I just returned from a two week trip to Uzbekistan – a country that I did not know much about before. Located in Central Asia, east of the Caspian sea, it is surrounded by some of the other Post-Soviet states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan – while it also shares a border with Afghanistan to the southeast. Since ancient times, the trade routes connecting East and West commonly known as “Silk Road” ran through here, and in a way still do. East Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, languages, and religions blended together with remnants of the Soviet era create a unique mix that I have not experienced anywhere else yet.
After the death of authoritarian president Karimov in 2016, the country is now gradually opening up under their new leadership. There are large investments being made in industry, housing, education, and infrastructure. Coupled with a much more lenient border policy, it’s now easier than ever for tourists to visit. However, these rapid changes also come with downsides – old parts of many towns are being demolished in favour of big hotels, and the cultural and architectural features that Uzbekistan is known for are slowly turned into a theme park.
Regardless, I can only recommend travelling there if you have the chance. If you want to have a look at more pictures, click the teaser above or here.