It should hardly be a surprise, then, that the ‘Stans surface in the news mostly in relation to hydrocarbons and geopolitics, leaving their fascinating cultural and scenic attributes largely ignored. But this is starting to change. The ‘Stans are home to 58 million people of predominantly Turkic and Slavic ancestry who, for the first time since Marco Polo passed through seven centuries ago, are finding their place in today’s world. In the capitals, international chains are opening hotels, and in smaller cities visitors will find more and more small hotels, apartments renovated to European standards, and homestays, even in yurts—the round, portable abodes that resemble the wigwams of North America. In the ‘Stans, the buck still has some bang.