Uzbekistan – This Country Will Surprise You!


Here at Crooked Compass, we love going off the beaten track. Some of the most fascinating places in the world are those least travelled, and one of those gems is Uzbekistan. This enchanting country is brimming with culture and boasts a unique history like no other place on earth. From its time under Persian rule, through its brief period of Soviet rule to modern-day Uzbekistan, the rich cultural heritage is on display everywhere you look.

The exploration doesn’t stop there, though. Uzbekistan is also home to some stunning landscapes, offering a captivating mixture of deserts, mountains, lowlands and valleys. Uzbekistan travel is a must for the traveller who wants to immerse themselves in nature, history and unique architecture.

Sightseeing in Tashkent

Tashkent is a complex mix of modern life and history. The old part of the city is home to the Khast Imam and is also the largest Islamic centre in the country. Continuing the historical theme, explore the Kukeldash madrasah, a 16th-century Islamic school turned museum boasting breathtaking architecture and a rich history.

Tashkent - Uzbekistan
Tashkent – Uzbekistan


In Tashkent, you will also get a taste of Uzbekistan’s market culture. These markets, known as bazaars, have been a way of life for the country’s inhabitants for thousands of years. One of the most popular in the city is the Chorsu Bazaar, a traditional marketplace bustling with bright colours, enticing aromas, and all types of local goods. Farmers travel from miles to sell their wares at the market, and you’ll have an opportunity to barter and buy the food of Uzbekistan from locals.

For evening entertainment, tap into the remnants of Soviet rule at the Navoi Opera and Ballet Theatre, a beautifully preserved example of Soviet architecture in Uzbekistan.

The Cemetery of Ships in Muynak

Muynak is an intriguing former seaport town in the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan, situated in Uzbekistan. Once on the edge of the Aral Sea, Muynak is now further from the coast, thanks to a series of natural and man-made events that have caused the Aral Sea to dry up. While the region is no longer a bustling fishing port, the remnants of its glory days remain a fascinating insight into the past and the impacts of human life on the environment.

Coined ‘The Cemetery of Ships’. Muynak is home to a unique sight – large fishing vessels wedged into the desert sand that was once their marine home. The remains of Muynak’s thriving fishing industry are a popular attraction on any visit to Uzbekistan.

Historical monuments in Mizdakhan

Historical monuments are strewn throughout the beautiful landscape of Uzbekistan. As a hotspot for ancient history, Mizdakhan stands as a monument to Uzbekistan’s diverse past. One of the more educational parts of an Uzbekistan tour, Mizdakhan’s highlights include the Mausoleum of Mazlum Khan Sulu, a beautiful example of Karakhanid architecture. You can also view three different historical ruins across three hills, one being the ruins of the Gyaur-Kala Fortress, built in the 4th Century BC.

The monuments of Mizdakhan aren’t just a visual treat, but an opportunity to learn about Central Asia’s unique history. Open your mind and be filled with wonder at the legends of famous battles, conquerors, prophets and even sorcerers.

Ayaz-Kala Fort - Uzbekistan
Ayaz-Kala Fort – Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s fascinating landscapes

So much of your journey through Uzbekistan is filled with ancient buildings, monuments and remnants of the region’s rich cultural history. But equally impressive is the stunning landscapes you can take in. The popular myth is that Uzbekistan is mostly desert. While the region is certainly dry, and the desert does form a lot of its landscape, there is so much more to see than just sand.

Aydarkul, for example, is a fascinating desert lake offering crystal-clear water and has to be seen to be believed. The snow-capped peaks of the Tian Shan mountains are in stark contrast to the surrounding desert, and you’ll also find beautiful lakes, valleys and lowlands in the area. Perhaps you’d like to explore the sweeping sand dunes of the Kyzylkum Desert.

 Kyzylkum Desert - Uzbekistan
Kyzylkum Desert – Uzbekistan


Discover the historical Silk Road

The way we look at global commerce today is a far cry from the traditional trading practices of the past. But Uzbekistan was a major part of one of history’s most famous and notorious trading routes – The Silk Road. This ancient trading route stretched around 6,400 kilometres, effectively connecting the East and West.

For centuries, the Silk Road was a network of trading routes, with many of its highlights being in Uzbekistan. Many of these ancient Silk Road cities are still standing today, just waiting to be explored. Particularly captivating are the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, where you can learn the history of merchants, travellers and other wild stories from the infamous Silk Road.

 Samarkand - Uzbekistan
Samarkand – Uzbekistan

If you’d like to learn more about Uzbekistan’s rich culture and history and make this experience yours, contact us to find out for yourself and explore our Uzbekistan tours.