Uzbekistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia, formerly part of the Soviet Union. It shares a border with Kazakhstan in the West and the North, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in the East and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan in the South.
Top places to visit in Uzbekistan
1. The town of Mo’ynoq, Republic of Karakalpakstan
Located in the western region of Uzbekistan, the town of Mo’ynoq is surrounded by four desert surfaces. This place seemed like many other urban areas, falling into decline after the collapse of the former Soviet Union.
But if you look closely, you can see the fish appear on a few murals, supportive signs, or even notice boards placed at the entrance of the town – though most of them are. become faded with the years.
A monument of a fishing boat is located right on the square in front of the town hall, and somewhere around Mo’ynoq is a factory area of processed fish in a state of waste.
The town of Mo’ynoq served as an important fishing port on the Aral Sea – where in the early 20th century it was still recognized as the fourth largest salt lake in the world with water from the two Amu Darya Rivers. and Syr Darya.
However, for the sake of agricultural and industrial development in this area, the Soviet Union decided to divert the two rivers to serve production and irrigation, causing the Aral Sea to disappear gradually due to the shortage of additional water. .
It is currently only about 10% of its size compared to the early 1960s.
It is considered to be one of the heaviest man-made environmental disasters in history, and Mo’ynoq has also become a serious place when the town is more than 150km from the edge of the Aral Sea.
Due to the loss of aquatic resources – which is the main blood vessel of the whole economy, the whole region suddenly became deserted when people left one after another.
But the “post-apocalyptic” scene with empty houses, or the herds of camels slowly moving along the rusty fishing boat fleet in the windy and sandy desert makes many tourists prefer to explore once. experience.
2. Shah-i-Zinda, Samarkand city
Samarkand is recognized as one of the oldest existing cities in Central Asia, once the center of trade, culture and religion of the whole region due to its location on the Silk Road linking China with Mediterranean.
About 1,000 years ago, Shah-i-Zinda began with only one religious monument erected in Samarkand.
But over the long period of development – especially during the 9th to 14th centuries, as well as during the 19th century, temples, mausoleums and other structures quickly appeared, forming an ant colony. The architecture has the most historic value in the world.
Just a light step through each area of the Shah-i-Zinda tomb complex, visitors can witness the development of many architectural styles, construction technologies or decorative works dating up to 1,000 years – it’s like two centuries, two different eras!
At the same time, according to legend, the name Shah-i-Zinda, or “King of life” is derived from the burial relative of Kusam ibn Abbas of the Prophet Muhammad.
3. Gurkhani Zij Observatory, Samarkand city
Because of his passion for science and neglect in government management, Prince Ulugh of the Timurid Beg Empire built Gurkhani Zij – the largest and most modern observatory in the world around the 1420s .
After his death, it was almost completely destroyed, but the Fakhrī green glass is still preserved intact to this day.
Without the technology to create optical lenses, Prince Ulugh Beg decided to create a giant hexagonal glass with a radius of up to 36m – today known as the Fakhrī hexadecimal glass.
Thanks to this work, he and many other astronomers have achieved important achievements – including determining the exact time of a year only 25 seconds from modernity, calculating the tilt angle. rotation of the Earth, or for the compilation of the Zij-i-Sultani Plan with the position of 994 stars in the sky.
But due to negligence in the administration, Prince Ulugh Beg was dethroned by his own eldest son, received a punishment to make a pilgrimage to Mecca and was assassinated just outside Samarkand.
4. Kalyan tower, Bukhara city
Bukhara is considered a “museum city” when it has more than 140 historic buildings, with the central area being recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage.
Nevertheless, the 48-meter-high Kalyan brick tower, built in 1127 under the order of King Mohammad Arslan Khan of the Qarakhanid Dynasty, is still one of the most representative buildings of the city that visitors can not. ignore.
In addition to letting the government remind Muslims to pray five times a day, this place is used as an astronomical observatory, or the observatory of the enemy in some typical periods.
According to legend, when invading Bukhara, Genghis Khan was astonished at the construction and ordered not to destroy it even though the Mongolian army almost leveled the city.
Until coming back under the control of Muslims in the 16th century, the Kalyan tower was considered the central landmark to build the architectural complex of Po-i-Kalyan Mosque.
In addition, it is also known as the “Tower of Death” because prisoners here are often executed by dropping from the top of the tower to the rock below for death.
5. Old Elliq-Qala Fort, Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan
The Khwarezm Oasis is located in the south – what used to be the Aral Sea but has now become desert, the remaining three sides adjacent to the Kyzylkum desert, Karakum desert and Ustyurt desert.
Owing to its rather special location, this area has been used by many civilizations as settlements or stops on journeys between the windy and sandy deserts over the past 2,000 years.