Back
You are here:

Meet the team - Central Asia

Cox & Kings’ travel consultants have travelled extensively within Central Asia, to ensure they have experienced the region first-hand, and can pass this knowledge on to our passengers.

Contact the team to discover the best of the ‘stans’.

Close

Galina

Born and raised in a small town in north -west Bulgaria, I was eager to travel and broaden my horizons. At first, I travelled to explore different countries and cultures, but the more I saw, the more I was desperate to see. My first insight into the Middle East was in the UAE, discovering Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The enormous Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi was absolutely stunning, even more so when lit up at night. My love for the Middle East grew thanks to their warm hospitality, mesmerizingly beautiful architecture, intriguing history and instrumental music that uses strings, percussion and winds. When I visit, I eat home cooked tagines, hagglein markets for quirky souvenirs and colourful items of clothing, admire the towering minarets and follow the sound of the darbuka also known as a goblet drum it is often used in the Middle East and northern Africa.

My Insiders Tip

When you travel to the Middle East, forget visiting shopping centres. The life and soul of these cities is in the vibrant, colourful souks. You can buy anything from spices, rugs and gold to perfumes. At first it can be daunting to haggle in a souk, but confidence is crucial. It’s their culture and part of the experience of being in a Middle Eastern souk. The sellers will start high and you must start low, eventually agreeing on a fair price in the middle that you’re happy with. If you’re not happy, walk away. You should never feel pressured into buying anything. If you are not sure what a fair price is, it’s worth doing some research before hand or asking your guide.

Favourite Experience

When people visit Egypt they have their mind set on seeing the Tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kingsor the Pyramids of Giza. But many people miss out the Pyramid of Djoser also known as the step pyramid in Saqqara. Thought to have been builtaround 4,700 years ago, it still retains its impressive stepped structure. Inside, the wall carvings offer you a picture into what life was like over 3,000 years ago. There are also far less visitors to the step pyramid than some of the other sites so you can enjoy walking around at your own pace.

My Favourite Place

It has to be the green terraces and steep gorges of the Jebal Akhdar, part of the Al Hajar mountain range in Oman. Jebal Shams, which translates as the Mountain of the Sun, is suitably named as it’s the highest peak in Oman at 3,028m. From the top of the mountain, you can look down into Wadi Ghul nick named Oman’s Grand Canyon although not advisable for those with vertigo as you can see 1km straight down. My favourite time to visit is during early spring when the rose season is in full swing and the hill sides are dotted with pink and white. The smell is fresh and fragrant. As you walk through the wadis, you will see fig and olive groves, pomegranate trees, abandoned village sand numerous bird species, including Egyptian and lappet faced vultures. For those wanting to relax in the tranquil surroundings, both the Alila and Anantara hotels offer incredible views from their terraces and infinity pools.

My Favourite Hotel

The luxurious St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resortin Abu Dhabi is set on a beautiful natural beach. In the mornings, you can often see an dangered Hawksbill sea turtles nesting on the beach and dolphins diving through the waves. With five restaurants and a beach bar, you won’t be short of choice: Mediterranean, Asian and international cuisine are all on offer. This hotel is an ideal place to relax after a holiday in Oman or in the UAE, with three swimming pools and the tranquil Iridium spa.

Order a Brochure Online

Get Asia delivered to your doorstep, and order a Far East brochure here. Order Now >

Discover Central Asia

Encounter blue-domed cities, the legacy of the Silk Road, vast deserts, towering mountains and yurts.… Read more
Close

Leah

I have always enjoyed discovering new places on my travels. Romania recently surprised me with the contrast between the picturesque Transylvanian countryside and cosmopolitan Bucharest, it’s such an underrated country. I have spent many summers in Greece, enjoying the good weather, delicious food and the intriguing ancient history. Athens holds a special place in my heart, once such a powerful city full of history and legend. Dating back to the mid-5th century, the Acropolis still reigns above the modern sprawl and represents centuries of history. I have experienced the vast wilderness of the Arctic where I saw polar bears, walked through the Al Hajar mountains in Oman and spotted orca and humpback whales off Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

My Insiders Tip

My most recent discovery is Switzerland’s public transport system – it is so easy. I travelled around nearly all of the country in a few days and found the trains and transport network so simple to navigate. The trains run on time and have the platforms advised well in advance, coupled with the beautiful scenery, this makes travelling by train a great pleasure. The Swiss rail pass will give you unlimited access to more or less all transport networks in the country: the major train lines, bus networks and some boats and cable cars too. For the few routes it does not cover, such as the Glacier Express, one of the world’s great rail journeys, it still provides 50% off the standard price.

