Uzbekistan is a nation that will delight the heart of any adventurous traveller with its teeming bazaars and spectacular architecture. This nation boasts some of the finest architectural jewels among the Silk Road countries, featuring intricate Islamic tile work, turquoise domes, minarets and preserved relics from the time when Central Asia was a centre of empire and learning. Macedonians, Russians, Turks and Arabs have all left their indelible marks throughout the country with countless dazzling monuments to power, strength, wealth and piety.
Five hundred miles across the desert from Tashkent, lies Khiva, a well preserved and fascinating city whose mosques, madrassas, caravanserais and palaces of former Khorezm Lords render a lasting impression. Younger and better preserved than either Samarkand or Bukhara, the city has remained unchanged since the 18th century making it possible to imagine what it was like in its prime when it was a market for captured Russian and Persian slaves. The climbing of any of the minarets is a must at sunset or sunrise where the views and colours are incredible. The Khodja Minaret is Khiva’s highest where you climb 188 steps for the fine views of Karanum Desert’s red sand. The madrassa holds Khiva’s best museum of Khoresm handicrafts through the ages including fine wood carving, Uzbek carpets, stone carved with Arabic script and jewellery. Uzbekistan despite a checkered history remains an optimistic nation with good spirited people who allow you to revel in this inspiring and varied nation.