Uzbekistan Favorites

  • Shady walks
    Shady walks
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Emir Alim Khan, the last Emir of Bukhara
    Emir Alim Khan, the last Emir of Bukhara
    by josephescu
  • This is 200 Som
    This is 200 Som
    by lalikes

Uzbekistan Favorites

  • Money

    The largest bill is 1000 Som which equals .62 in U.S. currency. This means that $100 worth of som is a large wad of cash. See photo of $200 U.S. in Som

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  • The centre of Asia

    When you read the names on this road sign just outside Bukhara, you know you really are in the middle of Central Asia - Almaty (Kazakhstan), Bishkek (Kyrgystan) and Uzbekistan's capital, Tashkent, all lie ahead of you. Going the other way, the road will take you to Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) and Tehran (Iran). The romance of the Silk Road is still...

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  • Living together

    Time and migration (by invasion in the distant past and forced under the Soviets) combined with the ebb and flow of a nomadic peoples across the the vast spaces of Central Asia have seen the population of Uzbekistan become a complete melting pot of different ethnicities. Ethnic Uzbek, Kazakh, Tajik, Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Russian, Tatar, Korean and more,...

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  • White gold

    Uzbekistan has been a major producer of cotton for most of the last hundred years. It was brought to the country in the wake of the American Civil War which caused a world-wide shortage of the crop. Under Soviet rule a massive policy of mono-culture was born and still exists today with vast areas under irrigation being used to grow the country's...

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  • A fertile land

    Whilst only 10 percent of Uzbekistan is arable land, it is nevertheless a highly productive ten percent. Enormous, naturally fertile oases surround the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, while Taskent lies at the entrance to the wonderfully fertile Fergana Valley. Cotton may be the major commercial crop, but wheat is also grown, silk production has...

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  • Red sands

    Less than 10 percent of Uzbekistan is arable land. Steppe and mountain cover much of it, but the north-west is true desert - the Kyzul Kum, a baking arid region of red sand and dust. The road from Khiva to Bukhara crosses the desert for hundred of kilometres, a long, hot journey in a an aircondtioned car or bus - it must have seemed endless to the...

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  • Wide open spaces

    There is nowhere I have been that has the same sense of endless horizons as the steppe. It really does seem to go on and on forever. Here in Uzbekistan, although great areas have been put to use growing cotton (at great expense to the mighty rivers that flow down from the mountains) the steppe still covers huge areas of the country in a gently...

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  • Bringers of life, dying themselves

    Two great rivers bring water, and life, to land-locked Uzbekistan. The Amu-Darya (the Oxus) rises in the Hindu Kush and, fed by the Pamir mountains melt, flows for nearly 1500 kms before reaching the Aral Sea. Further east, the Syr Dara makes its way from the mountains of Kyrgystan through the lush fastness of the Fergana Valley and on via...

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  • The best melons in the world

    It was May the first time we visited Uzbekistan, the bazaars were full of the fruits of early summer - sweet white apricots were the standout but everyone kept telling us "You must come in melon time." So we did - October 2009 and there were melons everywhere, mountains of them piles up in bazaars everywhere, pyramids stacked along pavements, cars...

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  • Learn russian – at least some words

    The language, spoken in Uzbekistan is uzbek and Russian. English is not yet quite popular in the country.However, when going to Uzbekistan, you will be impressed by the number of people, mostly young ones, who speak brillant english, and are honestly happy to help you in anything you need. Accept this, as it is also for them a good opportunity to...

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  • Billiard table in the mosque

    "Ten meczet nazywa się Bolo-Chauz. Jest to unikalny zabytek architektury Środkowej Azji XVIII wieku, właściwie jedyny, jaki z tego okresu ocalał. Portal i ściany Bolo-Chauzu zdobi ornament drzewny, którego piękno i precyzja nie mają sobie równych. Każdy musi się tym zachwycać.Zajrzałem do...

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  • Try and understand Islamic beliefs

    and subtitle: no need to be horrified or afraid of.I feel the very urge to write about this here and in no way I mean it political, although the situation I want to write about certainly has political aspects.In our todays’ world, one common fear has spread – the fear of Islamic terrorism. I won’t discuss my own thoughts about this or the reasons I...

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  • Mix of tips at my page-check sometime...

    Gorgeous Registan in windy spring .Singing in Tirol style professor on minaret tower.Green grass on blue cupolas between tiles -on blue sky background.Sensation of enigmatic Oriental fairy tale -architecture tonight under stars.

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  • Invitation letter...

    Getting a visa for Uzbekistan isn’t difficult, although you need to have the letter of invitation (we got Uzbekistan LOIs and also LOIs to Tajikistan and Azerbaijan through www.travelazerbaijan.land.ru by 12 euros per person,cos we needed to have all visas in advance). You should allow one week for processing the visa. We were charged $75 U.S. for...

