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Three Gems of the East

The country of Uzbekistan which offers a puzzling and dazzling mix of traditional spectacle and modern style should be place to consider if you’re running out of out-of-the -box places to travel to. Blessed with rich history, picturesque mountain ranges, and the cities of Uzbekistan are considered gems of Central Asia. Three of such notable cities are Tashkent, Bukhara, and Samarkand which are situated in the eastern part of Uzbekistan ideally along the Great Silk Road route, the network of routes that connected east and west and accelerated trade and cultural exchange.

The trio of Tashkent, Bukhara, and Samarkand make up for an excellent combined travel tour, the latter two of which were capitals of powerful kingdoms for many centuries.

Tashkent

The city of Tashkent which now serves as the capital of Uzbekistan is seemingly two sides of the same coin where everything in Uzbekistan happens. On one side it is a newly built national capital with modern roads and buildings, and on the other side it is yet another sleepy Uzbek town where clad farmers and food growers maze through the mud-walled houses to the local bazaar with their items for trade. Founded way back around the 8th Century AD, Tashkent donned the hats of various identities in the past. At some point in time, it was an independent city-stateand later became the capital of Russian Turkestan. Tashkent today is a multi-ethnic city inhabited by Russians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Turks, Koreans, Uyghurs, Tatars, and Armenians which is striding towards a great future. Below are the major tourist places you’ll be seeing in this tour:

  • Khazrati Imam Architectural Complex
  • The KhodjaAkhrar Ensemble
  • History Museum of the People of Uzbekistan
  • Chorsu Bazaar
  • Independence Square and Amir Timur Square

Bukhara

With over 140 architectural monuments, most of which are concentrated in the central part of the city, Bukhara is a not-to-be-missed travel destination if you have deep or even modest interest in historical archeological sites. At least amillennia old, Bukhara which is ideally located in the Silk Road route was long a center of trade, commerce, culture, and religion. Dubbed as “Town Museum” because of the colossal amount of monuments, Bukhara now proudly boasts as a member of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Below we list few of the notable tourist spots in Bukhara that you’ll get to visit:

  • Po-i-Kalyan Complex
  • Khoja-Gaukushon Ensemble
  • Lyab-i Hauz
  • Mir-i-Arab Madrasah
  • Samanids Mausoleum
  • Abdulaziz-khan Madrasah

Samarkand

One of the oldest cities in Uzbekistan which is more than two and a half millennia old, just like Bukhara, it was a central point for trade across the region and renowned for the craft production which were handmade by skilled artisans that inhabited the city. It was a melting pot for various cultures and religions and there was a diverse medieval society that lived in the ancient city, all of which are evident by the archaeological findings. After Genghis Khan destroyed the city in 1220, it was later resurrected by Tamerlane who made Samarkand the capital of Timurid dynasty. There are now dozens of mausoleums and other important shrines which are gorgeously built. Samarkand also was an important scientific center where prominent scientists like Ulugh Beg, grandson of Amir Timur, worked. Popular historical site in Samarkand included in this tour include:

  • Registan
  • Ulugh Beg Observatory and Madrasah
  • Bibi-Khanym Mosque
  • The Gur-e-Amir Mausoleum
  • The Shah-i-Zinda Ensemble

After this tri-city tour, you’d have seen some of the interesting and beautiful monuments that are usually not found on a regular traveler’s catalogue. Also expect a lot of greetings and home invitation from local people who are truly amazing and hospitable.