"On the ancient Silk Road" Top 5 Page for this destination Uzbekistan by toonsarah
Uzbekistan Travel Guide: 1,698 reviews and 4,572 photos
But (with the possible exception of Khiva’s old town) this isn’t simply a museum or movie set, with its splendours paraded before you behind a screen. Its people live and work among these riches, and those people too are one of the joys of travelling here – eager to welcome you and to share their country and its treasures.
Our short tour took us to a number of places, each with its own character and attractions:
Tashkent, a largely modern city, thanks to the devastation caused by the impact of the 1966 earthquake, but with some hidden gems.
Khiva, the most compact and intact of the Silk Road cities., It can feel more like museum than living city, though people do live there. But this was the place where I found it most easy to imagine myself back in the days when the caravans of traders and camels would arrive after their long and weary journey through the desert, to revive themselves in some green oasis or welcoming caravanserai.
Bukhara, my favourite city, retaining a strong sense of the past but as a backdrop for daily life. It is a place where it is easy to realise that our yesterdays are part of today and will still be with us tomorrow
Samarkand, larger and less intimate, but home to the most impressive and dramatic of monuments at the Registan and the stunning Shah-i-Zinda.
Nurata, smaller and less visited than the other destinations we went to, but worth a stop for its hill-top fortress (said to date from the time of Alexander the Great), a couple of interesting mosques and the sacred pools of fish. We spent a night at a desert yurt camp near the village of Yangigazgan, which I’ve described on this page.
1. This page is where you’ll find various things I wanted to say about the country, including tips about the local customs and way of life. I’ve also included some general information on things like packing, planning your visit etc. and some warnings. At times you may see some of this info duplicated on my pages about individual cities, but only where I feel it’s of particular relevance to that destination. I’ve added a single tip about each of the main Silk Road cities to give an overview of their different attractions.
2. Uzbek place names have several spellings. For instance, Khiva may also be spelt as Xiva or in the Cyrillic alphabet Õèâà. The same applies to the names of people and buildings, so the Kukhna Ark in Khiva is also called Ko’xna Ark or Kunya Ark. I’ve used the version taken from the excellent guidebook, “Uzbekistan: the Golden Road to Samarkand” (written by Calum MacLeod & Bradley Mayhew, published by Odyssey) which uses the most common form for well-known place-names (e.g. Tashkent rather than Toshkent) but adopts the newer Uzbek Latin spelling for street names, buildings etc.
3. We travelled with a great group of people on a tour organised by Explore. We don’t usually do the organised tour thing, but made an exception for this trip and had a very good experience. Our guide Marat was excellent and I’m indebted to him for much of the historical info on my pages (the rest comes from the guidebook mentioned above). If you’re considering a tour this is one I can recommend – see my general tip for more about it.
4. Finally, and very importantly: in planning for and dreaming of my visit to Uzbekistan I owe so much to Ingrid (Trekki) who was always ready with advice and inspiration. Her Uzbekistan page inspired me and I'm sure it will do the same for you. Thank you so much, Ingrid :)
- Pros:Stunning architecture, a real sense of history and friendly people
- Cons:Hot, hot, hot
One of the highlights of our tour was our overnight visit to the desert area near Aidarkul Lake. I’ll describe this... more travel advice
After Khiva and Bukhara, Samarkand seems big and full of bustle, but unlike Tashkent it retains more of its central... more travel advice
- See All Travelling by bus
- Packing for the heat
- Traditional crafts
- See All Be careful what you eat!
toonsarah's Related Pages
Uzbekistan Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
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- Things to Do in Uzbekistan
- Hotels in Uzbekistan
- Transportation in Uzbekistan
- Nightlife in Uzbekistan
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