Uzbekistan Things to Do

  • Peppers for dinner
    Peppers for dinner
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • Children playing
    Children playing
    by TheWanderingCamel
  • How many ways can you dry an apricot?
    How many ways can you dry an apricot?
    by TheWanderingCamel

Uzbekistan Things to Do

  • Registan

    Samarkand Things to Do

    Like the much larger Sher Dor medressa at the Registan, and built at the same time, the portal of the Khodja Akrar ensemble features the most-unIslamic lion/tigers (maned and striped - you choose) and deer, but without the smiling sun-heads this time. Here a 17th century medressa has been built around the shrine of an earlier holy figure -the...

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  • Shah-i-Zinda

    Samarkand Things to Do

    The entrance stairway at the Shah-i-Zinda leads the visitor up to a narrow street lined on both sides with mausolea. They are in varying states of repair and restoration and by the time you have visited all of them your eyes are quite dazzled and confused by the colour and decoration so that it is hard to remember which tomb is which and what you...

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  • Bibi-Khanym Mosque

    Samarkand Things to Do

    Lady Bibi was the beloved wife of Timur.Bibi Hatun Mosque (15th century)was the largest structure of its time in the world.Tamerlane's idea was to to build the most beautiful mosque of the world and he did it . It was built between 1399 and 1404 by 600 slaves and 100 elephants brought from India, with 200 architects, artists, master craftsmen and...

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  • Gur Emir Mausoleum

    Samarkand Things to Do

    Timur means “clever, talented”.Tamerlane, two sons and two grandsons, including Ulug bey, lie beneath the modest Gur Emir Mausoleum. As with other muslim mausoleums, the stones are just markers; the actual crypts are in a chamber in the basement. In the center is Timur's stone, once a single block of dark-green jade.The plain marble marker to the...

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  • Ulugh Beg Observatory

    Samarkand Things to Do

    This is one of the most important buildings of the world history. Ulug bey decide to build this observatory in 1428-1429 on one of the hills . In the main hall huge instrument was placed for observations of Moon, Sun, and other stars of the vault of heaven. Observatory was unique construction for its time. The basis of observatory was giant...

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  • Ulugh Beg Madrasa

    Samarkand Things to Do

    As I told you apart from the classical subjects in this Madrasah you could learn about Astrology and Astronomy and it became an important center for this subjects. You can see from right to left two teachers of Ulugbek, Ulugbek himself in the middle (he is situated behind them to show respect) and two international teachers (to show the...

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  • Afrosiab

    Samarkand Things to Do

    Afrosiab is one of the few ancient places remaining somewhat untouched. While there is a museum exhibiting some of the past artifacts found onsight, the whole of the grounds have not been fully excavated. Needless to say, this was quite fascinating for me- real and not rebuilt, with no fences or pesky guards. As of August 2008, you're free to roam!...

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  • Bazaar

    Samarkand Things to Do

    There was a bazaar on this site near the Bibi Khanum mosque long before the mosque was built, and no doubt much of what was for sale here was the same then as it is now - mini-mountains of fresh and dried fruit; fresh-baked loaves; seeds, grains and other dry goods; spices, nuts, vegetables and the sticky sweets beloved of adults and children alike...

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  • Sher-Dor Madrasah

    Samarkand Things to Do

    The decoration on the portal of the Sher Dor medressa poses perhaps the greatest puzzle of anything you will see in Uzbekistan. That it should feature not only animals ( tiger-like beasts that are referred to as lions - the do have manes of a sort, and small white deer) is odd enough, given the Islamic taboo on figurative art, but it is the...

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  • Ruchabad Mausoleum

    Samarkand Things to Do

    That's the translation of the local name - Rukhabad - for the mausoleum built by Timur in 1380 for the mystic, Sheikh Burhan al-Din Sagarji. It's said that Timur used to walk around the mausoleum every night before retiring. Ibn Battuta, the traveller from Tangiers, writes of meeting the sheikh in India and some time after that he became the...

