About Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s historical cities highlighted by The Times: “This is a spectacular country – so where are the British tourists?”
11 September 2023
Uzbekistan’s historical cities highlighted by The Times: “This is a spectacular country – so where are the British tourists?”

The British daily newspaper The Times published an article promoting the tourist destinations and historical attractions of Uzbekistan. The article was written by the content editor and travel writer of The Times, Lucy Perrin, prepared with the assistance of the ambassador of the tourism brand of Uzbekistan, Sophie Ibbotson.

After having a trip to Uzbekistan, the British journalist prepared this article based on his impressions about visiting Uzbekistan. She shares her impressions, and talks about Uzbekistan’s tourist attractions - historical architecture and natural landscapes, as well as modern tourist infrastructure being developed in various cities of Uzbekistan today.

The journalist describes Uzbekistan as a largely undiscovered country yet, located in the heart of the Silk Road, offering its visitors sophisticated madrassas and desert fortresses.

Lucy Perrin notes that Uzbekistan is not a popular destination among British people, where only about 10,000 travelers from Great Britain visiting Uzbekistan each year. She mentioned that was cautious about traveling along Central Asia on her own at first, however did not want to join a group, so decided to take a private tour with a local guide. As the journalist describes it was a great idea, taking into account the high-speed trains and affordable local flights, which made it quite convenient and easy to travel to Central Asia all at once.

The article notes that Uzbekistan, located a seven-hour flight from London, is at the heart of the Silk Road, a network of trade routes that linked the Far East with the Western world for more than 1,500 years. From the 2nd century BC to the 15th century The Silk Road crossed over 4,000 miles of mountains and deserts, passing through 40 countries and facilitating trade along the way. Much of this exchange was transactional and tangible—silk from China, gems from India—but it also spread the intangible: religious revelations and cultural practices passed on to each other by men like Marco Polo.

“Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, was a popular spot for caravanserais and Chorsu Bazaar, located at a crossroads, was one of them. Today, the horses, wagons, and Marco Polo-types are long gone, but a thriving local market stands in their place. There’s a whole floor dedicated to desserts that showcase the sweetest of Uzbek traditions: elaborate engagement gifts made from halva (a cross between nougat and fudge) and mountains of crystallized amber sugar that mothers place on the tongues of newborns, believing the ritual will help them to sweet-talk future customers once they become traders. I spend hours wandering the equivalent of the middle of Lidl, a floor stacked with everything from brooms that are gifted as part of a dowry to sacks full of juniper leaves used to flavor meat while it cooks” – continues the author describing Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

The process of baking the famous Uzbek bread is described by the journalist in a beautiful way, further portraying the Tashkent Metro – Subway, where each station is a work of art with decorations carved from alabaster and lit by glitzy chandeliers, and manned by equally immaculate workers in jade-green uniforms and square caps, as the author puts in into words.

In the article, the author calls ancient Khiva a magnificent city, essentially an open-air museum.

One of the most beautiful cities in Uzbekistan, ancient Khiva comes next in the article as a glorious walled city, which is essentially an open-air museum. The great monuments of Khiva hidden inside wooden gates are outlined as the destination that traders would have passed through in the days of the ancient Silk Road.

On the road from Khiva to Bukhara, the author saw abandoned citadels of ancient fortresses rising from the desert sands.

“We break the journey at Ayaz-Kala, a collection of three citadels that date back as far as the 4th century, and explore the remains of rooms where royalty once roamed. There’s not another soul in sight and the only guards are a group of hummingbirds that circle the ruins and keep watch from above,” The Times’ journalist shares her impressions.

The next destination along the trip to Uzbekistan is Bukhara: “The city’s original trading domes, which initially appear like a cluster of stone molehills. Beneath their curved roofs men embroider pomegranates — symbols of fertility — onto cushion covers and forge silver scissors into the shape of swallows” – is the way Lucy Perrin beautifully describes the ancient Bukhara.

Following Bukhara, The Times’ journalist travels to the magnificent city of Samarkand, admiring the ancient buildings of Samarkand as hypnotizing during the day, covered with thousands of mosaics, whereas equally magical spectacle opens in the evening, when the square glows with golden and green light at sunset, as she puts her impressions of Samarkand into words. 

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20 September 2023
UNWTO invites Uzbekistan to join a new travel campaign

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Uzbekistan is a new choice for German tourists

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06 February 2020
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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