Always attracted by the ancient Silk Road, since my last visit in Spring 2006. Unbelievable how the country has changed. I’m totally excited; the people are super friendly and helpful, the food and outdoor dining is very improved. With ancient cities dating back to hundreds of years, Uzbekistan is an intriguing destination to visit. It is typically associated with the Big Three: Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. These cities each have rich and fascinating histories reflected within its preserved architecture. Expect to see structures that have been preserved in its entirety or restored – some have even likened the cities to “city-museums” of the country. Beyond these artefacts that provide a glimpse into the past, you can also expect to find sites that are off-the-beaten-path like natural attractions and ancient fortresses. The natural diversity of the Uzbekistan also makes it the perfect place for those interested to find out more about the culture of Central Asia, where locals are genuinely hospitable and accepting to travellers.
When: early June 2019 How Long: 12 days/11 nights Travel Agent: Myself Transportation: Includes flight from Tashkent to Khiva, and all overland transfers. Weather: Best Time to Travel to Uzbekistan: Apr-Jun and Sep-Nov. Tourist Crowd: Some Korean, Spanish and German groups.
IN DETAILS Tashkent (3 nights) Tashkent Geolocation: 41.311028° N, 69.29508° E. The great city of Tashkent, right in the heart of Asia, is the largest metropolis in the region, the nation’s capital and home to some excellent museums, operas and fine dining.
Khiva (2 nights) Khiva Geolocation: 41.3777° N, 60.36035° E Khiva, a well-preserved and fascinating city, its azure-glazed tiles glinting in the midday sun. Within the redoubtable city walls, however, a parallel history of scholarship and study, typified by the wondrous medressas and mosques, with their intricate majolica patterns, is waiting to be discovered.
Bukhara (3 nights) Bukhara Geolocation: 39.77322° N, 64.434° E The venerable and captivating city of Bukhara was one of the key stops along the Silk Route. The main sights can be seen in a day but this is one place where little seems to have changed from the medieval era, and taking things a little slower lets you absorb the thrillingly authentic atmosphere.
Samarkand (3nights) Samarkand Geolocation: 39.66348° N, 66.9476° E Take an afternoon stroll through Registan Square, gaze on buildings that have passed into legend and absorb the same atmosphere of opulence and grandeur that have drawn visitors to the city for so long.
If I could re-do it: Depending on which route you take between Khiva and Bukhara (north or south) can Shakrisabz easily be added in the program.
If I go back: South of Samarkand, across the Zerafshan Mountains is the small town of Shakrisabz. As the birthplace of Tamerlane it became a symbol of the tyrant’s enormous, though transient, power. | Northwest of Khiva, at Nukus, visitors can witness the tragic remnants of the Aral Sea, where rusting trawlers are marooned far from the receding waters. A visit to this desolate region contrasts sharply with the pomp and majesty elsewhere in the country. | The Ferghana Valley is extremely fertile and produces a large proportion of Uzbekistan’s food. It is also one of Central Asia’s most devout areas, evidenced by the large numbers of veils and skull-caps.
Want to travel Uzbekistan in March 2020 with me? Please contact me.