TopTravel Trends 2019: Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is right in the heart of Central Asia and offers a very unique experience as a holiday destination. With its Soviet era architecture, huge parks, wide roads and hearty culinary fare, youll have a very memorable holiday, which is just one of the reasons why we can include Uzbekistan in our list of top 2019 places to visit.
In order to make the most of Uzbekistans fascinating cultural and historical sights, we highly recommend taking an escorted tour. This will ensure you get to see a good portion of the Silk Road, stay in the best places and have a personal tour guide at your disposal to get over the language barrier, not to mention try all the best delicacies. Uzbekistan tours byExodus Travels are among our favourites, so lets have a look at some of the places on their itinerary, with a view to giving you a glimpse into the experiences you could have here.
Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan. Its busy, vibrant, modern, cosmopolitan and filled with fascinating buildings and structures. It has a new feel to it, probably, because a lot of it is relatively new. The ancient city had to be re-built following a large earthquake in 1966 and was planned to emulate the Soviet city model. The Metro system here is particularly precious, given that as well as designed to be functional, its also an art showcase, with mosaics and chandeliers.
For a great view of the city, you should head over to the Tashkent TV tower. Its 375 metres high, with an observation deck that overlooks the skyline. A lot of the top tourist attractions here are religious in nature. The Hazrat Imam Complex consists of a number of striking mosques, all with turquoise domes, and a library that houses a very interesting and important artefact; a piece of the Quran, which is considered the oldest in the world, as well as a hair of the Prophet Muhammad.
Kulkedash Madrassa is also a must-see sight in the city. It was reconstructed in the twentieth century. Formerly a fortress, it became the place where public hangings were held. After a trip here, you could have a wander around the narrow alleys of the old town, before heading over to the Timur and Independence Squares, which are fringed with buildings of political importance and contain scenic lawns and fountains. Then, a trip to Chorsu Bazar, will open the senses to new smells and tastes, as well as give you the chance to buy gifts for friends back home.
While in Tashkent, youll also have the option to visit the nearby Tian Shan Mountains, where you can enjoy the Alpine views while you have your picnic lunch.
Samarkand is the next stop along the Silk Road and a former capital in these parts. Its nickname is The Crossroads of Cultures, because its a fusion of soviet era buildings and ancient architecture. Top attractions in this beautiful city include Registan Square, with its complex of well-preserved 15th to 17th century madrasahs, the Ulugbek Observatory from the 15th century, the Bibi-Khanym Mosque and the Guri-Emir Mausoleum, with its huge dome. Youll also get to observe local craftsmen at work; manufacturing paper from mulberry bark.
One more stop along the Silk Road is one of central Asias holiest cities, Bukhara, which is surrounded by the Kyzyl Kum desert. Some tours offer you the option of arriving in style by overnight, private train, having spent the evening beforehand enjoying a folklore show and Uzbek wine-tasting evening.
The main sights of Bukhara include the Samanid Mausoleum; an impressive example of ancient central Asian architecture, the Mire-e-Arab Madrash mosque, a local fortress, the Summer Palace of the last Emir and the delights of the old town; such as the Kaljan Minaret and the Labi-Hauz Ensemble. Local experiences arranged to keep you entertained include meeting the Imam of Bukhara and a meal in the courtyard of a Madrasah; an educational building, whilst local dancers perform around you, accompanied by music.
Uzbek traditional food is meaty and hearty, designed to keep you full in the cold winters. Lagman soup is a classic mix of spicy lamb, vegetables and noodles. Its all the food groups in one bowl and its also available in a non-soup version! Another soup is Chuchvara soup. Its filled with dumplings and seasoned with cream and black pepper. Shurpa is a heavier soup made from mutton, tomatoes, carrots and onions.
Plov is the big name in Uzbek food. This combination of lamb, rice, carrots, onions and raisins, despite being eaten every day by many Uzbek families, is considered a delicacy. Its cooked in huge pans and enjoyed by all the family. Dimlama is a hearty stew thats also a regular staple of the Uzbek diet. It involves meat, potatoes and vegetables, sometimes fruit too. Finally for a main meal, Shaslik, or skewered meat, is big here. The meat is usually lamb, mutton or chicken and its accompanied by red spicy, peppery sauce called adjika,
Salad dishes are popular too. Aubergine salad involves aubergines, radishes, peppers and parsley, while Tashkent salad will provide you with boiled beef tongue on a bed of greens. Achichuk salad is one of the few dishes suitable for vegetarians and consists of carefully spiced tomatoes and onions. To beef up the lighter salads, you could order Kutabi flat bread on the side. Its a filled fluffy bread, containing meat or vegetables.
Booking your trip to Uzbekistan
Here at Aspen Travel, we specialise in luxury escorted tour packages that provide you with everything youll need during your trip, for one price. Your flights, transfers, overnight stays, food, drink, entrance tickets and a tour guide will all be included. All you have to worry about is what youre going to pack.
Youll be provided with an itinerary which will take you to the highlights of your destination on any given day, a little off-the-beaten-track diversion, and a local experience to help you gain an insight into Uzbekistan, or the particular city youre in. Curious to find out why Uzbekistan is one of the most talked-about travel trends this year? We can help you find out why. Please give one of our dedicated travel agents a call to find out more about the tours we offer and the wealth of internationally respected tour operators with whom we partner.