Central Asia Travel in Uzbekistan
No Central Asia tour would be complete without a visit to one of the most mysterious countries located at its heart – Uzbekistan. While today it may be known to the West as an important exporter of minerals and cotton a strong, eclectic mix of many cultures, Uzbekistan was once the link that connected China with Europe with the use of the famous Silk Road. With an average rainfall of only 6 inches a year, Uzbekistan truly lives up to its other name as the “sunny republic”.
Once part of an empire that stretched all the way from China to Turkey, Uzbekistan is steeped in a rich culture that took place over many centuries. The country is dotted with thousands of historic monuments that pay tribute to its heritage. The renowned cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand are especially well worth visiting as they were once the most significant trade centers, as reflected by the highly-developed architecture and artwork found in them.
Let’s begin our Central Asia Tour with a visit to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan and currently home to a dense population of over two million people.
A Visit to Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Beyond...
The city of capital city - Tashkent is modern, but preserves much of its tradition, showcasing a well-balanced mix of architecture from both sides. Some might find it strange to see a glass building with contemporary steel next to an old Soviet-era concrete apartment block. Clubs and restaurants abound all over the city, and the overall vibe is one of a bustling metropolis.
However, to really get the most out of your Central Asia Tour, be sure to visit the city of Khiva located 1000 kilometers away...
Khiva is a true masterpiece that offers its visitors an elegant mix of beautiful architecture and mesmerizing culture. The city's historical center has striking examples of Islamic architecture, filled with mausoleums, minarets and palaces from centuries long ago such as the Pakhlavan Makhmud Mausoleum dedicated to the fourteenth century poet.
Your Central Asia Tour can then continue on to Bukhara, which has become one of the largest learning centers for Muslims. The city supports more than 100 religious academies and over 350 mosques including numerous historical sites, parks and gardens and dynamic bazaars.
Fortunately, Bukhara is well-known for its family run hostels and pleasant bed & breakfasts found all over the city making it a convenient resting point for any Central Asia Tour. Anything that might be slightly lacking in terms of comfort will readily be made up with excellent service and sense of warm hospitality.
Another great reason to visit Bukhara is that it is the heart of Uzbekistan’s cuisine. The food here can be amazing as it is often a clash of international influences. Expect to find noodle soups, kebabs, dumplings, rice pilaf and other exotic dishes to be served at one joint!
Finally, you should visit the town of Samarkand, which is a restored city steeped in history. You will find some of the world’s most impressive Islamic architecture, which recently underwent a lot of restoration, as a gift from the Russians. One place truly worth visiting is the Ulugh Beg Observatory, which was built in the 15th century as the largest astronomical observatory to be found anywhere in Central Asia. Tour Uzbekistan today for an experience you’ll never forget.