Bukhara at Christmas: A day in the Kazakh capital

From Watook Bay in Tajikistan to Disneyland in Japan

On the north-east tip of Tajikistan, surrounded by flowing rivers and surrounded by gorges, lies Watook Bay, in the northern part of the “dushanbe valley”, known for its tea fields. It is a rich oasis with jutting cliff-like slopes encircling glistening lakes and dramatic caves. The bathhouse inside Watook Bay has a legendary reputation for connoisseurs. Originally, the bathhouse was open only to local villagers and pro-Soviet Soviet bigwigs, and various bouts of restoration and refurbishment have been done since its founding in 1953. The super-hot water comes directly from springs, which provide the social circles with friendly, friendly drinking water. There is even a septic tank system. Hotel Masaryk occupies the former ruins of a traditional tea house that was sealed for 70 years after a visit from Lady Bird Johnson. The rooms have character, too. There are no lifts, so the old guests from Masaryk Hill and their occasional guests had to climb the stone and marble steps of the courtyard. The hotel is just one stop on the long, slow train journey from Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital. From there, I headed for the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mt Pakhan in the north-west that inspired poems by Robert Burns, and then headed on to Japan’s Disneyland.

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