The Map Room's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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Places visited in Jiuquan, China
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Places visited in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
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Beruni, Uzbekistan

Elliq-Qala

These "50 Fortresses" have been unearthed in the ancient oasis of Khwarezm.
Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Kalyan Minaret

This "tower of death" has acted as an observatory, a religious hub, and an executioner's lair.
Xiva, Uzbekistan

Walls of Itchan Kala

Ancient barriers wrap around what was once an important stop along the Silk Road.
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Ulugh Beg Observatory

Light still pours into the ruins of this ancient Islamic observatory.
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis

The Avenue of Mausolea is a series of grand palatial tombs.
Ishkoshim, Tajikistan

Yamchun Fort

This ancient Silk Road outpost overlooking the Wakhan Valley is miraculously still standing.
Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Dushanbe Flagpole

The world's second-tallest flagpole stands proud despite dropping rank.
Nohijai Pançakent, Tajikistan

Ancient Panjakent

The remains of an ancient city-state along the Silk Road.
Khujand, Tajikistan

Tajikistan Lenin Statue

The largest Lenin statue in Central Asia was moved to an empty field rather than being destroyed.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek Circus

This retro, UFO-like structure is a remnant of the Soviet-era circus.
Toguz Toro, Kyrgyzstan

Saimaluu Tash

These oldest of these "embroidered stones" were carved 4,000 years ago in a high mountain valley.
Kyrgyzstan

Ala Kul Lake

A stunning blue-green lake located in the Terskey Alatau mountain range.
Kyrgyzstan

Burana Tower

Lonely minaret stump of a destroyed city.
Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

Dungan Mosque

Built entirely of interlocking pieces, construction of this Chinese Muslim house of worship required zero nails.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

National Museum of Kyrgyzstan

Time capsule of a museum, in which the Soviet Union remains alive and kicking.
At-Bashi District, Kyrgyzstan

Tash Rabat

Extremely isolated Silk Road caravanserai in the middle of nowhere.
Seoul, South Korea

Jongmyo Shrine

The supreme shrine of the state.
Seoul, South Korea

Seonjeongneung

The burial ground of two kings and a queen is now a calm city park in the middle of bustling Seoul.
Tainan City, Taiwan

Grand Matsu Temple

Only through deep darkness and tragedy did this elaborate royal palace become a sacred temple.
Taipei City, Taiwan

Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall

Memorial to the father of the Republic of China.
Taipei City, Taiwan

Leaning Mailboxes

These charming mailboxes became social media stars after a typhoon failed to topple them.
Lvdao Township, Taiwan

Green Island Human Rights Culture Park

A memorial to the thousands of political dissidents imprisoned during the 38-year period of martial law in Taiwan.
Tainan City, Taiwan

Anping Tree House

The tangled roots of a giant banyan tree have fully reclaimed the ruins of this abandoned warehouse.
Taipei City, Taiwan

Tuned Mass Damper of Taipei 101

Enormous pendulum helps keep Taiwan's tallest building from swaying.