About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 25 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Monday, 21 August 2017

Day 02: Tashkent - Khiva, Uzbekistan

"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.." - Jimmy Dean

Day 02: 12 August 2017 (Saturday)
Route: Tashkent – Urgench – Khiva (Flight: HY051)
Hotel: Khiva Malika Hotel, Uzbekistan

Wake up call was at 4.00 am, breakfast was at 5.00 am and airport transfer was at 6.00 am. At the domestic terminal, we were subject to a few levels of checks. Group checked-in was smooth though. Our 7.30 am HY051 flight to Urgench was surprisingly punctual. We arrived in Urgench at 9.30 am and boarded the bus to Khiva.

(Urgench International Airport)
(Eager to explore the Ancient City of Khiva)

The distance from Urgench Airport to Khiva old City is about 25 km. Khiva is one of the old cities of ancient Khorezm, the pearl of eastern middle age architecture. According to the legends Khiva was founded by a son of Noah, Shem when he dug a well in the middle of the desert and became a caravan destination. Khiva was located on the crossroad of The Great Silk Road as an important post that connected two powerful lands, China and Rome.

(A famous mathematician, Al-Xorazmy)
(Exploring the Silk Route in Central Asia)

The Arab geographer Ibn Batuta visited Khiva in the 14th century. The city was divided into two parts: Ichan Kala, the inner city with 10 meters high wall and Dishan Kala, the outer city. At the same time the entire city was surrounded by several settlements and villages. In Khiva we visited the many attractions in the fortress ancient city.

(The Kunya-Ark Fotress)

Kunya-Ark ‘old fortress’ was Khiva rulers’ residence and citadel. The fortress had a developed infrastructure for the convenience of administration, and entertainment of the khan, his family, officials and troops. Since the end of the 18th century the fortress had been a guarded and hidden behind its own castellated adobe wall, not to mention the 10-meter-high and 5-6-meter-thick fortification wall of Ichan-Kala itself.

(Mohamad Amin Khan Madrassah)
(Unfinished Kalta Minor Minaret)

Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah is the biggest medieval madrassah in Khiva, located opposite to Kunya-Ark at the gates of Ata-darvaza. The Madrassah has 125 hudjras and could receive up to 260 pupils. The portal is crowned with five domes and flanked by corner towers. An inscription reads: "This perfect building will eternally stand, enlightening our descendants". The rich decor includes brick mosaics, majolica, ornamentally carved doors and lattices of windows.

(A 44 meter high Islam Khoja Minaret)
(Bustling bazaar in the walled city)

Islam Khoja Madrasah consists of 42 hujras and a large domed hall. Mihrab niche is decorated with majolica and ganch. The facade is decorated with glaze. Islam Khoja minaret, built near the madrasah is the highest structure in Khiva, and has become its symbol. The minaret is 44 m. high; the diameter on the foundation is about 10 m. The shaft of the minaret diminishes in its diameter as it rises, and produces an unusual impression.

(The gate of Palace Tash Hauli)
(Walled palace and mausoleum)

The name of Uch Avlioli mausoleum means ‘Mausoleum of three Saints’ and it is located in ancient city of Khiva. The current location of the mausoleum is the rear courtyard of the palace Tash Hauli. Wide hall of the mausoleum has arch-dome-shaped roof with stalactites as a decoration.

(Wooden columns in Juma Mosque)
(The original pillars still standing strong)

There is a Friday Mosque in the center of Ichan-kala. It was erected at the end of the eighteenth century over the ruins of previous construction. This is an original building without portals and cupolas, without galleries and yards. One can enter the mosque from four sides. From the northern facade, facing the one of the main streets of the city the mosque faces a minaret, 52 m high.

(Khiva green dome and the tall minaret)
(Pakhlavan Mahmoud Mausoleum)

Pakhlavan Mahmoud Mausoleum  is a beautiful emerald green dome topped with a gleaming gold orb. It is the holiest site in Khiva. Many visiting pilgrims pass through a wooden door carved with the Islamic creed and enter a sublime courtyard. Here the slanting shadows, the musical strains of a mullah's prayer and the glinting of the majolica and daisy-patterned tiling in the afternoon sunlight create a magical effect.

(Tash Hauli Palace)
(Puppets and ceramic souvenirs)

Tash Hauli Palace which means ‘Stone House’, contains Khiva’s most sumptuous interior decoration, including ceramic tiles, carved stone and wood, and ghanch. Built by Allakuli Khan between 1832 and 1841 as a more splendid alternative to the Kuhna Ark, it’s said to have more than 150 rooms off nine courtyards, with high ceilings designed to catch any breeze.

(The palace beautiful courtyard and garden)
(Artifacts in the museum)

Alla Kulli Khan Palace and Madrasah complex was built by order of Allakuli Khan, in order to make Khiva one of the picturesque and attractive cities of Asia. Having demolished decrepit and collapsing old madrasahs made from framework and adobe, he asked skillful masters of those times to build new madrasahs from baked brick.

(Local delicacies)
(Vibrant local designs and colors)

After visiting the historical sites inside the fortress city, we had lunch at Tasavul Boshi restaurant. Lunch was elaborate with starters of salad dishes followed by hot soup, then the main course. Dessert was sweet rock melons and honey dews. The meals normally ended with green or black tea. Coffee was served upon special request only.

(Dinner under the sky)
(A Museum Restaurant)

After lunch we continued the walking tour of the old city. Then we checked-in Khivac Malika Hotel and had a refreshing nap till it was time for dinner. Dinner was at Tolib Museum Restaurant in the open air next to the minaret.

We stayed overnight at Malika Hotel in Khiva, Uzbekistan.

(A modest hotel in the walled ancient city)

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