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A Peaceful Silk Road Sunset

Wilderness and ruins make the perfect combination for a mesmerizing sunset.

The Great Silk Road has a variety of unique spots to visit. Thirty-three settlements are listed through the World Heritage Convention for the Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor. These sites include the ruins of ancient cities, palace complexes, religious buildings like mosques or Buddhist temples, and trading centers.

Among those settlements, you can find ancient cities such as Akyrtas, Ornek, or Aktobe, which are now almost completely destroyed. Mongol invasions and the effect of time and erosion defeated these once prosperous cities. Few visible structures of these ancient sites still stand in the Kazakh landscapes as heritage of an ancient and wealthy time. The impressive ruins are related to a great history, but often located in the middle of the wild. However, being isolated in complete wilderness offers the ability to spend time disconnected from the outside world.

Visiting the ruins of those ancient cities allows you to travel back in time. You get to explore what used to be major trade centers where merchants stopped and rested during their journey between Europe and Asia. As the day fades to night, you can enjoy a peaceful sunset amongst the ruins like people did centuries before you.

Take a moment in Akyrtas or Aktobe to truly appreciate the magnitude of the past all around you, and the immensity of the natural landscape as you see the sun setting.