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From our Special Correspondent in Uzbekistan

sunny 22 °C

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My name is Tulkinjon Okbutaev and I have been an official guide in Uzbekistan for 14 years. I am 36 years old. My mother is a cardiologist and my father was also a doctor but has now died. I am married with two children and we are expecting a third child in the next two weeks. I am fluent in Russian, Uzbek, English and Japanese and I studied in London for 1 year.

I think tourists should visit Uzbekistan today because it is a very safe country where the Uzbek people are very kind and welcoming to foreigners. It was not popular in Soviet times until 1991 because no one really knew about our country, but now we welcome tourists from all the world. Now we are building many new hotels and restaurants and we have excellent food including Canadian wieners...

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We have very many historical sites like the ancient city of Khiva. This is one of the minarets you can climb if you are strong and like to have good views..

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There is so much history here it is impossible to be bored. Uzbekistan was at the centre of the Silk Road and the cities were very rich. But then the Europeans found it faster and safer to transport goods from China by ships in the 18th and 19th centuries and the Silk Road fell into disuse. We still have camels in the desert but now they are for the tourists or bred for meat and wool...

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Uzbeki people are very hardworking and are proud of their craftsmanship. These two women will spend one year to make a silk carpet by hand...

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There are many handmade silk carpets and wall hangings for sale here in the streets of Khiva...

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It is our culture to be hospitable to visitors but that was not possible during the times of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain. Uzbekistan was difficult to reach because it is double landlocked. Like Lichtenstein it is surrounded by countries that are landlocked but today we have excellent airports and stations. We have very fast bullet trains and the latest aircraft from Airbus and Boeing and we have many good roads. The driving is not always perfect but we take good care of our children on the roads...

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This is the railway station waiting room in Khiva...

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I would say that Uzbekistan is enchanting and mysterious which evokes adventures from times of One Thousand and One Nights and the Great Game. Names of cities like Samarkand and Bukhara will always be associated with the Silk Road when all the riches of China were transported to Europe. Because of the Silk Road Uzbekistan is a melting cauldron of cultures with many different ethnic origins. You can see faces that resemble Arabs, Persians, Greeks, Turks, Mongols, Indians, and even English...

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Uzbekistonga hush kelibsiz!

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On behalf of Kalpak Travel I would like to welcome you to my country. I am sure that you will have a wonderful time.

Posted by Hawkson 06:22 Archived in Uzbekistan

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Comments

Another world! Way to go intrepid travellers. Looks inviting from my armchair on Gabriola, surrounded by condo controversies (!), but nevertheless, another gold and blue autumn day to enjoy here!

by Alison Fitzgerald

I liked the faces from all different countries and we can try to match the face with the countries when you return....

by Joyce

Marketing is a new quality to your blog. I can recognize the other faces and countries but not the English ones.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Sounds like you have a very knowledgeable guide! Did mum climb a minaret? ;-)

by Pippa

So pleased you are enjoying Uzbekistan.
Have you tried Plov yet?
Did you travel from Tashkent to Khiva by train?
Bonne continuation!

by Heather

Camel meat? Can't get much more exotic than that. Recipes?

by R and B

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