Central Asia is a home to young countries with long histories. Five new Republics, predominantly Islamic but vibrantly distinct, emerged from the ruins of the former Czarist and Soviet empire: Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Gold and gems were the main reason for drawing invaders in early days starting with the Scythians (900-700 B.C). By 300 B.C. Alexander the Great conquered the area followed by Turks and Arabs. In 1100s, the region falls under Genghis Khan rule for almost five centuries until the world domination shifted to the West. In 1717, Russia sends the first expedition to Uzbekistan colliding with the interests of British Empire, which was also in the process of adding new colonies in south Asia. This period has come to be known as The Great Game. Ironically, but today, it threatens to happen all over again. The collaps of USSR (1991) ended centuries of Russian rule in Central Asia. Most of the newly independent states are grouped around the Caspian Sea with oil and gas reserves that rival those in the Persian Gulf. Pipelines, tanker routes, petroleum consortiums and oil contracts are the prizes of the new “Great Game”…To travelers, Central Asia is commonly known as part of the Silk Route or Marco Polo's Road - the only trade route between Asia and West between 200 B.C. and 1400's. With nearly every type of landscape: high snow-capped mountains, deserts, vast grasslands, lakes and seas combined with unique cultural heritage and traditions, the Central Asian States make a great destination for anyone looking for a theme, experience or sightseeing travel.