Uzbekistan? Overchargistan!

I don’t know why my country, he likes to cheat everyone. -- Aziza, an Uzbek woman, rhetorically pondering why many of her Uzbek countrymen enjoy ripping off tourists so much.Shaft us once, shame on you. Shaft us twice, shame on us. Try and shaft us repeatedly and charge our friends $1.00 for a few teaspoons of sugar, and we write a blog post about you. [Yes, one … [Read more...]

A Real Peek at Uzbekistan’s Silk Road: A Scavenger Hunt

We unintentionally followed the Silk Road in reverse order - from somewhere near its western end in Tbilisi, Georgia to its eastern terminus in Xi'an, China. Although our first taste of UNESCO Silk Road sites occurred in Turkmenistan (Merv), Uzbekistan is where the Silk Road unexpectedly reaches a sophisticated tourist marketing level.Don't worry, we won't bore … [Read more...]

Kicking Up 4000 Years of History in Turkmenistan

If a baby died, its bones would be kept in a ceramic jar in the house. -- Our guide Oleg providing another fascinating background tidbit on the ruins at Gonur Depe, Turkmenistan.Fifteen minutes later, one of us literally kicked up the fragmented top of an ancient ceramic urn encrusted with earth and filled with small bones. The bit about the bones may sound … [Read more...]

Images from Uzbekistan

Father and Son

Taking advantage of free wireless internet in Tashkent, we've decided to conclude our time here by uploading photos from Uzbekistan's Silk Road.Tashkent has been the most connected city in Central Asia thus far. Rather ironic considering Uzbekistan's penchant for blocking internet sites and restricting printed material. Just one of the many contradictions here. … [Read more...]

Turkmen Photos Up

turkmen mosque

Check out our Photo Gallery for photos from Turkmenistan, a fascinating place by any measure. Images tell only half the story - stay tuned for more on the country that dabbled in banning beards, smoking and spandex. … [Read more...]

From One ‘Stan to the Next

A Helping Hand

As we continue along the Silk Road in Uzbekistan, our minds often take us back to Turkmenistan, whose ancient history is longer and remains underground, unexcavated and unreconstructed.The few clicks across the Caspian Sea brought us to a world of visual stimuli significantly different than that of the Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan). This is what … [Read more...]