Khiva – Uzbek Silk Road City #1

When I arrived in Khiva, I checked in at the Lali Opa guesthouse. One of my favorite things about Uzbekistan is the B&Bs–they all have large relaxing courtyards, wifi, friendly staff. They are really wonderful places to just chill out. Plus, breakfast included is always a treat and you meet get to meet backpackers and other travellers who you can share stories with.

P1010706relaxing courtyard of Lali-Opa guesthouse

Khiva was the first of the three main Silk Road cities in Uzbekistan. (The other two are Bukhara and Samarkand). Khiva is a UNESCO world heritage site. While I normally dislike touristy things, I found Uzbekistan to be an exception. There are less tourists here than most other touristy places, and getting lost among the alleyways is a truly surreal experience.

P1010697P1010696roaming Khiva by night

P1010707old fortress walls

P1010714Juma mosque

P1010724roaming Khiva by day

P1010728intricate wood carvings on doors


P1010731the courtyard of a medrassa (school)

P1010739clay figurines were too cute to pass

P1010741craftsman carving a pillar

P1010764beautiful paintings; camel caravans

P1010766slave trade in ancient Khiva

P1010810more paintings; some famous scholar

P1010772Silk Road apocalypse with aircraft carriers?

P1010774P1010804beautiful tilework

P1010769courtyard of the Royal Palace. notice entrance to the dungeon.

P1010779P1010786P1010787P1010778Royal Palace

P1010812photo of Khiva in early 1900s


I decided to take a rest day in Khiva to see the old city and get away from the intense heat (a little TLC for your body never hurts). Meanwhile, I met two Dutch cyclists (Iris and Zsolt) who were also headed in the same direction, but they were a day behind me. I was a little worried about the next section of road from Khiva to Bukhara (the next city with a hotel). It was 500km of insanely hot desert and not much in the way of water and shops. So, it was comforting to know that the Dutch cyclists would be my back-up crew in case anything happened.

Across the desert to Bukhara we go!

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