Uzbekistan?

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Re: Uzbekistan?

Postby Omega » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:37 pm

Hi,
I am originally from Kyrgyz Republic, I have a friend from Uzbekistan (ethnically Ukrainian) who tells me how things are there. Well, it is good place if you have money, you can get a lot for your dollars and euros. Perhaps not as cheap as SEA, but still going to be exotic for most people.
Samarkand is about 180 miles from Tashkent and there are even one-day tours. Buhara is also fantastic place.
Terrorists - mainly Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan - has been quiet for a while now.
I don't think anyone will have problems with obtaining visas to get there, especially because the government tries to raise its international reputation after "incidentally" shooting hundreds of demonstrators (apparently, they were IMU, this is usually how it works there - any person shot there without good explanation is from IMU) and burying them under some road (now how will you find the bodies?).
Religion - again, it varies significantly. Some people are devoted Muslims, some are not, some belong to other religions. There is an old Jewish community in Buhara, to my knowledge they were there before Arabic conquests and islamisation of the region.
Food - fantastic and cheap. Alcohol is sold everywhere. You can find pork, locals eat horse meat too, plus Koreans eat dogs there, it is quite normal though dog meat cannot be purchased on the market, only in Korean restaurants.
In general people are very friendly, particularly to foreigners, in non-touristic places. However, women are usually stay separately from men - this is not because of discrimination, but culturally, and interests of men are different from those of women. Women can travel safely, but need to respect local culture - avoid bathing without bra (ok is few places, but it is not really acceptable in most of the former USSR)
Respect elderly, particularly WW2 and Afghan war veterans - give up your seat in public transport or even in a queue.
Language - I would say there are more English language speakers than in some Central European countries. Russian is widely spoken, many people speak only Russian. Uzbek - it is Turk language, so you may try using Turkish vocabulary to try to get around. You can run across some Germans though Germans are more widespread in Kyrgyz Republic.
And no bad reference to the Glorious, the Most Illustrious, the Smartest and the Greatest President! And it is better not to mention Borat ;)
Omega
mach
 
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