Uzbekistan might not be on your travel radar, but it’s perfect for adventurous travelers who are always seeking new and exciting destinations that are off the beaten path. This country along the Silk Road is part of the trail that connects East and West, making it a fascinating collage of cultural influences. Whether your interest is history, cuisine, or shopping you will find many appealing reasons to travel to Uzbekistan once you start looking. Uzbekistan is located in Central Asia and was once part of the Soviet Union. It borders countries such as Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Cultural influences over time include the Persian Empire and the Russian Empire, making it a fascinating destination for travelers.
The history of the landlocked country of Uzbekistan is shaped most significantly by its location along the Silk Road, or trade route between East and West. The Silk Road got its name from the fact that Chinese silks were highly in demand in Europe, and a great deal of trade occurred to satisfy this demand. As a result, places along the Silk Road grew wealthy and were considered strategic points which made them vulnerable for attack. For example, Alexander the Great conquered the city in the fourth century BC and even married the daughter of a local leader.
When visitors travel to Uzbekistan they will have many opportunities to learn about different points in history. While a democratic nation today, the country has a difficult past having been part of the failed Soviet Union. Despite this fact, only 5 percent of the population practices the Russian Orthodox religion while more than 90 percent of the country practices Islam. The official state language is Uzbek, but Russian is a popular language still to the present day. Many visitors start their trip to Uzbekistan in the capital city of Tashkent. A subway system along with buses and trams makes its easy to explore the city and visit different attractions.
Another popular destination is the city of Samarkand. This is one of the oldest cities in the world and offers a number of beautiful monuments, domes, and mosaics for visitors. When you travel to Uzbekistan it is easy to feel like there is too much to see. Other popular cities include Bukhara, known for its Islamic architecture, Khiva, thought of as a museum under the sky, and Nurata for its ancient history. The climate of the country is called an extreme continental climate, noted for its very cold winter temperatures and extremely hot summer temperatures. Visitors should also note that weather can vary greatly between the north and south of the country.
No matter where your trip to Uzbekistan takes you, there are a few things you will want to check out. The bazaar is a market where colors, sights, and sounds will assault your senses. One of the great pleasures of the bazaar is bargaining, so be prepared to bring your best bargaining game. Some western visitors prefer to hire a guide when exploring the bazaar to help with bargaining. If you’re interested in getting to know the local culture, you must check out Uzbek tea houses, or Chaikhanas. The Uzbek people are known for their hospitality, making it one of the friendliest places in the region for westerners. To experience the culture of this area of the world, Uzbekistan is a safe and interesting choice.