Uzbekistan — Useful information for travelers
It wasn’t simple for Uzbekistan after the USSR crushed to become real democratic independent peace-loving country, with policy aimed at reforms in economy and other important spheres of life. But despite of everything the Republic of Uzbekistan which is situated in the middle of Central Asia celebrated its 21th Anniversary of Independence this year. The Republic of Uzbekistan is rising and young country, very beautiful and rich with natural resources such as gold, oil, gas, iron, petroleum, steel, zinc and lead, uranium and phosphor. Agriculture presented with cotton (which is called “white gold” here), grain, vegetables and fruits, production of silk, cattle and sheep farming and also poultry farming. Main industries of Uzbekistan are metallurgy, engineering, petrochemical and chemical, light industry, electronic and radio industries. Automobile industry is developing very fast in Uzbekistan (mainly presented by “General Motors Uzbekistan” company).
Nowadays Uzbekistan is secular state, renewed, young and perspective. It’s growing stronger in economy, culture and politic spheres with every day. Foreign investors such as China, Turkey, South Korea, Russia, France, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, USA gladly cooperates with Uzbekistan, so the amount of joint ventures multiplies every year. But Uzbekistan also has its own large enterprises: Uzbek Metal, Navoi Nitrogen, Shurtangas, Almalikskiy GMK, Bukhara Oil Refinery, Fergana Oil Refinery, Tashkent Wine and others.
Uzbekistan is placed between Amudarya and Syrdarya – which are two big rivers, and it also borders with such countries as Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tadjikistan, and Afghanistan in the South, having Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alay mountain ridges in the southeast and famous Kyzyl-Kum Desert in the North. Area of Uzbekistan formed from 425.400 km2 of land and 22,000 km2 of water. Lowest point is Sariqarnish Lake (12 m) and highest point is Adelunga Mountain (4.301 m). Administrative and territorial structure includes 12 regions, 226 cities and Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakistan.
Many foreigners mistake Uzbekistan for such countries as Afganistan or Pakistan, but the Republic of Uzbekistan is not similar to those countries at all. It’s a sovereign state, very safe and quiet, peaceful and (which is most important in Central Asia) stable. You can be sure that your life is safe while travelling to Uzbekistan. This country is very peace loving and values human life a lot. Oriental traditions and ceremonies and European modernity are combined here in a best way. Modern cities (Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan) are combined with ancient cities such as Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva and many others.
Population of the country – more than 29 million people and overall demographic situation is good. The capital of the Republic of Uzbekistan is sunny and cheery Tashkent city. Official state language of the country is Uzbek, but Russian is also widely used for communication among the big percent of population. Other languages are Tajik, Kara kalpak and also English and many others, don’t forget how multinational Uzbekistan is. Hard to imagine, but this is true: people of more than 129 nationalities and also national minorities live there. Official religion of the Republic of Uzbekistan is Islam, but people of many confessions also live here in peace and friendship, mutual understanding and respect.
it’s extremely continental, that mostly means that the weather can change very fast and unexpected, so be prepared. But don’t worry, because the sunny days in Uzbekistan prevails over rainy and moody weather. In summer it is very hot and dry and it’s good for trekking (temperature in July from +35 to +45oC), autumn is warm, winter is moderately cold. Statistics says that 265 out of 365 days in a year are sunny.
Sum (UZS), it is convertible (from year 2004). You will surely find currency exchange office in many places of each Uzbek city (supermarkets, hotels, markets and banks, airport). Almost every of them accept US dollars and euros. Other currencies can be exchange in every main office of every bank.
it is strongly recommended to have insurance from your own country, because this sphere in Uzbekistan is on the beginning level.
Uzbekistan Airways (HY), cars and tour buses, rail, taxi; and subway in Tashkent city with three lines (unique because it’s the only one in Central Asia).
Spring, the end of summer and the beginning of autumn/ And of course winter for those who would love to ski in the mountains.
- January 1 - New Year
- March 8 - International Women's Day
- March 21 - Navruz (Muslim New Year)
- May 9 - Remembrance Day
- September 1 - Independence Day
- October 1 - Teacher's Day
- December 8 - Constitution Day
- And two religion holidays with changing dates: Ramadan Khait and Kurban Khait.
Uzbekistan has fertile land, so there are many fruits such as grapes and watermelons, pears and apples, cherries and pomegranates, lemons and persimmons, quinces, figs and many many others. Vegetables are also presented in variations: green radishes and yellow carrots, countless kinds of pumpkin, eggplants and peppers, turnips and cucumbers, luscious tomatoes e. t.c.
Winter lasts with dried fruits and vegetables full of vitamins. Most of Uzbek dishes are fatty and very substantial (palov, shashlik, manty, samsa), so if your organism don’t get get used to such kind of food, don’t eat a lot at once, take your time.
People in Uzbekistan are very cheery, big hearted and generous; they care about traditions a lot and show their respect to their teachers and parents. Don’t be shy to accept an invitation to the family dinner: Uzbek people do this not only because of politeness but also because it’s their tradition.
It is always recommended to be cautious and observe the laws and rules of Uzbekistan. If you have doubts, it is best to seek specific information from local authorities or the consular representation of your country in Uzbekistan.
Be respectful of local customs, traditions, and culture.
Dress modestly to avoid drawing unwanted attention.
If you want to take a photo of someone, ask first.
When buying souvenirs, check with the seller if there are any documents needed to take the item out of the country. Better to be safe than sorry.
Why not learn some local phrases that may be useful to you?
Avoid dressing too provocatively, so as not to attract unwanted attention.
Do not lose your composure when bargaining in Uzbek bazaars. Enjoy the process and stay calm.
Avoid using non-cash payments if not necessary. Expect to use cash most of the time.
These are just some basic rules to follow while staying in Uzbekistan. It is recommended to be attentive and respectful to local norms and customs.
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