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  • Hazreti Hizir Mosque

    Samarkand Things to Do

    Hazreti Hizir mosque was built in the 18th century on the entrance to Samarkand. Hazreti Hizir (Saint Hizir) is very important for us "travellers" because we believe that he is the protector of travellers and he helps us in our desperate moments of our travels.Which I think that I ve met him in one of my travels in Germany...This is another...

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  • Ak Serai - White Palace

    Samarkand Things to Do

    Buried in back yards just southeast of the Gur emir is another Timurid mausoleum, known as the White Palace , built around 1470. Still elegant even in ruin, the building is of cruciform chamber, arch design, glazed mosaic and golden leaves. Archaeologists removed a headless skeleton from the open crypt, possible that off Abd al-Latif, son and...

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  • TAKE YOUR FREE VT FLAG WITH YOU

    If you are coming to Uzbekistan - make sure you have your free Virtual Tourist Flag with you!Just email the wonderful VT staff at:feedback@virtualtourist.comJust send them your address and the rest is history. History to make!Don't forget! The VT staff like postcards, so please send them a nice postcard while you are here!VirtualTourist801 Parkview...

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  • Visit the shop in Chor Minor Madrassah

    The lady of the shop will let you run on the roof of the chor. (1000 som).It's also nice because to get their you must go between the real houses andnot only the cleaned up touriststreets.

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  • Temur's tomb

    Photo: A tomb for a tyrantThe Gur Emir, with its glorious blue melon-ribbed dome was not meant to house the body of Temur. He wanted to be interred in his home town of Shahrisabz but, just as Samarkand at that time was dominated by his presence in life, so it became with his death and the body of the "Ruler of Half the World" was placed in the...

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  • Baths after hours!

    Kunjak bath is from XVI. century. Try it after hours when whole bath is for you! Just talk to an employee (russian needed). It's great experience and price is good. For two persons with private massages we paid approx. 15$.

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  • The last minaret

    Soaring high above the ancient buildings of Khiva, the Islam Khodja minaret is actually the newest of all the buildings in this extraordinary place. Completed in only 1910, it was the last of the architectural wonders of all Central Asia's khanates to be built -and it too has a typically bloody history. Commissioned by a man renowned and loved for...

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  • Frozen in time

    Khiva's khans were a law entirely to themselves even as late in the 19th century when, like other rulers in this region, they became pawns in the Great Game of Central Asian diplomacy as Britain and Russia jockeyed for control over the lands to the north of India. The khanate of Khiva was particularly noted for the cruelty and barbarity of its...

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  • Walled desert city

    The walls of Khiva rise dun coloured out of their equally dun-coloured desert surroundings. They completely encircle this most remote, intact and untouched of all the ancient cities of Central Asia. To enter through the gates of Khiva is to step into a world that remained undisturbed by any form of modernity until late into the 19th century. Even...

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  • Discover Tashkent

    Read the guidebooks and you would think Tashkent was a place to miss. Not so! If you arrive in Uzbekistan by air, you will land here, the only city with an international airport. Do allow yourself a couple of days at the very least to get to know the city. It may not have the allure of Samarkand or the romance of Bukhara, but it is both interesting...

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  • Highlights of Bukhara

    Religion, royal power and trade - the cornerstones of Bukhara's existence - each one of which has left the city a legacy of stunning architecture - so many wonderful buildings in and around the city you could spend a week here and not see them all. What chance then of seeing any more than the highlights in the usual 1 or 2 days most tourists spend...

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  • Trade - Bukhara's lifeblood

    When you think there could not be room for another shop or carpet seller in Bukhara, or another little girl selling her wares outside a mosque - remember that trade has been the lifeblood of this city for centuries. Sitting fair and square at the crossroads of the great trading routs of the Silk Road, caravans from every city from China to...

