It was probably the biggest thing to have happened in Moynaq since the waters of the Aral Sea started to recede in the 1960s. Hundreds of curious locals mingled with ravers from all over Central Asia and beyond as the first-ever edition of Stihia, a festival of abstract electronic music, got underway in Uzbekistan, by the shores of the dried-up sea.
Uzbekistan's gems have long been known to adventurous explorers. The Silk Road cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva hold some of the world's most exquisite Islamic architecture. Hectic bazaars, half-hidden desert citadels, silk workshops and the chance to glimpse the vanishing Aral Sea are all world-class draws, and the country is also a convenient launching pad for treks and travel within Central Asia.
Uzbekistan: the name conjures images of far-away mosques and blue-tiled domes, camels and caravanserai, mosaics and medressas. It’s true that Uzbekistan is the kind of place that many people don’t reach, but the country has chugged into the new millennium with an excellent high-speed train network that makes getting around here much easier than many travellers might think.