I prefer most of the time not to repeat tips that I’ve included on other pages, but not everyone will want to read my Uzbekistan page as well as this one and the heat in Khiva in July is so exceptional that I make no apologies for repeating my advice about coping with the extreme temperatures here.
There are a number of things you can and should do to help you cope. The first, and by far the most important, is to drink plenty of fluids. Bottled water is easily available everywhere, both still and sparkling, and is relatively cheap – even at the tourist-orientated stalls we paid only 500 som (about 40 cents or 20p) for a 500 ml bottle. For variety there are fizzy drinks and even those of us who don’t normally drink these found an ice-cold Fanta to be an ideal refresher on occasion. Secondly, you should be sure to wear a suntan lotion with a high SPF even though you won’t spend more time than is essential out of the shade – it wouldn’t take long to burn here. For the same reason long sleeved, though thin, cotton tops might be sensible, and of course a hat. Thirdly, and very obviously, avoid spending too long in the sun – look for shade when walking around or standing to admire the wonderful buildings, and take a break back at your hotel or in a shady (or air-conditioned) chaikhana at midday. Finally do bear in mind that even in the shade this heat will tire you more easily than usual so don’t beat yourself up if you lack the energy to climb a minaret or squeeze in one more visit to a madrassah. Remember you are here to appreciate this country and you will do that best by slowing to a pace that allows you to enjoy your surroundings.
I cannot think of a real warning or danger in Khiva. Maybe I should mention that any building or minaret, you will visit, does not have any sign to warn you climbing up or entering (I come from a country where people use their common sense to know that they might fall off from towers when leaning over too far, so I am not used to look for warning signs all the time).
When climbing on top of the ark's bastion for example, the stairs are steep, and quite high in centimetres between the steps. You will most probably have sore muscles next day.
Up on the bastion there is no fence, which protects you from falling down – so be careful with your steps here as well. Sometimes, the stones or bricks where you walk might be loose.
I don't recall to have seen people in wheelchairs, and if I think about it, I am sure that it it will be difficult for wheelchairs to enter the buildings.
One serious warning though, if you travel in summer:
DRINK, DRINK, DRINK, DRINK !
It can be, or is, bloody hot in summer. Temperatures easily reach more than 40°C during the day, and you must drink, otherwise you end up in delirium and might faint.