Tashkent

Tashkent, Uzbekistan was an interesting place to visit, as it was my first destination within Central Asia and is a traditionally closed-off area that is not so prepared to receive tourists. You can only get a visit visa by invitation from the government (which some travel agencies there can arrange), local currency is highly regulated, and typical tourist attractions have restricted entry. I was fortunate to have a local friend as a guide (and translator, since hardly anyone speaks English).

Tashkent has lots of history from past Islamic empires as well as some more recent Soviet history. Th traditional architecture is quite stunning (especially in mosques and some government buildings) and the museums contain some rare Islamic art. The food is also amazing! My visit in Sept. 2013 coincided with the Independence Day celebrations there, so the streets were quiet as people were off work and families gathered in public squares to watch firework displays.

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Related video: http://youtu.be/rHkkY7Jm9RM

Related video: http://youtu.be/rHkkY7Jm9RM

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