Bukhara – the mud city 烏茲別克最美的泥土之城布哈拉

出發前往布哈拉的一大早我們認識了一對法國老夫妻,看起來有六十幾歲,活力旺盛的來中亞旅行。和他們聊天才知道他們是資深旅行家,早在二十年前就深入東南亞的寮國、緬甸等地方,南美洲也都去過了,聽著老太太眉飛色舞的講著過去的旅遊經驗,覺得好有趣! 尤其是在寮國搭乘十幾個小時的雙條小貨車,每十幾分鐘就停下來休息,還有住的地方不是有蟑螂就是老鼠,完全是望塵莫及的等級啊! 說起來在中亞真的遇到很多很酷的人,像是在布哈拉認識的一位香港剛畢業的青年,就說他從新疆要一路流浪到土耳其,全程不搭飛機。也有看到老人家騎腳踏車或是機車橫跨中亞,最令人佩服的還是很多遊客都至少五十歲以上喔!!

It is always fun to meet new people when you travel. When we were heading to Bukhara, we met an old French couple who had traveled almost everywhere. They have been to South East Asia about 20 years ago and experienced the real local life when there were still not many tourists. The stories like traveling for more than 10 hours with a truck of two rows of seats, and the room with either rats or cockroaches really amazed us! It is actually very easy to meet cool people around Central Asia, for example we met a young guy from HK who is traveling from Xinjiang to Turkey without taking a plane! Or old man crossing the Silk Road via bike or motorbike!

從薩馬爾干搭乘一般火車到布哈拉,原定三小時的車程變成將近六小時,車子停停走走,最慘的是停的時候沒有空調也沒窗戶,完全是悶燒人肉! 但是當地人竟然都可以安靜的等待,只有我們坐立難安,原本以為我們比較衰剛好遇到延誤車,沒想到遇到第二天坐同班火車的旅客也是延誤差不多的時間,看來還是坐計程車比較保險阿!

It was a tough journey from Samarkand to Bukhara by train, because the trip last for 6 hours (original it should be only 3 hours!) The train stopped from time to time, and when it stopped, there was no air con and window… amazingly the locals were waiting patiently, unlike us. It seems to be a normal thing because the tourists we met who took the train next day also experienced 6 hours of ride. So it’s better to take the taxi next time!

不同於薩馬爾干整齊有序的街道規劃,布哈拉可說是一個迷宮土城,有點類似摩洛哥的老城區,凹凸不平的泥土路,幾乎沒有柏油路。好險這裡的景點都很集中,用走路的可以全部逛完。

Unlike the flat and well organized streets in Samarkand, Bukhara can be described as a puzzled mud city, a bit similar to the old town in Morocco. Luckily the tourist sites are all located in the center, so it’s easy to see everything by foot.

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Khiva – the fading city 烏茲別克不再繁華的城市 希瓦

希瓦是我們在烏茲別克的最後一站,從布哈拉坐 share taxi 到希瓦需要7個小時車程。因為我們沒有包車,所以另花了一小時去載其他的當地乘客。一開始的路段顛簸不平讓我好擔心未來的七小時,好險一小時後路就很平坦,司機也瞬間開始飆車,據說中國正在協助建造馬路,所以我們路上有看到施工的狀況。司機全程以不變的速度吃了六小時的瓜子,其他兩位乘客則是很安靜。路上停了兩次上廁所,都意外的很乾淨,還提供了疑似再生紙的超硬衛生紙給我。另外停了一次吃東西,但是那裡的廁所居然是架高的木板簡單搭建的,沒有門而且在大馬路旁邊,完全是給路過的車子和對面吃飯的人們看屁股。我只好找一個遠一點的小樹叢解放了!! 就算是在烏茲別克境內開車,還是經過很多警察的檢查哨,在這裡的警察非常有威嚴,到處都可以看到警察,而且不可以隨便拍他們喔!

Khiva is our last destination in Uzbekistan. It was a tough journey from Bukhara by shared taxi, because it takes 7 hours to drive, and we had to pick up another two local people who shared the taxi with us. Luckily the road is flat after the bumpy ride for an hour. The bathroom we stop by were surprisingly clean, I only have to use the “wild toilet” once because the real toilet in lunch place is up in the simple wooden structure whereby everyone can see you! Even we were driving inside the country, we still pass by a few police stop to check our passport, and lonely planet warns reader to avoid police because they might give you trouble, and don’t take picture of the police!!

