Uzbekistan Tourism. Uzbekistan - a rich tapestry of architectural wonders, diverse natural reserves and modern booming development attracts the attention of the whole world.
For centuries, Uzbekistan sat at the intersection of the Great trade routes along which merchants and discoverers, geographers and missionaries, invaders and conquerors passed cross each other on their journeys to east or west. In modern times, Uzbekistan is top on travel agenda for adventurous people interested in culture and history, traditions, natured exotic destinations.
Uzbekistan is a country with potential for an expanded tourism industry. Many of its Central Asian cities were main points of trade on the Silk Road, linking Eastern and Western civilizations.
Today the museums of Uzbekistan store over two million artifacts, evidence of the unique historical, cultural and spiritual life of the Central Asian peoples that have lived in the region. Uzbekistan attracts tourists with its historical, archeological, architectural and natural treasures.
According to the Statistical Internet Survey, carried out from May 7 to August 27, 2008, the largest proportion of those surveyed (39%) visit the country because of their interest in the architectural and historical sites of Uzbekistan. The next-largest group (24%) visit Uzbekistan to observe its culture, way of life and customs.
Cultural Tourism is the only major product Uzbekistan is providing to visitors since its independence. Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are hot spots of tourism.
Tourist activities in Uzbekistan range from outdoor activities, such as rock-climbing, to exploration of its rich archeological and religious history.
In 2005, 240,000 tourists from 117 countries visited Uzbekistan. The industry earned US$30 million (90.9% of forecast). Overall, the tourism sector served 621,700 people and rendered services for 40.6 billion soums (73.1% of forecast). The industry earned 598.4 million soums. Each autumn, the Uzbek travel industry holds an International Tourism Fair.
Uzbekistan is located on the Great Silk Road and many neighboring countries (including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) promote their countries based on their location along the Great Silk Road.
The World Tourism Organization's Silk Road Office was opened in 2004 in Samarkand. This office was commissioned to coordinate the efforts of international organisations and national tourism offices of countries located on the Silk Road. Uzbekistan is also a member of The Region Initiative (TRI), a tri-regional umbrella of tourism related organisations. TRI functions as a link between three regions - South Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe which is also by Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Ukraine.
Uzbekistan is gently proud of its traditionally classic architecture. The Itchan-Kala complex in Khiva and the historical centers of Bukhara, Shakhrisabz and Samarkand are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Many unique monuments and architectural constructions in these towns still remain genuine and are samples of an era that played a significant role in history.
Samarkand with its Registan, Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Gur-Emir and Shakhi-Zinda, Bukhara with its Poi-Kalyan Complex, Ark citadel, Samanid Mausoleum and Lyabi Khauz Ensemble, and of course Khiva with its intact inner city Itchan Kala, mosques, madrasahs, minarets, walls and gates are sites of tourism.
The general conference of UNESCO accepted the decision of inclusion in the list of anniversaries the celebrating of 2750th anniversary of Samarkand. Samarkand is one of pearls of East. Here are many unique monuments of culture and architecture, which are evidence of high mastery of the ancient architects. Basic principle of rebuilding of the center of Samarkand is a preservation of monuments in their integrity. The complex of historical center of the town is included in the list of a world heritage of UNESCO under the name "Samarkand is an intersection of world culture".
Though Tashkent is often overlooked in the search for the Silk Road oasis towns of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, for the traveler there is much besides this to be seen. Today one can visit such sights as Mausoleum of Sheikh Zaynudin Bobo and the Sheihantaur or Mausoleum of Zangiata.
Tourism in Karakalpakstan
Today Karakalpakistan is an alive communication between the contemporary and ancient world. With its wonderful and unique sites it is ready to share its legends and secrets with you.
The ancient castles of "Kyrkkyz-Kala", "Ayaz-Kala", "Djanbas-Kala", the mausoleums of "Ichan-Kala", a beautiful town of "Toprak-Kala" and other historical and archeological statues, located in the territory of Karakalpakistan, present a great intellectual and cultural interest that attire a number of tourists from the other regions of the country as well as the foreign countries.
Gastronomic Tourism in Uzbekistan
Uzbek cuisine - perhaps most known national and developed aspect of the Uzbekistan culture and Uzbekistan people. Unlike its nomadic neighbors, the Uzbek people has had a strong civilization for many centuries. People cultivated wheat and bred horned livestock between deserts and mountains, in oasis and fertile valleys. Therefore, rich products have allowed the Uzbek people to develop certain traditions of hospitality which, in turn, have made their cuisine known to the whole world.
