• We had a really good time in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kashgar. All guides, drivers, accommodation and food was fantastic! We had plenty of positive experiences. The program worked perfectly and we are your happy customers.
    Assoc Prof Regine Wagner
    Visiting Fellow Flexible Learning Institute Charles Sturt University

  • We have had many guides in the course of our world travels, but never ever one any better than the guide from Roxana Tour He worked tirelessly for us night and day. His efforts for us were far beyond what would have been "good".
    Dr. Paul Hettinger
    Orlando, FL, USA 32818

  • I have been coming to Uzbekistan for 32 years and as a Tour leader for different companies, I can say that Roxana Tours is the best travel company in Uzbekistan I had in 32 years.
    Gary Wintz, LA
    Tour leader from ZOE and Mountain Sabeck

  • I wanted to drop you a quick e-mail thanking you for the outstanding tour you provided. From the time we arrived at Tashkent until we left, we had no problems and everything was first class.
    Richard L. Wolfel, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Geography
    United States Military Academy
    West Point, NY 10996

  • I am indeed impressed and would like to Thank you from the bottom of my heart, in fact you have not only gained my respect and admiration, I salute your efficiency, not to say the least, I am grateful I am sure I would not be traveling again to Uzbekistan without you definitely involved in my itinerary.
    Saud A.Al Jaidah
    CEO/ Al Jaidah Intl. Doha, Qatar

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Anton "Tony" Shulakov; Tour Manager

 As promised, we continue our series of postings that introduce you to our outstanding staff at Roxana Tour. We have the best people working with us, which have allowed us to become the #1 tour agency in Uzbekistan!

Meet Anton “Tony” Shulakov!

Anton is our Tour Manager, which means that in most instances he will be your first contact in Uzbekistan. On the surface, Anton is an easy-going guy and makes friends very easily. On the inside, you will find nobody that works harder to make sure that your tour meets and – in most cases – exceeds your expectations.

Anton is a native of Tashkent and has lived there his entire life. He’s a graduate of Tashkent State University, and he graduated with a B.S. degree in mathematics. While he always enjoys digging into the world of numbers, after graduating he found that he’d rather socialize with other people – especially from other countries. His dream brought him to Roxana Tour, and he’s been with us since 2007.

Anton is an excellent communicator, whether it’s through email, telephone, or in-person. “While I like to socialize with people in all mediums, I’m always happy to meet them for the first time when they come to Uzbekistan”, said Anton. Sometimes people are surprised after meeting him for the first time. “I have a deep voice and on the telephone I sound much older than I really am”, he related. “But when they actually see me, they are always surprised at how young I am”, he added.

When you talk to Anton, be sure to congratulate him on his marriage last August!

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When I lived in Uzbekistan it felt like people had been living there forever. But then something like this comes along in the news and reminds me that its history goes well-beyond the ancient fortifications in the western part of the country.

Case in point: Uzbekistan made the news over the weekend in the archaeological field when a southern mammoth’s tusks and teeth were discovered 50 km (20 miles) south of Tashkent. Previous discoveries of this species measured 4-4.5 meters (13-15 feet) tall, but this one is much bigger at 5.5 (18 feet) meters tall.

This is the first time a southern mammoth has been found in Uzbekistan, and archaeologists believe that there are more fossils to be uncovered from this area because it was once the sight of a large river that was abundant in flora and fauna. This particular southern mammoth is believed to have lived between 2.6 and 0.7 million years ago. It wasn’t until a spring time mudslide near the town of Akhangaran exposed the fossil.

If you are interested in visiting this fascinating archaeological site, contact our office in Tashkent (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to arrange a tour for you!

Posted by Greg Stephenson at 9:36 AM No comments:

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The General Director of Roxana Tour - Rakhmadjon "Jon" Ibragimov

Today’s post is the first in a series that will introduce you to the Roxana Tour staff. We think it’s important that you get to know us before your visit. This will help to make our first meeting a little easier and more importantly, make you feel more comfortable when you get here.

