30 In Uzbekistan

Along the Great Silk Road: Bukhara, Uzbekistan

There are no direct trains from the city of Khiva to our new destination, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, so we had to take a shared taxi the 5 hours east. I was dreading making the long, bumpy drive crammed in the back seat of a rusty 1962 Lada with three other people.

The drive however wasn’t as horrible as the Lonely Planet forums had led me to believe. A new highway, and I use that term very loosely, has been built that takes you half the way. From there the next road makes it feel like you are riding right through the middle of the desert. The sand seems to be overtaking the road, leaving only one-lane to drive on. As we flew past the barren landscape, the odd person selling shashlik and kurt on the side of the road, the sand lapped at our tires.

Finally in Bukhara, I was excited to get to our beautiful hotel, Lyabi House. It was right off the main gathering point of the city, Lab-I Hauz, which in Persian means “by the pond”.

History of Bukhara, Uzbekistan:

Until modern day, Bukhara was covered with canals and ponds. They were central gathering points for people and the city’s main water source, where people would come together, talk, drink and wash themselves. Because of the communal nature, the dirty water quickly spread disease throughout the city. Bukhara had many different plagues, leaving the average life span at only 32. In the 1920s the Soviets filled many of the ponds, leaving Lab-I Hauz because of its vicinity to beautiful architecture.

Given its placement along the Silk Road, Bukhara once existed as one of the main centers of the world for trade, arts and religion. During the Golden Age Bukhara became the intellectual center of the Islamic world, on of the seven holy cities of Islam. Like many other cities though, Bukhara was conquered by Gengiz Khan and burned.

One of my favorite parts of Bukhara was where we stayed, Lyabi Hauz. The rooms were basic but it had the most beautiful terrace to eat breakfast on. It was such a perfect start to each day!

Love Love.

Read Next: The Great Silk Road: Khiva, Uzbekistan

Other posts on Uzbekistan are here, here and here

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    Naomi
    May 13, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Gorgeous! You make me want to visit there too!

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 13, 2017 at 11:42 am

      Thank you, Naomi!

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Chloe
    May 13, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I haven’t even heard of this place before but it’s on my list now! The architecture looks absolutely stunning from your photos

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 13, 2017 at 11:43 am

      Hi Chloe! I think many people haven’t, but it’s such a beautiful country! The blue tile is gorgeous!

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Silvia
    May 13, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Your photos are so pretty! I really hated Bukhara when I went because it was so crowded with tourists, but now I really, really want to go back, haha. Isn’t that always the way? Your photos are making me want to return and appreciate it even more now!

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 13, 2017 at 11:45 am

      Hi Silvia! Was it really?! What you were you there? I always felt like I NEVER saw tourists when I was traveling around the country. I’m sorry that your experience wasn’t very good, and I hope you one day can get the opportunity to go back!

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Aarti Kamath
    May 13, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Wow, I loved this post mainly because my friend and I are currently jotting down a plan to visit Uzbekistan (Bukhara, Samarkhand and Tashkent). I loved your pics and thanks for your inputs. Our main issue currently are the flight rates but I hope to get that sorted :)…

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 13, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Hi Aarti! I’m glad you like it – if you search for ‘Uzbekistan’ on my blog, you’ll find a few posts with more information. I’m also planning to put together a post specifically on a travel guide and 2-week itinerary suggestion. I’ll send it to you on the FTB Facebook page once it’s complete! I hope you all have the best time! Feel free to send me any questions you have, as I know it can be a more complicated place to travel.

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Karin
    May 13, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Beautiful photos! I am really looking forward to visiting Uzbekistan! The architecture is simply stunning.

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 13, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Karin! Thank you – the architecture and all of the tile really is amazing!!

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    C-Ludik
    May 13, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Gorgeous photos 🙂 So far, Uzbekistan has been one of my under-the-radar destinations… a country that was barely on the tourist map until recently – has come into focus. ! Now, I’m intrigued by the ancient Silk Road ! I guess, I could easily see myself, standing in a square in Bukhara, closing my eyes, taking a deep breath… and feel myself being transported centuries back to a time when merchants and caravans arrived in town from what seemed like the ends of the earth 🙂 Wonderful !

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 13, 2017 at 4:02 pm

      Thank you! That is very much how it feels when you visit cities like Bukhara, Samarqand and Khiva!

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Sara
    May 13, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Wow gorgeous photos! I know nothing about Uzbekistan, admittedly, so it was nice to see a bit of it in your post. Going to look up more 🙂

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 13, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Thank you, Sara! I lived there for a year so I have quite a few posts on my blog if you search for ‘Uzbekistan’. It’s a beautiful country!

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Amanda Tran
    May 13, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing a bit about the history, some new lessons for me. I’m glad you’re drive wasn’t as bad as Lonely Planet made it out to be, definitely a win. Uzbekistan looks incredibly beautiful and I love your photos.

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 14, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      Thank you, Amanda! I remember learning about Samarkand and Bukhara, as part of the Silk Road, in school but they sounded like such far off cities at that time! It was really interesting to visit them as an adult!

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Sarah
    May 13, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Amazing photos! And thank you for teaching me some fascinating history. I love to find out the past of places I visit – there’s always so much more to learn than it appears on the surface.

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Hi Sarah, that is so true! Thank you for reading 🙂

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Janine Good
    May 13, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    This is enlightening as I want to head down the Silk Road and have been intrigued by this nation quite a bit. Thanks for the insight. I have noted this for future reference.

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Hi Janine! Thank you – and I hope you can make it to that part of the world at some point 🙂

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Ellis
    May 13, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I almost went to Uzbekistan this year, but unforetunately Uzbekistan postponed its plans for a visa on arrival. I really hope to visit the country and the silk road cities soon. I love central Asia

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 14, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Hi Ellis – Visa’s for Uzbekistan are not easy. Traveling in Uzbekistan and throughout Central Asia takes a lot more planning than many other places! Even with working there it was very very complicated to get a residency visa!

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Cristina
    May 13, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Uzbekistan is one of those countries of who I know the name but have no clue what’s actually there.
    Your pictures showed me something I DID NOT expect at all! So beautiful! I guess I’ve got a new country on my bucketlist now!

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 14, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Cristina, I’m so glad! Many people tell me they know so little of the country, or even Central Asia! I hope you can one day visit 🙂

      Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Kelly
    May 14, 2017 at 1:54 am

    This is so neat and it is so fun to learn about the culture of a place that No one I know has ever been to. Thank you for sharing an openning up this place to me. Such beautiful pictures and so glad the trip was better than you expected.

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 14, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Kelly – thank you so much for your sweet comment! Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Ketki
    May 14, 2017 at 2:49 am

    Wow, amazing photos. I have heard a great deal about Uzbekistan and hope to visit one day. Love the beautiful patterns on the walls and the minaret is stunning.

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 14, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      Hi Ketki! I so hope you can – it is such an incredibly underrated country! Xx, Eleonore

  • Reply
    Ingrid
    May 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Your pictures are so nice, this place looks incredible and I have to admit it is the first time I’ve heard about it and have thought about this country as being a travel destination worth taking into consideration.

    • Reply
      Eleonore Everywhere
      May 14, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      Hi Ingrid – I hear that a lot from people! It’s such an underrated country, but one worth visiting and learning about. 🙂 Xx, Eleonore

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