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Our guide in Uzbekistan seemed to know everyone wherever we went which made us feel like locals.
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Fergana Valley

The Fergana Valley stretches across central Asia forming a crucial part of the northern silk road which historically linked China to the west. With the Tien-Shan mountains to the north and the Gissar-Allai to the south, it is an area of stunning natural beauty and despite the relatively dry climate, the valley boasts green and fertile plains thanks to the Rivers Naryn and Kara Darya, which meet near Namangan to form the Syr Darya.

Throughout history, Fergana Valley has been the object of many territorial battles and its various areas have been occupied by the Achaemenid Empire, the Han Dynasty, the Bactrian Empire and the Samanids. Today it stretches across three former Soviet states, from eastern Uzbekistan through Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan. As such, it is an area of incomparable cultural and ethnic diversity as well as historical and environmental interest. From cities with stunning architecture to breathtaking scenery to fabulous handmade silks and ceramics, a visit to Fergana Valley is sure to intrigue the intrepid explorer.

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From Travelogues
Jay Tindall was amazed by Uzbekistan's cultural diversity, its 2700-year old history and its mosques, markets and friendly people.
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