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Review for Private Comfort in Uzbekistan - 12 Days

Uzbekistan

Why Uzbekistan? So you’re thinking of traveling to Uzbekistan? And everyone you know is saying “What? Why do you want to go there?” Well I will try to tell you why, and what I found in my trip to Uzbekistan with Project Expedition (and local partner Zukhro Travel, guided by Nodir). I decided to visit Uzbekistan primarily because I wanted to know more about the history and culture of Central Asia, and especially about the people and places of the “Silk Road” I knew some history about the silk roads, but was largely in the dark about modern Uzbekistan. I wanted to know more about pre-Europe Asia and its world of traders, merchants, civilizations and rulers, and I was also ready for an adventure off the beaten path. What I found was a place and people that were unforgettable! My Experience On our (slightly altered) “All Fun Included and Most Wanted Activities” tour we visited numerous historical sites --including magnificent monuments, mausoleums, and mosques in Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. I especially enjoyed visiting the Ulug Beg Observatory, one of the finest in the world at the time of (1420s), as well as one of the few extant caravanseri sites where silk road travelers and merchants found precious water and accommodations (today located along a busy modern hiway). I also was impressed by the ‘living museum’ of Khiva, with its ancient city walls still strong and intact. We also visited many modern places of interest --including spectacular Bazars at Tashkent and Bukhara, and the Tashkent World War II monument in Independence square. We experienced the colorful and festive Silk and Spices Festival at Bukhara, complete with Uzbek singers, dancers, and a parade. Our tour also included a trip to a natural area and the Aydarkul Lake (lakeside picnic), with an overnight stay in a Yurt camp, with a morning camel ride to help give the full silk road caravan experience! But aside from the monuments and buildings, ancient and natural wonders, my companions and I had numerous opportunities to see and talk with Uzbek people on a daily basis --including our attendance at a wedding where we were accepted as honorable guests, and where we chatted freely with several younger guests who spoke perfect english (as do practically all the young people we met). Again and again in different places and venues we were greeted by friendly, smiling, happy people who were eager to talk with us and proud to talk about their country and its culture. On my tour I learned much about the silk roads and the world of Timur and bazars and caravanseri. But it was what I didn't expect that perhaps made the most lasting impression on me: the people and the spirit of modern Uzbekistan. The openness and friendliness of the people, their optimistic and pragmatic attitude, and including the young people talking with us and insisting that we be in their pictures after they posed for us --those are all memories that I will cherish. Practical matters Getting there: I recommend you try to travel with Uzbekistan Airways, and take a direct flight from NYC. Money and credit cards: There are no ATMs, you will need to change dollars to Uzbek sums; your guide can help or you can visit a bank. Credit cards can be used for major purchases (e.g. silk or wool carpet) Food and water: We drank bottled water over our 12 day tour, and ate good food (mostly fresh and cooked vegetables and beef) at numerous restaurants without any problem. Security: There are numerous 2-person teams of police throughout the cities and there are various highway checkpoints; we felt safe and secure at all times. In conclusion Project Expedition has identified a truly extraordinary local partner for tours in Uzbekistan (Zukhro Travel). Nodir, who meticulously planned our tour and accompanied us every step of the way, was completely knowledgeable about the history and culture of Uzbekistan and Central Asia, and was friendly, personable, and professional at all times. He spared no effort to make our journey fun, informative, safe, entertaining, and comfortable. Thank you Nodir (and driver Kudrat), for giving us a truly unforgettable travel experience!

By Rob

Review for Private Comfort in Uzbekistan - 12 Days

Uzbekistan

If you are looking for a tour that will surprise and excite your senses, Uzbekistan is the place to go. From the modern capital Tashkent, to the colorful Silk and Species Festival in Buccara, to the breathtaking Registan in Samarkand, with the experience at a yurt, camel ride included, in the dessert and visit to one of the oldest cities in the world Khiva... this tour was undescribable. Project expedition (Jeremy) and Zukhro travel (Nodir), worked the details of the trip with such precision that we could not believe we could pack up so many interesting visits in just one day. Uzbekistan is a great country to visit. It was very surprising for me to discover a muslim country where people are so open, friendly, hospitable and generous. They are also curious about you and want to "take pictues of you", and practice Engiish. This is an area of the world with lots of history. This is a big part of the Silk Road, after all. Our tour guide Nodir is very knowledgeable and proud of his history. He made it very easy for us to learn and appreciate the surroundings, He was punctual and professional. He tried to accomodate our very requests, including taking us to have coffee. In Uzbekistan people mainly drink tea, however you can find coffee in cafes in the main cities. He would also spoiled us by providing lunch by the newly created Ayardul lake, with fresh fish from the lake. He also provided current and traditional uzbek music during our trips in the van, This is a fascinating land of mistery and discovery. I was reminded of the stories in"One thousand and one nights", that my mother used to read to me as a child Food is fresh and varied with lots of vegetables and a variety of meats. The kebabs are delicious... I like to explore the world, so typically I do not like to repeat a country, however Uzbekistan is in my list to "go back" and if at all possible, using local partner Zukhro Travel (Nodir) will be my choice.

By Rob