Rakhadjon “Jon” Ibragimov is the General Director of Roxana Tour. I first met him in 1997 when he was 14 years old, and he was the guy that convinced his family to let me, a foreigner, live with him and his family while I was a Peace Corps Volunteer. For the past 16 years, he and his family have been my great friends. He was born in raised in Kuvasoy, Uzbekistan, a small town about 15 km south of Ferghana city near the border with Kyrgyzstan. He spent his formative years there until he was 18 when he went to Tashkent to continue his studies at the Tashkent Automobile and Roads Institute.

After he graduated with a degree in management, he worked for various tour operators in Tashkent but never lost sight of his goal to open his own business. As a result of his hard work, he founded Roxana Tour in 2006 because he knew he could provide the best service for his customers. Since then, he’s proven that Roxana Tour is the #1 tour operator in Uzbekistan through the testimony of his former customers – who he always refers to as his friends.

What’s most important to Jon is that his customers are happy with their tour. He works very hard behind the scenes to make sure that your tour goes smoothly without any problems. If a rare problem does arise, Jon will listen closely to your concerns and address them promptly and professionally. I’ve known him for 16 years and he was the same way with me when I was new in his country back in 1997.

Jon has traveled to many countries throughout the world, including the United States. His travels have allowed him to see things from the tourist’s perspective, and he’s taken this experience and applied it to Roxana Tour. He wants to treat people the way he wants to be treated if he’s a tourist. Jon adds that, “Every day I have the chance to communicate with people from many parts of the world, and I love meeting new people so I can give them first class services.”

In 2009, Jon made one of the most important decisions in his life when he married the woman of his dreams, and they now are blessed with a beautiful 3 year old daughter, Tamina.

I hope you’ll get the chance to meet Jon in the near future. You can always send him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

By the way, here’s a picture of the real Jon.


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Two Uzbek Competitors, Kurbanov and Sayidov.

 As you may have noticed already, I take special pleasure in highlighting the best that Uzbekistan has to offer the world. After living and working there for so many years, I gained an appreciation of the talents that Uzbeks have in academics, athletics, science, and the arts.

Another example I’d like to present to you is their world-class talent in judo. Ramziddin Sayidov has been one of the best judo competitors that Uzbekistan has had for years. However, there is a long line of solid competitors that stand behind him waiting for their turn at the top. At the conclusion of the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) Grand Prix in Tashkent this past weekend, a surprise winner rose in the 100 kg class when Soyib Kurbanov defeated Mr. Sayidov. The atmosphere in the arena was electric as the two battled for the home crowd. As the match approached its conclusion, it appeared that neither combatant had the upper hand. With 23 seconds left in the match, Mr. Kurbanov launched his winning counter-attack.

While the Uzbek women fared well in the tournament, these Uzbek men took gold medals in the following weight categories:

  •              Sharafuddin Lutfillaev; 60 kg
  •              Mirzahid Farmonov; 66 kg
  •              Mirali Sharipov; 73 kg
  •              Sherali Juraev; 90 kg
  •              Soyib Kurbanov; 100 kg

Over 150 competitors (men and women) from 20 countries were represented at the Grand Prix, including Brazil, United States, Israel, Japan, and Ukraine. Congratulations to all the men and women who participated in this great event!

Posted by Greg Stephenson at 7:52 AM No comments:

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 More good news seems to be coming from Uzbekistan every day!

The Uzbek government’s Cabinet of Minister’s has announced that it has opened the International Solar Energy Institute in Tashkent. The goal of the Institute is to implement high-tech developments for the industrial sector, conduct research to extend solar energy for residential and commercial sectors, and coordinate major projects in this field.

Already, it has planned to establish an enterprise to produce photo-voltaic panels and the construction of solar voltaic power plant in the Samarkand region.

