Khiva was totally brought back to the original state in the sixties. Some of the critics say it has lost some of the oriental flair it used to have, and it's more like an open air museum. This is not very true, most of the houses are still lived in, and although the colourful markets are just outside of the walled cities, the city is far from dead.
What Khiva lacks in terms of hotel and restaurant selection, it more than makes up for in accessibility. Unlike almost every other city in Uzbekistan, the treasures of Khiva are yours to explore unmolested by the guides and sellers of wares. One should enter a specific mosque said to offer an unfettered view of worshipers although filled with columns. This mosque also holds the carriage used by a late Khan to take young virgins in his effort to cure himself of disease picked up from a French prostitute in Moscow. Also, one should explore the amazingly preserved Harem Complex attached to the royal residence and it's pedestal to support the Khan's yurt. One can experience a little folklore and tempt intestinal disorders by drinking from the well of fertility. The city walls are crumbling to expose generations of ancestors previously buried. It is possible to thoroughly explore all of these things in single day.