Uzbekistan Travel Photos – Living in Uzbekistan and getting around.
I travelled for three weeks in Uzbekistan. The country is full of ancient relics, old cities, and UNESCO world heritage sites. Travelling in Uzbekistan was comfortable and convenient – being mostly flat, there are very good rail connections including overnight trains and superfast trains. The tourist industry is also better established here in comparison with other central Asian countries.
Tashkent is the biggest urban centre and the heart of the country. Cosmopolitan urban life is on full display here – international restaurants, attractions, tourist infrastructure, shopping centers, even a subway system. Rest of the country, barring few other urban centers is mostly dotted with quieter towns.
Numerous major centers from the Silk Road era are located in Uzbekistan. Prominent among these are Bukhara, Khiva, Samarkand, and Tashkand, and each of these are indeed immensely beautiful, with old city centers and archaeological sites. Most of the old cities on the erstwhile silk route were destroyed by the Mongols; whatever was spared has been reconstructed by kings since Genghis Khan, or creatively restored by recent governments.
Excellent rail connections exist throughout the country, including some modern high-speed rail between Tashkent and Samarkand too. A new line, with a 19-km tunnel, cuts through mountains across to the Fergana valley. I definitely recommend travelling by train, it is much more comfortable and relaxed compared to cramped shared taxis.
Travelling in Uzbekistan was very simple. Uzbek, Tajik, and Kyrgyz, in that order, are the biggest nationalities in the country, and everyone we met was immensely friendly and helpful. Knowledge of Russian definitely helps, but we also spoke a bit of Turkish and therefore Uzbek, which came in handy to impress the locals and make interactions more fun.
Three weeks is the absolutely least I recommend spending in the country if you wanted to thoroughly enjoy it, although a whirlwind tour in two days would let you hit the key tourist cities stated above with relative ease.