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Uzbekistan glitters with Silk Road splendors

The Uzbek Embassy hosted a tourism promotion seminar in Seoul on June 5, introducing the country’s Silk Road wonders and other cultural riches that make it an exotic, eclectic destination, bar none.

Tourism companies from Uzbekistan and Korea made presentations on the splendors of the doubly landlocked country in the heart of Eurasia, followed by a live performance of traditional Uzbek music and business-to-business meetings.

The Central Asian country offers snippets of its ancient Silk Road glories with modern conveniences. One can see in Uzbekistan a peculiar mishmash of cultural relics: luminous minarets, voluptuous domes and tortuous mosaics often next to classical Russian architectures and ideological socialist sculptures.

Coming out of seven decades of soviet rule through independence in 1991, the country has steadily engaged the world, using tourism as a new growth engine.

Highlighted sites in the seminar were Registan Square Complex, Ulugbek’s Observatory, Imam Bukhari Mausoleum in Samarkand, Itchan Kala walled inner city in Khiva, the Ark of Bukhara fortress in Bukhara, Oqsaroy edificial ruins in Shahrisabz and Khudoyar-Khan’s Palace (Urda Fortress) in Kokand. Also on display were rock carvings in Sarmyshsay of Navoi region, the stone forest in Uchkuduk and Osman’s Koran in Tashkent.

Uzbekistan is an untapped ecotourism destination with oasis-laden deserts, alpine meadows, green valleys, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, lush rivers and undisturbed lakes. Nestled in steep altitudes and rugged landscapes, there are 100 hiking trails aflush with flora and fauna and adorned with timeworn monuments and edifices. Tourists can indulge in geotourism, wellness, outdoor sports, climbing, fishing and rafting as well.

Over 600 tourism companies, 660 hotels and various campsites operate in Uzbekistan. Visitors can use its 11 international airports from over 50 cities around the world, as well as the high-speed train Afrosiyob.

By Joel Lee (joel@heraldcorp.com)
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