Why Uzbekistan? Well because history and monuments and turquoise.
I finally was able to tick off a major one from my travel wishlist. The land is an amalgamation of soviet leftovers and the silk route history which lends it a wonderful personality.
So here’s a breakdown of what it takes to go there. How much it costs, things to do, where to stay, etc.
Cost: For 15 days
Flights: USD 350 (INR 25000) from Delhi
Visa: USD 50 (INR 3300)
Sightseeing, stay, food, etc: USD 365 (INR 24,000)
Total: INR 57,500 (¬ USD 800)
That’s excluding shopping. Carry enough, there’s a lot to buy
Visa: you have to apply at the embassy in Delhi but starting July 2018, e-visa will be introduced. Costs 50 USD for single entry
Getting there from india: Only from Delhi that too their national carrier, Uzbekistan Airlines. Frequency is couple of times a week and the flights are good.
Stay: Hostels are quite inexpensive, an average bed night at a quality hostel would cost about 6-8 USD with breakfast. Plus about 2 USD per night for local taxes
Tashkent: art hostel
Samarkand: b&b bahodir
Bukhara: payraviy guesthouse
Khiva: alibek hostel
Currency: Take Dollars (crisp bills), you can change them at the airport, rates are standard across the country. If you want to draw cash, most banks accept Visa. Mastercard is next to impossible
Ideal duration: About 12 days is ideal to cover the important sites. I spent 15 though
Food: Veg food can be tough. Some great stuff to try would be plov, mastava (rice soup), non (bread), etc. Meat used is beef pretty much everywhere
Language: Russian, Uzbek and Tajik are the most commonly spoken. English can be a rarity but people are too nice to care. Most signs are in Cyrillic or Latin script, so you should be able to read.
Things to see in Uzbekistan:
– Scale both the minarets in Ichan Kala, Khiva
– Sunset at Registan, Samarkand
– Shopping carpets, miniature paintings, ceramics
– Explore Tashkent’s metro stations
– Poi Kalyan minaret in Bukhara
– Day trip to the Qalas from Khiva
– The now dead aral sea in muynaq
– The savitsky museum in nukus
Yeah, that’s about it