Uzbekistan Holidays – Tours & Adventure Travel Guide
“Uzbekistan is landlocked country in Central Asia, surrounded by Kazakhstan in the west and Kyrgyzstan in the east. At its south, you can find Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, as well as Tajikistan in the east. Sharing borders among these countries is more of a blessing than a curse. Besides having easy strategic partners for economic development, their cultural influences can be seen by the presence of medieval monuments, ruins, and plenty of artifacts that fill up the museum found in the country. The mountains, glorious in all its beauty, also become convenient passageways for people who want to experience the life and quietness of this once-Russian territory.”
Uzbekistan Holiday Highlights
Walking & Trekking –The real beauty of Uzbekistan can be experienced if you trek into the Celestial Mountains, which is also called the Western Tien-shan. It is where you can feast your eyes among the wide varieties of flora and fauna, even if you are already thousands of miles above sea level. Giving it a different glow will be the growing vineyards laden with grapes, as well as different types of fruit-bearing trees. You can drive through Chirchick, which offers one of the most breathtaking views of the mountain ranges that cover a large portion of Uzbekistan, especially those snow-capped and painted white and blue.
Culture & History – The Uzbekistan culture is perhaps one of the most original and well preserved. Despite having been conquered by the Russians during its early part of its history, the people are still able to maintain their long-standing traditions, customs, and beliefs, which they express through arts and literature. They are known for their music, dances, paintings, clothes, and sculpture. The craftsmen in Uzbekistan even still practice the old-age methods of creating jewelry, such as in cutting the gemstones, engraving in stones, and in enameling. They are also excellent carpet makers and wood carvers, though they are able to combine their ancient techniques with the new ones, allowing them to produce pieces that resemble both the old and the present times.
Rafting – Uzbekistan may be more known because of its mountains, but the wild rivers are fast catching up. In fact, those who are looking for extreme activities in the country will never get disappointed as they venture into white water rafting among its comprehensive river system, such as the Chatkal River. It is currently under fifth category in terms of its complexity, with obstacles described as natural but highly diverse. You can expect to pass by plenty of waterfalls, shallow areas, strong water currents, gorges, stone cogs, and whirlpools, to name a few.
Adventure Tours – There is always something waiting for someone who is seeking adventure in Uzbekistan. Your adventure tour may constitute trips to various historical places, such as in Kokand, Khiva, and Bukhara. These are where you can find a great deal of mausoleums, museums, mosques, and palaces that are built during the time of Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. You can also see a myriad of ruins that give you a vivid picture of the greatness of the city even a long time ago. If you are seeking peace and quiet, you can move up to the northeast portion of Tashkent, where you will be greeted by the Tien-shan Mountains or the Pulatkhan Plateau.
When to Go
Good times to go to Uzbekistan are during the spring and autumn seasons. Spring usually starts from May and ends in June, while the fall is from September to November. During these seasons, the weather is mild. Moreover, the trees bear the most number of fruits during the fall. Summer, which is from July to August, will be the most ideal time to climb at the mountains. During the winter, the temperature can drop dramatically. If you want to see the desert blossom, visit the country sometime in April.
- Learn to speak even a little of the Uzbek language. A large number of its people speak Russian, but the more that you move farther away from the main cities, the less chances people speak of the language.
- Women should avoid wearing shorts and are advised to dress conservatively.
- Homosexuality is illegal in the country.
Uzbekistan Holidays In Focus
Walking and Trekking
Trekking in Uzbekistan is like tracing the Silk Road or the footsteps of Alexander the Great’s soldiers. Luckily, there are plenty of tour companies that can add trekking as one of the best ways to enjoy your Uzbekistan holiday. You can go to the Fan Mountains, a portion of the Pamir Mountain Ranges. You can also proceed to the Zindan valleys or choose any of the mountain peaks of Malaya Ganza and Bolshaya.
You can begin your day with an ascent to Mutnoje Lake, which is 800 meters above sea level. It is 8 kilometers away from Tashkent. It takes you four to five hours to reach the area, but you will be greatly rewarded by the beautiful view of Chimtarga, Kaznok, and Energiya. You can also stay for a while at the Piala Lake, named after its round shape.
Definitely, you do not want to miss climbing up the Tien Shan Mountains, which make up almost half of the mountains of Uzbekistan. It is normally capped with snow for the most time of the year and is 3,000 meters above sea level. The highest peak is known as Pik Pobeda, but the most beautiful of them all is Khan Tengri. There are also many freshwater lakes in the region, such as the Sacred Lake, which remains warm all throughout summer, and Lake Titicaca. Do not forget to grab the opportunity to stay in any of the ski resorts in the area.
The only challenge in climbing the mountains will be its longevity. It takes you days before you can reach the peak, and you have to pass by a number of mountain passes with a ski stick or a walking axe as your tools. One should be fit to conquer the cold weather and sometimes the snow and rain while climbing.
Culture and History
The people of Uzbekistan are known for their hospitality. They need this since most of their lives they are dealing with businessmen who are open for trade. Passing through the Silk Road, they are expected to bring along pottery, silk, and other Central Asian goods. Moreover, since the country is not really frequented by a lot of tourists, they are always more than happy to accommodate a tourist who is enjoying an Uzbekistan holiday.
There is also disparity among men and women in Uzbekistan. The former are usually found in chaikhanas, or tea houses, where they talk, while the women are in their homes, taking care of the household. Because of the presence of the Silk Road routes, business is thriving in Uzbekistan. If you are looking for great pieces to bring back home, you may want to go to the bazaar, where you can not only buy but also sell. The sellers are also open for bargaining, which allow you to purchase even rare items for an affordable amount.
Bread is a sacred object in Uzbekistan. This comes from their belief that people who mint coins were given bread for payment. They are also well known for their great love for the arts, where they can express their culture a lot better. Several artifacts can tell you of the evolution of their carpet weaving, metallurgy, engraving, enameling, and even calligraphy. They are also fond of miniature paintings and leather stamping. There are several ethnic tribes in Uzbekistan, having their own set of religion and cultural background, but they are able to showcase their own identity through their arts such as in ceramic making and painting.
Having your own adventure in Uzbekistan is fairly easy with the presence of many choices for transport. Tashkent has two main railway stations found in the north and south respectively. The railways are linked to other provinces such as Bukhara, Fergana Valley, Samarkand, Termez, and Nukus. You can also choose to travel by road, where you can ride a bus, tram, trolley, or even a taxi. Buses and trolleys ply all major cities and towns in the country. The prices, however, differ on your point of destination. You can rent taxis and cars, but make sure that they are marked ones.
You can also negotiate with a tour agency, which will bring you to different attractions and beautiful locations in Uzbekistan. Normally, they also have their own mode of transport, so you can arrange with them properly. When you are in the desert, though, you may want to try riding on the back of the camel.
- Touring the Desert with Camels.
- Climbing the Celestial Mountains.
- Tracing the Silk Road: Trading Goods at the Bazaars.