Overland Japan to Uzbekistan

Big trip – an overlander from modern Japan to Uzbekistan

Japan

Land of the geishas and of course a lot of other things. Traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto, Osaka, and then all the way to Kagoshima, Beppu for some onsen fun and up again to Fukuoka and further to Hiroshima. Tokyo, always a fun city to go out, have drinks in odd bars and then go for karaoke or play arcade games.

Then there is Kyoto, with its many shires, temples and gardens. There are so many of them, you cannot see all of them on one trip. Also, Kyoto is a city that you wanna see in all seasons.

Kagoshima – southern island. There is a place called Beppu that is famous for lots of onsens. And the city of Kagoshima is definitely worth a visit. You can also do a trip to an island with a vulcano.

In Osaka we got on a ship that was bound to Shanghai. We were on the ship for 2 nights and already had a dose of what it will be like in China.

What I was wearing every day while traveling through China.

Here at the most eastern point of the wall.

So Shanghai. Wonderful city. Are you kidding? I would never say that! Lots of people and lots of smog. Along the silk road, the next step was Xian to view the terra cotta army. In Jiaguan or something like that was the next stop. From there we went to check out the Dunhuang Mogao Caves. Those were actually really interesting to see, and the paintings were unique and still very colourful. After that it was off to Urumqui and then onwards to Turfan.  Also checked out the Beyeklik Thousand Buddha Caves.  Also in the Dunhuang Area we experienced the “singing sand dunes“. In Kashgar I just had to do a little side trip to the Mutztag Ata mountain and was riding a white camel around the lake there. No tourism, just me and a few nomads. And the chinese check-point observing what I was doing.

After Kashgar we could finally leave China, I felt very relieved to finally leave the control freak country. Trough no mans land across the Torugart Pass to Naryn. What a beautiful drive. Kyrgyzstan felt like paradise compared to China. Horses running around freely, happy nomads who were always smiling and waved and we were able to just talk to them in gibberish. No one who controls  you all the time and definitely no check points anymore. From Kyrgyzstan we had a few relaxing days at Issyk Kul and it was so beautiful there. The lake, the Tian Shan mountains… And then there was this cute white furry dog that always followed me around.

After Kyrgyzstan it was Kazachstan. The land of Borat the border sure looked like it. But else, the country of Kazachstan was super nice. Lots of red heroine fields, blue sky and then the mountains in the back.

The border.

landscape.

Kazachstan has beautiful nature, not many cities. I mean, yes there is Almaty, but it really isn’t much of a jewel of a city. But I will be back in those -stan countries, Kazachstan and Kyrgyzstan are so beautiful and not touristy at all.

After Kazachstan it was Uzbekistan – totally different and definitely more 1001 night. Khiva, Buchara, Samarkand. All city names that sound amazing. Buchara was very beautiful. Having said that, I was there in 2007 and from what I hear now it has changed a lot. There are a lot more tourists there, especially group travel. So I can only imagine what it is like now.

wohoo, jasmin the emir!