Photo Tour to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan
September 17 to October 1, 2019
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have been at the crossroads of several great civilizations -- China, Persia, Arabia,
Mongolia, Russia --for at least 2000 years, and the great art and architecture seen in these two countries reflects
the melding of these cultures. After the campaigns of Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C., trade along the
Silk Route increased and Central Asia emerged as an important economic center. Cultural contact between
Asia and Europe intensified, and the amalgam of religions, languages, and ethnicities produced one of the most
fascinating places in the world to visit. Join Jim for a most unique and compelling photo tour to photograph spectacular
architecture, remarkable portraits, exotic fashions, mountainous landscapes, and several extraordinary cultures.
Tour Policies (please read)
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Day 1, Tuesday, Sept. 17 TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN.
Leave your home city so you arrive in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on this day. You will be met at the airport with a
local representative holding a placard with your name on it and transferred to our hotel. Overnight in Tashkent
in a 5 star hotel.
Day 2, Wednesday, Sept. 18 TASHKENT. We spend the whole day photographing the beautiful capital of
Uzbekistan. We will start with the colorful Chorsu Market where the local people shop for almost anything and
everything, including fruits, vegetables, meat, bread, dried fruits, textiles, brooms, baskets etc. This is a great
opportunity to photograph people. Our next stop will be ancient Kukeldash Mares, a 16th century center of
education, which is still in use. In the afternoon, we will photograph the impressive Khasti Imam religious
complex where you can see artisans at work, a mosque that is so incredible it defies words, and the oldest
Koran in the world. Photographing the Khasti Imam Mosque from outside in the late afternoon and the evening
at the "Blue Hour" is one of the photographic highlights in Tashkent. Dinner and overnight in a 5 star hotel.
Day 3, Thursday, Sept. 19 SAMARKAND. In the morning we will take the fast train to Samarkand, the ancient
capital of the 14th century conqueror, Tamerlane. After lunch we will photograph the colorful Siab Bazaar where
you will see women in colorful local dresses. This is one of the most interesting bazaars in Central Asia offering
a tremendous amount of people photography. Next to the bazaar is the Bibi Hanim Mosque, built in the 15th
century, an impressive photogenic building with its great big blue dome. We will then photograph Shakhi Zinda,
another architectural masterpiece, which was once the burial place of the noble and elite people. There are
several mausoleums built in the 15th century in this complex, and it is an important pilgrimage site. There are
wonderful opportunities to photograph the pilgrims with beautiful backgrounds of blue tiled walls. We will then
go to the famous Registan Square, which consists of three photogenic medresahs, or schools, and it is a real
jewel in the heart of the old city. We will photograph Registan Square in the blue hour as well for some of the
best architecture photography you've ever taken. Overnight in Samarkand in a 4 star hotel.
Day 4, Friday, Sept. 20 SAMARKAND. Very early we return to the Shakhi Zinda holly site to photograph it,
this time in the morning light. We will then go back to the Registan Square to photograph the unbelievable
interior of a mosque which is highly decorated in an oriental style of mosaic designs. You've never seen anything
like this -- the beauty, the genius, the grandeur. Our next stop will be a small village with a workshop making
traditional silk paper, using the bark of mullberry trees. It is a very photogenic place where we can photograph
the people working in the paper making process. In the late afternoon, we will visit and photograph the Gur Amir
Mausoleum where Tamerlane and his descendants are buried. Overnight in Samarkand in a 4 star hotel.
Day 5, Saturday, Sept. 21 BUKHARA. This morning we drive to Bukhara which was once the largest commercial
and religious center on the Great Silk Road. People carrying different items on their donkey carts are very photogenic.
After lunch in Bukhara, we have a walking tour in the old city. This includes domed bazaars, the Poi Kalon religious
complex, medresahs, and the Ark fortress. Dinner will be in the house of a family, where one room is converted
into a cosy restaurant. This is where we will taste the famous Uzbek "pilav". We will stay in a 4 star quality boutique
Day 6, Sunday, Sept. 22 BUKHARA. Today we will photograph the impressive domed buildings and minarets of
Bukhara at dawn and then return back to the hotel for breakfast. You will have some free time to rest, to download
pictures, or do some photography on your own. In the afternoon, we will visit a blacksmith workshop and explore
more of the old city. Dinner will be in an old medresah with a show of Uzbek traditional clothes and a performance
of local dancers. This is a great time to photograph models in traditional fashions. Overnight in a 4 star quality
Day 7, Monday, Sept. 23 KHIVA. This is mostly a travel day where we drive to Khiva through the Kyzylkum Desert
with a stop in the desert to photograph the square shaped "sand stoppers". We arrive in Khiva in the late afternoon.
