Posted by Hatka Hatnaa Posted on 8:34:00 AM
The Situation on the Ground: Like many of the former-Soviet “stans” of Central Asia,
Uzbekistan (ruled with authoritarian brutality by President Islam Karimov) has long suffered from a combination of dictatorial isolationism and intermittent terrorist threats. But despite, if not because of, Karimov’s hypervigilance, Uzbekistan is extremely safe for travelers. Once the epicenter of the legendary Silk Road, Uzbekistan is one of the most stunning, historically rich destinations in Central Asia. And for travelers willing to veer off the encouraged tourist path, it offers not just extraordinary natural and architectural beauty, but gleeful, hospitable chaos. A quiet dinner on the cross-country Soviet-style night train between Tashkent and Bukhara will more likely than not erupt into a jovial vodka-toasting party with total strangers.