Day 12: Mausoleum of Al-Hakim al-Termizi

The Al-Hakim al-Termizi complex on the edge of old-Termez is a conglomerate of several structures built from the 11th to 15th centuries dedicated to the 9th century Sufi mystic, great early Islamic author, and most important representative of Central Asian Sufism, Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ali bin Hasan bin Bashir Al Hakim At-Termizi.  Born in … Continue reading Day 12: Mausoleum of Al-Hakim al-Termizi

Day 13: Sultan Saodat Ensemble

Termez may be best known for its many Buddhist archeological sites, but the 2,500 year old city also boasts several important architectural landmarks from the Islamic era.  For those travelers already familiar with the Sah-i-Zinda Necropolis in Samarkand, the Sultan Saodat Ensemble may seem underwhelming, however those who make the effort to explore this ancient mausoleum … Continue reading Day 13: Sultan Saodat Ensemble

Day 14: MyTaxi

Add this one to the category of "essentials for survival" as an expat in Tashkent.  MyTaxi is an app that simply must be installed on your smartphone the moment you get your brand new SIM card.  Providing an Uber-like taxi service in the Uzbek capital, MyTaxi rides are never far away, and you'll never have … Continue reading Day 14: MyTaxi

Day 15: Buddhism in Uzbekistan

Before there were Chinese Buddhists, before there were Korean Buddhists, and before there were Japanese Buddhists, there were Uzbek Buddhists, or at least late Greco-Bactrian and Kushan Buddhists.  As Mahayana Buddhism spread out of India through Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan, Termez became a center of Buddhist teaching at an essential hub on the silk road.  From … Continue reading Day 15: Buddhism in Uzbekistan

Day 16: Kyr Kyz Fortress

Across the Turkic world the legend of the kirk-kiz is associated with any number of places.  The Kyr Kyz fortress in Termez is one of these, but the legend is just that... a legend.  The common theme with all of these local legends involve the so-called "forty virgins" depending on the version of the story … Continue reading Day 16: Kyr Kyz Fortress

Day 17: Jarkurgan Minaret

Jarkurgan is a small dusty town about 60km north of Termez, the last place you'd expect to find a standalone medieval minaret, but in the early 12th century, this place was a bustling stop along the ancient silk road, and the minaret served as a beacon to travelers guiding them to the safety of the … Continue reading Day 17: Jarkurgan Minaret

Day 18: Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge

Just east of Termez, on the second most fortified border in the world, is the ironically named "Friendship Bridge" which has linked the two countries of  Uzbekistan and Afghanistan since 1982.  Built during the peak of the Soviet-Afghan War, it is the only crossing on the Afghan-Uzbek border.  This spot was chosen specially due to … Continue reading Day 18: Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Friendship Bridge