Uzbekistan Country Information
Uzbekistan is a treasure trove of architectural monuments, the center of ancient cities, one of the centers of the legendary Silk Road. Here you can see the real ancient East – in Khiva, Samarkand and Bukhara. You can taste a real Uzbek pilaf cooked according to a recipe that is more than a thousand years old. Hotels here do not cost prohibitive money, and dinner at a restaurant will not ruin even the most hungry tourist.
Geography of Uzbekistan
According to DIGOPAUL.COM, the republic of Uzbekistan is located in Central Asia, north of Afghanistan. It borders with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The country is surrounded by land, in the north-west the border runs along the Aral Sea (420 km. of the Aral Sea coast). The total area is 447.4 thousand sq. km. Most of the territory of Uzbekistan is occupied by plains (about four-fifths of the territory). One of the main ones is the Turan plain. In the east and north-east of the country are the spurs of the Tien Shan and Pamir, here is the highest point of the country (4643 m). In the north of the central part of the territory of Uzbekistan there is one of the largest deserts in the world – Kyzylkum.
Uzbekistan has friendly and good-natured people. The patience and peacefulness of the Uzbeks are largely determined by a history overshadowed by countless wars. Moreover, the Uzbeks themselves never started them. Uzbekistan is always glad to see guests and is interested in them getting to know the culture and traditions of the country better.
Uzbeks make up over 80% of the population. Due to the historical past, many other nationalities also live in Uzbekistan, some of them for several generations:
- Russians (5.5%) since the 16th century began to settle in the territory of Central Asia
- Koreans (1%) since 1937, more than 6 thousand families were resettled in Uzbekistan
- Tatars, Gypsies, Ukrainians, Poles, Germans, Belarusians also live in Uzbekistan.
Climate of Uzbekistana
The climate of Uzbekistan is sharply continental, hot and arid. The average temperature in winter ranges from -8 °C to +3 °C, in mountainous areas it can drop to -16 °C. In summer, the temperature in the northern regions of the country reaches +32 °C, and in the south – and up to not weak +42 °C.
The best time to visit the country is spring (April to June) and autumn (September-October). The period from the last ten days of June to the first ten days of August is called “chilla” (forty days) in Uzbekistan. At this time, the air temperature during the day in the shade rises above +40 °C, and at night it does not fall below +30 °C.
Public holidays of Uzbekistan
On July 2, 1992, the Oliy Majlis adopted a law on holidays and declared the following days non-working:
- January 1 – New Year
- March 8 – International Women’s Day
- March 21 – Navruz
- May 9 – Day of Memory and Honor
- September 1 – Independence Day
- October 1 – Teacher and Mentor Day
- December 8 – Constitution Day
- the first days of the religious holidays Ruza Khayit and Kurban Khayit.
Uzbek cuisine has a centuries-old history in the background, and the process of preparing its key dishes is real rituals, each element of which is clearly regulated. In the north, they prefer pilaf, fried meat, dough products and flat cakes. In the south, they cook a lot of complex dishes from rice and vegetables, and also make excellent desserts. An important place on the local table is occupied by lamb, horse meat, soups with a lot of vegetables, vegetables by themselves, fermented milk products and bread. The main drink of the country is tea. The meal starts with him and ends with him. Dry vintage wines of local production please with a good aroma and are very inexpensive. The products of the Samarkand Vinkombinat, as well as Marvarid and Omar Khayyam wines are considered the best.
The original artistic culture of Uzbekistan has been formed over the centuries and is distinguished by its extraordinary, original and vibrant character among other cultures of the East. Due to its location, the culture of Uzbekistan has developed from a fusion of the most diverse traditions of many peoples, which are reflected in folk music, dances, painting, applied arts, national cuisine and clothing.
The ancient Iranian peoples, later nomadic Turkic tribes, then Arabs, Chinese and Russians made their contribution to the culture of Uzbekistan.
Folk art, passed down from generation to generation, flourishes today in Uzbekistan.
Many residents of the republic, especially in rural areas, still adhere to many traditions that have their roots in the distant past.
The modern cultural life of Uzbekistan is dynamic and diverse. The country hosts many art exhibitions, music, theater and film festivals.
In most retail outlets in the country, prices are rigidly fixed, but it is customary to bargain in bazaars and private stores – with a certain skill, it is quite easy to bring down the price at times, especially for handicrafts and carpets. Bazaars are the best place to get acquainted with the everyday local life. Here you can buy almost everything – from luxurious carpets and silk to fruits and spices, from traditional local crafts to clothes and shoes. Many museums have their own small shops that offer a variety of local crafts. It must be remembered that the purchase and export from the country of goods that are more than 100 years old is illegal. Grocery stores are usually open from 08.00 to 17.00, all others – from 09.00 to 19.00, it is recommended to visit the markets in the morning, and the earlier the better.
In large cities, the weary traveler will always have a choice between Soviet dormitories in need of repair and new, high-quality private hotels. In recent years, hundreds of private B&Bs have opened across the country, especially in Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva.
Hot water is available in expensive hotels and only in large cities. In small private hotels, as a rule, boilers are installed. Mains voltage 220 V, 50 Hz. Standard sockets “Eastern European” type with two round pins without grounding.
currency is available at branches of the National Bank, at specialized exchange offices and in some hotels. Currency exchange with individuals is punishable by law (when exchanging currency outside of officially authorized establishments, the risk of becoming a victim of fraud is really very high). Many hotels and transport agencies accept payment for their services in foreign currency, US dollars and euros are preferred. The use of credit cards and traveler’s checks is limited to the capital and tourist centers.