Favourite Experience

One of the best experiences I have been lucky enough to have is sleeping in an Ice Hotel in Norway. It was a rather surreal experience and though it took me a while to nod off, it was one of the best night’s sleep of my life. It was not cold at all, just very fresh (outside the sleeping bag) and so quiet – compared to living in London the silence was eerie.

My Favourite Place

Oman is full of natural wonders and spectacular hotels. With a reliably warm climate, it is the perfect destination during our winter months. From October through to April the temperature ranges between 20 and 30 degrees. In Oman, you can see so much in a relatively short space of time, from the turtle’s nesting beaches to the extensive desert and the dramatic Al Hajar mountains. After a week exploring this beautiful country, I enjoyed relaxing at Muscat’s Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa in between visits to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Al Alam Palace.

My Favourite Hotel

The Museum Hotel in Cappadocia is probably my favourite hotel. It is housed in a charming cave cut into the original rock face, with rooms so beautifully designed it is hard to believe you are actually sleeping inside rock. As the name suggests, the hotel is also a museum and displays local artefacts throughout the public areas as well as the rooms, which makes this hotel so fascinating and unique. I also fell in love with the small infinity pool that overlooks Goreme Valley, a perfect place for a swim and quiet reflection.

Order a Brochure Online

Get Asia delivered to your doorstep, and order a Far East brochure here. Order Now >

Discover Central Asia

Encounter blue-domed cities, the legacy of the Silk Road, vast deserts, towering mountains and yurts.… Read more
Close

Roop

Born and brought up in Bombay to Indian and Iranian parents, I had the best of both worlds in several different ways. Being from Bombay one naturally speaks at least three to four languages and I was lucky to learn more from both sides of my family. You may have noticed that I still refer to Mumbai as Bombay because it will always be that in my heart.

I’ve lived in several countries including Holland, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Being ex cabin crew with American Airlines, Saudia and Qatar Airways, travel was not only a passion but a way of life for me for nearly a decade. I’ve been based in Amsterdam and then in lesser frequented Jeddah from where I have fond memories of frankincense-filled souks and roadside barbecues along the shores of the Red Sea late in the evening. Tourists didn’t exist in those days at all and life was as close to being bedouin as possible. I loved it.

My Insiders Tip

My tip is to do with food – if you could see me in person, you would know why. Cooking is simply the best therapy I can have after a long day in the office. When visiting a new destination, skip the 5-star restaurants and head for excellent value street food. In Bombay, ‘street food’ can be experienced in a restaurant to avoid any issues with your tummy, but several stalls are also cleared by health and hygiene authorities, including the stall behind the main stock exchange and the kulfi (Indian ice cream) vendors in Bandra.

Favourite Experience

It’s so hard to choose. A favourite experience of mine was watching the cute, blue back penguins walking out of the sea in Kangaroo Island, Australia and I also recall the views from top of Sydney Harbour Bridge very fondly. Another experience of note was climbing Sarangkot in Pokhara, Nepal to view Fishtail Mountain.

My Favourite Place

My favourite city is Rome because you can still walk on the streets and feel like it’s 10,000 years ago. I love the history and monuments of this cradle of modern civilisation. My other favourite place is Las Vegas! There I said it. I love Vegas and it’s true that there is no place like it. It’s just the buzz and the atmosphere that is so scintillating and unique, a true adult’s playground.

My Favourite Hotel

My favourite hotel is Kumarakom Lake Resort in Kerala, India. The meandering pool and lakeside setting makes it a perfect getaway and the ultimate hotel for relaxing. Guests can jump into a pool from their bedroom as soon as they wake up and later have a shower in your their private open garden, filled with water lilies and banana palms.

Order a Brochure Online

Get Asia delivered to your doorstep, and order a Far East brochure here. Order Now >

Discover Central Asia

Encounter blue-domed cities, the legacy of the Silk Road, vast deserts, towering mountains and yurts.… Read more