The Silk Road of Central Asia: The Ultimate Uzbekistan Trip

Uzbekistan and Silk Road are almost synonymous, with most of the popular trade routes worming their way in and out of what was once called Mawarannahr

The name was all because it was the highest in-demand silk of the worm made from their cocoons which led to the formation of one of the most renowned commercial and caravan routes ever made. 

Uzbekistan is found right in the heart of this route, with towns such as Samarkand and Bukhara thriving and vibrant with life even before the Common Era. Unfortunately, trade often results in a thirst for territory, leading to turbulence. Uzbekistan has its own share of this turmoil.

The Silk Road of Central Asia: The Ultimate Uzbekistan Trip

But through the centuries, cultures continued to fight to survive and Uzbekistan happens to be the best place to see how strong these efforts were. 

What is the Silk Road?

The Silk Road is not an actual road instead, it is a series of routes that passed through Central Asia to Europe and is deemed the first major commercial highway in the world. Ferdinand von Richthofen, a German geographer, coined the name in 1877.

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The Silk Road of Central Asia: The Ultimate Uzbekistan Trip

The route was not only used for trading the highly coveted silk of the East but also other precious items like porcelain and the still famous paper in Samarkand. As the traders traveled to the east from the west, going in the other direction, they bought nuts, exotic fruits, wool, and wine. 

However, the Silk Road started losing favor when Europeans embarked on their exploration of new trade routes by sea during the 13th century. The commercial power and political power of Uzbekistan also dwindled.

The Silk Road of Central Asia: The Ultimate Uzbekistan Trip

When the early 16th century came, the notorious Timurid Empire of the country broke up, dividing Uzbekistan into khanates. The country became vulnerable because of the fights among the khanates, leading the Russians to interfere in 1865. Russians weren’t too big on global trade, so the turnover of silk to Soviet rule marked the end of Uzbekistan’s major trading route. 

How to Visit the Silk Road in Uzbekistan Today 

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A tailor-made trip or a small group tour with a professional driver and expert guide is the best way to visit some of the key regions and towns of the Silk Road of Uzbekistan in just a matter of eight days. 

The Silk Road of Central Asia: The Ultimate Uzbekistan Trip

This length of your trip is more than enough time for you to discover and explore the ancient architectural wonders of Bukhara and Samarkand. 

Don’t miss the chance to visit Kyzyl Kum Desert and experience staying in a traditional yurt camp or trekking on camels, just like how the merchants on the Silk Road used to do.

The Silk Road of Central Asia: The Ultimate Uzbekistan Trip

A two-week trip to visit the Silk Road’s cities will take you to Turkeministan and visit additional highlights like Merv, which is a series of walled towns that reflect their passage through time. The journey will take you on an amazing circuit that starts in Tashkent in Uzbekistan. 

You can then explore the Silk Road highlights of the country, to Turmekistan, and back to the north of Uzbekistan where you can visit Khiva. It is one of the best places that will take on a travel back to the ancient times once you arrive in the old and untouristy town of Ichan Qala which serves as home to an expansive selection of minarets, mausoleums, and mosques.

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