Traveling as a solo female in Central Asia

Traveling as a woman in Central Asia 

When I set off to Central Asia, I didn’t know what to expect. I was going as a female solo traveler and felt a bit nervous for the first time in a long time. Since there’s not that many travelers (yet) in this part of the world, I felt like there weren’t enough information out there for me to feel safe. But I was adamant about going to Central Asia alone, so I booked my flight to Almaty and traveled around here for almost 3 months. Did I ever feel unsafe? Absolutely not. I always felt welcomed and taken care of. 

It is important though to always do proper research before you enter a country. Before I left to Central Asia, I made sure to read about their culture and customs. Since the Central Asian countries are muslim, you should always bring modest clothes with you. Although they’re more open and secular than in many parts of the Middle East for example, you’ll still get a lot of glances if you walk around with shorts in some places. I made sure to pack mostly long trousers, long sleeved shirts, long skirts, etc. I brought two pair of shorts with me but only wore them when I got to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Almaty in Kazakhstan is also quite open and you can basically dress however you’d like to there. But as soon as you leave these two cities, you’ll be in more conservative places. It’s only respectful of you to bring modest clothes. 

Another thing I reacted on when I traveled here was that there’s few female solo travelers. Most of the people I met were either boys or couples who were traveling around. Since there’s not that many travelers as in Southeast Asia for example, do expect to be lonely at times or to only hang out with guys. A really good thing about traveling with guys is that you’ll most likely not get harassed by men. It sounds terrible, but it’s the truth. As soon as I strayed alone, I noticed guys were more prone to stare, talk to you and ask if you have a husband. Always, always, say you have a husband at home. This’ll just save you a lot of awkward conversations with men. 

Otherwise, I had no problems at all to travel alone as a woman in Central Asia. It’s such a shame that Central Asia has gotten such a bad rep because it really is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It’s also incredible that some of the most spectacular places I visited were not visited by one single tourist besides me. You can have places all to yourself still, which is quite rare these days. You don’t have to fight about a space, instead, you cans it back, relax and enjoy these incredible places all to yourself. But it won’t stay like this for long, so make sure that you go here before the crowds come. 


The best places to visit in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan has gained a lot of attention in recent years. A country that was quite closed off has now opened up its borders and are welcoming tourists from all over the world. Now is the best time to visit Uzbekistan, just before the big crowds will be coming. If you’re interested in traveling around in Uzbekistan, here are the best places to visit in this 

beautiful country. 


Samarkand is the second biggest city in Uzbekistan and is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. It’s one of the most important sites on the famous Silk Route too and has been a central point for trade across the region. It’s in Samarkand where you can visit the majestic Registan square. From three sides, you can find three huge madrasas, all with their own unique decor. It’s one of the most stunning places in Uzbekistan and is a must visit if you go to Samarkand. Besides Registan, there’s also Gur-Emir, which is where Amir Timur is buried. You also have the stunningly beautiful necropolis Shah-i-Zinda, which is an important place of pilgrimage. Samarkand has no shortages of historical places to visit and therefore it’s one of the best places to visit in Uzbekistan. 


After Samarkand, most people travel to Bukhara. You can take the train which takes about 3 hours. It’s the fifth largest city in Uzbekistan. Bukhara is a fantastic place to visit thanks to the charming old town. Just like in Samarkand, there’s plenty of madrasas and mausoleums to visit, all with stunning architecture. But Bukhara has a more small town atmosphere than Samarkand. That doesn’t mean there’s not as much to see though – quite the contrary actually. Bukhara has just as much to offer as Samarkand though and most travelers tend to linger here for longer just because of the cozy atmosphere. 


Khiva might be the smallest of the three, but there’s something about Khiva that makes you fall in love with it the instant you arrive to the old city. The minarets will take your breath away and it’s worth coming here just to see them. Outside of the city, there’s a few nice local restaurants, but if you want high quality ones where you can sit inside the old town and look at the architecture, you should probably opt for one there. Khiva can get busy during day time when all the tour groups arrive, but in the evening, you’ll be surprised that it’s almost empty. Go just before sunset if you want to escape the crowds (and the heat).