About Uzbekistan

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Roads - Tashkent is well-connected to all of Uzbekistan's main road transport arteries, and within easy reach of the borders with both Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. The road surfaces around the capital are generally well maintained and, unusually for Uzbekistan, well signposted, making navigation relatively straightforward. If you are approaching the city from the opposite side to your destination, taking the ring road is preferable to driving through the city centre, even if the route is a little longer. This especially applies at rush hour.

If you are driving your own vehicle and approaching or leaving Tashkent via the M39 (the main road southwest of the capital towards Samarkand), note that it passes briefly through Kazakhstan. If you do not have a Kazakhstan transit visa, you will need to travel instead on the M34 via Gulistan; take the A376 east of Dzhizak as far as the village of Hovos, then the M34 north of Hovos to Gulistan and Tashkent. It is a reasonably good road and well marked. However, due to the increased distance and travel time, one can prefer to take the smaller and rougher but more direct road due west of Gulistan. This road passes through the villages of Alkaltyn, Yangiaul and Katta-Chuybek and joins the M39 about 8km south of the border. Sign posts along this route are few and far between; expect to stop and ask for directions to Gulistan and to rely heavily on your sense of direction.

Buses - Private buses, marshrutkas and shared taxis to Samarkand, Bukhara and Urgench leave from two locations: from the Sobir Rahimov private bus station (not to be confused with the public bus station) on prospekt Bunyodkor (Druzhba Narodev), about 7km southwest of Navoi Park, near Sobir Rahimov metro; and from the huge private bus yard behind the Ippodrom Bazaar, 3km beyond Sobir Rahimov metro on Bunyodkor avenue. Rides to Termiz, Denau and Karshi leave exclusively from the latter.

The public bus station (Tashkent Avtovokzal; pr.Bunyodkor), across the street from Sobir Rahimov metro, has a smattering of scheduled trips to most major cities. Ticket-sellers may request you first register upstairs with the station police (OVIR). The further the destination, the less frequent the buses, so consider buying tickets a day in advance. The good news is that privately-run Daewoo minibuses, outside the bus station, provide faster and more frequent services, leaving when full, while share-taxis also compete for your custom. The main departure point for shared taxis and marshrutkas to the Fergana Valley is near Kuyluk Bazaar, about 20 minutes east of the centre on the Fergana Hwy.  There aren’t any schedules, but there are dozens of vehicles heading to all of the above destinations throughout the day. As long as you don’t arrive too late in the afternoon, you’ll have no problem finding a ride and should be on your way within an hour. 

Car - Any hotel or travel agency can arrange a comfortable private car and driver.  You’ll pay less on the street taxi, depending on your negotiating skills and should rely on honesty of taxi driver. Most cars serve as impromptu taxis, so if you need a ride simply stand by the curb and put your hand out. Fares are typically US$1-3 depending on the length of the trip, but make sure you agree a price in advance.  There are plenty of pre-booked taxi that could be called over the phone, there is an Uzbek analogue of Uber called 'MyTaxi'. But your Russian needs to be serviceable, as operator or drivers will not speak English. Or just ask a receptionsts or someone else to help you with booking a ride. 

Navigating Tashkent in your own vehicle is a challenging affair due to the lack of street signs, and drivers in the capital seem to be a needlessly aggressive bunch. You'll require a reasonable scale map, plenty of patience, and ideally a few words of Russian with which to ask directions and, even more importantly, to understand the reply. None of the major international car-hire firms have offices in Tashkent, but yon can rent a vehicle (with or without a driver) through tour operators. Note that hiring a car and driver is frequently cheaper than self-drive.

Taxi trips
Taxi tips - Every car is a potential taxi in Tashkent, but essentially there are two forms: licensed cabs and ‘independent’ cabs. The former have little roof-mounted ‘taxi’ signs. The latter are just average cars driven by average dudes. Independent taxis generally leave it up to you to pick the price, which is fine. As long as you don’t insult them with your offer, they will usually accept it.  Licensed cabs – especially those waiting outside bars and hotels – are a different beast. Do not go anywhere in a licensed cab without agreeing to a price first, but be ready to pay slightly more – these are professionals after all (professionals who will demand quadruple the going rate if you don’t agree on a price up front). Cab drivers tend not to know street names, so use landmarks – big hotels and metro stations work best – to direct your driver to your destination.
Did you know?

Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!

Did you know that Uzbekistan lies in the very heart of Eurasia, the coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°

Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world! The country has 4th largest reserves of gold in the world after South Africa, USA and Russia

Uzbekistan is the world capital of melons. They have in excess of 150 different varieties, which form a staple part of the local diet, served fresh in the summer and eaten dried through the winter.

It is Uzbek tradition that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house’s entrance.

Tashkent’s metro features chandeliers, marble pillars and ceilings, granite, and engraved metal. It has been called one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

The Uzbek master chef is able to cook in just one caldron enough plov to serve a thousand men.

When you are a host to someone, it is your duty to fill their cups with for the whole time they are with you.  What you must not do, however, is to fill their cup more than half-full.  If you do that as a mistake, say it is a mistake immediately.  Doing it means you want them to leave.  Wow!  Amazing, right?

To Uzbeks, respect means a whole lot.  For this reason they love it if, even as foreigners, you endeavour to add the respectful suffix opa after a woman's name; and aka after a man's.  Example: Linda-opa and David-aka.  You could also use hon and jon respectively.

Having been an historic crossroads for centuries as part of various ancient empires, Uzbekistan’s food is very eclectic. It has its roots in Iranian, Arab, Indian, Russian and Chinese cuisine.

Though identified with the Persia, the Zoroastrism probably originated in Bactria or Sogdiana. Many distinguished scholars share an opinion that Zoroastrianism had originated in the ancient Khorezm. Indeed, today in the world there were found 63 Zoroastrian monuments, including those in Iran, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thirty-eight of them are in Uzbekistan, whereas 17 of these monuments are located in Khorezm.

One of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran that was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader, is kept in Tashkent. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death. 

Tashkent is the only megapolis in the world where public transport is totally comprised of Mercedes buses. And due to low urban air polution it is one of the few cities where one can still see the stars in the sky.

You would be surprised to know that modern TV was born in Tashkent. No joke! The picture of moving objects was transmitted by radio first time in the world in Tashkent on 26 of July 1928 by inventors B.P. Grabovsky and I.F. Belansky.

Uzbekistan is the only country in the world all of whose neighbours have their names ending in STAN. This is also the only country in Central Asia that borders all of the countries of this region

Uzbeks are the third populous Turkik ethnicity in the world after Turks and Azeris (leaving both in Azerbaijan and Iran)

Did you know that there was silk money in Khiva? Super interesting right? Of course, but the best part of having silk money was that it could be sewn into your clothing.

Famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the Latin world) who was born near Bukhara was the one of the first people to advocate using women’s hair as suture material – about 1400 years ago.

Uzbekistan has a long and bloody history. The most notorious leader of Uzbekistan was Timur (or Tamerlane) who claimed descent from Genghis Khan. His military campaigns have been credited for wiping out some 5% of the world’s population at the time.

If you have thought that some of the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan resembles that from Northern India, then that is because Timur’s great great great Grandson, Babur Beg, was the founder of the Moghul Empire that ruled much of India for almost four centuries! Babur’s great great Grandson was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.

Exchange rates
100 RUR
13783.43 UZS
100 USD
809200.16 UZS
100 EUR
956635.96 UZS
100 GBP
1087160.88 UZS
Weather in cities
Tashkent
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Samarkand
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