Joan Torres, a famous travel blogger from Spain, the author of “Against the Compass” has posted a practical illustrated article on his website about visiting Uzbekistan. AGAINST THE COMPASS is an alternative travel blog, which aims at helping people to travel the most unusual and off the beaten track destinations.
The author has created and explained 75 detailed useful tips for travelers that are planning on visiting Uzbekistan, the Pearl of Central Asia, based on his trip and experience to the ancient country of the Great Silk Road.
The blogger says that once used to be a hermetic country with very strict visa policies for foreigners, Uzbekistan is slowly opening its borders to show the world the majesty of what used to be the core and center of the ancient Silk Road, a country filled with impressive shrines, mosques and perfectly shaped old cities.
He also mentions that Uzbekistan is, by far, the most tourist-friendly country in Central Asia and an unmissable destination for sightseeing city lovers, because this is what Uzbekistan is mainly about.
“However, this ex-Soviet Republic has many bureaucratic and cultural peculiarities, which you are highly recommended to know well in advance. In this Uzbekistan travel guide, we will go through all of them, so here is a list of 70 useful tips for traveling to Uzbekistan” says Joan Torres.
The author further describes in details the current visa rules in Uzbekistan for foreigners, mentioning the list of countries that can get 30 days free visa upon arrival at the airport, as well as the rest of the countries who are not privileged to get a visa upon arrival, explaining in details the new e-visa application process for those foreigners.
Joan Torres also reminds that Uzbekistan was recently considered as one of the 20 safest destinations in the world, as it has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, besides a high level of security, especially in the capital Tashkent. He says travelers would be totally fine, including solo female travelers specifically.
The blogger says that there are loads of ATMs everywhere, highlighting that before there were very few ATMs that accepted international cards that allowed to withdraw very small amounts of money, but this has changed and you can just use them normally. “With an international card, you can only withdraw USD, which you need to exchange at the bank. This way, they can charge you commission twice and by the way, when you withdraw, the commission is 1%” – as quoted in the article.
Regarding travel expenses in the country, traveling in Uzbekistan was evaluated as very affordable, with some basic costs posted in the article for travelers, such as accommodation, meals in restaurants, taxi prices, and train tickets.
“Most people are Uzbeks, but as in the whole Central Asia, you also find plenty of people from their neighboring countries, including Russians, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, and Tajiks. People in Uzbekistan are so ethnically mixed but, whereas Kyrgyz and Kazakh people have stronger Mongolian features, and Tajiks and Turkmens more of a Persian look, I would say that Uzbeks are something in between”.
“Uzbekistan is the core of the Silk Road: Uzbekistan is synonymous with the Silk Road, a country which is home to the three most important Silk Road cities, Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. Timeless mosques and historical buildings define a characteristic skyline in every city, Uzbekistan has been the main stopover for countless civilizations traveling east and west, while exchanging goods, ideas, and knowledge. Traveling in Uzbekistan and strolling downs its bazaars and old cities is like going back to the past”.
“The most majestic shrines and buildings I have ever seen – From the imposing Registan to the cute, old city of Khiva, Uzbekistan is the perfect destination for travelers interested in stunning Islamic architecture. Who would guess that the streets of the ancient Silk Road cities of Uzbekistan were filled with plenty of touristic shops, selling things from typical souvenirs to traditional local handicrafts, something unseen in Central Asia” - that is how the author describes tourism in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan is also praised in the guidebook for its delicious variety of fruits and having much better restaurant options than in the neighboring countries, even for international cuisine.
The accommodation, including hotels, guest houses and hostels are evaluated for being both affordable at a wide range, as well as mid-range and luxury hotels also being available as an option. for those who wish.
As the last tip in his guidebook, the author highly recommends trains for traveling in Uzbekistan from one city to another, finding them running regularly and being very comfortable. And of course, Tashkent Metro is highlighted among the recommended list of transport for being a delightful masterpiece.