over when I was in the area, but I have a lot of friends who have travelled there and it seems like it has a lot to offer.

You forgot Kafiristan, from Kipling’sThe Man Who Would be King. (OK, it is part of Afghanistan).

I would pick Kazakhstan, with Kyrgyzstan as a second, But if you are going all the way there, why not hit several of them, since they are mostly in the same vicinity.

This, though it was a difficult choice.

Uzbekistan. Tashkent has always been on my bucket list.

We didn’t spend that much time in Tashkent, but I wasn’t particularly enamoured with it. Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand I all found much more interesting. Yes, those are the stereotypical Silk Road cities, but they’re all very interesting and distinct. You can fly into Urgench (we went to Tashkent for a day first), then take taxis all the way back down. It’s about a 6-8 hour trip by private car from Khiva to Bukhara (and you very briefly go through Turkmenistan) and when we went in 2001, it was something like $30 fare, and included the driver dealing with all the police checkpoints (lots of stops along the way. Uzbekistan is heavily policed, or at least was. We were out of Tashkent Airport for no more than 10 minutes and we found ourselves in a police station.) Then Bukhara-Samarkand will be about another 4-5 hours; then Samarkand-Tashkent 4-5 hours again.

Plus, the open desert road driving, stopping by middle-of-nowhere food shacks to get some shashlik, salad, and a drink, all adds to the romance.

Thanks. The bucket list just got amended. :smiley:

The stan with the kashmire. :cool:

My brother has been there many times to see his satellites get launched. It sounds like a marginally interesting if decrepit facility in the middle of a wasteland.
I voted Kyrgyzstan for the delicious fermented mare’s milk.

Go on vacation in one of the 'Stans? It’s like the question is made out to be a form of punishment.

Please, whatever you do, don’t make me do this. Why would you banish me to Kyrgyzstan for such torture? Do you intend to have me wander the mountainous countryside with genuine nomads? Oh, mercy, but there are no crowds there, no tour buses, no four-star resorts, no margarita slurpees served in cups you have to hang around your neck! The horror, the horror…

Istanbul. :cool:

Probably Kazakhstan, because of Borat.

So Hawaiistan is not on the table?