For a country that experiences about 300 days of sunshine every year, this is a no-brainer. By having the foresight to make the change from oil dependence to solar energy independence, Uzbekistan is making the right decision to prepare for the future - economically and environmentally.

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Good news came to us over the weekend, and I’m very happy to pass it along to you!

The Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers approved a tourism development package that will provide $77.8 million (USD) in the Tashkent region for 2013-2015. The program will focus in tourism infrastructure, tourist facilities, and training specialists in the industry. Also, there are plans to increase the number of hotels in Tashkent from 31 to 58 and a subsequent increase in the number of rooms from 1,300 to 2,800.

This is great news for tourists visiting Uzbekistan, and it will help to improve its infrastructure for the coming years.

Great decision, Uzbekistan!

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A police car escorts rally participants from Astana, Kazakhstan. (Photo: Shubhreet Kaur Kochhar)

On September 19, the India Central Asia Car Rally commenced its 3,000 km race through some of the most challenging terrain on the face of the earth. Starting in Astana, Kazakhstan the participants will move toward the border with China, then detour to the south to Almaty. From there they will proceed to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and south to the Ferghana Valley. In Uzbekistan, the rally will pass through Andijon, Kokand, Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, and finishing in Urgench.

I have this preconceived notion that participants in events like this wear goggles and scarfs while tracking through mud, negotiating through herds of goats, and scaling insurmountable mountains while fixing their cars with duct tape and gum wrappers. While most of this may true, these racers are composed of 15 teams of academics, foreign affairs experts, and scientists and they probably carry a good set of tools with them.

If you happen to be in one of the cities when the Rally teams are there, stop by for a chat to meet the drivers. I’m sure it will prove to be one of the most interesting conversations you’ll have while you are visiting.

Contact our office in Tashkent (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information and opportunities to learn more about this fascinating rally through Central Asia!

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Nafisa Muminova (Uzbekistan) sets up her pieces before her match.

When I was young, I learned the basic rules of chess and often played against my brothers and the guys in the neighborhood. But as I became older I strayed away from the game, mainly because I didn't work too hard to find someone else to play. When I was in the Peace Corps in the late 1990s I played a young, Uzbek kid who told me that he knew how to play, so we set up the pieces for a friendly match. However, it didn't take long for me to realize that I was in store for an old fashioned beat-down when I couldn't find any answers to his moves. What I didn't know then is that Uzbeks love to play chess and they learn solid strategies at a young age. It's a good thing we weren't playing for money or I would've walked out of that room a much poorer man!

Ongoing right now, the women of chess are taking center stage in Tashkent!

The 2013 Tashkent Women’s Grand Prix is being held in Uzbekistan from September 17 – October 1. Twelve women from Uzbekistan, China, Georgia, Ukraine, India, United States, Russia, and Kazakhstan are competing to qualify for the next round of play for the world title. The tournament is sanctioned by the World Chess Federation, and they are competing for over $80,000 in prize money. The competition is fierce and all of the matches have been closely contested.

While we at Roxana Tour are cheering for the Uzbek representative, Nafisa Muminova, nevertheless we wish good luck to all of the participants!

Posted by Greg Stephenson at 8:09 AM No comments:

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Miss Uzbekistan; Rakhima Ganieva (Credit: Miss World)

It appears that there’s a level of controversy at the Miss World pageant in Indonesia this year, and Miss Uzbekistan is right in the middle of it. While we may never know what really happened, this is what the world news media is reporting.

Earlier this month, Rakhima Ganieva appeared at the Miss World pageant in Bali to announce that she’s the Uzbekistan representative. However, officials at the Uzbek Ministry of Sports and Culture, the Uzbek National Committee for Women, and the Tashkent-based Pro Models modeling agency all deny that they know anything about her! Officials at the Miss World pageant haven’t released a statement and she remains listed as an official contestant on their website.

