Uzbekistan gave us one of the warmest welcomes we’ve received, even with the notoriously strict Uzbekistan border control included. Despite being perhaps the biggest country for tourists in Central Asia, famous for it’s long, well-preserved history and its prominence on the silk road, the Uzbek government until recently was not too hot on the idea of having many outsiders unpatrolled inside the country. Motorcyclists coming the other way told us to factor in police checkpoints every 10km into our route planning, and since Kyrgyzstan we’d heard a collection of horror stories from other travellers about the border – from getting stuck in no-mans land to getting detained, put in prison and brought to trail for medicines with a prescription (codeine is illegal in Uzbekistan). But mostly we were told that things would be slow. Uzbek border guards tend search every item you plan to bring into the country, even going so far as to break apart the bread of a friend we talked to in Dushanbe.
photos, words and illustrations
©Nathaniel Brown and Jieming Sun, 2015