Visit Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan
The Ferghana Valley is, in reality, not a valley at all but an inland basin (one of the world's more notable) fed by streams and rivers from the surrounding mountains.
The borders of Uzbekistan effectively follow the mountain line, with odd Stalin-era enclaves of the surrounding countries dotted about.
Exploring Ferghana Valley
The valley is extremely fertile and produces a large proportion of the country's food. It is also one of Central Asia's most devout areas, evidenced by the large numbers of veils and skull-caps.
The main points of interest here are the extraordinary Yodgorlik silk factory in Margilan producing some of Asia's finest fabric, and the discreetly charming town of Kokand. Also here, high in the Pamiri foothills, is the reputed last-resting place of Ali — the fourth Caliph — in Shakhimardan.