Over the past few years, travel in the Caucasus has become very popular-thanks in large part to Georgia and Armenia being included in many essential travel lists (Lonely Planet, Forbes, etc.). Cheap flights to Tbilisi, Kutaisi and now Gyumri and Yerevan make the area more convenient than ever. Of course, there are also factors that stabilize politics.
Before I decided to go, I knew very little about the Caucasus (I could n’t even tell Armenia and Azerbaijan). To be honest, the main reason I want to go there first is because I like wine. Sometimes this is full of challenges, but in general, uncertainty always revolves around us as we solve problems as we progress.
I do n’t want to ruin any surprises or make you lose the same sense of discovery, but I do think that for those who rarely go out of the house, some tips will help
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This is a culturally diverse area
Although it is called the Caucasus region, do not try to bring together Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan because these three countries are very different.
Each country has its own language, culture and religious beliefs.
There is a certain degree of overlap between Georgia and Armenia because the two countries have a long history and similar belief systems. Azerbaijan has fascinating natural scenery and culture, and is emotionally closer to Asian Islamic countries.
It is necessary and meaningful to travel to all three countries as part of a trip. You really need to experience these three countries in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the region. Of course, if you need to learn more, you need to enter the North Caucasus.
In terms of linguistic diversity, the Caucasus is second only to Papua New Guinea. Even if you are from an English-speaking country and have learned two other foreign languages. You still find communication difficult when you come here.
Caucasus is more like Europe
Due to the status of the Caucasus at the crossroads between East and West, the human environment here is particularly special. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, all three countries kept a distance from Russia and preferred the European Union.
This is especially true for Georgia, which is currently fighting to join the European Union. All three countries are technically in Asia. But overall, there are more European tourists in the region, and you can experience more European styles in cities than in Asia.
The capitals of all three countries-Tbilisi, Yerevan and Baku-you can tell from the classical architecture that they are more influenced by European culture.
After landing, I found that there are still many active conflicts in the Caucasus. Perhaps the most serious conflict is between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The focus of the dispute between the two parties is in the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) region.
If you want to visit the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) area, you can go there from the Armenian side of the border. But this is risky. If you do this, you will lose your chance to travel to Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani government will not allow you to enter the country. The border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is still closed, so if you travel by land between the two countries, you must bypass Georgia.
Armenia also has a territorial dispute with neighboring Turkey, so the Armenian / Turkish border is also closed.
So if you plan to travel in the Caucasus, then you have to plan a route.
One feature common to the three Caucasus countries is poverty. When talking to locals (especially the older generation), what surprised me was that not everyone regarded the Soviet period as a “dark day.” For some people, life under Soviet rule is more open.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia all suffered huge economic losses. Therefore, you still see a lot of poverty in these three countries today. Armenia has one of the highest immigration rates in the world. The loss of young people is serious.
Even for young, well-educated people, work is scarce and wages are extremely low (less than 500 $ per month).