The most of popular items of Uzbek cuisine are following:
Plov, the Uzbek version of "palov" - is a very solemn dish. It can be considered as an everyday dish as well as a dish for solemn and great events like weddings, parties and holidays. Rice is the most important component of plov, along with certain spices, raisins, peas or quince which are added to give it extra flavor.
Bread is considered holy for the Uzbek people.
Soups are of special importance. Uzbek soup is rich with vegetables and seasonings and contains many carrots, turnips, onions and greens. Most popular is Uzbek Shurpa. Shurpa is a meat and vegetable soup.
Shashlyk, also known as kebabs, consists of skewered chunks of mutton barbecued over charcoal and served with sliced raw onions and non (round unleavened bread)
Samsa (meat pies) is a pastry pie stuffed with meat and onion or pumpkin, potato, cabbage, mushrooms or nuts baked in a tandyr. Tandyr is a traditional cylindrical clay oven, heated with coal. Skill is needed when placing the raw samsas or non onto the inside wall of the oven.
Lagman is a thick noodle soup with thinly sliced fried meat and vegetables.
Manty are large dumplings stuffed with finely chopped meat, seasoned with various spices and a large amount of onion, then steamed in a special pot.
Wine Tourism in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is not significantly relevant to the main wine-growing powers of the world, however, the country has a long history of winemaking and wine culture. Tashkentvino kombinati is one of the oldest companies in the industry, founded in 1867 on the outskirts of Tashkent, near the shore of the channel Salar. Tashkentvino produces a range of quality spirits. Wine Factory become popular not only in Russia but also abroad. These wines, like "Red Tashkent", "Oporto", "Sultan", "Cahors" won gold and silver medals at the Moscow Polytechnic Exhibition in 1872 and at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1878.
Religious Tourism in Uzbekistan
A large number of tourists have been visiting Uzbekistan because of their religious-based interest. The followers of tariqas know that dozens of historical sights of Islam such as Mausoleum of Sheikh Zaynudin Bobo, Sheihantaur and Mausoleum of Zangiata in Tashkent or Bahauddin Complex in Bukhara, Bayan-Quli Khan Mausoleum, Saif ed-Din Bokharzi Mausoleum and many other monuments related to Sufism are in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan is a country with predominantly Islamic roots. More than 160 Muslim sacred relics are located in the country.
Dental Tourism in Uzbekistan
Lately many modern dental clinics were established in Uzbekistan. They provide patients with dentistry services. Prices here much cheaper in comparison with Western and Russian clinics.
Traditions and customs of Uzbek people living on the crossroad of the Great Silk Road were taking shape within many centuries as a result of interaction of Zoroastrian rituals of the Sogdians and Bactrians and traditions of nomadic tribes, with certain impact of Islamic traditions and rites set by the Koran in later period.
Travelling in Uzbekistan tourists can both see the architectural gems of Uzbekistan and whenever possible take part in the celebration of the most cherished national and folk holiday of Uzbek people.
Each itinerary includes a visit to a national house where tourists can learn about lifestyle of local people, taste the national Uzbek cuisine and enjoy the folklore show.
Uzbek national cuisine is rather delicious. Rich traditions and ancient culture of Uzbeks’ cooking have a history of many centuries. A wide assortment of products is used and each dish reflects the lifestyle and culture of the Uzbek people. The delicious Uzbek national cuisine is unlikely to leave indifferent even the most pernickety gourmet.
The traditional idea of an oriental bazaar as a place of abundant merchandise, brightness of colours and lively bustle finds its embodiment in Uzbekistan.
At all seasons the fruit and vegetable stalls impress with an abundance and diversity of the produce. But in summer and autumn the oriental bazaar is particularly impressing.
The bazaar’s active life starts early in the morning and ends when it gets dark. The unique atmosphere of the oriental bazaar is created by inviting shouts of the salespeople, automobile honks, sounds of national music, smells of spices and roasted meat, fruit and vegetables of all colors…
Where in the past there were caravanserais modern hotels appeared. First-class hotels with internationally famous names and excellent world-class service are available in the major cities of Uzbekistan: Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Urgench. A number of B&Bs have sprung up over the past several years, each with a style and character of its own. Altogether there are about 1188 hotels in Uzbekistan with total capacity of 40000 rooms.
Uzbekistan today has a developed tourism infrastructure which meets the international standards. You don’t need to spend months in order to reach your destination, like it was in the times of the Silk Road.
Today getting to Uzbekistan is quick and easy. As one of the main gateways to Asia, Uzbekistan has direct flights to the world's major cities.
