Uzbekistan was once a hermetic country that had some strict visa policies for the foreigners planning to visit it.
However, things have changed, and Uzbekistan is slowly opening up so that people can enjoy its beauty.
Off The Beaten Places To Visit In Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is quite a marvellous place to visit, and it is also the most travel-friendly one in all of Central Asia.
When you are travelling through Uzbekistan, there are certain places that you might want to go to.
No matter if you’re staying for one night or one week, here are some of the sights that you might want to put on your list.
Also referred to as the “Garden of Uzbekistan,” this place is an overlander’s dream.
Found right between the Tian Shan (i.e. the Heavenly Mountains) and Pamir Alay, this place is a mountainous beauty that will take your breath away.
In the middle of this valley, you may also find the town of Fergana, with its beautiful Russian colonial architecture.
You should also take a few hours to simply walk down the streets, as they are shaded with poplar and plane trees.
Are you a fan of medieval desert towns? In that case, you’ll want to give Khiva a try. This town is very old, dating back to the 16th century – but despite this fact, it has been beautifully preserved.
Within the inner walled city, you can also find something that can be regarded as an open-air museum, depicting the history of Uzbekistan from the 16th century up until now.
Do you feel nature calling you? In that case, you should definitely pay a visit to the Nurata Nature Reserve.
Packed with river valleys of a lush green colour that surround the town Nurata, this place will easily introduce you to the beauty and culture of the place.
Quite a number of endangered species also live there, including a type of mountain sheep and more than 300 bird species.
You may also find historic ruins of fortresses in the valley, making it the perfect choice for explorers.
Now, Nukus is the 6th biggest city in Uzbekistan. Still, it used to be a very small settlement. Due to its remote location, it served as the host of the Red Army Chemical Research Institution.
Nukus also has the State Museum, where you can see many artefacts found during archaeological investigations.
The Art Museum in Nukus is also the place where you can see modern Uzbek and Russian art, going from 1918 till 1935.
Shakhrisabz is not even old; it’s ancient. This place served as the epicentre for a variety of important worldly events, but it only became popular in 1346 after the birth of Tamerlane.
While the city was built around and new constructions also sprouted throughout the years, parts of the ancient place are still standing.
The mausoleums where the most important characters of Uzbekistan are buried can also be found there.
Food You Should Try In Uzbekistan.
The bad news here is that if you are a vegetarian, this country is not really the place for you to visit. The chances are that every time you’d look for a meat-free dish, they’d stare with bewilderment at you.
In the general Uzbekistan tradition, everyone eats meat, and there would be no purpose to not consume this type of food.
You can eat some vegetarian dishes – but they’re going to be ad-hoc and difficult to find.
The most popular dish, and one you should not skip, is the plov – a recipe that mixes veggies, rice, meat, and sometimes also eggs.
They also eat many manty (i.e. dumplings), shashlik (i.e. kebab), and Lagmab (a traditional noodle soup recipe).
Tea is also served hot, even in hot weather – something that people there eventually get used to.
Uzbekistan is quite a touristic site, so you will likely come across several restaurants.
You have the typical central Asian food restaurants, but specific restaurants can be found as well.
Customs to Be Aware Of in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is a modern country, which means that there is no travel code for women.
You aren’t required to cover your head, and you do not have to wear their traditional clothing.
That being said, that doesn’t mean you should go out there in the flashiest outfit you have, a miniskirt or a top that shows marvellous cleavage.
You may be proud of it, but Uzbekistan is a Muslim country after all; you have to practice some common sense.
Most people there speak Uzbek, as that is the official language – but Russian is also very common.
If you want to be able to get around, you should be willing to learn the basics of at least one of those languages.
You shouldn’t place your hopes on the fact that you’ll easily come across an English speaker.
You should know that the Fergana Valley from Uzbekistan should be steered clear of, as it is the dwelling place of Islamic radical groups.
While the government tried to solve the problem, they could not turn the area into a safe zone, which is why visitors are forbidden from going there.
In that regard, tourists are not expected to behave like Uzbek people.
The locals are quite open and actually curious about foreigners, and while they are happy to see you enjoy their local clothing and food, they won’t expect you to abandon yours.
They won’t expect you to join prayer time either, but if that happens, you should not bother them from it.
Uzbekistan is a beautiful place to see – and to enjoy the best of it, you may want to take a couple of extra days.
You have nature reserves, medieval towns, and a lot of interesting types of food to taste – which is why you might want to enjoy everything to the fullest.