Tuesday, May 16, 2023

[BUKHARA] Hello, Silk Road


Bukhara has always been expected to be the highlight of this Uzbekistan itinerary. Tashkent fulfilled the expectation of being the capital city with all the creature comforts and modern vibes. That’s why I thought that Bukhara would no longer surprise me, yet it still did. It has been a pleasant surprise, though, because it does live up to its reputation of being a city museum of sorts, where much of the wonders of the ancient Silk Road seem to have been preserved and manage to coexist with modernity.


My itinerary messed up leaving me with three nights in one city and only two nights in another so it was a toss-up between Samarkand and Bukhara. In the end, Samarkand got the shorter end of the stick. Because my Airbnb is located literally a few cartwheels away from the main attraction and I had three days to spare, Bukhara became some sort of R&R stop and everything has been very chill since I arrived, which matched the overall ambiance of the place quite well.


Night #1 was spent on rest. It was Night #2 that was spent taking a stroll to see the town in full regalia with all the bright lights. Needless to say, I was amazed with what I saw. The main attraction that you always see in photos, that one called Registan with the two madrasas facing each other along with a minaret as the centerpiece, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the city tracing its history back to the 4th or 5th century AD, these remnants of history are almost 2000 years old!


Before I reached that part, though, I had to pass by the Ark Citadel, a fortress said to house a collection of offices inside its walls. Its two beige minarets framing a white facade is hard to ignore even at night. The walls that surround it make it even more imposing. What’s strange is that someone had what he or she thought to be a brilliant idea of building a tower across the street which lights up in different colors at night. It’s a spectacular site catching both landmarks in one frame, a stark contrast of old versus new.


The Kalon Minaret is already visible from here so just let the horizon lead you to it. The tower’s imposing height makes it the center of attraction but it's hard to monopolize the scenery especially at night when the Kalan Mosque and Mir-i-Arab Madrassa are right there facing each other and both lit up in glowing red light. The small square in the middle is where tourists congregate, especially at night, so good luck taking a good selfie or photo of an empty square.


I thought I already saw Bukhara in all its glory that night, leading me to believe that there is nothing left to see in the morning. It’s a good thing that I still decided to go before lunch to find an equally stunning sight under broad daylight. The Kalon Minaret still rises high above everything else. This time around, not the glowing red light but rather the intricate blue tiles and domes of those two structures sandwiching it that compete for your attention which is why I recommend a morning and night tour!


Head farther east and you will be exploring more of what is inside the walls lined up with many shops selling everything from souvenirs to carpets. Places of interest here include the Toqi Zarganon which is one of several domed markets here. A few backflips farther east are two madrasas facing each other namely Ulug’bek and Abdulaziz Khan. Both look like they have seen better days, but the blue tiles of their Iwans still arrest attention as they glimmer under the sun.


I believe that is what you will find on top of most tourists’ to-do lists here in Bukhara. There are guest houses aplenty all around the area, which eliminates the need for public transpo because you can cover almost everything on foot. The city lives up to the hype and is definitely a must-see if you want to experience even just a fraction of the grandeur of what was once the ancient Silk Road.

[BUKHARA] Hello, Silk Road

0 creature(s) gave a damn:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Protected by Copyscape DMCA Copyright Detector
 

Book Review

Book Review

Book Review

Book Review