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  • Uzbek Visa

    you can obtain the uzbek visa from Tashkent Airport but visa support and aproval from the Uzbek ministry of foreign affairs is a must before you plan your trip. i can help you in the visa support. Uzbekistan is full of history .. i always miss the smell of old Madrasas

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  • Traditional architecture

    It probably goes without saying that one of the main attractions of a visit to Uzbekistan is the wealth of traditional Islamic architecture on display. It’s worth learning a little bit about the types of buildings and styles of decoration as this will help you appreciate it even more, although it’s quite possible that faced with the splendour of...

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  • A warm welcome

    Wherever you go in Uzbekistan you will be welcomed warmly by the local people. They seem to really value your interest in their country. For instance, in Khiva a waiter from the B & B where we had dinner came running after us. We thought maybe we hadn’t paid enough for our meal, but no – he had overheard us talking about football and was keen to...

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  • Taking photos

    Unlike many countries I’ve visited, people in Uzbekistan love to have their photo taken – and they don’t expect payment or reward for it. One evening in Bukhara Chris and I were trailed by this small crowd of young children clamouring to be photographed. As soon as we gave in and agreed they arranged themselves in a tiered group in front of a...

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  • Currency and exchange

    The currency in Uzbekistan is the som. When we visited in July 2007 the exchange rate was 1,250 som to the dollar or 2,500 to the pound. This is the official rate; there is also a black market rate (see below). The best way to bring your money into the country is as cash, in US dollars, which need to be clean post-1990 notes in fairly small...

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  • Customs formalities etc

    If arriving in Uzbekistan by air (and I imagine by land too), plan to spend a lot of time getting through the various formalities, especially customs. Once through passport control (which we found slow but not unreasonably so), you should collect your bags from the conveyer belt – and even if, like us, you arrive in the middle of the night on what...

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  • A tour? Or doing your own thing?

    Generally we are not “tour group” people, but we do make an exception occasionally, and this was one of those trips. We chose an Explore tour because we’d travelled with them before and knew that their approach was rather different from the “herded like cattle” sensation that comes with some tours! They have a strong belief in supporting the local...

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  • Our route

    As I’ve said elsewhere, the trip we went on was an organised one run by Explore. The route followed was:Day 1 – arrive in Tashkent, one day there Day 2 – early flight to Urgench, rest of the day and overnight in Khiva Day 3 – drive to Bukhara, 2 nights thereDay 4 – all day sightseeing in BukharaDay 5 – drive to desert camp via Nurata, overnight in...

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  • The Silk Road

    There is something magical in those words – The Silk Road. The sense of a place not quite real, a place of legend or fairy tale. One of those places you might dream of when you first begin to travel, but not understand that you might actually one day find yourself there. It is said that the secret of silk was smuggled out of China by a princess...

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  • Not all is rosy in Uzbekistan

    Not easy to write about, but tourists should know what is happening or happened recently in places they visit, not for their own safety (it is their problem), should be aware that in some countries they visit, people are not always “free”, free to go where they want, free to think, free to believe, free to do what they want. It is not innocent...

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  • Further reading; book, books, books.

    Reading before, during after, in various proportions depending on subject, people, is anyway part of travel and discovering facts after travel is sometimes frustrating; seeing or reading before might sometimes take off the charm of “discovery”; not easy to travel finally!!!Most of the books listed here have been red after the travel, some, like...

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  • cheap housing & transportation

    I just spent 7 days in Uzbekistan, and spent the 1st 2 days @ HotelICC, which of course was nice, but a little pricey for me. I did use the VIP Airport transfer which was outstanding and fast, provided by HotelICC. I highly recomend this service, as I was cleared,had my luggage and was leaving for Hotel while the others were still processing. I...

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  • Travellers' registration in UZ – OVIRs

    A term, you will come across in Uzbekistan very often is "OVIR" (Office of Visas and Registration). This simply means that any traveller has to be registered with the local police. Usually, hotels, hostels and guesthouses do this for you. Upon check-in, you have to hand over your passport to the reception desk. They register you and give you a...

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  • UZ: Self-organized versus group travels

    As I have been asked several times if Uzbekistan can be travelled self-organized, or if a group tour is necessary, please find here my two cents on that question (as of summer 2006):Self-organization is possible without a problem. Don't let anyone (like travel agents) tell you something different. There is no necessity to have accommodations to be...

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  • Money declarations – on the customs...

    Uzbek customs want every immigrant to fill out a customs declaration. This itself should not be a problem, however they also want all money to be declared, which is brought into the country.I did not declare all my US Dollars when entering Uzbekistan via Tashkent International Airport (as I had all my money in cash with me and simply did not want...

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  • Samarkand, Bukhara, maybe...

    Samarkand, Bukhara, maybe Khiva First of all the very friendly and hospitable people. Uzbekistan is a country clearly moving back into its past, trying half-hearted to leave the Soviet/Russian heritage behind. On the other hand it is an absurd example - in some way comparable to Gibraltar. You wonder? Yes, in Gibraltar Pakistanis and Jews,...

