central asia


Melons Are Uzbekistan's Favorite Road Trip Snack

Across the Central Asian nation, melons are stacked high by the roadside in amber, mustard yellow, and bright green. The ideal food when driving in desert heat.
Eleanor Ross

How Does Kazakhstan Feel About 'Borat' Ten Years Later?

"It was a comedy—not a documentary."
VICE Staff

This Cookbook Will Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Soviet Food

The cuisine of former Soviet countries in Central Asia has long been written off as bland. Food writers Eleanor Ford and Caroline Eden want to change that—starting with the Uzbek rice dish of plov.
Johanna Derry

These Bronze Age Humans Were History's Biggest Weed Dealers

The finest dank the Caucasus had to offer.
Sarah Emerson
central asia

A Horse Penis Sausage Joke Got a Man Deported from Kyrgyzstan

Making a dirty joke about a national dish could land you in the big house, or, at the very least, get you deported from the country.
Nick Rose

Kazakhstan Announces Plan to Spy on Encrypted Internet Traffic

But details from the mainly state-backed telecom mysteriously vanish from the web.
Joseph Cox
West Africa

​Kyrgyzstan is Both a Haven and Dumping Ground for West African Soccer Players

Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian countries have become a destination for West African soccer players. Sometimes that's a good thing. Sometimes it isn't.
Jack Kerr

Uzbek Plov Recipe

A cousin of pilaf and pulao, plov is the national dish of Uzbekistan.
Florian Pinel

I Ate Dinner in a Tajik Hellhole

Ask the average Westerner what they know about Tajikistan, and they'll probably draw a blank. (Is it a country? Isn’t there a war going on there?) Which made finding out more about qurutob, its national dish, even more interesting.
Florian Pinel

I Took a Trip Down Tajikistan's 'Heroin Highway'

The proliferation of flashy cars in one of the poorest countries in the world has led to a new local saying: “It is no longer ‘How much did it cost?’ but ‘How many kilos did it cost?’" A study released in 2007 estimated that drug money added up to 3...
Stephen Bland

These Guys Build the World's Tallest Flagpoles for Authoritarian Regimes

Marc Summers and David Chambers have a pretty unusual job. Through their company Trident Support Corporation they build the world's tallest flagpoles for authoritarian regimes in Central Asia and the Middle East, because nothing says national pride...
Rob Price

Kyrgyzstan Is the Latest Victim of the Global Heroin Trade

Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kyrgyzstan has been a preferred route for drug traffickers sending heroin from Afghanistan to Russia. This has led to widespread addiction and an epidemic of organized crime.
Reid Standish