So it’s about time for another set of journal entries. This time it’s my journey through China from the Kyrgyzstan border to make it to Thailand for a family holiday over Christmas. The drills the same as before: edited only where my grammar or spelling didn’t make sense in the real thing and a little bit of context in italics if needed. Enjoy!
Monday 5th December
5am pickup with Camel (the driver I’d arranged in Osh, Kyrgyzstan – not an actual camel) and his bro. Slept in car; woke for beautiful mountains. Problem. 9km before the border. GoPro videos deleted at checkpoint and Camel not allowed...
Travelling makes every second special. For good times and bad, the routine of daily life at home is lost. One time in Bukhara, I was welcomed into random I’d met on the street’s home, drank chai, changed money and watched him play a taught skin drum; all over good conversation!
From Nukus, I travelled through the most ancient part of the world I’ve ever visited. Khiva, a city built out of sand, is almost a living museum while Samarkand and it’s position as the capital of the Timurid Empire in the 14th century is astounding in its beautiful architecture.
Central Asia is a little off your typical backpacker routes. That’s not to say it’s undiscovered, just that it’s an unpolished experience. Compared to the countries I’d visited so far, the development of tourism and the mix of travellers were quite different.
Outside of the yearly Mongol Rally, westerners are few. I found mainly Asians looking for adventure: these travels bought Japanese, Taiwanese, Malaysian, Singaporean and Iranian friends. As I journeyed forth many locals questioned why I wasn’t visiting during the summer months and maybe if I had the backpacking demographic would have been...