For the majority of visitors, the Uzbek capital serves primarily as a gateway hub, where you can recover from your jet lag in a modern, comfortable hotel and acclimatize with short excursions around the city. Time permitting, we recommend clients sample the Central Asian atmosphere of the Chorsu Bazaar, up in the old quarter, whose spice, fresh produce and traditional clothes markets offer some fine photo opportunities. Nearby, the beautiful Khast Imam Mosque is also worth a visit to see the famous Uthman Quran, which was written in Kufic script in the 8th or early 9th century, and is believed to be one of the oldest surviving Korans in the world. Anyone interested in local art should also slot in a tour of the Abdul Khasim Madrasa, a grand 19th-century former Islamic school now used as a centre for traditional crafts, where you can watch ceramicists, painters of miniatures, weavers, metalworkers and embroiderers in action.
For lunch, your TransIndus guide will be delighted to take you to the famous National Food restaurant – the best and most authentic place to eat in Tashkent. Specialities include traditional Uzbek delights such as plov (a regional take on pulao made with sizzling lamb, rice and apricots), melt-in-the-mouth shashlik kebabs and, best of all, halim, a hearty, slow-cooked meat stew mopped up with freshly baked flatbread.