At the heart of Central Asia lies Uzbekistan, a country that boasts of a rich and powerful heritage, history, and culture.
Uzbekistan is home to many of the legendary cities of the ancient Silk Road. The historic cities of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are all located in Uzbekistan, and they have remained an integral part of Uzbekistan culture over the years.
Uzbekistan has played major roles in the history of Europe and Asia. Alexander the Great, one of the most heralded conquerors the world has ever known, had once stopped by Samarkand and married a daughter of a local Uzbek chieftain.
The topography of Uzbekistan is a tourist’s dream. The country has sandy deserts with either flat or rolling, dunes, river valleys surrounding the flowing waters of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, a shrinking sea called the Aral, and grasslands surrounded by the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
The country’s numerous mountainous and sandy terrains have attracted tourists who favor extreme sports, while the old roads of the ancient city have attracted those who would want to bask in the glory of the olden days through majestic historical sites filled with opulent Central Asian architecture.
When visiting Uzbekistan, please be reminded that publications, manuscripts and even movies that undermine state authority, state values, and the norms of its regime are prohibited. Drugs may not be brought into the country without the consent of the country’s Ministry of Public Health. There are also very high fees and special government permissions required before you can export items that are of cultural value (e.g., artwork, tapestries, postage stamps) out of Uzbekistan.
Electric sockets in Uzbekistan hold 220 volts and are compatible with the European style of two round-pin plugs. You may need to bring along a voltage converter and adaptor.
Uzbekistan’s population is roughly 28 million. It is comprised mostly of Uzbeks (80%), then Russians, Tajiks, Karakalpaks, and Tatars.
Despite its large population, Uzbekistan boasts of a 99% literacy rate; education in the country is free for its first twelve years.
Uzbek is the national language of Uzbekistan. While most Uzbeks can speak Russian or Tajik, the Uzbek language remains the most widely used and spoken language in the country. Signs may be written using either Latin or Cyrillic script.
You may find English speakers in the cities, shops, and hotels. Beyond that, bring a translation dictionary.