So, what are we supposed to think?  Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are the other Central Asia countries that have sent their representatives, so it’s only fitting that Uzbekistan gets a chance, too. All I know is that she’s beautiful and deserves the opportunity to compete. She will be the first woman to represent Uzbekistan and I think it’s great that this multi-faceted country is presenting another aspect itself to the world. The pageant final is on September 28th, so let’s wish her good luck at the competition!

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 If there’s one thing that I love about Uzbekistan, it’s the huge amount of compassion that people have for one another. Every day, you can witness it vicariously by the amount of civility that people give one another. And then there are other times when the compassion reaches out from the most unexpected places that make one pause.

Recently, I learned about one of the better kept secrets of Tashkent and I’d like to share it with you. The Visage Movement Theater was founded in 1982 by Lilia Sevastyanova as conventional dance company, but in 2003 she was inspired to invite people with disabilities to perform. Since then, the company has grown to approximately 40 dancers and many of them suffer from cerebral palsy, mental retardation, Down’s syndrome, blindness, and deafness.

Visage doesn’t have a permanent stage, and all of its performances are free-of-charge. Most theater companies receive funding from the government, but this one receives none. Instead, Ms. Sevastyanova must search for other sources of funding, whether it’s from a foundation, the Orthodox Church in Tashkent, foreign embassies, or local business people.

Their next show in Tashkent will be in December 2013 when they’ll perform “Out of the Depths I Cried for Thee” at the Academic Russian Theater. If you are in Tashkent at that time, please provide your support for this truly inspiring performance.

Our team at Roxana Tour will provide you with all the help you need to see the show!

Posted by Greg Stephenson at 7:21 AM No comments:

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The Jordanian team celebrates its victory over the Uzbeks.

The Jordanian team celebrates its victory over the Uzbeks.
There’s only one word for it: heartbreak.

The Uzbek national soccer team, the White Wolves, came very close to defeating the great team from Jordan, but came up short, 9 – 8 in a World Cup qualifying match. The game was decided by penalty kicks, with the Uzbeks failing to convert on their last attempt for the win. The Uzbeks took an early 1 – 0 lead, but couldn't hold it. In 2005, the Uzbek team came close to qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, but lost to Bahrain in a controversial match.

This was a bitter loss for the White Wolves, but I know they’ll improve their game and be back for the next World Cup.

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The Tashkent Open is in full-swing! Now in its 15th year, the tournament has proven to be one of the most exciting tournaments in the world. The event is a World Tennis Association sanctioned tournament that invites tennis professionals from throughout the world to compete for cash prizes. The tournament is scheduled from September 7th – September 15th at the Tashkent Tennis Center. If you happen to be in Tashkent during this time, be sure to buy your tickets and enjoy the action! Our expert staff at Roxana Tour can help make the necessary arrangements to make this experience an enjoyable one!

Posted by Greg Stephenson at 9:27 AM No comments:

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 The families in Uzbekistan are among the most loving, secure and tightest I’ve known during my travels throughout the world. Of course, I lived with a great family for two years in Kuvasoy, so I think my observations carry some merit.

In general, Uzbek families are big. Not only do they consist of the mother, father, and children, but oftentimes it includes the grandparents and in some cases cousins, too. Sometimes the line between family sizes can get blurry, which created confusion for me until I understood things a little better.

For example, once I visited a small village in the Ferghana Valley with one of my students, Azim. As we approached the houses I noticed that there were close to 100 children playing freely on the dirt road and having a great time. The noise was incredible! I've rarely seen so much fun happening in one place in my life and I wish I would've had the presence of mind to take photographs – but I was so overwhelmed that it never crossed my mind. So as we mingled within the cacophony and chaos, Azim announced to me that these kids were his brothers and sisters. I raised an eyebrow as I looked at him, begging for an explanation. As he talked, I began to understand that he was using the term “brothers and sisters” figuratively. But as I was about to discover, in this small village just about everyone is related to one another but more importantly, he saw his community to be so tight-knit that he couldn't distinguish between any of the kids. All of them deserved his attention and support not only while he lived in the village, but forever.