Khiva is a thousand year old fortress city, with its old section well preserved. It is also one of the most interesting
cities in Central Asia for photography. From one of the medieval towers, we have unparalleled elevated perspectives
on this beautiful and historic city. Overnight in a 4 star hotel.
Day 8, Tuesday, Sept. 24 KHIVA: Early in the morning, we will be out to stroll and photograph the ancient city of
Khiva with its narrow streets, mosques, minarets and an old graveyard with the city walls in the background. We will
have time to rest in our hotel, and in the late afternoon we will photograph a group of musicians in their traditional
attire. Then we will have a walking tour around the old city of Khiva to photograph how the local people live. Overnight
in a 4 star hotel.
Day 9, Wednesday, Sept 25 NUKUS: We drive to Nukus and in the late afternoon we will photograph an amazing
cemetery, Mizdekhan Cemetery, with its old and new tombs. At sunset, we can photograph this beautiful desert town in
golden light. Overnight in a 3 star superior hotel.
Day 10, Thursday, Sept. 26 NUKUS to TASHKENT: In Nukus, we will visit the Savitsky Museum housing one of the
largest collection of Russian artifacts. Jim will explain how to replace the background behind a sculpture to make it look
like a professional studio shot. We will also visit a textile workshop where they make traditional Uzbek costumes and
wedding dresses. This is not a touristy place at all. It was founded by a Uzbek woman to urge the local women of the
country to produce national costumes and traditional Uzbek wedding dresses. In the evening, we will fly to Tashkent
and overnight in a 5 star hotel.
Day 11, Friday, Sept. 27 BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN: We will have time to rest in the morning in Tashkent, and Jim
will hold a critique session for pictures taken thus far. We then will fly to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. In the
late afternoon and twilight, we will photograph one of the beautiful Russian Orthodox Churches in the city. We have
dinner and overnight in a 4 star superior hotel.
Day 12, Saturday, Sept. 28 BISHKEK: This morning we drive out of Bishkek to photograph horse milking in a farm
making and selling Kymyz, a national healthy drink made of horse milk. Local people go to this farm only to buy
fresh horse milk. This area offers great landscape photo opportunities as well because Kyrgyzstan is mostly a mountainous
country. In the afternoon, we will explore and photograph the typical Central Asian market, the Osh Bazaar. This is a
great opportunity to do tight portraits of people and to photograph the myriad patterns of color and design in the food
and other products sold at the bazaar. Overnight in a 4 star superior hotel.
Day 13, Sunday, Sept. 29 ISSYK KUL: This morning we will drrive to the Issyk Kul Lake which is surrounded by snow
capped mountains and traditional villages. It is also one of the largest alpine lakes in the world. On the way, we will
photograph the old settlement of Burana, with remains of a blue tiled minaret and tomb stones and also an interesting
live stock market. Lunch will be in a beautiful village in the house of a local family. In the Issyk Kul area, we will also
see and photograph the felt making process in a small village. Our hotel this evening is a 3 star hotel.
Day 14, Monday, Sept. 30 BISHKEK: In the Issyk Kul area, we will have the chance to photograph the traditional
nomadic horse games played with goat carcass known as Buzkashi or simply "Goat Polo". We will also be able to see
and interact with the golden eagle hunters. These men make incredible portraits as their eagles perch on their arm.
This has been privately arranged only for our group. It is great photography especially with the natural landscapes in
the background. In the afternoon, we will drive back to Bishkek.
Day 15, Tuesday, Oct.1 DEPARTURE:
Today we transfer to the airport in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for our return flight
home, happy with all the incredible photo opportunities we had.
Land portion cost:
$7295 Includes all accommodations based on double occupancy, all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners starting from
the dinner of September 17 until the breakfast of October 1, soft drinks and water at lunches and dinners (Coke,
Fanta, tea, coffee, etc.), comfortable private minibus, water on the bus when we travel in the countryside, special
private arrangements for photo shoots (horse games, eagle hunters, local musicians), all admission fees to the
historical sites, fast train from Tashkent to Samarkand, local guides, airport transfers, and photographic instruction
The land portion cost does not include alcohol, visa fee, travel insurance, airfare from your home country to Uzbekistan
and return from Kyrgyzstan.
Flights and train fare within the tour: $400 Includes domestic flight from Nukus to Tashkent and international flight
from Tashkent to Bishkek.
Single supplement: $850
Notice: A deposit of $1000 is required to hold a place on this tour. $500 of which will be non-refundable after
May 2, 2019 because of air tickets that must be purchased in your name.