life through the lens
home destinations a-z the big trips about me world beers newspapers updates/links top fives




Location - Central Asia; Capital - Tashkent; Population - 32 million; Currency - Som MORE UZBEKISTAN

Another fast train took me from Samarkand to my favourite Uzbek city, Bukhara - September 2018.


uzbeknote2200 Som is worth less than 5 US cents









uzbek245Straight across from the train station, through a small park, is Kagan Palace, aka Palace of the Railwaymen, built by Bukhara emir Abdul-Ahad Khan in the late 19th century - Bukhara


uzbek247Top of my things to do - and a very obvious one - is a drink and a bite to eat at Lyabi-Hauz - Bukhara


uzbek254Lyabi-Hauz is the square centreed on a 17th century pool, surrounded by a restaurant of the same name. It's a tranquil, beautiful place to be in the morning and early afternoon - Bukhara














uzbek258..and in the evening it busies up with tourists - both foreign and Uzbek - as well as locals. Throw in some live music for a great atmosphere - Bukhara














uzbek261An exhibition of local dance and song in Lyabi-Hauz - Bukhara


uzbek262It's also a popular spot for wedding photos - Bukhara


uzbek263A statue of Hoja Nasruddin stands in front of Nadir Divanbegi Madrasah - Bukhara














uzbek264The courtyard of Nadir Divanbegi Madrasah on a warm September evening - Bukhara














uzbek268Just off Lyabi-Hauz, along an alleyway in the old town, is the Jewish Community Centre & Synagogue - Bukhara


uzbek271aCarpets on display outside one of the many carpet shops in Bukhara


uzbek278Taki-Zargaron, or Jewellers' Bazaar, is one of three covered bazaars in the centre - Bukhara















uzbek272Though heavily renovated these date back to the 16th century. A drink at Lyabi-Hauz followed by a wander of the covered bazaars is a great way to spend a balmy evening - Bukhara














uzbek274Colourful plates as well as pottery, traditional clothing, jewellery, carpets, ornaments, old Soviet coins and leatherware are just some of the items for sale - Bukhara


uzbek277The courtyard of my hotel just a stone's throw from Lyabi-Hauz - Bukhara


uzbek279A catwalk show of traditional dress and decorative souvenirs at the Photo Gallery, a former caravanserai - Bukhara














uzbek284Another courtyard, this time the setting for an open-air restaurant - Bukhara















uzbek290The cute turquoise 'minarets' of the early 19th century Char Minar - Bukhara


uzbek293Any idea what the significance is of these model birds on the Char Minar? - Bukhara


uzbek296Take the steps up to a cafe rooftop for brilliant views of Kalon Minaret, Kalon Mosque (right) and Mir-a-Arab Madrasah (left) - Bukhara














uzbek297Genghis Khan was so taken by the 47m high Kalon Minaret (built in 1127) that he spared its destruction - Bukhara















uzbek299It's an amazing sight when illuminated, though for the life of me I can't work out how the lights set such an even shadow all the way up - Bukhara


uzbek302Chilkdren play in the shadow of the Kalon Monaret - Bukhara


uzbek304Through the entrance of the Mir-a-Arab Madrasah to the Kalon Mosque - Bukhara















uzbek308Walking through the arches of the Kalon Mosque - Bukhara
















uzbek309The 16th century Kalon Mosque courtyard - Bukhara


uzbek321Again some more fantastic tilework, this being of the Abdul Aziz Khan Madrasa - Bukhara


uzbek323The impressive walls of the Ark, a royal fortress originally inhabited in the 5th century - Bukhara















uzbek328Nearby is the former jail called the Zindon - Bukhara
















uzbek331Notable Zindon inmates were British soldiers Stoddart and Conolly, who had the unfortunate luck to spend a year in the Bug Pit, a 4m hole accessed only by rope, They were executed by the Emir of Bukhara in 1842 - Bukhara


uzbek337Taking the ferris wheel ride in Samani Park, a 10min walk west of the Ark - Bukhara


uzbek336Peering down on the 12th century Chashma Ayub Mausoleum from the ferris wheel - Bukhara















uzbek339Paddling(?) in front of a section of the original ancient town walls - Bukhara















uzbek343Shutting up shop outside the 16th century Abdulla Khan Madrasah - Bukhara


uzbek347Opposite the Ark are the distinctive wooden columns of the Bolo-Hauz Mosque - Bukhara


uzbek350A man tries to concentrate on the Koran while a hive of tourist activity buzzes around him - Bukhara














uzbek355South of the centre is the late 19th century Fayzulla Khojaev House, - Bukhara















uzbek356I took this picture behind a photographer who was in the middle of a Fayzulla Khojaev House photoshoot - Bukhara


uzbek357Desert scenery on the overnight train from Bukhara to Urgench. I read the Bukhara to Khiva fast train was due to open in late 2018 but no such luck when I was there


uzbek366After a 30min taxi ride from Urgench, I arrived at the inner walls of the Ichon-Qala (old city) - Khiva















uzbek371The 19th century Kalta Minor Minaret stands next to a converted madrasah, now the Orient Star Hotel - Khiva















uzbek376Souvenir stalls line the route to the Kalta Minor Minaret - Khiva


uzbek370.. and plenty more stalls lie in the opposite direction, this time marked by the Juma Minaret - Khiva


uzbek377The famed Uzbek bread is baked in clay tandoor ovens - Khiva















uzbek378Gotta have the tourist camel photo - Khiva















uzbek384Late afternoon is a great time of the day for soft, warm colours - Khiva


uzbek381A woman sells sweets outside the old town walls - Khiva


uzbek393The wooden columns of the Juma Mosque create an intriguing atmosphere of darkness and light - Khiva















uzbek400Climb the 82 steps of the Juma Minaret, next door to the mosque, for quality views of the Ichon-Qala - Khiva














uzbek465Some sort of balancing act/tightrope walking takes place in this courtyard - Khiva


uzbek401Chaikhanas - or teahouses - are all over Central Asia, often consisting of tapchan (raised platforms with a central table). Take your shoes off, sip and relax - Khiva


uzbek467If the mud mosques in Mali are anything to go by, the wooden poles exist to provide structural support - Khiva














uzbek406The Islom Hoja Mosque and Minaret was built in 1910 - Khiva




















uzbek414Time to climb another minaret! My third ascent in Khiva... This time the 57m Islom Hoja Minaret on the left


uzbek408But first I had a quick wander of the streets behind the mosque, which were far more residential and peaceful - Khiva


uzbek411Laundry time at the base of the Islom Hoja Minaret. On the peaceful side of course.. - Khiva















uzbek420Peek into courtyards and beyond the city limits from the minaret. The domed building is the Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum - Khiva















uzbek42914th century Pahlavon Mahmud was a poet and wrestling champion, and also the patron saint of Khiva


uzbek458Walking the old city walls, though note you can't reach the watchtower (pictured) from here. Access is via the Kuhna Ark - Khiva


uzbek445Some of the best views are from the watchtower above Kuhna Ark - Khiva














uzbek438 The Juma Minaret (left) and Islom Hoja Minaret (right) stand behind the Mohammed Rakhim Khan Madrash - Khiva















uzbek444It feels like every tourist in Khiva is at the watchtower for sunset! It gets busy up there, but you're well rewarded


uzbek456Sunset from the watchtower - Khiva




Website and content Copyright © 2008-2019 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.


LINKS - A Central Asian tour operator but website has a wealth of information - The main resource for all things Central Asian - extremely useful


I am not responsible for the content of external websites.


world beers