Uzbekistan’s population consists mainly of Uzbeks of ethnic origin, who are Turkic communities, however, there are substantial minorities of Russians. Nearly 90% of the population is Muslim However, there are Orthodox Christians, Buddhists and Jews who reside in the country. Uzbeks are, like their Central Asian counterparts, are known for being warm and friendly. It is customary to greet visitors with handshakes, and considered polite to ask several questions about the person’s family and health – without necessarily waiting for answers.
Uzbekistan tours are a great time to taste the local cuisine and get some ideas back to you. A typical meal could include dishes such as palov rice, which is made by mixing rice with carrots, onions and meat. Or mutton cooked in a tandir oven. Uzbeks are also able to enjoy manti dumplings and a variety of kebabs. Have a taste of Uzbek food with a cup of traditional green or black tea, or even a drinking yogurt, also known as the ayran. While Uzbekistan is a largely Muslim nation, it’s secular. This means that you can drink local wines that are produced in the region.
Uzbekistan is part of the group of Central Asian countries between Asia and the Middle East. Its neighbours are Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. Uzbekistan has also a coast that runs along the Aral Sea and the large but shallow lake Sarygamysh. A majority of the country’s surface is covered by the Kyzyl Kum, also known as the red sand desert. It is the only small portion of fertile land in the Fergana Valley. The Tian Shan Range is located in the southern part of the Uzbekstan mountains.
The bazaars in Uzbekistan are a shoppers’ paradise. Shopping here isn’t just a way to live but also a wonderful time. Tashkent’s market, specifically the Chorsu Bazaar are great places to shop for bargains. Find Soviet memorabilia such as stamps and portraits of Lenin as well as military uniforms and the hats. Other souvenirs available from the local market include pale and intricately designed pottery, bright rugs and clothing and jewelry made of traditional silver. The Bukhara bazaar is among the most photogenic, with its rows of fresh produce and smiling locals.
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