NOTE FOR A TOURIST IN UZBEKISTAN
Uzbekistan is a secular state and a demographic republic. It is a multinational and multi-religious country. All religions in Uzbekistan are treated with great respect. The bulk of the population professes Islam – 88%. A number of splendid mosques have been restored and built for the last years. Next in terms of religion comes Christianity, Christians (Orthodox) with about 9% population of Uzbekistan. There is a diocese of the Archbishop of Tashkent and Central Asia Vladimir in Tashkent. Catholic cathedral is one of the most original buildings in Uzbekistan, where there are concerts of organ music. Also there are synagogues and Buddhist temples, and prayer houses in a territory of Uzbekistan.
The state language is Uzbek (Turkic group of languages), also the majority of the population speaks in Russian. In some areas (Samarkand, Bukhara) people also use Tajik language to communicate (Persian group of languages). English language is becoming popular among young generation and it is possible to find guides speaking in many languages.
Men and women can wear trousers and shorts as well as outerwear with short and long sleeves. You can buy colorful national clothes such as bright jewelery skullcaps, gold and silver embroidered chapanas and upturned pointed shoes, traditional satin women's dresses, silk handkerchiefs and shawls in the bazaars and in many shops.
If you come to Uzbekistan as a tourist in summer (from mid-May to mid-September, you will need to have the following accessories: a small bag for carrying personal belongings, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, light comfortable shoes (sandals), light clothing (linen or cotton).
You will need sneakers, light waterproof jacket, thin sweater or jacket in the mountains and for spending the night in the desert in autumn (April-May, September-October) and summer.
Winter (November-February) here is real, it is frosty and snowy not only in the mountains but also in the cities, therefore we recommend to take with you warm winter clothes, shoes and hats.
If your tour in Uzbekistan includes visits to operating mosques, mausoleums, it will be appropriate to show your respect for local customs by covering the head (men and women) and by dressing the clothes that cover the knees.
Uzbekistan is known all over the world as a hot country with a continuous summer and short winter. Although it should be noted that the main characteristics of this climate is the very large temperature changes and a small amount of precipitation. Sunny days are more noticeable than overcast, and the rains are rarely observed.
Especially good in the mountains of Uzbekistan in the summer period. Summer is cooler and shorter, the vegetation is more abundant, the air is cleaner. Winter in the highlands is harsh, lasting up to 4 months. Snow in the mountains falls a lot, and it does not melt for a long time.
When entering and leaving from/to Uzbekistan in order to avoid violation of customs legislation, when passing customs control and clearance it is necessary to know the following:
When crossing the customs border of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the customs declaration of the T-6 form is filled by a person who has reached the age 16 by declaring in it cash foreign currency, inventory and other personal belongings.
Data about the people under the age 16, as well as information about the goods and items belonging to them are indicated in the declarations of their parents, other relatives or their accompanying persons, indicating the degree of kinship, surname, name and year of birth in the upper left corner of the declaration.
In case of loss, the customs declaration is not renewed, and its owner loses the right to unimpeded movement of the goods and items indicated therein.
The import of cash foreign currency into the Republic of Uzbekistan is allowed to residents and non-residents in unlimited quantities with the obligatory declaration of the T-6 form in the customs declaration.
By the request of a non-resident, the foreign currency and the national currency are accepted for safekeeping on the receipt of the TS-21, while the fee is not charged.
Cash foreign currency in the amount exceeding the equivalent of 1000 US dollars is passed to the Republic with the issuance of a customs certificate from TC-28.
Export of the cash foreign currency outside the Republic of Uzbekistan is allowed for non-residents – within the amount previously imported to the Republic in accordance with the customs declaration. Bank permission is the ground for exporting cash foreign currency in excess of the amount specified in the customs declaration of the T-6 form (completed when importing) or the certificate TC-28 (issued by the customs authority upon importation);
Import of drugs and strong medicines (a recipe is needed that confirms the need for their use), weapons and ammunition, photographs, printed and video materials directed against the state system of Uzbekistan or the norms of Islam, animals (for their importation a special permit is required), fruits and vegetables is forbidden. All valuable products (such as jewelry, photo and video cameras, computers, etc.) must be declared in the customs declaration.
Export of cultural property
Some art products are subject to an examination, without which the export of these products from Uzbekistan is impossible. In case of questions on examination, please contact sellers, guides, drivers or our employees.
Examination is carried out for handmade products: carpets, suzane (embroidered bedspread, tablecloth), musical instruments, art furniture, fiction – more than 3 books, paintings, graphics, sculpture, silver art objects, silverware.
Do not rush to buy antiques, first of all ask seller to call a state expert to evaluate the product, perhaps the product is more than 30 years old, in that case you will not be allowed to remove it from Uzbekistan.
For the export of precious metals and stones, furs, weapons and ammunition, artistic and historical values (which automatically include any items, manufactured more than 100 years ago) you will need a special permit from the Ministry of Culture of the country.
Money, currency exchange
You can exchange the currency in any bank branches, at a specialized exchange offices and in the hotels. Many hotels and transport agencies accept payment for their services in currency only through bank cards, cash payment is made exclusively in the national currency, preference is given to US dollars and euros.
Mail, phone, internet
You can find internet-cafés in Tashkent and other large cities. In addition, wi-fi is available in all private and public hotels of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and other regions. There is no extra charge for internet usage. Cellular of the standard GSM 900/1800 is very developed and consist of 5 mobile operators and covers the whole Republic.
Domestic flights are carried out by “Uzbek Airlines”, connecting Tashkent with almost all the major cities of the country: Namangan, Fergana, Samarkand, Bukhara, Karshi, Termez, Urgench and Nukus.
