Faces & Places of Azerbaijan

written by Hanie Hidayah April 5, 2016

A little over a year ago, I started hosting a Malaysian tv programme that allowed me to travel around the globe for work. It was a great experience as I got to re-visit places I love, and go to new ones that I have never been. One of the places that I never thought of going, but loved after was Azerbaijan. Now, Azerbaijan was not big in tourism until the recent years. Tourism was an important part of Azerbaijan’s economy. The country was a well-known tourist spot in the 1980s but since the fall of the Soviet Union, and the Nagorno-Karabakh War during the 1990s, the tourism has declined and only picked up in the year 2000’s. Their visa procedure is strict, but they’re slowly accepting mass tourists coming into the country. In the recent years, Azerbaijan has also becoming a popular destination for religious, spa, and health care tourism with state-of-the-art ski resorts and elite leisure destinations. I have not had the chance to explore Middle Asian countries except Egypt so I was ready for anything that Azerbaijan had to offer.

Baku is the largest city, and also the capital of Azerbaijan – a modern concrete jungle surrounding the old city that is rich in history and monumental architectures. It is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve been in, and also one of the cleanest. Going around Azerbaijan is like a feast to the eyes – myriad of colorful cloths, carpets and decorations covers the grey walls while the food is an astounding mix of grain and animal produce. I have not had that much cheese, fresh bread, olives and grilled meat until I was in Azerbaijan. Photographing my journey through Azerbaijan was an opportunity I couldn’t resist – Everywhere looked beautiful, and there were so much character in the faces of the locals. I hope you’ll enjoy these photos as much as I did taking them and it is definitely a place I would visit again in the future.

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