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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




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