Off the beaten path for most tourists, the hidden gem that is Uzbekistan beckons and rewards pioneering world travelers with a curiosity for Central Asia. As an ancient Silk Road outpost, former Soviet Republic and one of the world’s only two double-landlocked countries, the land of the Uzbeks is a unique draw indeed. As Central Asia’s cradle of culture for more than two millennia, it boasts a majestic collection of architecture and ancient cities, all deeply infused with the history of the Silk Road. In terms of sights alone, Uzbekistan is arguably the region’s biggest showstopper. After easing visa restrictions in 2019 to open up to the outside world, the mausoleums of Samarkand, mosques of Bukhara, renowned Savitsky Museum in Nukus housing the greatest art collection in Central Asia, and booming capital Tashkent are now yours to discover.
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We asked Uzbekistan’s Tourism Ambassador Sophie Ibbotson to share her insights vis-à-vis Uzbekistan tourism. What are must-see destinations and top tips for tourists traveling in Uzbekistan? She talks about Uzbektourism’s latest tourism promotion initiatives to attract more visitors from Hong Kong and around the world, and concludes with a 30-second pitch to promote Uzbek tourism to Hong Kongers.
In an exclusive, Lilian Cordell prepares the ultimate feast, including a hearty plate of chicken pilav. Lilian is the award-winning author of the definitive bible on Bukharian home cooking, Miriam’s Table: The Bukharian Cookbook, a culinary journey through the Uzbek region of Bukhara with over 80 family recipes. The cookbook was the winner for Best in the World for Silk Road at the 2019 Gourmand Cookbook Awards.
Tara Pandeya and Abbos Kosimov give an exclusive performance of the Uzbek Doira va Raqs, i.e. traditional drum and dance. It is the first time they created a new Doira va Raqs while geographically apart in Uzbekistan and California, using syncopated rhythms and corresponding movements. A renowned dance performer and choreographer, Tara has worked as a principal dancer with Cirque du Soleil, and has performed and created dance programs in 35+ countries. Abbos is a master of doyra and Uzbek culture ambassador who has performed around the world, including Carnegie Hall, and recorded with artists, including Stevie Wonder, Zakir Hussain, Alonzo King and Kronos Quartet.
Speed along the trade routes of the ancient Silk Road, and discover Uzbekistan’s history!
Did you know the Turkestan sand cat is the national animal of Uzbekistan?
Need an introduction to Uzbekistan and all it has to offer? Enjoy a virtual journey!
There is no shortage of things to see and do in Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent. Explore the city and learn more about its culture!
Have you heard of Samarkand? It is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2001, celebrated globally for its culture and art, including its many architectural treasures.
The Historic Centre of Bukhara is more than 2,000 years old, and one of the best examples of well preserved Islamic cities in Central Asia.
Why not explore Khiva, Uzbekistan’s open air museum? Itchan Kala is the inner town of the old Khiva oasis, the last resting place of caravans before crossing the desert to Iran.
Karakalpakstan, an autonomous republic in Uzbekistan, is one of the best places to visit for an off-the-beaten-path experience, with its desert landscapes, fortresses and Aral Sea, and renowned Savitsky Museum in Nukus.
Have you tried Uzbek food, from pilaf and lamb to lagman and samsa? Journey through Uzbekistan’s gastronomic culture!
From Navruz and Sumalak Sayli Festival to Eid, check out Uzbekistan’s celebrations!
Kurash is the national sport of Uzbekistan and one of the most ancient types of traditional wrestling in the world. In the 14th century, the country’s hero Timur the Lame used kurash as part of a training program for his soldiers.
Khan-Atlas or Khan silk, which is Uzbek silk fabric painted in all colors of the rainbow, is an integral part of the culture of the country, with its proximity to the Silk Road.
In June 2018, photography within Tashkent’s underground station was legalized. Marvel at the art and architecture of Central Asia’s first subway, hidden away for over 40 years!
Turgun Alimatov was a leading Uzbek classic music and shashmaqam player and composer of 20th century folk and classic music, and a master performer of tanbur, dutar and sato.
Uzbek Tourism Ambassador Sophie Ibbotson's Top 5 Picks: Documentaries
- Aral: Fishing In An Invisible Sea
- Desert Of Forbidden Art
- Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure
- Uzbek To My Roots
- The Silk Road
Uzbek Tourism Ambassador Sophie Ibbotson's Top 5 Picks: Books