Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Travel Tuesday : Bukhara, Uzbekistan

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Miri Arab Madrasah
Miri Arab Madrasah

A few months ago I took a trip to Uzbekistan with my family. I know, I know, it took me sooo long to write about it here - forgive me for that but as the cliché saying goes, better late than never right? Anyway, Uzbekistan. This country is located in Central Asia - bordered by Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan ( lots of 'tan countries!). It was my first time to visit any country in Central Asia.  I will be doing my Uzbekistan posts in three parts. Since we visited three cities in all (Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand), I will be doing one city per post. Today's post will be all about Bukhara. P.S. This a really, really, reaaaallly long post with lots and loooots of photos! Click through after the jump if you're still interested! (I also have an article on this in our local newspaper, a very short version of what I'm going to put up here on the blog. It's up online if you want to check that out)

Being in Bukhara is like stepping back in time. Ever watched the Disney Cartoon 'Aladdin'? I swear, Bukhara looked and felt like Agrabah. There was something so old world and exotic about the whole place - dusty streets, old fashioned homes with pretty ornate doors, majestic buildings that looked like the sultan's palace in the cartoon, carpets for sale and yes, even genie lamps! Vendors everywhere were selling lamps and apparently each one came with a free genie....if this doesn't scream Aladdin in Agrabah, then I don’t know what does!
Bukhara is home to a lot of huge, historic and magnificent structures.  Important Mosques, Madrasahs and Minarets are found here.  A minaret is a tower and a Madrasah is a school where students study the Islam faith
things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan street scenes
Walking along the streets in Bukhara
As our hotel was near everything we needed to see, we did a whole walking tour to all the famous sites. We started with the Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah, literally two minutes away from our hotel. It was set in a gorgeous park and inside it's walls was a pretty courtyard that had vendors selling fur (the famous Karakul sheep of Bukhara), scarves and those infamous genie lamps I mentioned. Next up was the Samanid Mausoleum - a small and picturesque structure that was found in a pretty park. The building had really stunning details. After that we walked to the Bolo Hauz Mosque - which had a mini minaret and twenty beautiful columns and more gorgeous details. 

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah
Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah, about two to three minutes walk from our hotel.

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah
Facade of the Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah
Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah
Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah
Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah
Courtyard of the Nodir Divan Beghi Madrasah which had a lot of shops

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan street scene at night
Night time in Bukhara

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Street Scene at night
Pretty Doors all over the city

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Chor Minor
Chor Minor Madrasah

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Two Humped Camel
Two Humped Camel

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Samanid Mausoleum
Samanid Mausoleum

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Samanid Mausoleum
Samanid Mausoleum

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Samanid Mausoleum
Samanid Mausoleum

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Samanid Mausoleum
Samanid Mausoleum

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan market
market

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan market
Sweets at the Market

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan market
Sweets at the Market

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan market
Nuts galore at the market

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan bolo-hauz mosque
Bolo-hauz mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan bolo-hauz mosque
Bolo-hauz mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan bolo-hauz mosque
Bolo-hauz mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan bolo-hauz mosque
Bolo-hauz mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan bolo-hauz mosque
Bolo-hauz mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan bolo-hauz mosque
Bolo-hauz mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan bolo-hauz mosque
Bolo-hauz mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan bolo-hauz mosque
Mini Minaret at Bolo-hauz mosque

Then it was off to the Ark Citadel - a fortress from ancient times. We went inside but I do not have any photos as they charged every time you go inside a tourist spot. It was like a small walled city inside and I regret not paying to take photos! Oh well, lesson learned.  In the distance we could see a blue dome glistening under the sun - this was the site we anticipated the most. We walked towards it and was greeted with a majestic site. There was a minaret, but way bigger and taller than the one at Bolo Hauz Mosque, a square that had a huge building with two grand blue domes. This was the exact moment when I thought I was in Agrabah - this building just reminded me so much of the sultan's palace! This was the Miri-Arab Madrasah (the very first photo in this post!). Asides from the blue domes, it had a lot of gorgeous, intricate mosaic patterns.  The towering structure in front was the Kalyan Minaret. In front of the Madrasah, there was a door that led out to a huge square and more buildings with the same beautiful mosaic patterns. This was the Kalyan Mosque. We also caught a brief glimpse of the Chor Minor at night while on the way to dinner. It is an unusual Madrasah that had four minarets in each corner and with a blue dome on top.