Since then, I've always understood that for Uzbeks, family is the most essential part of society. Nothing trumps the family – right or wrong. My time in Uzbekistan opened my eyes to the importance of family, and I've applied the lessons I learned from them with my own family.

My only hope is that when you come to visit Uzbekistan, you’ll get the opportunity to be a part of this amazing experience. It will change your life!

Posted by Greg Stephenson at 9:05 AM No comments:

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The American – Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce held its 20th annual Business Forum yesterday in Washington, D.C. I'd never attended one of their events before, but I was very interested to learn more about the work that they do, and meet other people like me who have a passion for all things Uzbekistan.

American businessmen spent a few minutes each describing the successes they've achieved over the years and suggestions to help make other businesses attain success, too. Delegates from Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments, and Trade, presented an outline of investment opportunities available that have the highest priority with their government. Other representatives from the U.S. government and non-governmental organizations presented their positive views on the investment climate in Uzbekistan, too.

In my view, Uzbekistan was, and remains today, a country with an economic potential that surpasses that of its neighboring countries. However, most international experts agree that until the soum (local currency) becomes fully convertible will Uzbekistan be able to move forward with its economic progress.

Posted by Greg Stephenson at 11:03 AM No comments:

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The statue of Nasreddin Khoja in Bukhara

The statue of Nasreddin Khoja in Bukhara
Speaking of jokes, one of the most popular tricksters in the Muslim world is Nasridden Khoja. Born in 1208 in Bukhara (although many ethnic groups may disagree with the assumption of his birthplace), he traveled throughout the Muslim world to stay one step ahead of the ongoing Mongol invasion. He studied in Herat, Afghanistan, and presided as a judge in many different cities, but today he is known as a populist philosopher and wise man. He appears in thousands of stories, sometimes witty, sometimes wise, but other times as a fool. While his stories will usually elicit a laugh, there is a moral behind the joke that needs to be understood, also. What I appreciate about Nasridden Khoja is that, even though his witticisms are almost 800 years old, they still have their relevance in today's world.

Here are a couple of his many anecdotes. It is easy to find more on the internet through your preferred search engine.

The Smell of Soup and the Sound of Money
A beggar was given a piece of bread, but nothing to put on it. Hoping to get something to go with his bread, he went to a nearby inn and asked for a handout. The innkeeper turned him away with nothing, but the beggar sneaked into the kitchen where he saw a large pot of soup cooking over the fire. He held his piece of bread over the steaming pot, hoping to thus capture a bit of flavor from the good-smelling vapor.

Suddenly the innkeeper seized him by the arm and accused him of stealing soup.

"I took no soup," said the beggar. "I was only smelling the vapor."

"Then you must pay for the smell," answered the innkeeper.

The poor beggar had no money, so the angry innkeeper dragged him before the qadi (judge).

Now Nasreddin Hodja was at that time serving as qadi, and he heard the innkeeper's complaint and the beggar's explanation.

"So you demand payment for the smell of your soup?" summarized the Hodja after the hearing.

"Yes!" insisted the innkeeper.

"Then I myself will pay you," said the Hodja, "and I will pay for the smell of your soup with the sound of money."

Thus saying, the Hodja drew two coins from his pocket, rang them together loudly, put them back into his pocket, and sent the beggar and the innkeeper each on his own way.

The Slap
Nasreddin Hodja was standing in the marketplace when a stranger stepped up to him and slapped him in the face, but then said, "I beg your pardon. I thought that you were someone else."

This explanation did not satisfy the Hodja, so he brought the stranger before the qadi and demanded compensation.

The Hodja soon perceived that the qadi and the defendant were friends. The latter admitted his guilt, and the judge pronounced the sentence: "The settlement for this offense is one piaster, to be paid to the plaintiff. If you do not have a piaster with you, then you may bring it here to the plaintiff at your convenience."

