This city, set in a fertile region of oases in the Ferghana Valley, is an interesting blend of Islamic, Chinese and Russian influences. Once the chief city of a khanate, Kokand's primary attraction is the lavish 113-room Palace of Khudayar Khan, which has seen a decent restoration. Kokand also has a mosque with a courtyard tower (though it's quite a peaceful place today, criminals were once tossed from the top). Kokand was also an important spiritual center, and its mosques and madrassas are being reopened and restored. The city is also known for its chaikhanas (teahouses), where robed Uzbek men congregate around low tables enjoying endless cups of green tea. Before traveling to Kokand, or anywhere else in the Ferghana Valley, check on the current political situation. 100 mi/160 km southeast of Tashkent.

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