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Discovery Uzbekistan Travel Guide #14/2010

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From Editor

The idea of a "best of Discovery Central Asia Travel Magazine has been floating around for a while. After all, we're presently working on the 13 issue; we're in our third year of publishing the only English language travel magazine coming out of this part of the world; providing up-to-date indispensable information on the many aspects of tourism along the heart of the Great Silk Road. more

Uzbekistan introduction

Neville McBain. British Council Director, Tashkent I'm delighted to welcome you to Discovery Uzbekistan. I think the urge to discover is one of the most thrilling in life and that Uzbekistan offers many exciting opportunities to suit people of all ages. more

A cultural oasis in Karakalpakstan
"Museums are not just deposits of the past but should let the past speak to the present in its own voice, which could be surprisingly different. Museums can also be the unique voice of local communities, unique because each place on earth is unique in its history, its landscape and its local cultures. I prefer to see museums as centres of living culture and active learning. more
Since the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, Boysun has been at the crossroads between Bactria and Sogd. The Akhaemenid, Greek, Kushan, Hepthalite, Samanid, Karakhanid, Ghaznevid and Khorezmshah empires have all left their traces. Alexander, Chenghis Khan, the Arabs, Amir Temur, Babur, and their armies all passed through here. more
It seems unfortunate that the last emir of Bukhara, Alim Khan, was not able to enjoy his Summer Palace for longer. Sitora I Mokhi Khoza and its surroundings are delightful and make an interesting contrast to the 16th century old town. Take your time exploring the splendidly decorated reception rooms, the harem, the textile museum in one of the pavilions, and wander down to the lake along shady avenues where peacocks strut. more
Ecological tourism at the Aral Sea
The Kyzlkum and Karakum deserts of Uzbekistan offer visitors spectacular settings where the horizons stretch endlessly and the bustle of carpet sellers in Bukhara and Samarkand is left far behind. Here it is possible to live in traditional nomadic yurt tents and travel by camel or horse, eating around camp-fires and enjoying traditional folk songs under the stars. more

The history of Khiva and the Khorezm oasis is fascinating and a walk through the Ichan Kala, the old walled city of Khiva, will give you an insight into the life led there from ancient days up to the present time. You know you are nearing Khiva when you cross the legendary Amu Darya (Oxus) river. As you round the last bend, the huge citadel rises before you and the main gate opens up to the old city, Khiva's vast open air museum. more

Lake Aydar Kul
They say Uzbekistan has something for every tourist, but a beach holiday? In a double-landlocked country? Look no further than Lake Aydar Kul, a 200 km2 saline lake that sits in the hollow of Arnasai on the south east end of the Kyzylkum desert. Sandy-bottomed and gently sloping, it is a perfect place for children and adults alike to sunbathe, swim and enjoy all the pleasures of the beach - as we found when we traveled there with 5 adults and 8 children of 11 and under. more
Even those who know nothing about Uzbekistan have some flicker of recognition when it comes to the mythical city of "Samarkand". Countless travellers have passed through here over thousands of years and told glowing tales of the city's splendour. Browse the internet, read the travel tales, legends and firsthand accounts of travellers from all over the world who have been to Samarkand. more
Always an important stop on the branch of the Great Silk Road that led south to the sea, Shakhrisabz is today a popular one or two day trip from Samarkand or a detour on the way to Bukhara. Situated in a fertile plain, with the Gissar mountains as a spectacular backdrop, Shakhrisabz looks back over one thousand years of history. more
Silk of Kings
Once upon a time, the Khan of Kokand, who already had four wives, decided he wanted a fifth. He fell in love with the beautiful young daughter of a local artisan. The artisan did not want to marry off his daughter, and asked the Khan to reconsider. more
Multi-ethnic, multifaceted, over 2000 years old yet modern, often underestimated yet charming, Tashkent has a lot to offer.

To many travellers to Uzbekistan, Tashkent is simply a necessary stopover en route to Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. However, this historic city holds many treasures and rewards deeper exploration with some unexpected surprises. more
Uzbek arts and crafts
The arts and crafts of Uzbekistan have enjoyed a well-earned fame for centuries. The pre-eminence of the applied art here can be attributed to historical conditions shaping the cultural development of the Uzbek people. Uzbeks have developed their technical and artistic traditions over centuries. more

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