Hearing this sentence, the defendant went on his way. The Hodja waited for him to return with the piaster.

And he waited...and he waited.

Some time later the Hodja said to the qadi, "Do I understand correctly that one piaster is sufficient payment for a slap?"

"Yes," answered the qadi.

Hearing this answer, the Hodja slapped the judge in the face and said, "You may keep my piaster when the defendant returns with it," then walked away.

Posted by Greg Stephenson at 8:33 AM 1 comment:

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Jokes are an important aspect to daily life in Uzbekistan, and I learned this very quickly from my brother, Rakhmadjon, when I first arrived in Kuvasoy (Ferghana Valley) in 1997. It seemed that every day he would share another joke with me, but if he didn't have one his brother, Dilshod, was sure to have one, too. Furthermore, when I lived in Tashkent and seemed that every cab driver had one to share with me. Some of their jokes were cultural and I admit, would go over my head. But usually I would get them and we would share a hearty laugh.

Here’s a joke that has been popular for the past few years:

A man hailed a taxi in Tashkent. He noticed that, as they neared an intersection, the driver floored it and went whizzing through the red light. The man said, "What are you doing running a red light?" The driver said, "Look, I'm a real man. I'm not afraid of anything. I run red lights just for the fun of it."

The man was considering this when he noticed that they were coming up on another intersection. The light was green, but the man noticed the taxi driver slowing down anyway. When they had come to a complete stop at the green light, the man asked, "You went whizzing through the red light because you're a real Uzbek man, but now you're stopping at the green light. What gives?"

The taxi driver turned around and said, "Well, there might be another real Uzbek man coming up to this intersection."

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 If you are a music aficionado, this will be of great interest to you. The largest music festival in the East, known as the “Sharq Taronalari” is being held in Samarkand August 25 – 30. The festival has a definite international flavor to it with 60 countries attending the extravaganza.  Appropriately, the festival is being held at the Registan, one of my must-see places to visit in Uzbekistan. Competitions in various categories will be held, and there will be a conference, “Musical Traditions of the East in the Context of Contemporary Culture”, too.

The festival began in 1997 and has been held 9 times since then – all in Uzbekistan. If you are in Uzbekistan during these days, do all you can to get to Samarkand to see this wonderful event! Uzbeks are excellent at organizing and presenting shows like these, and the spectacle will stay with you forever. If you can’t make it this year, don’t despair! This blog will keep you posted for the next one.

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There are more than enough fascinating things to do and see in Uzbekistan, and I should know; I lived there for about 5 years and got to see most of them! However, I’ve been tasked to list the top 5 sites that are the most interesting for tourists. This is not easy and I discussed this with the Director General of Roxana Tour, Rakhmadjon, that it’s impossible to list only five. But now that I’ve given it some thought – a lot of thought – I decided to relent to his request and put my best foot forward. Just between you and me, I’m not going to number this list. Also, I reserve the right to revise this list at a later date.

So, here we go!

As far as archaeologists can tell us, Samarkand has been around since 700 B.C. This means that it has seen its share of ups and downs, which has only added a sense of mysticism when you roam its streets. Once it was centrally located on the Great Silk Road which made it the focal point for trade, philosophy, and religion. The Registan easily matches the hype that it receives; it is one of the most awesome, majestic, stunning, magnificent, historical…well, I think you understand what I’m trying to say. When you come to Uzbekistan, you must see the Registan.

Archaeologists tell us that this ancient city has been around since 600 B.C., and it once was the leading place to go for Islamic studies during the golden age of the Samanids. During the heyday of the Great Silk Road, it was a vital link for traders. Today, Bukhara is full of architectural wonders, mostly madrassas and mosques, which are within walking distance of each other. But for me, the most striking edifice is the Ark, a fortress that was constructed shortly after the city’s founding. What you see today is not the original fort, and most recently it suffered great damage by the Soviets in 1920. Nevertheless, it remains a testimony to the architectural style of that era for defensive purposes. Exploring the interior of the Ark will provide you with an idea of the amount of planning that was required to build this structure.

