In the Middle Ages, the Great Silk Road passed through the territory of modern Uzbekistan, connecting China with Europe. The Uzbek cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Shash (modern Tashkent) flourished on this caravan road. In these cities, a large number of unique sights, mosques, mausoleums, madrasahs and palaces have been preserved to this day. Medieval cities, nature, rivers, and, of course, mountains are gradually turning Uzbekistan into one of the main tourist destinations in Asia.
Geography of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is located in Central Asia. In the east, Uzbekistan borders with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, in the north and west – with Kazakhstan, and in the south – with Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. This state has no access to the sea. The total area of Uzbekistan is 448,900 sq. km.
The territory of Uzbekistan is a combination of plains, foothills and mountains. The plains are in the southwest and northwest of the country, and the foothills and mountains are in the east and southeast. The highest peak in Uzbekistan reaches a height of 4,643 m (there is no name for this peak yet). Uzbekistan is characterized by high seismicity. Sometimes tremors reach 8-9 points.
The largest rivers in Uzbekistan (and, by the way, throughout Central Asia) are the Amu Darya (1437 km) and the Syr Darya (2137 km).
A significant part of Uzbekistan is occupied by deserts (for example, the Kyzylkum desert).
According to itypemba.com, the capital of Uzbekistan is Tashkent, which is now home to more than 2.3 million people. According to archaeologists, a settlement of people on the territory of modern Tashkent existed already in the 2nd century BC.
In Uzbekistan, the official language is Uzbek, belonging to the Turkic language family.
About 93% of the population of Uzbekistan professes Islam (Sunnis), and about 4% are Orthodox Christians.
State structure of Uzbekistan
According to equzhou.net, Uzbekistan is a parliamentary republic headed by the President. The bicameral parliament in Uzbekistan is called the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, it consists of the Senate (100 senators) and the Legislative Chamber (150 deputies).
The main political parties in Uzbekistan are the PDPU, the Adolat party, the LDPU, and the Milliy Tiklanish party.
Climate and weather
The climate in Uzbekistan is considered to be sharply continental. The length of the day is 15 hours in summer and 9 hours in winter. The coldest month is January (in the north, the average air temperature is -8C), and the hottest months are July and August (on the plains and foothills, the air temperature is +25-30C, and in the south – +41C). The average annual rainfall is 200-300 mm.
The best time to travel around Uzbekistan is spring (April-June) and autumn (September-October).
Rivers and lakes
The Amu Darya (1437 km) and the Syr Darya (2137 km) flow through the territory of Uzbekistan. There are few lakes in Uzbekistan. The largest of them is the Aral Sea, the level of which has dropped by about 15 meters over the past 30 years.
Around the VI century BC. Iranian nomadic tribes settled in the valleys of the Amu Darya, Syr Darya and Zarafshan, and founded the first state. Already in the 5th century BC. the region was dominated by the ancient slave states of Bactria, Sogd and Tokhar.
The Great Silk Road, which connected China and Europe, passed through the territory of modern Uzbekistan. Thanks to this caravan route, the Uzbek cities of Bukhara and Samarkand became very rich and prosperous.
For many centuries, Uzbekistan was under the rule of the Parthian kingdom, the Sasanian Empire and the Samanid state. In the 8th century A.D. Arabs conquered Uzbekistan and brought Islam there.
Then the territory of modern Uzbekistan was under the rule of the Mongols. In the XIV century, in the era of Timur, Uzbekistan experienced another heyday.
In the 19th century, Uzbekistan became part of the Russian Empire; this process continued for several decades.
By the early 1920s, Uzbekistan, like the rest of Central Asia, was under the influence of the Communist Bolshevik Party of Russia. In 1924, the Uzbek SSR was formed, which became part of the USSR.
The independence of Uzbekistan was proclaimed only in August 1991.
Modern Uzbek culture began to take shape as early as the 6th century BC, when nomadic tribes settled in the valleys of the Amu Darya, Syr Darya and Zarafshan. The culture of these peoples later became the basis of Uzbek culture.
Despite the fact that Uzbekistan was captured by different empires and states, the Uzbek culture has not changed much since ancient times. The Arabs, who brought Islam with them to Uzbekistan, had the greatest influence on Uzbek culture.
Ramadan-Bayram, Kurban-Bayram, Novruz, Buttermilk-Bayram, “First Snow Festival”, “Tulip Festival” and other festivals and holidays are celebrated in Uzbekistan. During some Uzbek holidays, you can see the local traditional goat-breaking competition.
Uzbek culinary traditions are known far beyond Uzbekistan. Many recipes of Uzbek dishes have a long history. Turkic, Kazakh, Uighur, Tajik, Tatar and Mongolian culinary traditions had a certain influence on Uzbek cuisine.
Traditional food products in Uzbekistan are rice, legumes, meat (lamb, beef, horse meat), fruits, vegetables, greens.
At the beginning of lunch, Uzbeks usually eat sweets and fruits. Then vegetables and salads are served, after which it is time for soups. Only after that, the main dishes are served – pilaf, manti, langman and shish kebab.
