Uzbekistan – 139th Country. To see where I have been so far, check out my map as I count down the final 93 countries on the road to all 193 UN countries. Uzbekistan is my 139th country.
Uzbekistan is a double landlocked country in the Central Asia. The country has been at the crossroads and under the thumb of many empires. First recorded history dates to the 8th century BC as Eastern Iranian nomads settled the lands. The Iranian Achaemenid and Macedonians also took their turn at ruling the area. In the 7th century, Arabs made their way to Uzbekistan and the people converted to Islam. The father of Uzbekistan is considered to be Timur, the first ruler of the Timurid Empire. Uzbekistan was incorporated into the Russian Empire in the 19th century and then the Soviet Union. Uzbekistan became independent in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. Islam Karimov ruled the country from 1991 until his death in 2016. His successor, President Mirziyoyev, moved the country in a new and improved direction; by abolishing cotton slavery, abolishing child labor, introducing tax reform, and much more.
I spent two and half weeks in Uzbekistan visiting this incredibly excellent country. Uzbekistan is a great introduction to Central Asia. In the last couple of years, the country has made giant strides in transitioning to a tourist friendly country. Uzbekistan has switched to an evisa, rolled out ATMs across the country, negated currency controls, and also eliminated the hotel tracking requirement upon departure. I began my trip to the far west visiting Nukus, famous for the Nukus Museum of Art. I then proceeded north to visit the dying Aral Sea. I then hit the Silk Road, visiting the amazing Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand. All three offered their own unique charms and was equally overly content with all three visits. I ended the trip in the underrated capital of Tashkent.
Uzbekistan is my 138th country.