Uzbekistan Travel Guides for Backpackers

Uzbekistan: Hiking to Urungach Lake in Tashkent Region

Uzbekistan is one of the countries in Central Asia that attracts a lot of tourists with its historical cities Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva. However, this country has a lot more to offer besides these crowded cities. It has many interesting places to offer to lovers of wild nature. The mountains of Uzbekistan are vast, wild, and stunning. One of the regions in Uzbekistan that has a wide range of mountains is the Tashkent Region. There are famous Chimgan Mountains, Charvak Water Reservoir with surrounding mountains, as well as Ugam-Chatkal National Park. Among the top places among hikers, eco-tourists, and the general public is Urungach Lake, which is in the territory of Ugam-Chatkal National Park, 150 kilometers away from Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. How to Get There Due to its proximity to the border of Uzbekistan and Kazakstan, visitors should get special permission and have their passport with them. To get to this site, the majority leave Tashkent at 5 a.m. because the journey takes about 4-5 hours from Tashkent, the last hour of which goes along a very rough road. The views along the whole route are breathtaking: Cahrvak Water Reservoir at dawn, Plato Giza, as well as the Chatkal River. The sunrise over Charvak Reservoir Hiking to Urungach Lake Once the travelers reach Pskem Village, they start the hiking part of the trip up the hill, along the path that goes through some walnut trees and bushes. However, for those who do not want, or cannot walk long distances, some local people can offer a ride up to the first lake for additional payment. Those who decide to walk can enjoy the splendid scenery along the path: in early spring you can see February fair-maids, in May desert-candles, tulips and wild-roses blossoming. In addition, you can see and hear the river flowing in the distance and enjoy the serenity and peace that are disturbed only by birds singing. The path is quite easy, and it takes about 30-35 minutes to get to the first lake on foot. There is a concrete stream that goes along the way with pure and tasty water. Me next to a beautiful wild-rose we found along the path The Bottom Lake Another name of Lake Urungach is Jade Lake due to its color, and most people know this place by this name. They say that a long time ago the rocks collapsed and created a natural dam, which formed the lake. The bottom lake is so magnificent, that it takes your breath away. The transparent turquoise water illuminates every single stone on the surface, as well as the surrounding mountains. Melting ice water fills the lake in early spring, which almost fully disappears by autumn. That’s why the best time to visit this lake is between May to July when the lake is full. Some local people come to the lake to have a picnic and shoot some photos. Not everybody is brave enough to swim in this lake due to its icy […]

Vacation in Uzbekistan. Why not?

At least it was the first time when I shocked my mom saying where I was going to. Well not the last. Idea to go somewhere there came so unexpectedly that I packed my bag, hugged my cat and went to the east next day. The road one way took 3 (!) days by bus and train! Craziness? Maybe. But we saved a lot of money, avoiding expensive flight. Route The Great Silk Road passed through the oldest cities, like Tashkent, Hiva, Buhara, Samarkand. Caravans pulled with the silk, jewelry and spice linked Eastern and Western civilization for many years and centuries. If you visit any of this cities, you'll touch the great east history. We chose Tashkent and Samarkand because of short stay there. Guide Uzbek 100 dollars By the road from the train station to the hotel in Tashkent we talked with the taxi driver about places to see. He gave us advise about guide with own driver. Of course we agreed to, cause I hadn't prepared for this trip (the first and the last time I think). As I knew later individual excursions were wide spreaded practice in Uzbekistan because of the low price. Therefore we hired the guide in Samarkand too. Money The national currency of the Republic of Uzbekistan is named “sum” (UZS). Now exchange rate for 1 dollar is about 3000 UZS. Nonetheless the largest denomination is 1000 UZS. That's why if you go there, you'll feel like a millionaire. Tashkent In Tashkent we booked I think the best hotel in the city named “Uzbekistan” just for 50 dollars per night. The building has 18 floors and looks like an open book. Also the hotel has a real good location near some places of interest, which we could see in the evening right after the arrival. High hotel “Uzbekistan” I should note that I had a room at 16 floor. At first I was really glad, because I always like to have a morning view of the city when there is noone at the streets. But finally there was a real problem that I hadn't considered… Earthquake We came back at the midnight from the walk and I just tried lie down to sleep, then I felt something wrong. As a person from seismically quiet zone I understood in a few moments that had started earthquake! That moment I got the reason why they teach children in the school what to do in extremal situations. After the waiting end of the earth tremors in the doorway I run like a redshank through the 16 floors by the stairs. I think I shouldn't tell you that I didn't want to sleep anymore. As a result idea to spend the night on the bench in the park hadn't seemed so crazy. As we knew later 6,5-7,0 magnitude earthquake strucked 235 kilometres outside Tashkent. In Tashkent was fixed measuring 5 on the Richter scale. It looked like very unusual welcome […]
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