Mentioned in 10th-century chronicles as an important watering hole on the Silk Road, the small provincial town of Isfara (Исфара) continues its role as a transit point today. Although lacking any major sights that may suggest its illustrious past, it is a pleasant enough place to overnight while travelling to or from Kyrgyzstan. The town is renowned in the Ferghana Valley for the cultivation of apricots, a fact commemorated by a giant fibreglass fruit in one of the town's main roundabouts.
At the time of writing, the main road into town from Konibodom (on A376), across a semi-arid desert, was being upgraded into a major road and construction looked likely to last for some years to come. As such, the alternative orchard route along the Isfara River is a better option. Passing wheat fields and apricot orchards and lined with pink hollyhocks, it makes for an altogether prettier route.