我們這次住的民宿就位在希瓦西城門的外面,非常方便。來這裡的遊客主要都是參觀舊城內的建築。過去曾經被占領者破壞的古蹟都在UNESCO的幫助下重建, 所以這些古建築多半和飯店、餐廳或博物館結合。來到西城門的右側可以看到數學家花拉子米 (Al Xorazmily) 的雕像,他是代數學的奠基者。

Our guest house is just outside of Khiva castle west gate. The main tourist sites are mostly inside the castle. This place was recovered with the help from Unesco due to the massive destruction by the ruler previously. That’s why most of the old buildings are combined with hotels, restaurants and museums. Just outside the west gate on the right side, you can see the mathematician called Al Xorazmily who is the founder of algebra.

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我們住的民宿 Lali-Opa,便宜又方便 Our hostel is very convenient and cheap

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西城門入口 West Gate Entrance

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城牆 The Wall of the castle

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數學家 The Mathematician

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Too new to be true – Samarkand 薩馬爾罕 一個新的不真實的城市

薩馬爾干是來烏茲別克不能錯過的城市,我們乘坐政府剛建好的高鐵來到這裡,高鐵最快速度可以達到200km/hr,車廂內一切都很新,不僅提供茶點,還提前五分鐘出發,讓我對這個國家充滿信心。當然在我後來搭乘一般的火車時,這些信心立刻消失殆盡.. 不過這又是另一個故事了!p1070403-%e8%a4%87%e8%a3%bd

下車後我們要搭乘計程車前往飯店,如預期的一群司機立刻衝上來搶生意,漫天喊價從30,000 som 開始,我們有點不知所措,H說書上寫只要 3,000 som,所以在慌亂之下我們決定繼續前進到大馬路,看到跟我們同火車的西方老夫婦都迅速的攔到車談好價上車走人,只覺得我們相比起來超遜! 後來一直沒辦法招到真正的黃色計程車,又有一個司機一直不放棄,最後以 10,000 som 成交。

我們的飯店是一個內部很古老像小城堡的裝潢,一個年輕帥氣的金髮青年是唯一稍微會講英文的人,很願意幫忙,雖然有時候似乎是年紀太小並沒有足夠的經驗來回答問題。像是他很愛說: I don’t know. It’s up to you! 哈哈! 他說計程車一趟大概 3,000 som ,外國人會貴一點,看來我們被坑很大。但是待久了我們也習慣被坑了… 這間飯店大力推薦,是我在烏茲別克最喜歡的住宿,不僅房間超大超舒服,浴室也很大,會有陽光灑進來,很適合曬衣服,早餐更是豐盛好吃!! 最大的缺點是需要走2 km 左右抵達主要廣場,懶惰的話坐一趟計程車也是很快就到了!

Hotel Samarkand Safar

雖然薩馬爾干的景點有點分散,但是時間夠的話是可以慢慢逛完的。這裡的主要道路都好大好寬敞又平坦,旁邊的小巷則是凹凸不平,一不小心還可能會跌到莫名的大坑洞裡。車子開很快,就算是行人綠燈過馬路也是危機重重,主要是這裡的紅綠燈變換太快,所以只要綠燈車子都急著想通過。九月是這裡最佳的季節,所以每天太陽都很賞臉,不過晚上有時候還是有點涼。在薩爾馬干有兩天,也足夠讓我們把大部分的景點參觀完畢。p1090084-%e8%a4%87%e8%a3%bd

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The heart of Silk Road – Uzbekistan

As I am writing this post, I am trapped in a train for 40 minutes not knowing why the train is still not going… We booked business class and didn’t expect it would be a small cabin of 6 people. Looking at other 4 Uzbeks, they are waiting patiently, either sleeping, playing mobile phone or staring at the TV on the wall. The TV is playing a singer’s concert. Nobody is curious about what’s going on… not to mention there is no air con, no open window and the temperature is at least 27 degrees… luckily I have my laptop to distract myself…

Complicated History

Being the crossroad of Silk Road, Uzbekistan has a complicated history. I briefly read a book of the country and learned that it has been ruled by many different people, like Persian, Greek, Mongolian, Arabic…, etc, and of course Russian. That is why the locals can look very different, so is the dialects. Oh finally the train started moving before I can still breathe!
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