Traveling the Torugart Pass: 7 Incomparable Highlights in the Remote Tien Shan

Traveling the Torugart Pass: 7 Incomparable Highlights in the Remote Tien Shan

MIR’s Jake Smith, Director of Special Projects, has lived and worked in Central Asia for years, gathering first-hand knowledge of this part of the world. Enjoy his insider’s guide to some of the most stunning stops along the route through the Tien Shan Mountains – from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Kashgar, China. Read More


MIR in the News: Conde Nast Traveler, Vancouver Sun, Sunshine Coast Daily, and more

MIR in the News: Conde Nast Traveler, Vancouver Sun, Sunshine Coast Daily, and more

As experts in travel to Central Asia, Russia, Mongolia and beyond, it's always gratifying when word of our tours and destinations is noticed and shared. Here are some of MIR’s recent mentions in the press... Read More


Moscow Transformed: 4 Reasons Why Now Is the Best Time to Travel There

Moscow Transformed: 4 Reasons Why Now Is the Best Time to Travel There

MIR co-founder and president, Doug Grimes, journeys overseas for months each year, looking for new experiences in favorite old places and updating itineraries to bring you the best of the best in MIR’s slice of the globe. He recently returned from Moscow and reported that it has gone through a major transformation over the last three or four years. Because of all the recent updates, he suggests travelers spend a few extra days in Moscow to really take in the city and all its beautiful architecture, pedestrian streets, cool restaurants, museums and cultural events. Here are four recent changes that have given Moscow a different look and feel today, and make the city a fabulous place to explore. Read More




Why Is Yakutsk, One of the Coldest Cities on Earth, the Next Hot Destination?

Why Is Yakutsk, One of the Coldest Cities on Earth, the Next Hot Destination?

Yakutsk is one of the coldest big cities on earth – so cold it’s entirely built on permafrost. Most of its buildings are on pylons or stilts, made of wood or concrete, so they won’t melt the permafrost. Lisa Peterson, MIR Private Journeys Specialist, traveled to this land of extremes on a summer trip. She knew it would be a lark, but it also turned out to be seriously cool. Read More


Penjikent: Sogdian Citadels, Mountain Mausoleums, and Valley Views in Tajikistan

Penjikent: Sogdian Citadels, Mountain Mausoleums, and Valley Views in Tajikistan

Jake Smith joined MIR after several years of living and working in Tajikistan. Having visited many times, the small town of Penjikent remains one of his favorite places to hang out. As Jake points out, Tajikistan has an abundance of treasures to offer a traveler. Here he shares a list of seven attractions that he recommends each visitor see while in Penjikent. Read More


Amazing Why end mights You Can Only Have in Georgia

Amazing Why end mights You Can Only Have in Georgia

The bounteous country of Georgia in the South Caucasus is a heaven-on-earth kind of place. Georgia has everything a traveler could want. Now is the best time to travel to the Republic of Georgia. It’s gaining steam as a must-see destination thanks to an ever-expanding list of travel expert recommendations and acclaim. Go see it for yourself before this under-the-radar destination hits the big time. Check out this list of 5 wonderful experiences you can have in the gorgeous and welcoming country of Georgia. Read More


Award-Winning Writer (and MIR Tour Host) Authors New Pocket Guide on Delicious Georgian Breads

Award-Winning Writer (and MIR Tour Host) Authors New Pocket Guide on Delicious Georgian Breads

Travel and food writer Carla Capalbo has published the first of a planned series of lightweight, small, pocket-style guides on Georgian food and wine. Perfect for carrying in a pocket or daypack, these little guides are available in Georgia as well as in the U.S. In Georgian Khachapuri & Filled Breads, she introduces 10 of Georgia’s most delicious breads from different regions of the country. Carla has worked hard to make her recipes accessible to anyone, even if the exact ingredients can’t be found. Preparing and baking a few of these recipes is almost as good as being in Georgia – almost. Read More