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  • The heart and soul of Bukhara

    Situated at the very centre of Bukhara's Old City, the Lyab-i Khauz is a cool green oasis of ancient mulberry trees surrounding a large pool where ducks swim and teenage boys ocassionally show off by diving in. This is where the life of the ancient city continues as it has done for centuries. Old men sit in the shade with their friends watching and...

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  • "The holiest city in Central Asia"

    With hundreds of mosques and, at times, just as many madrassas in the city, Bukhara was once the most important religious centre in all Central Asia. Today, although just one madrassa remains open to students and few of the mosques function as places for prayer, Bukhara still holds its place as the spiritual heart of Uzbekistan with the country's...

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  • Desert oasis

    Bukhara's position at the crossroads of the great trade routes of Central Asia, has kept the city alive, if not always thriving, through the centuries and of all the cities of Uzbekistan , this is the one with the most layers of history waiting to be explored.The 19th century British stateman and Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, called Bukhara "the...

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  • Market musings

    Uzbekistan's bazaars are a delight. The market hall is packed with stallholders selling everything from the dried fruit, nuts, bread, sweetmeats, fruit and vegetables that are the backbone of markets everywhere in Central Asia to wedding clothes, thick with gold embroidery for both the bride and groom and stack after stack of the black and white...

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  • The Living King

    Far older than the tomb of Temur, and much more a place of pilgrimage still for Uzbek people, is the Shah -i-Zinda - the tomb of the Living King - the centrepiece of the mausoleum complex in Samarkand that also houses the tombs and mausolea of several members of Temur's family - mostly women.The "Living King" is Qasim ibn-Abbas - a cousin of the...

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  • Samarkand's glory

    The Registan - Place of Sand - is Samarkand's great open sided square where three exquiste madrassas vie with each other for which is the most beautiful. Built at different times from the 15th to the 17th centuries, each is subtly different from the other in its decoration and domes, together they create a wonderfully harmonious whole. Today the...

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  • Mapping the skies

    The most extraordinary building in Samarkand is not one of the great madrassas or mausoleums. All there is as you approach it is a low circular platform of brickwork and a small, unassuming portico, all that remains to indicate that here was once the observatory of Temur's grandson, Ulug Beg - Uzbekistan's astronomer-king - who was the greatest...

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  • The Golden Valley

    Separated from the rest of the country by the Chatkal mountains, a spur of the Tien Shan range, and surrounded by other Tien Shan spurs, the Ferghana valley is only 300kms long and 170km wide, a tiny area compared to the rest of the country, and yet fully one-third of the population lives here, making it the most densely populated region of all...

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  • The caravan reaches Samarkand

    Samarkand, the name alone speaks of fabled mystery and romance. Most famous of all the cities of the Silk Route, the city has inspired poets and travellers alike with the allure of its magical name and the exotic image it conjures up. Situated in fertile oasis on the edge of the Kyzyl Desert and backed by the Pamir-Alay mountains, today's Samarkand...

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  • The Russians were here

    The Russian domination of Uzbekistan began long before the Revolution that saw the Communists take control of the empire. What began as a fairly low-key colonization in the 18th century became full-blown occupation in the mid-19th century as the stakes in the Great Game of Central Asian diplomacy rose ever higher. The Khans and Emirs became mere...

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  • A Night at the Opera

    Under the Soviets, every city with a population of one million or more had an opera house built. Tashkent's Alisher Navoi Opera House is an elegant building standing in the middle of a large square opposite the Tashkent Palace Hotel. The arcaded facade opens into an impressive interior succession of foyers and reception rooms decorated in...

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  • Planning a trip?

    Our first visit to Uzbekistan was organised through Sundowners, a tour of 10 days for a group of 5 friends that largely followed one of their set tours. Our itinerary gave us 2 days in Tashkent, a flight to Khiva for a day and a night, after which we travelled by road to Bukhara ( 2 nights) Samarkand and Shahrisabz (3 nights) and back to Tashkent...

