Present days Vabkent is a small (pop. 16,000) town just outside Bukhara that received its ‘town’ status only in 1981. The city is rather dull and undistinguished with nothing interesting for the tourists apart from the marvelous pre-Mongolian minaret perfectly preserved in its original beauty. Vabkent minaret was built in 1196-99 as inform the inscriptions at its base and the "top".
Under Shaibanids Vabkent was a prosperous settlement that even minted its coin, and under the Karakhanids in 11-12 centuries the city was one of the centers of the Bukhara oasis.
There must've been a mosque attached to Vabkent minaret at the time, but now the minaret is gloriously incongruous between a parking lot and the local branch of the Ministry of Health. It stands just several kilometers away from the highway connecting Bukhara and Samarkand and passing through the Vabkent’s city centre. With the height of 39 meters, 6.2 meters in diameter at the base and 2.8 meters in the "neck" area, it is not as grandiose as the Bukhara’s Kalyan minaret, but it is extremely graceful. Unlike similar Karakhanid era minarets in Kyrgyzstan's Uzgen and Buran, it has been preserved to its full height. It has all the characteristics of well-known decor of the pre-Mongolian Central Asia: belts and ornaments of figuratively laid out bricks and terracotta, forming the whole inscriptions.
If you plan to get there on your own then the best way would be to take a shared taxi towards Gijduvan from the coach terminal at the north of Bukhara next to Karvon-bazar.