Uzbekistan is a destination for the adventurers out there. A former soviet country, Uzbekistan is now struggling to regain its environmental and economic foothold after decades of short sighted policies destroyed the agricultural prospects of the community and undercut its economy.

What to do

The fortunes of the Uzbek people go the way of the Aral Sea. If you're interested in Uzbekistan, you should be sure to see the Aral Sea and the impact that over taxing its water supply has had on the local and national economy. If you believe the global warming doomsday scenarios, the Uzbekistan phenomenon may not be a unique situation in the near future and a trip to see this environmental catastrophe may be well worth your while.

Uzbekistan does have some beautiful sights. Visit Bukhara and the Ark Fortress, or one of the many minarets in the region to see the tops sights Uzbekistan had to offer the casual tourist decades ago, before its environmental quandaries.

Getting there

Getting to Uzbekistan is a challenge. There are a few flights to Uzbekistan, but trains are the more common form of transportation. Trains run to other former Soviet countries such as Kazakhstan and Russia, but nowhere else. Train routes from Tashkent to most nearby major cities depart three times a week. Other ground transportation services are unreliable and slow. Buses are out of date junkers that suffer breakdowns about as often as they complete the journey and trips by car can be dangerous. Avoid the border with Pakistan and Tajikistan where land mines can be common.

Where to Stay

There are four tiers of accommodations in Uzbekistan. At the top the newer hotels cater to tourists seeing the country and are generally the product of foreign investments in the Uzbek tourism industry. Then there are the Uzbek hotels, one step down, and soviet era communist block architecture dorm style hotels meant for Soviets during their travels. Finally, there are the Bed and Breakfasts, which are privately owned and operated and can get you into a place to stay for a very reasonable $20-$30.