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MSRS Organized Cultural Tour to Central Asia


The Maritime Silk Road Society (MSRS) organized the Ancient Silk Road In-depth Cultural Exploration Tour to Central Asia - Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan from 30 September to 8 October. The 20-people tour was led by Mr Alex Wong, CEO of MSRS.

On the first day, the delegation flew to Almaty, Kazakhstan for a city tour followed by a cable car ride to have a bird’s eye view of the beautiful place.

The delegation spent the second and third day in Khiva and its inner old town Itchan Kala which is known as the ‘open air museum’. Khiva is an ancient city in Uzbekistan declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990.

On the fourth day during the journey through the Kisil Kum Desert to Bukhara, the delegation was warmly received by the Uzbekistan agent with a welcome lunch featuring delectable local dishes such as roast meat and pilau rice.

The delegation visited Bukhara on the fifth day to appreciate the rich legacy left by the Silk Road traders. With over 100 architectural monuments and fascinating tales of “Alibaba and the Forty Thieves” and Avanti in Chinese folklore, Bukhara was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

On the way to one of the oldest cities in Central Asia - Samarkand on the sixth day, the delegation visited a pottery workshop and took part in a master cooking class of pilau rice. Listed as a World Heritage Site in 2001, Samarkand has long been at the crossroads of world cultures and an important site traversing Central Asia. The city was established in the 7th century and prospered under the Timurid dynasty. Samarkand was at the forefront of Islamic architecture with numerous mosques, madrassas and residential houses, lined on narrow streets and built in medieval Islamic fashion.

The tour continued in Samarkand on the seventh day with a demonstration on traditional paper-making, a visit to Registan Square and the Ulugbek Observatory. The delegation took a high speed train ride to Tashkent, the capital city in the evening. A farewell dinner was arranged to present certificates of cultural studies and cooking class to participants in addition to a traditional ethnic dress as souvenir.

In Tashkent on the eighth day, the delegation toured Hast Imam Square, a religious center, for the viewing of Uthman Qur’an which is considered to be the oldest extant Qur’an in the world. The last stop of the tour was a visit to the oldest market Chorsu Bazaar, for the purchase of souvenirs and traditional handicraft products.

To facilitate the understanding of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Hong Kong tour guide Mr George Kai gave an introduction on the importance of Central Asia to China in regards of the 21st Century Silk Road Economic Belt during the trip. Mr Kai is an expert in Russian language and an experienced traveler to Russia and Central Asia.

Mr Kai started with the significant role of gold, petroleum, cotton and natural gas in the economic development of Uzbekistan followed with stories of different dynasties and emperors, their relationship with China and concluded how the old Khwatazm evolved into the modern Central Asia.

At the end of the tour, members of the delegation found the trip interesting through treading the historical Silk Road and religious sanctuaries, tasting local dishes and most of all, accomplishing the people to people bond.


Kz-Zenhov Cathedral in Almaty


Uz- cultural performance


Uz-beautiful tiles


Uz-certificate presentation


Uz-colourful plates


Uz-group photo in ethnic dress


Uz-group photo in Kisil Kum 


Uz-Khiva camel




Uz-Lyabi-Khauz in Bukhara


Uz-porcelain from Japan 


Uz-pottery making




Uz-Registan Square in Samarkand 


Uz-salad and bread 


Uz-Samanid Mausoleum in Bukhara


Uz-Shaki-Zinda Ensemble


Uz-Sherdor Madrasa decorated with tiger mosaics 


Uz-sitting out in Shaki-Zinda


Uz-skewered roast meat


Uz-sunset in Khiva


Uz-Tashkent Metro


Uz-Visit to Khiva


Uz-welcoming performance


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