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  • National Puppet Theatre Bukhara

    You can enjoy a cheerful presentation of Uzbek folk stories, the tradictional Bukharan wedding cerimony and many anedocts of Hoja Nasruddin. There are 2 plays per day one at 7pm and other at 8pm. You should buy your ticket in advance cos sometimes they dont have people to start the theatre so they cancel the show. if you buy the ticket they will...

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  • Juma mosque in Ark-Bukhara

    This is the Friday mosque inside the Ark fortress in Bukhara. This is located on top of the entrance ramp of the building complex. This mosque belongs to the 17th century and has a porch supported by tall columns of sycamore. Inside theres a musuem with 19th and 20th century manuscripts and writing tools.

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  • Saddridin Ayni Museum Samarkand

    Located in Registan street (Registanskaya) just across the street from the restaurant Labig'Or.Here you can find information about Ayni and what he has done as an author.

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  • Maghoki-Attar Mosque Bukhara

    Maghoki-Attar Mosque is located in bukhara after the Labi-Hauz square complex, just besides the Nadir Divanbegi Khanaka. Anbar street. This is Central Asia oldest surviving mosque and it comes all the way from the 12th century. Under this mosque archaeologists found a 5th century Zoroastrian temple and a ealier Buddhist temple.

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  • Tashkent

    Tashkent is the most cosmopolite city in all Central Asia. It has all big cities usually have. The urbazation of the city will remind you of soviet presence.Its a very modern city for what you could expect at Central Asia Silk Road country as Uzbekistan.

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  • Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan border

    The huge gate you can see further on the picture is the Entrance Gate to Uzbekistan coming from Kazakhstan.This will give you a very impressive first look of the country and marks the evident position of Uzbek people of being very proud of their country. I was very impressed by the land border with Kzakhstan and Uzbekistan. A huge gate was...

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  • Invited to a wedding celebration

    During the terribly hot and chaotic busride to Samarkand the friendly couple Shokir and Mavluda, travelling with their 2 little children, invited me to come to their familyhome in the village of Toyloq and attend the wedding of Shokir's brother. Well, I didn't have to think twice and half an hour before Samarkand I went with them off the bus....

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  • Bukhara, Khiva or Samarkand?

    this is the reply on a question someone asked;If you had to rank 3 cities in UZ when it comesto more intresting which of these cities you would rank as 1,2,3: Khiva, Bukhara, Sammarkand.replyOf the 3 you mention, I liked Bukhara most for it's atmosphere and its amazing architechture; but I had a lot of time to settle down there and VT 'er Celticboy...

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  • hospitality not known in my country!

    I will never forget the hospitality of Shokir and his family, and the friendship they gave me. It are these kind of experiences that makes travelling Uzbekistan and travelling in general - so special. If you're open for it and get into situations where you meet local people, I'm sure you will get an invitation as well. But take care a bit, not...

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  • After wedding

    The morning after the wedding, at around 7AM, the newly married woman reported to my friend Shokir, being the oldest man in the family. On behalf of the family he welcomed her at the familyhouse.With the other women, she started to work immediately, but to show respect, she had to be very submissive and the first days any smile on her face would...

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  • The Wedding

    About 100 guests arrived. Women in their most colourful dresses chatting together while the men were drinking vodka. Eating plov. And there was music -karaokesystem and a female singer-. People dancing. This was quite funny because dancers were given money by the others. The better and more spectacular your movements the more money you got. You...

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  • Inviting friends for the wedding

    That evening and also the next day we (Shokir and I) got around to see friends and relatives in Toyloq, the surrounding villages and Samarkand, to invite them for the wedding. It was striking that everyone treated us as highly respected guests -a bit different from the cities- and everywhere we came - whether rich or not - we were warmly welcomed...

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  • currency

    The Som is pretty small compared to the US Dollar or Euro. Be prepared to carry wads of notes, if you plan to spend heavily. This is a set of bundles each of whcih add up to 50 dollars - worth 200 dollars in all!

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  • TAMERLANE'S TOMB

    TAMERLANE'S TOMBTamerlane is a very famous historic charachter in Samarkand. Tamerlane conquered Afghanistan and North India (including Delhi), and founded the Moghul Empire. Knowed as Gur-Emir Mausoleum, the building (15th century) is quite small and has beautiful blue-toped towers. The marble tomb is simple and harmonious, but what you appreciate...

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  • Samarkand is the oldest city...

    Samarkand is the oldest city of the world and has the history of 25 centuries. It is the second largest city in Uzbekistan after Tashkent, the capital of the republic. Majestic and beautiful city Samarkand has marvellous and attractive power. Poets and historians of the past called it 'Rome of the East', 'The beauty of sublunary countries', 'The...

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Uzbekistan Favorites

Reviews and photos of Uzbekistan favorites posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Uzbekistan sightseeing.
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