Uzbekistan: the most fascinating country you’ve never been to

Uzbekistan hardly stands front and centre when it comes to potential holiday destinations. Around 1,000 Britons visit it each year, according to ONS figures, putting it on a par with the likes of Armenia and Malawi (for comparison, Spain lures around nine million of us annually).

Annual visits by UK residents broken down by main country visited

It’s a snippet of the Silk Road’s best bits…
If you’re intrigued by the ancient Silk Road but don’t have the time to travel its length from China to Turkey, you’ll find three of the route’s most important cities in Uzbekistan. Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand were key stop-offs for traders, and have all been painstakingly restored to their former glory – think glittering minarets, voluptuous domes and hypnotic mosaics. With a little planning you can squeeze them all into a week, making this the perfect bite of Silk Road splendour. It’s a snippet of the Silk Road’s best bits…
It’s a bit like time travel
The walled city of Khiva is a living museum, protected by Unesco but still populated by Uzbek families and businesses. It was founded in the 6th century, and thrived as a Silk Road trading city – with increasingly ornate mosques, mausoleums and madrassas (religious schools) added to its labyrinth of streets, all of which have been artfully restored.
It’s a popular spot for wedding parties, who visit for photo opportunities under the vibrant turquoise mosaics, and its streets are lined with souvenir stalls hawking everything from handmade teapots to traditional woolly hats. But after 5pm, the local tourists head home – leaving you to explore the city in peace. Wander its streets while swallows swoop in the fading light, its mud brick walls rosy under a pinky sky. It’s easy to imagine you’re in the 12th century.

You’ll be instantly more exotic
Not many people can find Uzbekistan on a map, so make it your first job to pinpoint its location with ease. Then you can gleefully point it out to everyone who’s bamboozled by your choice of holiday destination, and wow them with the trivia that it’s one of the world’s only two double-landlocked countries (the other is Lichtenstein). You’ll also be asked repeatedly why on earth you’d want to go to a ‘Stan. What about terrorism, they’ll bleat. Surely there’s nothing to see? Direct all naysayers to this guide. 
It’s surprisingly cosmopolitan
Not many people can find Uzbekistan on a map, so make it your first job to pinpoint its location with ease. Then you can gleefully point it out to everyone who’s bamboozled by your choice of holiday destination, and wow them with the trivia that it’s one of the world’s only two double-landlocked countries (the other is Lichtenstein). You’ll also be asked repeatedly why on earth you’d want to go to a ‘Stan. What about terrorism, they’ll bleat. Surely there’s nothing to see? Direct all naysayers to this guide. 

ORIENTE VIAJES
THE TELEGRAPH

Responder

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Google photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Conectando a %s