The Uzbek population is mainly comprised of Uzbeks, who are a Turkic population, but there are significant minorities of Russians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Karakalpaks and Tartars. A majority of the population is Muslim. But there are Orthodox Christians and Buddhists, Jews as well as Jews living within the country. As with Central Asians, Uzbeks are known to be friendly. It’s commonplace to greet people by handshakes and are considered appropriate to ask questions about the person’s family or health – without necessarily waiting for the answers.
Uzbekistan tours let you enjoy the local cuisine as well as give tips to others. The typical meal can include palov (rice combined with meat, onions, and carrots) or mutton baked in a pan called a tandir. Uzbeks are also known for their dumplings, called manti and a local variety of Kebabs. You can enjoy Uzbek cuisine with traditional black and green teas, as well as drinking yogurt, which is known as the ayran. Uzbekistan though a majorly Muslim nation, is also a secular nation that permits you to sample local wines.
Uzbekistan is part of the Central Asian group between Asia and the Middle East. Its neighbors are Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. Uzbekistan has a coastline along the Aral Sea as well as the large, but relatively shallow lake Sarygamysh. About 80% of the country is covered with the Kyzyl Kum, also known as the “red sand” desert. It is the only small amount of fertile soil within the Fergana Valley. The Tian Shan Range is located in the southern regions of the mountains in Uzbekistan.
The bazaars in Uzbekistan are a shoppers’ paradise. Haggling here is not only an enjoyable way to live and have a good time. The Tashkent markets, especially the Chorsu Bazaar, are great for uncovering bargains. Shop for soviet memorabilia such as stamps, portraits of Lenin, and military uniforms and the hats. Other souvenirs available from the local market include pale and intricately-patterned pottery, vibrant rugs and clothing as well as jewellery made from traditional silver. The Bukhara bazaar is perhaps one of the most beautiful, with its abundance of fresh food and smiling locals.
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