Uzbekistan Off The Beaten Path

  • Citadel from outside
    Citadel from outside
    by Nuclei
  • Armory
    Armory
    by Nuclei
  • Historical artifacts
    Historical artifacts
    by Nuclei

Uzbekistan Off The Beaten Path

  • Day trip to Tajikistan

    70km from Samarkand, the ancient Sogdian city of Bunjikant, a once thriving and cultured city of the Silk Road, sits high above the Zerafshan River that flows from the high Pamirs, through modern Penjikent and on to Samarkand and Bukhara before finally joining the Amu Darya - the fabled Oxus of Alexander (who married a Sogdian princess), Ghengis...

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  • The colour of Heaven

    Like virtually all the wonderful domes in Uzbekistan, those in Shahrisabz are as vivdly blue as the day they were built. Blue, the colour of water and the colour of heaven, symbolic of life on earth and paradise, is the universal choice, in every hue and shade from purest sky to almost jade green. Here in Shahrisabz, the tiles that cover the domes...

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  • Bread and roses

    Delicious bread is not the only thing sold in the Shahrisabz bazaar. Gaily painted traditional cradles, a neat line in pressed and pierced tin bathroom fittings, a witch's brew of fermenting yoghurt, whole vegetables and fruit , padded coats wide enough to cover a family of four were some of the more unusual things we saw as well as the usual array...

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  • Temur's birthplace

    The small town of Shahrisabz sits at the foothills of the Zerafshan mountains about 100km from Samarkand. The shorter mountain pass route takes you over the spectacular Tashtakaracha pass but this is often closed and is unsuitable for buses so it is possible you will have to go via the longer, lowland route - a journey of some 3 hours by car....

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  • Drawn in stone

    Mediaeval architects and masons were not the first master craftsmen to leave their mark on Uzbekistan. Thousands of years before the Silk Road was even thought or heard of in a continuum that lasted well into the early Middle Ages, the gorge at Sarmysh saw the shaley surface being used as a canvas for some astonishing works of art. Stretching over...

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  • Stay in a yurt

    One of the highlights of our tour was our overnight visit to the desert area near Aidarkul Lake. I’ll describe this experience in full on my Nurata page (under construction) but I include an overview here as it may be a factor in whether you choose an organised tour or to travel independently (I’m fairly sure you could build it into an independent...

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  • Aral sea, moynaq

    This is the saddest place in uzbekistan, and one of the saddest places that I have ever been.People of Moynaq live without any hope, any future....you see it in their eyes.

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  • Chirchik River

    Chirchik River comes all the way down the Chirchik Valley passing the Charvak Water Reservoir until reaches Tashkent and keeps down southeast. Irrigation canals on the Chirchik River supply power for several hydroelectric plants. A big part of the scenery of the Valley is full of power plants and chemical facilities which give a porr image to this...

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  • Charvak water reservoir

    Charvak is located in the Chirchik Valley on the surroundings of Tashkent. This is exactly located where the 2 rivers Ugam and Chirchik get together. This is a very relaxing place although I have to say the surounding landscape isnt that inspiring due to the nearest moribund chemical factory... either the way it makes a perfect day out escapnig the...

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  • Old town-Bukhara

    You should go out of the normal streets of Bukhara and enjoy the old part of it, far from big monuments close to streets often used by tourists. This sould be a different aproach of the city's architecture and youl have a whole different view of the building and how do local people live.

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  • Memorial Complex of Hazrat Bakhouddin...

    This pictures shows the memorial complex's big mosque being repaired. At the time I went there, a huge rebuilt of the big mossque was taking place. They were painting the inside.

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  • Memorial Complex of Hazrat Bakhouddin...

    This memorial complex is located 12km from Bukhara. This is a non-Muslims off limit zone unless you can actually get a guide. This way you can easily go inside but not to all the different buildings.Bakhouddin Nakshband was buried here in 1389. He was the ofunder of "Nakshbandis" studies and revived again sunats of Muammad s.a.w.

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  • Ancient city Toprak Kale

    The only information we had about Toprak Kale was that it is around 30km north-east of Biruni, even asking locals was of little help as nobody seemed to know this place. After driving around for some time we found these most distinguished remains of the Kuschan area in Choresm. The city dates from the 1st-5th century and is one of the few...

