Category Archives: Uzbekistan

I shaved for nothing: a short recap on my two week trip through Uzbekistan

My journey through Uzbekistan has come to an end.
In this post I’d like to give you a little recap of the places I visited, what businesses I recommend and how I got through immigration control at Chernyaevka border crossing. Continue reading I shaved for nothing: a short recap on my two week trip through Uzbekistan

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Weddings and ruins in Shahrisabz

On my last day in Samarkand, I decided to make a little day trip out of the city to the ancient town of Shahrisabz. Jean and I had met a local in the Registan that came over to help me bargain the price for the shared taxi down, and after that I was on my way.

The drive was beautiful, over a small mountain that offered hazy views. It was the first time that I saw anything than flat desert in Uzbekistan, so I was indeed very pleased when the driver offered to stop so I could take some pictures.

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Gorgeous views from the mountains between Samarkand and Shahrisabz

It takes about two hours to reach Shahrisabz (depending on the car you’re in, I suppose. Traffic isn’t much of an issue but road conditions definitely are). Continue reading Weddings and ruins in Shahrisabz

The great city of Samarkand

Samarkand is what most people imagine when they think of Uzbekistan. Well, that is… most people who know something about it’s heritage (others probably just imagine desert). It’s the classic post card picture, pretty in every way, and the mosques and medrassa’s that are restored here put a spell on me right after I first heard about them. Now I was indeed very much looking forward to my visit, and dearly hoped it wouldn’t be an anti-climax (like, in a way, Bukhara had been).

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Family spending time inside the Registan

Uzbekistan continued to bless me with great encounters as I journeyed further and on the train to I met Louis, from France. Continue reading The great city of Samarkand

Bukhara, the Bruges of Uzbekistan

While my previous post was all superlatives about Uzbekistan, I realised Bukhara would be different from the moment I started walking through town. I wasn’t too happy with it’s first impression, and had a hard time coming to terms with the town. That probably had a lot to do with the fact that almost everything I wrote about Khiva, has been somewhat countered in the ancient city of Bukhara.

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At Kaylan Mosque courtyard

Continue reading Bukhara, the Bruges of Uzbekistan

Time and relative dimension on earth: thoughts from the Khiva desert

After having spent 2,5 days in beautiful Khiva, today I’ve journeyed on towards Bukhara, my second stop in Uzbekistan. I’m writing this entry while sitting in a shared taxi, in the sweet company of Dominique and Françoise, a French couple I’ve met yesterday while on a tour to the desert’s castle ruins.

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Charming streets of Khiva

The little town of Khiva has been a wonderful introduction to Uzbekistan. Continue reading Time and relative dimension on earth: thoughts from the Khiva desert

A quick story on Russian to Uzbek border control

I’m always pretty stressed about border control – for no particular reason really. So far (knock on wood) I’ve never had a troublesome experience. Yes, I’ve been questioned at length in Japan (probably because I happened to be the only white person to get of the boat from Korea) and in Istanbul (for no obvious reason), but other than that – nothing has ever gone wrong. And yet – my heart is always beating a bit faster, no matter how hard I try to look like the innocent backpacker I am.

There are few sounds as relieving as the clicking stomp of an immigration stamp on passport paper. Continue reading A quick story on Russian to Uzbek border control

How to obtain a tourist visa to Uzbekistan (in Brussels)

Obtaining my tourist visa for Uzbekistan was a remarkably swift experience.

First of all, at the time of writing, Belgian citizens don’t need a letter of invitation (LOI) to apply for a visa. This makes the procedure not only faster, but also a little less expensive.

Secondly, it’s possible to apply for the visa through a web-form and e-mail, so you only need to go to the embassy once (to collect the actual visa in your passport). This is a big win, since the Uzbek consulate is located  outside central Brussels and getting there without a car is time consuming (although not impossible).

Here’s how things go down:
Continue reading How to obtain a tourist visa to Uzbekistan (in Brussels)