We had grand plans for the beginning of our round the world trip. We would travel across Central Asia overland from Istanbul to Xinjiang in the footsteps of Marco Polo and Alexander the Great. We had dreams of visiting the ancient cities and mosques of the Silk Road and trekking in the land of the snow leopards in the high Pamirs.
This wasn’t our first trip to Central Asia. In the summer of 2013, we attended our friends’ wedding in Kazakhstan and did two treks in Kyrgyzstan. But our Central Asia overland trip threw up a few more challenges than we anticipated. In the end, we didn’t make it all the way to China, and it wasn’t quite all overland. We saw some amazing sights, met a lot of interesting people, and went to a lot of remote locations that most people will never visit. We also experienced a lot of bumps on the road. For several reasons, we cut our trip short and bailed out to Bangkok.
Travel in Central Asia has more pitfalls than in many parts of the world – and some pleasant surprises. Here are some of the things we wish we had known when we … Read more
We got a lot of blank looks and horrified stares when we told our friends and family we were going to travel to Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan travel isn’t on most people’s bucket lists. People who have heard of the country might think it is dangerous because it ends with -stan! On the contrary, Uzbekistan travel is safe, straightforward, and highly rewarding.
Uzbekistan is recovering from a bad reputation among independent travelers. In the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, foreign travelers to Uzbekistan were routinely harassed by police. I had always wanted to visit the Silk Road cities of Uzbekistan. When I mentioned my dream to a group of seasoned travelers in a European hostel in the year 2000, they warned me off with horror stories of corruption, bureaucracy, and dodgy Soviet hotels. Those problems have since disappeared and Uzbekistan is a surprisingly easy travel destination. It’s also a well-kept secret. When we were in Uzbekistan, we felt smug that we were visiting this fascinating country at the perfect time. It’s an underrated gem that should be on every independent traveler’s bucket list. Here are some of the things that we think make Uzbekistan worth visiting now.… Read more
The previous post with our Uzbekistan photos and wrap-up was experiencing some problems with slow loading and timeouts. We’ve moved half of the photo galleries to this post to speed up loading times. Enjoy!… Read more
Our photos from Uzbekistan are gathered here. Click on the right or left to page through each slideshow.
Update: We moved the second half of our Uzbekistan photos to a new post to avoid Flickr timeout problems. Uzbekistan photos, part II.… Read more