A country with a rich, fascinating history, innumerable world heritage sites, marvellous archaeological excavations and above all, the binding force of an untamed dictatorship under the label of democracy – it's only to be seen in Uzbekistan, a country in Central Asia with the highest majority of Sunni Muslims.
The Uzbekistan travel guide is a sure shot place to find accurate information about the marvellous country and this one would answer most of your queries related to Uzbekistan tourism, culture, hotels, maps, things to do & places of tourist interest.
Uzbekistan shares its land borders with all the 'stans' of Central Asia i.e. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan & Afghanistan. Some part of its outer boundary is a coastline on the southern Aral Sea. While the country's terrain is chiefly constituted of sand dunes and deserts, there are also some beautiful rivers, majestic mountains, deep valleys and territorial backwaters over here, which make for a well adjusted tourist destination.
The historical records can be linked to the times of Alexander the Great, who visited the country on one of his voyages and named a city as 'Termez', derived from the word 'thermos', owing to the high temperature in the region. The foreign invasions led by the Arabs first and then the Russians have made an enormous impact on the Uzbek culture. No wonder, majority of the population follows Islam (after the Arabs) and a substantial urban population speaks Russian even today (the Soviet influence).
While Tashkent is the country's current capital city, known for its modern infrastructure and places of tourist interest in and around the city, Samarkand is yet another beautiful city, where Alexander the Great once ruled. The city is a UNESCO world heritage site & the 'Registan' is the most popular tourist attraction on the ancient Silk Road passing through it.
Uzbekistan tourism has remained important throughout history on account of being located on the Silk Road. Most of the flourishing cities of today were once centres of trade on the Silk Road. Among all, the city of Bukhara is famous as the ancient capital of the Silk Road. It is 2,500 years old and has some of the best architectural marvels of the medieval period. Andijan, Namangan, Shakhrisabz, Nukus and Termez are some important cities that you shouldn't miss while on an Uzbekistan trip.
Places of interest:
There are some fabulous places to visit and things to do that are offered by the Uzbekistan tourism industry. The marvellous architecture of the medieval period, with beautiful monumental structures like the 'Ark' (fortress), 'Tag/Tim' (markets), 'Charsu' (crossroads), 'Maydan' (open square) and cities guarded by strong and tall 'Darwazas' (gates) at the entrance, truly take you back to the old world for a moment.
There is nothing as beautiful as mosques in Uzbekistan, where the Masjid-i-Juma, Namazgah, Kosh Madrassa & Mosque and Boland Masjid are just a few to name. Uzbekistan also retains its ancient flavour in its numerous historical Sufi guesthouses called 'Khanaqahs' and some distinct memorials like Shah-i-Zinda and Qafal Shashi Mausoleum. The wonderful caravansaries and bathhouses of the 17th century are also a nice place to visit. Nature-lovers would be delighted at nature reserve spots like the Jeyran Ecological Centre, where you would find a good number of the highly endangered Central Asian Gazelle (Jeyran), as also Koulans and Prezhevalskiy horses.
Things to do:
There are many things you can do on an Uzbekistan tour. Just a few of them are Camel trekking in the deserts, rafting in the Syr-Darya River, Bird-watching inside the dense forests and Skiing on the snowy mountains.
The Uzbekistani cuisine is very generous for a meat-lover. Most of the typical Central Asian dishes are made here, with a special Uzbek touch, which imparts a finer taste and grander appeal. Things you would readily get to eat at most places are Osh (Plov), the national dish, as also preparations like Manti, Chuchvara, Somsas, Shashlik, Mastava, Lagman and Bechbarmak. Tea is very common, and you can get 'Kumus' (fermented milk of mare) almost everywhere in Uzbekistan.
For shopping in this country, the best places to choose would be the Alayski, Chor Su & Eski Djouva Bazaars. You can shop for luxurious rugs, beautiful handicraft articles, 'tubeteika' caps and an ayurvedic herb called 'Shiljait', helpful in curing nervous ailments.
Accommodation & Transport:
Uzbekistani hotels are a bit expensive for travellers to stay, but you can go for it if you are willing to pay. Otherwise, you can opt for 'yurts', where you get to have a traditional nomadic kind of stay. Even though Uzbekistan is an Islamic country, you will find an extravagant nightlife in most major cities, but it is better to maintain self-composure to avoid any discomfort with the police. Travellers can visit the country by air since there are international airports at Tashkent and some major cities.
Come to Uzbekistan and get to learn about history, while you catch a glimpse of futuristic amenities. Leave your worries at home, it's only meant for leisure and carefree travelling when it comes to Uzbekistan travel & tourism.
Uzbekistan Travel Advice:
While on a trip to Uzbekistan, keep your important documents along with Xerox copies near you, since you might be questioned for identity by the local police. Also, do not respond to young locals who give you ideas for 'nightlife'. Just politely refuse them as they would lead you into real trouble sometimes.
Some general etiquette is that you must respect women and the elderly, as a tradition. Simply follow this rule and you would be a welcomed traveller in Uzbekistan.
You can get more information on Uzbekistan hotels, maps, transport, sightseeing, etc. at any tourism company in the country.