Railway communication in the country is limited to four areas: Tashkent-Bukhara, Tashkent-Urgench, Tashkent-Andijan and Tashkent-Termez. There are fast express trains "Talgo" for traveling to Samarkand and Bukhara.
Intercity bus communication between large cities is also quite frequent. For instance, on the line Tashkent – Samarkand there are more than 20 buses a day. No less dense communication is established with Bukhara, Fergana, Karshi and Navoi.
There are city buses and minibuses in all major cities. Taxi in the cities of Uzbekistan is relatively cheap.
One of the unshakable traditions of the local life is hospitality. Ability to accept a guest is appreciated in Uzbek society much higher than the wealth of the table or welfare of the family. It is not polite to refuse the invitation for lunch or dinner and the most important aspect for the guest is punctuality. It is desirable to buy some souvenirs or sweets for children when paying a visit.
The attitude of the indigenous population towards foreigners and representatives of various religious faiths is tolerant and actively supported at the level of the country’s leadership.
It is necessary to comply with the rules of staying in the country, respect the laws, not to speak out against the authorities, to behave politely with others.
It is not polite to drink alcoholic beverages including beer on the street and public places, you can do it only in the restaurants and cafes.
Main souvenir – famous Bukhara Khiva and Samarkand carpets and praying carpets “djai-namaz”, striped Kokand “gadjari” and Shakhrizabz “arabi” with the geometric pattern, Karakalpak carpets “palas” with pile ornament and long carpet stripes-baskuri for decoration of yurts. Here you can also buy a miniature souvenir yurts white camel sweats and tiny figures of felt camels.
Art ceramics, hand embroidery, embossing and carving, jewelry, traditional skullcaps are brought from Uzbekistan.
Fans of exotic can not loss the chance to visit a well-known ceramic center in Uzbekistan- Rishtan city. Being here do not forget to visit one of the craft workshops and buy pottery from all shades of blue and turquoise. Rishtan lyagans and figure vessels in the form of a duck – obdasta urdak, painted with ancient patterns in the form of fruits of pomegranate and almond blossoms - traditional souvenirs of Uzbekistan.
Practically in every Uzbek market there are shops selling knives, daggers and even swords decorated with decorative carvings. A traditional souvenir of Uzbekistan is the knife "spike", which has a peculiar shape of the blade and handle. Knives of masters from Chust are the most famous. They are light and elegant and have a curved up end of the blade and a slightly lowered handle.
Uzbek embroidery is unique by its originality. Embroideresses of Samarkand and Bukhara are considered to be the most skilled. Famous uzbek suzane are like skillfully embroidered carpets. But especially worth paying attention to gold embroidery art.
Uzbek natural silks are become the most famous – cloudy fabrics and fabrics with vague patterns - abr and ikat. Silk, produced in Margilan, is one of the most famous along with the khan-atlas and adras - the national Uzbek fabrics. Regarding Uzbek carpets, they have been famed for their beauty and high quality since olden times.Samarkand silk carpet is especially famous.
All medical services in Uzbekistan are paid except for emergency medical care. If you need a doctor, contact the reception of the hotel and use your activated card Uzbekistan Pass.
Your medical insurance policy can be issued at your hometown having an assertion from your insurance agent that it will operate in Uzbekistan. The card Uzbekistan Pass includes full insurance against accidents for the entire validity period of the card.
Keeping values and money
In order to avoid misunderstanding we ask you not to leave money, documents and valuables at the hotel when you are out. And If you need you can also use the safe at the reception of the hotel.
Hotels must provide their guests with a voucher for registration for the period of residence in the hotel.
Please make sure that you family name and date of stay at the hotel are written correctly on the coupon.
When leaving Uzbekistan passport control officer as well as the police can require the registration coupon.
If you decided to stay at your friends or relatives, they should take care of you registration in the migration service at the place of residence within three days.
Voltage in the electrical supply network
Alternating current in the network is 220 volts (sockets - euro standard).
Safety and sanitation
The Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan pays much attention to the questions about the security of its and foreign citizens, according which crime rate in the country is rather low. The local population is very peaceful and hospitable towards travelers. Therefore, if you do not violate the laws and your documents are appropriate you can feel completely safe.
The Uzbek law enforcement agencies successfully confront extremists and terrorists, therefore the possibility of terrorist attack on the territory of the country is extremely small.
Meeting with poisonous snakes, spiders, scorpions and other representatives of the fauna can be unpleasant. However they are found only in the deserts.
Sanitation is not worse than in any other country of the post-Soviet space. If you comply with elementary hygienic rules, there will not be any threaten towards you.
Uzbek police officers are quite calm and friendly. And if the traveler do not commit unlawful or provocative actions, there will not be any problems.
Police officers can ask you to provide registration at any time and this requirement is completely legal. In case of any conflicts it is better not to solve them “on the spot” but to ask to go to the office. It is recommended to have the passport with you all the time.
Men are greeted giving with a hand. It is not polite to greet women and girls with hand without asking their consent. It is not accepted to greet women with hand, an oral greeting or a slight bow to the head is quite enough.
You can enter the Uzbek's house in shoes only in that case If the owner goes ahead of you and does not take off his shoes.
Although the Ramadan is the month of Moslem fast, restaurants, bars and cafes work at usual time.
The official language in the Republic of Uzbekistan is Uzbek. However the main language of communication among local residents of Bukhara and Samarkand is Tajik.
The Russian language is very common, up to 80% of the population can communicate through this language, especially urban ones.