Mark Taylor

I had the great good fortune to “discover” Rayhon earlier this year when planning a trip to Uzbekistan and (among others) Tajikistan. It turns out she has been on the “go to” list of Lonely Planet, Caravanistan and others, for years! And with good reason.

I contacted Rayhon to ask her guidance and support for a tour based around Termez, Boysun and Denau, ending with a crossing into Tajikistan.

Rayhon delivered me an unforgettable experience, over five days, which covered in some depth the history, ethnic and religious cultures, and the modern experience of the people in this fascinating but much-neglected (by tourists) of this south eastern corner of Uzbekistan. She is an expert historian, ethnographer and archeologist, and above all, a passionate promoter of the history and future of the people of Surkhandarya. It’s a joy to be “en tour” with such a lively, intelligent woman. Her enthusiasm for this area and its peoples shines from her, and I shall always be thankful for the windows she has opened to help my appreciation of the civilization of Uzbekistan and the countries adjoining its sometimes forbidding, but always fascinating, southeastern province.

If you really want to learn something about this place, you cannot do better than ask Rayhon to guide you. She – and her husband and lovely daughter – has captured a place in my mind and my heart and I can only hope I’ll see her again in not too long