Deep in the sands of Uzbekistan lies the Elliq Qala, or “50 Castles.”
This “Golden Ring of Ancient Khorezm” is, rightly, one of the most widely touted tourist destinations in all of Central Asia.
Though 20 ruins have been unearthed to date, this Land of Fortresses is an easy place to get lost in that Indiana Jones mindest while searching from the roadside for others still undiscovered.
Populated mainly by ethnic Karakalpaks on the road between the towns of Urgench and Nukus, one of these ancient castles was even the sight of the Arslar Sadosi 2012 festival.
Some of these sites are a walk from the main highway, and could easily be seen via hitchhiking or several days on a good bike.
For the rest, though, you’re either going to have to rent a car for a day or spend several hopping between sites with short rides.
Either way, the area is amazing.