Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Uzbekistan - the cradle of Silk Road culture and history

This simple, earnest hospitality can be disconcerting at first (what are they after?), but soon becomes super-enjoyable, the care shown for a guest (visitor, foreigner,etc) is amazing – certainly changed the way I try to act as host and guest.
Samarkand


September 9th 2011 – crossing the border, Turkmenista to Uzbekistan

Friday, 4 November 2011

TURKMENISTAN at a glance. Getting into Central Asia

University students in their "blue" day
After Iran the next stop of my Silk road trip and the entrance to Central Asia is Turkmenistan. The government made it extremely difficult and expensive to get a tourist visa, so most of the backpackers arrive on 5 day transit visa. It is the most difficult visa to get in Asia, together with the one for Buthan.

BORDER CROSSING
I arrived on the 5th of September. After being almost kidnapped by a local journalist who wanted to make an interview with me and also marry me, I finally got to the border. The Iranian border was alright, I was the only tourist, so the policemen were quite interested to see me I guess so they invited me to their office, offered me some tea, biscuits and dates while checking the passports of the others. When leaving, they insisted to take the rest of the biscuits and dates with me and as I kept saying no, no, no.. he just dumped everything in my bag (without putting it in a plastic bag first)! So never say NO to Iranian policemen J, they were nice though, and one of them really handsome.

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