About Uzbekistan

Central Asia selected as a region for tourist trips in 2020
06 January 2020
Central Asia selected as a region for tourist trips in 2020

Central Asia selected as a region for tourist trips in 2020. The well-known American-Australian travel guide "Lonely Planet" has chosen Central Asia as a region of the year for tourist trips and actively recommends that every traveler visit Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Lonely Planet notes in its annual Best in Travel ranking in 2020.

According to the Uzbek Embassy in the United States, Lonely Planet is one of the world's largest publications specializing in identifying the world's most popular travel destinations. Founded in 1972 by American and Australian travelers. 200 authors of publication regularly publish ratings of the most popular tourist routes around the world, thereby influencing the decision of potential tourists.

The annual Lonely Planet rating is divided into four categories - 10 regions, 10 countries, 10 cities and 10 most budget-friendly proposals.

In the category of regions, Central Asia occupies the first place. “This region, once enriched by world trade and travelers, was again in the center of world attention. The ancient cities, bustling bazaars and wild landscapes of Central Asia are attracting more and more visitors looking for adventure on one of the most legendary travel routes in history, ”says Lonely Planet.

According to experts of the publication, the definition of Central Asia as the main region of 2020 was largely the result of “speedy reforms” of Uzbekistan aimed at fundamental transformations of the entire tourism industry of the republic and the definition of this sector as strategic in national economy. The introduction of a visa-free regime with respect to citizens of about 90 countries, an unprecedented rapprochement with neighbors, a more than double increase in the number of foreign tourists are significant assets not only in Uzbekistan, but also in the entire region, representatives of the publication emphasize.

The publication draws attention to the fact that countries of the region now have either a visa-free regime or electronic visas are available for most citizens of the world: "Huge investments in transport and infrastructure make traveling along the modern Silk Road more accessible than ever before."

“Rediscover the lost beauty of the Silk Road in Uzbekistan,” the description says. “The Registan, covered with mosaics, was once a medieval center and a trade square - a crossroads in the center of the ancient Silk Road.”

“From Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan and Timur, the history of Central Asia turns pages at every turn,” emphasizes the publication. - At a right angle and with one eye closed, the legendary caravan parking lots of the oasis in Samarkand and Bukhara with their exotic lines of minarets and madrassas really seem to be filmed from the Marco Polo era. Divide the circle of barbecue with an Uzbek merchant or wander around the ancient caravanserai, and historical romantics will find that the past and present begin to merge together in Central Asia. ”

The guidebook says: “If you want to explore the architectural pearls of Bukhara or make a horseback trip to the high Pamirs, everywhere in Central Asia you will be welcomed with hospitality and offered exquisite cuisine, a helping hand or a place to relax. In addition to the Uzbek cities of the Silk Road, mass tourism has not yet managed to penetrate into Central Asia, which gives each trip a genuine sense of discovery. Add to this the inner charm of a forgotten region, slowly turning into a geopolitical reference point, and you will get one of the most exciting hidden corners of Asia. ”

In the top ten regions of the world that Lonely Planet recommends for visiting tourists in 2020, following Central Asia are also Marche (Italy), Tohoku (Japan), Maine (USA), Lord Howe Island (Australia), Guizhou (China), Bahia de Cadiz (Spain), Northeast Argentina, Kvarner Bay (Croatia), Brazilian Amazon.

Uzbekistan was first included in the Lonely Planet rating in 2018 and immediately took second place in Asia after the Korean city of Busan as a destination for a tourist trip. In the April 2019 issue, Lonely Planet noted that “Uzbekistan is a mandatory country to visit in 2019 in Asia.” Then the publication called Uzbekistan “the cradle of culture for more than two millennia,” “the largest country in Central Asia and the most impressive exhibition in terms of attractions.” “Uzbekistan is a country with deserted citadels, decorated with mosaics of madrassas and lively bazaars, located in the heart of the Silk Road, the world's superhighway,” the publication said.

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Did you know?

Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!

Did you know that Uzbekistan lies in the very heart of Eurasia, the coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°

Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world! The country has 4th largest reserves of gold in the world after South Africa, USA and Russia

Uzbekistan is the world capital of melons. They have in excess of 150 different varieties, which form a staple part of the local diet, served fresh in the summer and eaten dried through the winter.

It is Uzbek tradition that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house’s entrance.

Tashkent’s metro features chandeliers, marble pillars and ceilings, granite, and engraved metal. It has been called one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

The Uzbek master chef is able to cook in just one caldron enough plov to serve a thousand men.

When you are a host to someone, it is your duty to fill their cups with for the whole time they are with you.  What you must not do, however, is to fill their cup more than half-full.  If you do that as a mistake, say it is a mistake immediately.  Doing it means you want them to leave.  Wow!  Amazing, right?

To Uzbeks, respect means a whole lot.  For this reason they love it if, even as foreigners, you endeavour to add the respectful suffix opa after a woman's name; and aka after a man's.  Example: Linda-opa and David-aka.  You could also use hon and jon respectively.

Having been an historic crossroads for centuries as part of various ancient empires, Uzbekistan’s food is very eclectic. It has its roots in Iranian, Arab, Indian, Russian and Chinese cuisine.

Though identified with the Persia, the Zoroastrism probably originated in Bactria or Sogdiana. Many distinguished scholars share an opinion that Zoroastrianism had originated in the ancient Khorezm. Indeed, today in the world there were found 63 Zoroastrian monuments, including those in Iran, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thirty-eight of them are in Uzbekistan, whereas 17 of these monuments are located in Khorezm.

One of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran that was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader, is kept in Tashkent. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death. 

Tashkent is the only megapolis in the world where public transport is totally comprised of Mercedes buses. And due to low urban air polution it is one of the few cities where one can still see the stars in the sky.

You would be surprised to know that modern TV was born in Tashkent. No joke! The picture of moving objects was transmitted by radio first time in the world in Tashkent on 26 of July 1928 by inventors B.P. Grabovsky and I.F. Belansky.

Uzbekistan is the only country in the world all of whose neighbours have their names ending in STAN. This is also the only country in Central Asia that borders all of the countries of this region

Uzbeks are the third populous Turkik ethnicity in the world after Turks and Azeris (leaving both in Azerbaijan and Iran)

Did you know that there was silk money in Khiva? Super interesting right? Of course, but the best part of having silk money was that it could be sewn into your clothing.

Famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the Latin world) who was born near Bukhara was the one of the first people to advocate using women’s hair as suture material – about 1400 years ago.

Uzbekistan has a long and bloody history. The most notorious leader of Uzbekistan was Timur (or Tamerlane) who claimed descent from Genghis Khan. His military campaigns have been credited for wiping out some 5% of the world’s population at the time.

If you have thought that some of the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan resembles that from Northern India, then that is because Timur’s great great great Grandson, Babur Beg, was the founder of the Moghul Empire that ruled much of India for almost four centuries! Babur’s great great Grandson was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.

Uzbekistan was once a rum producig country. There is still a real arboretum in Denau (city near Termez on the border with Afghanistan), grown from a selection station that studied the prospects of plant growing in the unusual for the Soviet Union subtropical climate of Surkhandarya region: only here in the whole of the USSR sugar cane was grown and even rum was produced!

Uzbekistan has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new global poll. The annual Gallup Global Law and Order asked if people felt safe walking at night and whether they had been victims of crime. The survey placed Uzbekistan 5th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th. Top five safest countries:

  • Singapore
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Uzbekistan
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