Uzbekistan Visas and Letters of Invitation (LOI)

Although it is technically possible for EU and US citizens to obtain a tourist visa to Uzbekistan without a Letter of Invitation (LOI), we recommend spending the extra $30 for the letter. It enables the process to move faster and removes some of the pain. We used Stantours for our LOIs to Uzbekistan. No tour booking was needed and we received the scanned letter by … [Read more...]

Sex and the Central Asian Visa

I just want to go home. I'm tired of all this visa stuff. -- A distressed traveler at the Kazakh embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.So what does sex have to do with Central Asian visas? Simple, really. Thinking about, planning around, and procuring visas for Central Asian countries begins to dominate one’s time and mindspace -- almost to the point of obsession. … [Read more...]

The Best of Central Asia in Photos

A Kalpak and a Smile

A couple of notes, dear reader. We are headed to Myanmar and things may be quiet, or they may not. We just don't know. If you don't hear from us on the home page, take a look at "The Very Latest" on the left-hand sidebar. Twitter seems to have worked in most countries, even those with heavy internet controls and painfully slow connections.We are also still … [Read more...]

Video of the Central Asian Market Scene

Shall We Dance?

When we arrive in a new location, we usually seek out the local market. This is how we orient ourselves. Markets provide an easy way to meet real people in a friendly context. They also offer an insight into local food and culture. Central Asian markets proved no different. We found ourselves frequently sampling local fruits (OK, having fruit heaped upon us by the … [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...]

Rally Madness

Fast Car: Tokyo to London

Where do you find a $200,000+ Aston Martin V8 Vantage sportscar followed by a clunking white Indian Ambassador? In Turkmenistan, of course.In Uzbekistan, we've also come across small cars covered with stickers and driven by Westerners desperate for the next mechanic or gas station.What's all the fuss? Awareness, fundraising and rallies. … [Read more...]