Uzbekistan – One Dream Destination
Why Uzbekistan? | The modern land of Uzbeks encompasses some of the most fascinating trading outposts of the erstwhile Silk Route. Endowed with salubrious natural conditions, Uzbekistan is a modern country with friendly people. But what is most striking about this otherwise lesser-known country is the mammoth share of its stunning architectural sites. With its current geographic positioning, Uzbekistan can offer you 4 UNESCO world heritage sites in a week long trip. Heritage sites of Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Tashkent are well connected and offer every other amenity that any traveler might ask for.
Getting-in | With the new slew of tourist-friendly measures taken by the Uzbekistan government, travel to Uzbekistan is smooth as Silk.
Visa | E-Visas (costing $20) are easy to obtain however there are some issues related to Photograph (i) File Size: Should be less than 500 kB (ii) Background: White (iii) File Format: .jpg. Remember the Golden Rule: If system is showing an upload error, this means there is any error with input data or image format. Hit and trial generally works. Payment is easy with VISA. Processing time is 48 hours with visa (.pdf) attached on an email.
Flights | Cheap, reliable, and undoubtedly the best way of exploring Uzbekistan is to fly with Uzbekistan Airways (https://m.uzairways.com/en). Online booking can be made through credit/ debit cards. Although the travel ticket advises a check-in 120 mins before the departure time, a Check-in in advance of 60 mins is generally perfectly safe and doable. Airlines staff is not fussy about luggage limitation and choice (Check-in/ Cabin). Aircrafts generally in operation include the incredibly safe Airbus A320. In-flight meals are small and mostly comprise of light munching bites of dry fruits and nuts. If you want more, carry your own food.
Train | If you do not find the flight schedules in-line with your travel itinerary, consider taking the high-speed bullet trains. This option is noteworthy for all local travels within the country. Special trains Afrosiab and Sharq are cost effective and comfortable means of travelling. Railway Stations in Uzbekistan are well-maintained quite like the Airports. Only passengers are allowed to enter after a security check. Check-in an hour before the scheduled departure time. Boarding is hassle free aided by coach attendants. Spain manufactured bullet train Afrosiab is a true world class experience.
Taxi | Throughout Uzbekistan, taxis are plentiful and very cheap. Ranging from the old-fashioned Matiz to the top end Cobalt, Laceti, and Malibu, cars are well-maintained and the drivers are courteous. To avoid confusion it’s good to finalize the ride charges before getting into a cab.
Metro | When in Tashkent, get into the underground Metro to peep into a bygone world. Tashkent Metro was put in place by the industrious Soviets in 1970s. A mere shadow of its past, the system is still a favorite with locals.
People | Despite the language barrier, People in general are friendly and helpful, always keen to start a conversation. Be prepared to get ambushed by local folks for selfies. Foreign tourists are treated as VIPs, irrespective of their color and creed.
Essentials | Do carry your Passports, Visa (Hard/Soft), Registration Slips, International Debit/ Credit Card, Travel Card, and some local currency (Uzbeki SOM) for your incidental expenditures.
Tashkent | Samarqand | Bukhara | Khiva