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  • Uzbekistan's other rivers

    Just as the Amu Darya waters the western reaches of Uzbekistan, another great river - the Syr Darya brings water from the eastern Tien Shan mountains to the fertile eastern region of the country (the Fergana Valley), the Zerafshan from the Pamirs to the central oases that surround Samarkand and Bukhara and the Chirchik (a tributary of the Syr...

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  • Transoxiania

    The Amu-Darya is the modern name of the River Oxus. Transoxiania - the land across the Oxus - was the historical name for the vast region stretching from the edge of the known world of Persia and the Ottoman Empire into the great void of Asia - lands of desert and steppe lying before the mysterious world of China. The wealth of precious materials...

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  • Ruler of Half the World

    The gigantic figure of Temur (Shakespeare's Tamurlaine) strides across Uzbekistan's history, a reminder of the long-past time when his name rang around half the known world and struck fear inb the hearts of those who heard it. Since Independence there has been a concerted drive to establish him as the nation's great hero, not just a ruthless...

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  • Samarkand, home to stunning architecture

    After Khiva and Bukhara, Samarkand seems big and full of bustle, but unlike Tashkent it retains more of its central Asian character, even in the more modern areas of the city. As an overall destination it didn’t move me in the way that Bukhara had, but some of the individual sights are among the most striking I have seen anywhere. The first...

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  • Bukhara, city of traders

    Bukhara is where Uzbekistan really came to life for me. In its ancient streets history weaves itself effortlessly around the present-day lives of its people. Here you get a real sense of continuity – the world of the Silk Road caravans isn’t preserved in the aspic of Khiva, nor tucked into islands among the modern day bustle of Samarkand, but is an...

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  • Tashkent, the modern capital

    This is a largely modern city, thanks to the devastation caused by a huge earthquake in 1966. It is often overlooked for this reason, and certainly doesn’t have the wealth of attractions of the Silk Road cities, but there are some monuments and other sights worth visiting. As you’re almost bound to arrive in the country through Tashkent’s airport,...

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  • Khiva: desert town

    The old town of Khiva, Ichan Kala, is a city frozen in time. The sun-baked clay of its walls encircles a wealth of ancient buildings which, more than any other destination in Uzbekistan, preserve intact the images of the Silk Road. It’s a wonderful place to start your exploration of the Silk Road as it enables you to get a strong sense of history...

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  • Bukhara: Tachma Ayub Mausoleum.

    The Tchachma Ayoub (Ayoub’s spring) mausoleum hosts a sort of a water museum and the spring, discovered at Ayoub’s (the prophet Job) time is still flowing and one can drink from that water which of course has some magical properties. This mausoleum is a composite building with old parts from the 12th century and more recent from the 16th. The...

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  • Tashkent, lots of Russia

    the main avenues and broad street of Tashkent are bordered by huge end 19th beginning 20th century buildings. No pictures to show all of this and no pictures of the Timur megalomaniac (well, not him, he is not anymore here but his “successor”, Islom Kharimov) museum, Navoi Park, the busy street near Amir Timur place. . . . . Applied arts museum,...

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  • Tashkent: lots of Russia still here.

    Tashkent is a big modern city which contrasts a lot with the rest of the country. Is is an old city but it developed mainly after the Russian invaded the Bukhara Khanate in 1868. It was a logistical base for further invasions of central Asia, and very soon communications (roads and railways) were established between Tashkent and Russia. Tashkent,...

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  • Samarqand : Green belt and Russian area

    Timur wanted his city to be the center of the world, the most beautiful, and for this, he also fitted his city with wide areas covered with gardens, orchards, wide open green places. Water flew in little channels, sprinkled from fountains. . . . When his empire collapsed, the green areas became rapidly grey and brown, the fountains dried. . . . One...

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Uzbekistan Things to Do

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