Undoubtedly, it’s the most interesting sea in Central Asia. What is the Aral Sea? Well, approximately, 60 years ago, it was the 4th biggest lake in the world. For Soviet people it was one of the most popular travel-destinations with seaside restaurants and beaches.
What is the Aral Sea today? The proof of human madness. It’s man-made ecological disaster, not more that 6 percent of original size. The 4th biggest lake in the world disappeared because of cotton. The Aral Sea used to be fed by two Amu Darya and the Syr Darya rivers. People had been using Amu Darya and Syr Darya to water crops for centuries.
Everything changed in 1960, when Soviet Union put emphasis on growing the thirstiest crop, which is cotton. The use of water from these rivers rapidly increased. Because of the lack of water, the Aral Sea started to shrink. It’s been almost 60 years and the sea keeps shrinking, because agricultural plan of Uzbekistan is still 3 million tons of cotton annually. Once, everything was built around the Aral Sea.
Now, what’s left from previous glory of this place has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in Uzbekistan. There is a town, in the ruins of former brilliance, called Moynaq. It’s a depressing place, with nothing to look at. Everything that was once built around the Aral Sea, is now abandoned and left behind in the middle of Moynaq. Notwithstanding, many tourists visit Moynaq to see where the shoreline used to be ad wander among abandoned ghost-ships.
It’s fascinating, because it’s walking on the bottom of the sea. The Aral Sea is gaining more popularity among travelers each year. Even its remoteness doesn’t stop people from getting there. Though it’s worth mentioning that the road to the Aral Sea is very entertaining and picturesque. Contrasting landscapes, breath-taking sunsets, and the cemetery of ships are just irresistible.