Much like Bukhara, Khiva was founded in 600 B.C. Designated as an open-air museum; Itchan Kala (inner fortress) has 50 historic monuments to choose from. In 1991, Itchan Kala was the first site in Uzbekistan to be added to the United Nations’ World Heritage List. For my money, the Kalta Minor Minaret is the most outstanding and riveting site in Khiva. What’s more, it was never even completed! The story behind it was that when the architect finished his work in Khiva, he received orders from the Khan in Bukhara to build an identical one in that city. However, the Khan of Khiva was not interested in sharing this architectural wonder with anyone, so he secretly ordered the murder of the architect when the work was completed. Somehow, the architect found out about this plan and fled Khiva before the completion of the minaret. Hence, the minaret stands as it is today in its entire, albeit abbreviated, splendor.


I grew up on the shores of Lake Huron in Michigan, and I was always close to the natural beauty it gave me every day. But when I came to the Aral Sea for the first time in 1999, I was afforded the opportunity to compare and contrast the differences between these bodies of water. The Aral Sea is the result of two mighty rivers, the Amu Darya and Sirdarya that flow into it. In the 1960s, Soviet engineers were ordered to divert water from these rivers to irrigate the nearby cotton fields to meet the growing demand for raw cotton. As a result, the amount of water that reached the Aral Sea began to decline to the point of what we see today. The recession of the sea from its level in 1960s can be seen easily once the original shoreline is approached. What can’t be seen is the water, for it has receded well beyond our view. Instead, all one can see are the rusted hulls of abandoned fishing boats from days gone by. My experience was one of the most eerie of my life, and I think its effect on you would be the same.

Welcome to the biggest bazaar in Central Asia! The Chorsu Bazaar is located on the south side of the city’s old town, and while it is difficult to assess how many years it’s been in operation, chances are good that it’s been here for the past 2,000 years when Tashkent was founded. The photo below doesn't provide the full perception of what goes on underneath those domes. If you need to anything, there’s an excellent chance you can find it at this bazaar. The cacophony of the sellers and buyers, the colors of the fruit and fabrics, and the smells of fresh fruit and kabobs (shashlik) cooking on the grill will send you reeling. It is one of the best spots in Central Asia to capture the sites of this ageless market.

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14 House13 Street Wazir Akbar Khan, Kabul





1010 Wein Naglergasse, 25/5
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5350378, 5350379


Azerbaijan (also for Georgia)

Baku, "Azrbaydzhan" Hotel, room 1077
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Avenue Franklin D.Roosvelt, 99, 1 050, Brussels
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5-2-22, Tayuann Diplomatic Apartments, Beijing,
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65326304, 65326305,
65326854, home - 65325150



Perleberger Strasse 62, 10559Berlin,Germany
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Great Britain

41, Holland Park W 11 2RP, London
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2294434, 2297679


Egypt (also for Algeria and Jordan)

18, Sad-Al-Ali str, DokkiCairo, Egypt





22, rue d'Aguesseau 75008, Paris, France
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533300353, 53300355/56



d-2/5 Vasant vinar New Delhi 110057

6873246, 4670773



Indonesia (also for Vietnam)

Djakarta, Kebayoran Baru area, Bravizhaya Raya St, 7, block P5
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7221640, 7399009

9134212, 9134213



Teheran, Nastaran Str, 6


2291269, 2299780



Ramat Gun, 52325,Aharoon, 4 Tel Aviv
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5796029, 6160193



Residence "Magnolia" Via de Valle Anrelia 116, Roma
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5-11-8, Shimomeguso-Meguro-Ku, Tokyo153-0064
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480100, Almaty, Baribaev St, 36
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911055 917886

910235, 910644



Bishkek, "Issyk-Kul" Hotel
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663078, 662065



