When it comes to seeking a great travel experience, oftentimes the best destination are those that are rarely caught under the tourism radar. Traveling to Uzbekistan proved to be one of the riveting ideas that aptly defy conventional expectations.

In fact, this country's suffix alone already has a bad ring to it. Most 'cousins' of Afghanistan always leaves that kind of impression. But contrary to popular presumption, this Central Asian country has yet to introduce itself.  Here are a number of things one can do to experience the best of Uzbekistan:

'Eats' Unusual, Isn't It?

Puns aside, traditional Uzbek cuisine is one of the most off-beat fares tourists can try. In Uzbekistan, the most famous local dish is the 'plov' - a rudimentary but surprisingly delicious lamb risotto. Influenced by the previous Soviet occupation, the unsophisticated wild ration recipes that feed USSR's hardy soldiers have slowly made a good transition towards civilian taste.

As a Central Asian state, Uzbekistan is also a crossroad of cultural ideas. In cities like Bukhara, Samarqand, and capital Tashkent, 10 of the country's best restaurants host renowned flavors endemic throughout the two hemispheres of Eurasia.

Pray All Muslim Societies Have This Charm...

Considering that Uzbekistan is a devout Muslim country, it is easy for prospective visitors to feel unnerved. After all, countries like Iran, Iraq, and Syria obviously do not exude a positive impression. But contrary to such presumptions, Uzbeks are predominantly Sufi Muslims. One may easily think of them as the Amish counterpart of Islam, where mysticism paves the way for wisdom and open-mindedness.

The holiest places in Uzbekistan include the Shrine of Imam Al-Bukhari in Samarqand, the iconic Tomb of Prophet Daniel, and the burial site of Prophet Mohammed's cousin named Qasim ibn-Abbas. For the Sufi Muslims, these places are sacred but (fortunately) it does not exclude non-believers from conveying their own strange reverence to God (or the universe).    

Love To Brag With Friends!

Anyone traveling to Uzbekistan can always bring a few fascinating stories back home as a result of exploring the unknown. Some of the few things visitors have learned include the lessons of sheer perseverance from Soviet rule, the enormous respect and equity afforded to female Sufi Muslims and the ingenuity that concocted the eclectic and unique Uzbek cuisine.