Uzbekistan is an only double-landlocked Asian country with full of fascinating and beautiful cities. Among 119 cities located in the Republic, almost all of them have unique aspects and distinguishable features.
In this article, we will consider “travel gem” destinations of the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan.
Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva – Historical Buildings
Do you know why these cities are called “Open Air Museums”?
Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are the best known and most-visited cities of Uzbekistan.
You will be surprised to see the combination of the past and the present in these cities.
Samarkand has awesome architectural buildings such as Registan, Afrasiab ruins, Shah I Zinda complex and Bibi Khanum Mosque.
Also, Samarkand bread is highly valued because it is edible for three years and has a very pleasant taste. (Backpack Adventures, 2020).
Bukhara is a holy city of Islam. Many famous mausoleums, mosques and Islamic education places are located in the city such as Samanids Mausoleum, Mir-Arab madrasah, Kalyan minaret (tower) and Abdulaziz-Khan madrasah. (Adventour, no date)
Khiva is a younger city compared to ancient cities like Samarkand and Bukhara. However, The most famous attraction in Khiva is Ichan Kal’a can surprise any travel fan with its grandness. It is a historical part of the city, surrounded by 10-meter walls. More than 60 historical monuments and 200 houses exist in Ichan Kal’a. (Kalpak Travel, 2017)
Chust town: Knives
Chust is a city, located in the eastern part of Uzbekistan. A blacksmith and knife manufacturing made the city popular.
Beautiful, well-designed, high-quality knives become the brand of the city. The city attracts both local and foreign tourists, who want to see the production of Asian knives.
Jizzakh city: Large samosa
Jizzakh city is the economic and administrative centre of the Jizzakh Region. This Silk road city is famous for its samosas (also known as Samsa).
Jizzakh samosa is a triangular or round pastry filled with meat, which looks like ordinary samosas in other Uzbeks regions. However, the size is perhaps 2 or 3 times bigger than other samosas.
Why do you need to know that?
If you visit Uzbekistan, stop for an hour in Jizzakh city on your way to the touristic centers of Uzbekistan (Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva) and try this wonderful baked dish.
Nukus city: Aral Sea Disaster
Let’s make this world a better place to live together!
Unfortunately, the popularity of not all Uzbek cities can make people happy. Some cities are best known for touristic attractions, while others are because of environmental disasters.
Near Nukus City, you can see one of the planet’s worst problems – Aral Sea “Catastrophe”.
The Aral Sea was 4th the biggest lake in the world until turning into irreparable damage and disaster to the life of the population.
Due to thoughtless regulation of the biggest rivers in the region (Amudarya and Sirdarya) for irrigation purposes, the amount of water that is pouring into the lake is decreased substantially.
Now, only 10% of the Aral Sea has remained. As a result, new salt desert appeared in the drained area, which is about 5.5 million hectares wide. It is a huge problem because the remained salt is poisonous and can cause different cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and skin diseases.
According to United Nations (2017), the poisonous salt from the area is found in the forests of Norway, on the coast of Antarctica and on the glaciers of Greenland as well as many other places in the world.
Sadly, today it is nearly impossible to revive the Aral Sea to its previous full condition. (United Nations, 2017).
Gijduvon city: Fish frying and Shashlik (kebab) making
Do you want something pleasant after reading about such a big problem?
Gijduvon is a great place for you if want to try fried fish and kebab. It has distinguishable techniques for preparing meals from fish and cooking kebab (shashlik).
The city is located about 40 km away from the Bukhara city, Uzbekistan.
Especially, Gijduvon kebab is highly valued among local people, even Uzbeks travel to Gijduvon to learn and try it. (Uzbek Travel, no date)
Margilan – Beautiful Duppi, Carpets and Silk fabrics
Margilan is one of the most famous cities in Fergana Valley, in the Eastern part of Uzbekistan
Margilan is best known for sewing duppi and carpets. Duppi is a favourite head-dress of Turkic people. Margilan carpets are different from ordinary carpets because they are hand-made and more attractive.
Additionally, Margilan is the “silk heart” of Uzbekistan. Fashion designers from many countries use Margilan silk fabrics for clothes. (Central Asia Travel, no date)
Uzbek Travel (no date). Gijduvon. Available from http://uzbek-travel.com/about-uzbekistan/places/gijduvon/ [Accessed 13 August 2020].
Asia Adventures (no date). Margilan. Available from https://www.centralasia-travel.com/en/countries/uzbekistan/places/margilan [Accessed 13 August 2020].
United Nations (2017). Problems of the Aral Sea and water resources of Central Asia. Available from https://www.un.int/uzbekistan/news/problems-aral-sea-and-water-resources-central-asia [Accessed 13 August 2020].
Asia Adventures (no date). Nukus sights. Available from https://centralasia-adventures.com/en/sights/nukus_sights#:~:text=Nukus%20is%20famous%20among%20tourists,ethnographical%20collection%20of%20Karakalpak%20region. [Accessed 13 August 2020].
Backpack Adventures (2020). 18 top things to do in Samarkand Uzbekistan. Available from https://www.backpackadventures.org/things-to-do-in-samarkand/ [Accessed 13 August 2020].
Adventour (no date). Bukhara Sights Uzbekistan. Available from https://www.advantour.com/uzbekistan/bukhara/sights.htm [Accessed 13 August 2020].
Kalpak travel (2017). Khiva- Top places to see. Available from https://kalpak-travel.com/blog/khiva-travel-guide/ [Accessed 13 August 2020].