Nukus Travel Guide
Strange Things / Uzbekistan / Museums / Art / → All Tags
Here's another go-to on the list of creepy Soviet-esque travel paradises. Not sure why we keep going back to these sorts of places, since you couldn't pay us enough to spend a week in them, but here goes nothing.
Nukus is the capital of Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan. Time Asia, in encouraging you to visit, describes it as "ravaged by desertificaton and poverty." Okay. So what's fascinating about Nukus, besides the poverty? Its access to the dried-up bed of the Aral Sea (a "hellishly arid landscape"), and its Savitsky Karakalpakstan State Art Museum filled with Gulag-era gems.
The museum's original curator and namesake, Igor Vitalyevich Savitsky, died from tuberculosis after his health was damaged by the chemicals he used to clean and restore his art. If that's not enough to scare you into lending him the respect of a visit, perhaps you'll have to go after all you did to get to Nukus: it's a 40-hour drive from Tashkent. You can take a plane there too, but it sure won't be a 747. Hotels in Nukus are said to be "disgusting," so you might be best off Googling a homestay.
· Desert Flower [Time Asia]
· Lonely Planet on the Real Kazakhstan [Jaunted]
· Lonely Planet: Tiraspol Is Creepy [Jaunted]
· Russia's Big Bang [Jaunted]