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  • Ustjurt plateau

    Probably one of the most inhospitable areas of Central Asia is the so called Ustjurt plateu, a clay plateau only interrupted by salty depressions, ranges from the Caspian sea in Kazakhstan to to the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan occupying arround 200.000km^2.The Ustjurt plateau is a rather flat and arid stretch of land, you can drive whereever you want....

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  • Shakhrisabz

    The birthplace of conqueror Timur Leng makes a pleasant daytrip from Samarkand. Take a shared taxi through an incredibly beautiful landscape and stroll among the narrow streets, explore the mosques and visit the lively marketplace.

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  • Nukus

    The unattractive city of Nukus is where most travellers get stuck in when they want to make the day-trip to Moynaq and the Aral Sea. While you're there, check out the Igor Savitsky Art Museum (Qaraqalpaqstan st.), which has an extensive and beautiful collection of Russian avant-garde paintings.

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  • Visit the cotton fields

    When I re-visited my new Uzbek friends in Tashkent, we went to see what everyone kept busy at that time of the year One of my friends -who is a university student in Samarkand-, had been sent to the cotton fields for 6 weeks, like every student -no choice. The cotton harvest and trade is still controlled by Government, being their biggest cash...

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  • Moynaq / Aral Sea (3)

    In Nukus we had met a local student English (trained by a Peace Corps volunteer-wow you're lucky to be stationed there-) that we had invited to come with us. For him it was the first time to see a ship and he was exuberant, singing "Sailing Home" and fantasising about the Titanic. It all made it a very weird experience. When a huge storm came up...

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  • Moynaq / Aral Sea (2)

    In Nukus we arranged a taxi (about $20) that took us through bizarre dry and salted land in 3-4 hrs to Moynaq. When we approached the village, a huge dirty brown cloud, produced by a nearby mine industry, covered the area, like a shield against the sun. We were hungry but the places the driver knew for selling food, were closed. We eventually found...

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  • Moynaq / Aral Sea

    In my memories Moynaq, in the semi-autonomous province of Karakalpakstan, has to be one of the most depressing and unreal places on earth. Once a prosperous fishingtown on the shores of the former world's 4th largest lake, the Aral Sea, now the people that didn't leave suffer hard from one of the biggest ecological disasters in Asia's human...

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  • What to do in Nukus ??

    On our way to Turkmenistan we spent 2 nights in the capital of Karakalpakstan, Nukus, which looks like a truly forlorn place but surprisingly many people we've met were quite optimistic and proud. We stayed at a private home, arranged by an employee of the hotel where we tried to check in but couldn't agree on the price. Besides the daytrip to...

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  • I suppose most tourists to...

    I suppose most tourists to Uzbekistan spend their time in the fabled cities of Buhkara, Samarkand, Termez and Khiva. Tashkent should not be missed, though. The capital city has lots of culture to offer the visitor - museums, theatres etc.

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  • SOVIET SYMBOLSI visited...

    SOVIET SYMBOLSI visited Samarcanda in 1990, the last year of the Soviet Union, so you could still find that HUGE stars, statues and other symbols of late soviet state, as the one of the photo, in Tashkent. Despite political appreciations, I have always loved those enormous symbols in top of the buildings and in the middle of endless avenues. They...

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  • TEA HOUSESSomehow the...

    TEA HOUSESSomehow the equivalent to our bars or cafeterias, the tea houses of Uzbekhistan are a meeting place for the locals.Tea is a wonderful drink when you are thirsty, much better than Coke, even if it's hot! Besides, is boiled water, so you don't have to be afraid of germs. Here tea is served mainly hot without sugar.People use to sit (I'd say...

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  • The summer palace of the last...

    The summer palace of the last Emir of Buchara. It was built using the finest goods from all of the traders on the silk road. European things as well as Eastern decor and goods. The Emir built it to impress the Tzar of Russia. But the Tzar never came, instead the Tzar's conquering army came, so the Emir only spent one season here. The royals are...

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Uzbekistan Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Uzbekistan off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Uzbekistan sightseeing.
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