8 independent reviews for Uzbekistan small group tour

Reviews for Uzbekistan small group tour

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review 23 Aug 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The UNESCO-listed walled, old city of Khiva, known as Ichon Qala, was the unexpected gem of this trip. Also, swimming in the man-made Lake Aidarkul in the middle of the Kyzylkum desert was a surprising and relaxing pleasure.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Roads are in bad-condition, so be prepared for long, uncomfortable hours spent travelling between cities.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Financially yes, but one fears that too many tourists can only have a negative impact upon the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Brilliant! We travelled with an excellent guide and a sociable, compatible group. The pace was perfect for us, and there was sufficient free time in the programme for extra sight-seeing or activities.

review 24 Apr 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Visiting the silk road cities of Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara and having time to wander in each place and admire the reconstructed buildings. The guide Dilshod is extremely knowledgeable and a superb fixer.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

You have to be comfortable with travelling in a mid sized group and there are long distances to cover by road. It is a very cheap place to visit, unless you want to buy a carpet. Do try the delicious green pasta in Khiva.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We shopped locally and stayed in locally run hotels and family run yurts.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Uzbekistan is full of architectural surprises and friendly people. I would highly recommend a trip there.

review 16 Oct 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Each of the cities visited were very different and interesting and I really enjoyed the night in the Yurt and the camel ride and swim in the lake

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for a full on holiday. The first two days were very tiring as we had an overnight flight and a tour of Taskent the day we landed. The following morning was a very early start, around 5 am as we had to fly to Urgench for our stay in Khiva. There was also a long drive from Khiva to Bukhara. This may change within the next year or two as a bullet train will be operating between the two cities.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes I did. The company used several small local family restaurants which were actually in their own houses. Also the stay in the yurt benefited the locals. By refilling water bottles this stopped a lot of rubbish.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The hotels were mainly of a reasonable standard, although the one in Khiva was not very clean. Several of the group also were ill whilst in Khiva. Uzbekistan is an up and coming tourist destination, but the infrastructure needs to be updated. The country is very interesting, particular the culture and history.

review 10 Oct 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There were many highlights and the places we visited were unique and really interesting, but I think the Registan Square in Samarkand will be rated among the top. I also loved Bukkhara and would have liked to have stayed there longer.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Although this is a 'leisurely' trip, the pace is quite full on and there is a lot of travelling and long days. Take warm clothing for the autumn dates - a fleece hat, a scarf, gloves and socks (plus waterproof jacket) are useful also for the yurt stay. (Thermals not really needed as visitors sleep under duvets.) A torch is useful as Khiva is badly lit and the roads are very uneven, also for the yurt stay. The food is generally better in Uzbekistan than one might at first think as there is a quite lot of variety and many restaurants are attractive and fun to visit. However, food handling/hygiene is not consistent so be careful and take remedies to alleviate stomach problems. This is not a trip for vegetarians. Take an overnight bag or rucksack (rather than main luggage) you can close up for the yurt visit with bags for shoes rather than leave them out. (There are scorpions sometimes.)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, it benefited local people in that we stayed in small, locally-owned hotels for the most part. However, the standard of accommodation was often low and hotel rooms badly maintained/dated. Hoteliers need to up their game and/or Responsible Travel change to better hotels to keep their clients happy. I can't see how the trip supported conservation. More could be done to discourage vendors from using plastic bags and your customers to take reusable shoppers. Travel on the bullet trains in future - the railway will link Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukkhara and Khiva in the next year or so - will reduce reliance on road transport, especially as the roads are often poor. It will also save time. The trip certainly helped local crafts people and retailers as we all did plenty of shopping!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I'd rate it highly, for the itinerary, guide and transportation. However, the standard of accommodation was not very good (except for the Old House Hotel, Bukkhara which I stayed in because there was no room at the original hotel). Rooms at 'Standard hotels' were often very dated, often poorly maintained and in some instances, e.g. the Malika Khorazm in Khiva, my ground floor room was downright shabby, though the lobby area of the hotel was was pleasant. The Hotel Uzbekistan in Tashkent was poorly maintained, not particularly clean and the staff rude. I would be cautious about recommending Responsible Travel/the operator to friends because of the accommodation issues. The trip is not cheap or a budget travel package, so the company needs to improve accommodation.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your review, it's great to hear how much you enjoyed Uzbekistan and the many marvels it has to offer. Thank you for your feedback on the hotels and suggestions on transport. Uzbekistan's tourism infrastructure is improving all the time though it is still more rustic than in other countries,. That said we do work with our local partners as properties evolve to improve the trip as new options become available. The transport infrastructure is also improving and we will, no doubt, be looking at the train to Khiva option once this becomes a reality. Once again, thank you for your feedback and I hope you have plenty of great memories of Central Asia.

review 27 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Registan at Samarkand was the most memorable. Everything just led up to that experience.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for full and active days despite the 'Leisurely' rating.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Certainly local restaurants and vendors benefitted.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent, mainly due to highly expert and very likable guide Dilshod

review 26 Jul 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The sights - historical and cultural, the Shah-i-Zinda necropolis was my favourite place, absolutely stunning

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't book in July and August, its too hot! Also be prepared to be very careful with what you eat, its easy to get sick

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Definitely benefited local people through the money spent. I don't think it reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent - great itinerary, great guide, good group, wonderful country, easy to travel in, well organised.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Tamsin, Firstly, thank you for your comments, we are delighted that overall you had a great trip. It is great that you saw the benefit to local people that the holiday delivered we make every effort to ensure as many people benefit from our custom as possible. Regarding your comments about reducing environmental impacts I would like to reassure you that this is something we are continuously working on. One such example of this is our current push to reduce our plastic waste on trips we are in the process of starting a new initiative whereby all trips will provide clients with drinking water from a large receptacle. 20ltr bottles will be employed and clients will be able to fill up throughout the trip. We are currently trialling this approach in India and South East Asia and it has been a great success. We regret that this wasn't quite ready for your trip but please rest assured that it is to happen soon as we take the reduction of our environmental impacts very seriously. We do hope that this explanation provides an adequate response to your review and offers you reassurance that we are continuously working on ensuring our trips are as responsible as possible. We hope to welcome you back to Uzbekistan one day.

review 27 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Samarkand, Kiva

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bit demanding but manageable and worth it

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Do not know

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very good

review 22 Nov 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole trip was memorable but plov night really sticks in the mind. The locals were very friendly which added a bit of magic.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take your own tonic it is not available anywhere in the country!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We certainly put some investment into the country not sure how much benefit it was. Environmentally no idea of our impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Great, nice group, well rounded tour

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