Sindand-Dong, Chung-Ku,
Seoul, Korea. Sin Young building room 600, 601


5773660, 5746554



Riga, Elizabetas St. 11, Room 11 (2 floor)
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7322424, 7322346



House 2, Street 2 F8/3, Kohiston Road, Islamabad





Moscow Pogorelsky by-st, 12
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2301301, 2300054


Saudi Arabia (also for Kuwait, Bahrain)

11693 Er- Riyadh "Vrut" area, Vodiy Al-Mara St.21. 94008
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15, Loyik Sherali Str , Dushanbe, Tadjikistan

249077, 244721




Ankara, Ugur Mumzhu sogaki
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4471571, 4476673



Ashgabad, Gerogli St. 50a
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342334, 342419



Kiev, Vladimirskoe, 16
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USA (also for Canada)

1746 Massachussts Avenue NW Washington D.C. 20036,USA


8875300, 5307282


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Now for some practical information about Uzbek visas. While this blog entry is not designed to answer all of your questions, it will give you the basics that will help you through the process.

Like most countries you want to visit, different rules apply to nationalities. In this case, Uzbekistan is no different. If you are a citizen of the following countries, you are among the fortunate ones who do not need an Uzbek visa:

  •              Armenia
  •              Azerbaijan
  •              Belarus
  •              Georgia
  •              Kazakhstan
  •              Kyrgyzstan
  •              Moldova
  •              Russia
  •              Ukraine

For the people who are citizens of the following countries, there is a simplified visa procedure available to them at their nearest Uzbek embassy:

  •              Austria
  •              Belgium
  •              France
  •              Germany
  •              Italy
  •              Japan
  •              Latvia
  •              Malaysia
  •              Spain
  •              Switzerland
  •              United Kingdom

A non-visa regime of up to 90 days is available bilaterally for those citizens of the following countries who hold a diplomatic passport:

  •              Republic of Korea
  •              Brazil
  •              Hungary
  •              Romania (service passport holders included)
  •              Slovakia (service passport holders included)
  •              Turkey

For the Rest of Us
If your country is not listed above, then you will need to get a pre-arranged visa to enter Uzbekistan. To start the application process, you will need to go to this link ( to fill-out the application. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFA) website, it takes about 10 business days to get your visa. Keep this in mind as you make your travel plans.

The cost of the visa varies with the duration of time you plan to be in Uzbekistan and whether you’ll be traveling with a group or individually. For a list of the differing costs, please check out the MFA's website for detailed information:

Help is on the Way!
If you plan to visit Uzbekistan, Roxana Tour can help you get your visa. For most people, you will need a letter of invitation from a registered tour operator. All you need to do is contact our office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and talk to one of our tour professionals to select a tour and submit your down payment to us. When these steps have been completed, we can obtain the letter of invitation for you from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tashkent, which usually takes 5 – 7 business days. We will forward this letter to you, and then you will attach it to your visa application when you submit it to the Uzbek embassy or consular office in your country. Since it takes about 10 days to get the visa, the entire process will take close to 3 weeks to complete. It’s as easy as that!

A Final Note
Upon your arrival in Uzbekistan you will need to register with the Office of Visas and Registration (OVIR). I don’t know about you, but whenever I learn that I need to deal with administrative offices, I get the chills. However, there is an alternative to make your trip an easy one. The good news is that you will not need to make a special visit to the OVIR to take care of this administrative issue. This is how it will work: When you check-in to your first hotel, you will be issued a registration card that you will need to keep with you throughout your journey. The hotel’s concierge will deliver your registration card to the OVIR to get your stamp. For every hotel that you stay, this process will be repeated with no extra effort required from you. However, it’s very important that you have this card when you check-out of each hotel since you will need to return it to the authorities before you depart Uzbekistan.

I hope that this helps to answer any questions that you have about visas in Uzbekistan. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us at any time and our experts will give you the answers!

Posted by Greg Stephenson at 9:36 AM 2 comments:

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