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MSRS Organized Cultural Tour to Central Asia

2019-09-30

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-Khiva

    

Uz-Lyabi-Khauz in Bukhara

             

Uz-porcelain from Japan 

    

Uz-pottery making

           

Uz-Qur'an

     

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