Hot, loud, fragrant and charming Tashkent, like many capitals, is the center of the country’s cultural life. Visit the bright mosaic mosques in the Khast-Imam complex, the colorful Chorsu bazaar over a hundred years old, one of the most beautiful and oldest mosques in the city of Khoja Akhrar Vali, Amir Timur Square with cozy cafes, famous old and new Tashkent chimes and much more. However, the most ancient and atmospheric buildings are located outside the renovated modern Tashkent. So Samarkand is one of the oldest cities in the world, like Babylon and Rome, the city of Bukhara is otherwise called the “star of the Islamic world” due to its majestic mosques, of which there are about 360! In the center of the Karakum desert is the equally famous city of Khiva, which, according to legend, was founded by the son of Noah. Since 1967 Khiva has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other oases of the Great Silk Road that cannot be ignored are Termez – one of the main Buddhist trading points, Kokand, combining Central Asian and Chinese culture, and one of the oldest cities in the world – Shakhrisabz. The city of Muynak or Moinok is a less bright, even rather sad monument of human history. The once largest port of the Aral Sea in the country is now 40 kilometers from the water due to the impoverishment of the Aral Sea due to the negative impact of the human environment. Sand and dust storms are increasingly peeking into Muynak, winters are getting colder, and summers are noticeably hotter, the city is drying up before our eyes. One of the best ski resorts in Asia is the Chimgan Mountains, whose modest height is about 1500 meters, and the highest peak reaches 3309 meters. There are many ski bases that make climbing extremely convenient even for beginners. The Chimgan Mountains impress with their picturesque landscapes. On the way to the top, climbers meet here the Mazarsay Gorge, the Charvak reservoir and even the Chatkal Biosphere Reserve, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
National cuisine of Uzbekistan
According to ebizdir, the cuisine of Uzbekistan has its roots in the distant past, it reflects the entire centuries-old history and culture of the country. Of great importance are ingredients such as rice, lamb and beef, as well as a variety of vegetables. Spices are also widely used: cumin (zira), dill, cumin, barberry, coriander, sesame and basil. Most Uzbek dishes are very high-calorie and fatty, take care of your stomach in advance, if necessary. Of course, the crowning Uzbek dish is traditional pilaf, which is prepared here in many different variations, changing from hostess to hostess, but the basics are always preserved: fatty lamb and rice. Often in Uzbekistan, obin-non and patir-non wheat cakes are prepared, as well as “shurpa” soup based on meat broth with vegetables and herbs. It is difficult to imagine Uzbekistan without constant tea parties, the cult of black tea flourishes in this country. It is served with numerous sweets made from rice or dried fruits. Alcoholic favorites in Uzbekistan are wines, dry vintage wines “Marvarid”, “Omar Khayyam” and others have earned recognition even on the international market.
Direct flights from Russia to Uzbekistan are very well established, flights are served by companies such as Aeroflot, Transaero and Uzbekistan Airways. Direct flights are available from both Moscow and Kazan, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Ufa, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. Uzbekistan Airways also fly between the country’s main airports located in all major cities such as Namangan, Samarkand, Bukhara, Karshi, Termez, Urgench, Fergana and Nukus. The railway in Uzbekistan connects Tashkent with only a few cities, among them Samarkand, Urgench, Bukhara and Andijan. Intercity buses are also popular transport, linking all major settlements. Buses run quite often and are quite affordable, as are trains. Inside the cities of Uzbekistan, there are unconditioned buses and minibuses, as well as taxis, which are quite cheap if you manage to bargain with the driver. In Tashkent, among other things, you can travel by metro, the only one in Central Asia. It has three branches, connecting the railway station and the main attractions. Renting your own transport in Uzbekistan is not accepted; at best, you will be offered a car with a driver for a tidy sum.
Currency exchange in Uzbekistan
You can exchange money for the local currency of Uzbekistan (Uzbek sum) at branches of the national bank, special exchange offices and in a number of hotels. Rubles are accepted only on the black market and at an extremely unfavorable rate, so it is better to import dollars or euros. By the way, this currency is accepted in large hotels, shops and restaurants. From Monday to Friday, the banks of Uzbekistan work in the mode of 9:30 – 17:30, Saturday and Sunday are days off. Please note that the black market rate can be much more profitable than the official rate in banks. Currency exchange with individuals is prohibited by law, but is practiced everywhere. Please note that local border guards are very strict in enforcing the law that the amount of currency you export should not exceed the amount you import. Even 20 rubles in your pocket can be a reason to extort a bribe. Using credit cards and travelers checks, which are easy to cash at local banks, will be a more convenient option when traveling to Uzbekistan.