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Ark Citadel
Ark Citadel

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Ark Citadel
Ark Citadel

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Ark Citadel
Ark Citadel

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Ark Citadel
Ark Citadel

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan street scene
 street scene

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan street scene
 street scene

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan market
market

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan Minaret and Miri Arab Madrasah
 Kalyan Minaret and Miri Arab Madrasah

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Street Scene
Street Scene

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Street Scene
Street Scene

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan minaret and mosque
Kalyan minaret and mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan minaret and mosque
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan minaret and mosque
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan minaret and mosque
Kalyan Mosque



things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan minaret
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan mosque
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan mosque
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan mosque
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan mosque
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan mosque
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan mosque
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan mosque
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan mosque
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan miri arab medreseh
Kalyan Mosque

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan Kalyan minaret
Kalyan Minaret

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan spices
Spices in a Cute Little Stall (P.s. those squash shaped containers are really squash!)

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan spices
Spices in a Cute Little Stall

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan trading domes
Trading Domes

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan trading domes
Trading Domes

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan street scene
Street Scene

things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan street scene
 street scene


things to see and do in Bukhara Uzbekistan outside Devon Begi Hotel
Right outside our hotel in Bukhara.

We stayed for three days in Bukhara. The next day we drove to Samarkand and this city will be tackled in my next blog post. On the way to Samarkand, we stopped by Gijduvan Village and witnessed master potters do their art. My favorite part was the potter’s little son. He was probably around five or six and he made these cute little statues that looked like gnomes (they were actually Uzbek men). We found it so cute that we decided to buy some. When we asked the little kid how much, he said it was up to us. We gave him a handful of bills. He counted them out and insisted on giving us back five! Like he thought it was too much payment. Awww. As we turned away, my sister caught a glimpse of him skipping away – he was so happy to have made money for his gnomes! What a little cutie!

things to do and see in Uzbekistan Guduvan Village pottery
Gijduvan Village pottery

things to do and see in Uzbekistan cotton fields
cotton fields

things to do and see in Uzbekistan cotton fields
cotton fields

Uzbekistan has the sunniest and cloudless skies - this is their trademark as it hardly rains. So imagine all those beautiful buildings and structures with the perfectly clear blue sky as the background - this whole country is really a photographer's dream. I don't know if my photos did everything justice (since I'm not a professional), but I hope you can see from this post and my own “no-filter” photos just how beautiful this country is! Hope to see you guys again next week for part two!

P.S. Thank you for reading through to the end, I know this post is unbearably long!

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All photos in this post are personal photos of styleandchocolates.blogspot.com. If you want to use them or borrow them in any way, please contact me first! My email add: celyn_lifeisashoe@yahoo.com. If you can't be bothered to send me an email and still want to use my photos, then please do credit them and link back to this blog. Thanks!

7 comments:

  1. great post
    Would you like to follow each other on GFC / facebook?
    let me know and I follow back! http://bysinkj.blogspot.com/

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  2. What a beautiful location! I'd love to visit some day

    http://memoriesofthepacific.blogspot.com.es/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love your post!!

    I am glad you enjoyed reading my Toronto Fashion Week posts but I am officially back to my regular content posts.

    Thanks for the support and thoughtful words on my recent post, I deeply appreciate it!!

    MyLyfeMyStory



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  4. Really interesting post...thx for sharing! xx

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  5. The details in the buildings is amazing. It’s definitely somewhere I’d love to visit too. Thanks for sharing your photos!

    TFM BLOG

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