In Uzbekistan, we recommend tourists to try cutlets (tukhum-dulma), barbecue (kebab), stew with greens (kazan-kabob), cold meat appetizers (kavurdak and khasib), fried meat (jarkop).
Plov occupies a special place in Uzbek cuisine. In Uzbekistan, there are about 1 thousand recipes for cooking pilaf. Usually, Uzbek pilaf is made from rice, fresh lamb or beef, carrots, onions and vegetable oil.
The most famous sweets in Uzbekistan are halva, navat (crystalline grape sugar), sugar-covered nuts, traditional pashmak, nisholda (beaten egg white cream with herbs) and sumalyak (sweet sprouted wheat paste).
The traditional non-alcoholic drink is green tea (“kuk-choy”). But black tea is popular in Tashkent (it is called “bark tea”). Every meal begins and ends with tea. Uzbeks drink tea mostly without sugar. Uzbek tea with sugar is called “kand-choy”. Uzbeks often add herbs and spices to tea. In Karakalpakstan, milk is added to tea (black and green).
In Uzbekistan, the more honorable the guest, the less tea is poured into the bowl.
Sights of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan has a special state program for the restoration and preservation of monuments of culture, history and architecture. According to official data, there are now more than 4,000 historical monuments in Uzbekistan. The top ten most interesting sights of Uzbekistan, in our opinion, may include the following:
- Mausoleum of Yunus-Khan in Tashkent
- El-Registan Square in Samarkand
- Mausoleum of the Samanids in Bukhara
- Jami Mosque in Tashkent
- Mausoleum of Sheikhantur in Tashkent
- Tillya-Kari Madrasah in Samarkand
- Mausoleum of Ishrat-Khon in Samarkand
- Poi-Kalyan in Bukhara
- Khan’s Palace in Kokand
- Ark fortress in Bukhara
Cities and resorts
The largest cities in Uzbekistan are Samarkand, Namangan, Ferghana, Bukhara, and, of course, the capital, Tashkent.
Tourists come to Uzbekistan for local attractions (there are more than 100 excursion routes), skiing and outdoor activities. There are two ski resorts in Uzbekistan – Chimgan and Beldersay, which are located northeast of Tashkent. Chimgan has 24 ski slopes (plus cable cars), and Beldersay has 3 cable cars and several ski slopes. The skiing season in Uzbekistan lasts from November to May.
In September and October, Uzbek rivers (for example, the Syrdarya and Angren) offer excellent conditions for kayaking and rafting. In the south of Uzbekistan, in the mountains, there are routes for tekking, as well as excellent conditions for mountaineering and speleology.
Tourists from Uzbekistan bring Uzbek ceramics, clay figurines, knives, daggers, jewelry, Uzbek sets, teapots, bowls, mantyshnitsa (Uzbek pot), Korans, wooden bookends, caskets, embroidered cosmetic bags, skullcaps, silk fabrics, carpets, Uzbek musical instruments (kobuz, dombra, oud, dutar), Samarkand paper and Uzbek wines.
Mon-Fri: 09:00-16:00 (break from 13:00 to 14:00)
Mon-Fri: 08:00-17:00 (some shops open until 19:00).
Ukrainians do not need to apply for a visa to visit Uzbekistan (if the trip does not exceed 90 days).
The official currency in Uzbekistan is sum (international designation: UZS). One sum = 100 tiyins. Credit cards are accepted only by prestigious hotels and shops in Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara.
Foreign currency (and valuables) when imported into Uzbekistan must be declared (the amount is not limited). Be sure to keep a second copy of your declaration. You can take out of Uzbekistan as much valuables and currency as was declared in the declaration upon entry. There is a limit of 272,000 soms for the import and export of local currency in Uzbekistan.
To take antiques, jewelry, paintings out of Uzbekistan, you need to obtain a special permit.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Ukraine:
Index: 01901, Kiev, st. Vladimirskaya, 16
T: (044) 228-12-46
Email. mail: [email protected]
Address of the Embassy of Ukraine in Uzbekistan:
Index: 700000, Tashkent, st. Ya.Gulyamova, 68
T: (8 1099871)
236-08-12 mail: [email protected]
01 – Call the Fire Brigade
02 – Call the Police
03 – Call the Ambulance
Time in Uzbekistan
The difference with time in Kyiv is +2 hours. those. if in Tashkent, for example, it is 09:00, then in Kyiv it is 07:00.
Tipping is not common in Uzbekistan (this is contrary to the Islamic laws of hospitality). Some prestigious restaurants in this country include a service charge (5-10%) on the bill.
Before traveling to Uzbekistan, doctors recommend vaccinating against typhoid, malaria, rabies, hepatitis A and B, diphtheria and tetanus (this is a preventive measure).
Traveling around Uzbekistan is quite safe, if, of course, you respect the local traditions and religion of the Uzbeks. Keep documents and valuables in the safe of your hotel. Avoid local gypsies, who are many near attractions.