Travelling on horses and camels is no longer a reality. Instead tourists can delight in beautiful landscapes of the country, while traveling by speedy, comfortable, air-conditioned cars or coaches.
Uzbekistan is not only about history and fabled architecture. Enthusiasts of active tourism have always been very much attracted by Uzbekistan’s exotic nature with its contrasts, diverse flora and fauna, abundance of sunny weather all the year round, and friendly climate.
Uzbekistan embraces as diverse types of the environment as deserts with their sand-dunes, blossoming oases and riverside tugai woods, alpine meadows and mountains topped with eternal snow.
The charm of Uzbekistan’s unrivalled nature can be experienced during the trekking tours in the Western Tien-Shan, the Celestial mountains. In search of extreme adventures there come to Chimgan valley numerous mountaineers, avid to surmount the peak of the Big Chimgan, which is 3309 meters high (10850 feet).
Romantic appeal of horse riding attracts people of any age and temperament. Horseback ride tours are generally arranged in summertime, but Uzbekistan’s unique climatic conditions make horse riding possible all the year round. One of the most popular alluring horseback riding travels are through Ugham-Chatkal National Wild Park well-known for its rich flora and fauna.In some eighty kilometers off Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, at the foot of snow-covered spurs of the Western Tien Shan Mountains there exists"Chimghan Oromghohi" resort complex designed for horse ride enthusiasts. In the stables of the complex there are horses of local breeds, such as kurama and karabair, as well as akhal-teke breed and sturdy half-bred horses. From here the horseback tours head up through the wilderness areas of the National Park.
Impressions of your journey along the mountains wh ere fresh, clear air is filled with the superfine aroma of the numerous herbs and flowers, the squeak of a saddle, rhythmical clatter of hoofs and romantic evening meal round campfire under bottomless mountain sky with myriads of stars, will be long kept in your memory.
The ambience of the legendary Silk Road of our distant past can be experienced during camel safari through the Kyzyl-Kum Desert. Sand-dunes, merciless sun, sparse islands of saxaul, camel’s-thorn (alhagi) and sand, sand, sand… In early spring, thanks to the life-giving rains, the desert is covered with purple poppies and an emerald carpet of grass – sadly, these colours fade quickly. At the camel farm tourists change their comfortable cars to camels- the only suitable form of transport in the desert and start their exotic journey. Unforgettable impressions of riding on camelback; watching the beautiful sunset, its colours bleeding into the horison’s shimmering sands; overnight in yurtas (Kazakh collapsible tents); exotic national dishes and ceremonies — this is what makes this tour popular with tourists.
Heli-ski and snowboarding
Mountains of the Western Tien-Shan offer everything a snow enthusiast could ask for. Comparatively mild climate, almost windless weather, availability of three hundred sunny days a year, big choice of skiable terrain with tracks for cross-country skiing, slalom and downhill runs, create good conditions for winter recreation.
Over the last few years "Chimgan-Charvak-Beldersay" resort area has become a popular location for enthusiasts of heli-ski and free-ride, the youngest but fast developing types of extreme sports and recreation. Thus on the beautiful mountain slopes of Chimghan tract, located at the height of 1600 – 2400 meters above sea level, the blanket of snow lies from October till May and the local skiing routes meet the requirements of the International Mountain Skiing standards.
For the enthusiasts of heli-skiing many runs start from the heights up to 4000 m above sea level and finish in the valley. You can make up to 6 runs per day making the first tracks in virgin powder.
"Asian Switzerland" as Uzbekistan is sometimes called, is especially attractive for those who fancy extreme traveling, who become ecstatic about rafting down the rapid local rivers.
Rafting along the rapid Chatkal River is the favorite activity of extreme travelers. They are interested in many-day rafting along the route rated as the route of the fifth category of complexity, as well as in diverse landscapes and natural obstacles. Not less than fifty serious obstacles await the travelers on the river. Among the hardest ones are waterfalls, cascades of rapids, stony shallow areas with rapid current, whirlpools, rocky gorges and sharp stone cogs sticking out of waves.
Tashkent Lake Side Golf Club is a wonderfully organized golf club with first-rate golf fields. 108 hectares of land with 18 holes on evergreen lawns, with gently sloping hills and branchy crowns of trees, lakes and waterfalls that serve as natural barriers for the game, all this pertains to Tashkent Lake Side Golf Club. It also possesses a large recreational area with training lawns, tennis courts, swimming pool and sauna.
For all the flavours of its storied past, cultural mosaics and unique natural beauty, warmth, hospitality and enthusiasm of the people, Uzbekistan is the country to visit and marvel.