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1. Location of Uzbekistan

2.Climate

3.History

4.Information for tourists

5.Visa Requirements

6.How to get to Uzbekistan

7.Accommodation

8.Cash

9.Credit Cards

10. Medical

11.Departure from Uzbekistan

12.Handicrafts and souvenirs

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Basic information

Location of Uzbekistan:

The Republic of Uzbekistan is situated in the central part of Central Asia between two rivers: Amu Darya and Syr Darya. There are Turan Lowland in the northwest, and Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alay mountain ridges in the southeast of the territory. Kyzyl Kum Desert is in the North. Uzbekistan borders Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tadjikistan, and Afghanistan in the South.
Capital: Tashkent
Area: total 448.900 km2: land: 425.400 km2, water: 22,000 km2.
Land boundaries: total: 6.221 km, border countries: Afghanistan 137 km, Kazakhstan 2.203 km, Kyrgyzstan 1.099 km, Tajikistan 1.161 km, Turkmenistan 1.621 km
Population: more than 31,5 million people
Language: Uzbekistan is multination country. Uzbek is the state language, Russian is the language of international communication.
Administrative and Territorial Structure: Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakistan, 12 regions, 226 cities and districts.
Religion: Islam
Currency: All payments must be done in sum, the national currency of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Currency exchange offices are available in every city of Uzbekistan. Climate: The climate of Uzbekistan is extremely continental with a great number of sunny days. Average monthly temperature in January is from 10 to +3oC. Summer is hot and dry. Average monthly temperature in July is from +35 to +45oC. Autumn is warm enough and is the season when delicious fruits and vegetables are in abundance in numerous bazaars (markets). Average annual temperature is 13oC.

 

Climate
Uzbekistan is a sun republic with extreme continental climate. It is expressed in sharp amplitudes of day and night, summer and winter temperatures. The nature of arid, rainfall is not enough, low relative humidity. Length of the day in summer is about 15 hours in the winter - at least nine.
The coldest month is January. The temperature drops in the north to 9 C and below, and the extreme south, near the town of Termez, it is above zero. The absolute minimum winter temperatures of 32-36 degrees below zero.
The hottest months are July and August. During this period the average temperature on the plains and foothills is 23-25 degrees Celsius, while in the south (Termez - Sherabad) it reaches 41-42 degrees. The maximum temperature was registered in the city of  Termez - 50 degrees (July 1944).
In most of the annual rainfall does not exceed 200-300 mm.
Lakes in the republic is small, largest of them - the Aral, since it takes quite a large area, it became known as the sea.
Over the past 30 years the Aral Sea has dropped by 12-14 meters, the banks went to tens of kilometers. Its water table has decreased by five times.
Uzbekistan, in cooperation with Central Asian states and with the support of the international community takes urgent action to downplayed the negative effects of this environmental catastrophe.


History

People settled on the territory of Uzbekistan centuries ago. They built beautiful cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and others, which were ruined by neighboring tribes, but thanks to people’s efforts they again rose from the ashes and became much beautiful. This land was the crossroad of the Great Silk Road, connecting Asia and Europe. Here, in numerous bazaars and workshops craftsmen created fine works of art, which by the Silk Road reached the most remote parts of Europe and Asia.
According to archeologists, Uzbekistan is one of the most ancient places of human habitation. It is known, that the area was inhabited long before our era, in the early Paleolithic period, according to the findings of ancient dwellings in Baysun Tau mountains and primitive tools in Samarkand. In the upper Paleolithic period this land was settled by Neanderthals; their burial place, dates back to the Moustierian culture. Particularly, archeologists discovered the burial of 8-9 years old boy that gives grounds to speak about the most ancient ritual of burial on the territory of Central Asia. The child’s body was laid into a pit, surrounded by bones of a mountain goat. Excavations show that a man of that period hunted and gathered food from natural sources. Primitive tools were made of a stone as well as wood and bones.
With the development of humanity images of life began to appear: hunting, battles and rituals. Exploring the petroglyphs of different periods of history one can "read" the history of mankind: the domestication of animals, the first religious ideas, the emergence of weapons and much more - all this is embedded by our ancestors on the rocks.
Next epoch was the Mesolithic era, 15-20 millenniums ago. Typical monuments of that period are a primitive settlement in Samarkand, upper soil layers of Machay cave of the Baysun region, rock paintings in the Shibad region and others.
Developed Neolithic era is characterized by the transition to a lower stage of barbarism, as evidenced by the settlement on the western part of Kyzyl Kum desert, near Amu Darya River, settlement in Uzgun, northern part of Karakum Desert, cave dwellings in Surkhandarya region and findings in Tashkent, Fergana, Samarkand and Surkhandarya regions. Primitive pottery, shepherd cattle-breeding and weaving were developed.
Bronze epoch in the history of Uzbekistan includes the period from the 3rd millennium to early centuries of 1st millenniums BC. It was the epoch of transformations, formation of first states on the territory of two great rivers: Ancient Baktria and Great Khorezm. It was the period of origin of first religion in Central Asia, Zoroastrianism, and first powerful empire of Achaemenids.
Population of Uzbekistan: density, ethnic groups
Uzbekistan is a multinational state. Different nations and nationalities live in this country– Uzbeks, Karakalpaks,Tajiks, Kazakhs, Kirghizes, Uygurs, Dungans, west and east Slavs – Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians; also big diasporas of Koreans, Iranians, Armenians, Georgians, Azerbaijanis, Tatars, Bashkirs, Germans, Jews, Lithuanians, Greeks, Turks live in Uzbekistan.
Such ethnic diversity of Uzbek people is due to various historical events that took place on the territory of Uzbekistan. Many representatives of ethnic nations of Soviet republics were evacuated here during the World War II (Russians, Tatars, Armenians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Germans, Jews and etc.). Representatives of certain nations were deported from their places of residence to Uzbekistan during Stalin’s repressions (Koreans, Crimean Tatars, Chechens and others). And even during the peace time, migration was active mostly concerning the youth, who participated in massive constructions and projects related to development of new lands, who later settled on those lands.
Uzbekistan today is the most populous country in Central Asia and is ranked the third-largest state by population in CIS after Russia and Ukraine. Uzbekistan population exceeds 31.5 million people (January, 2016). About 80% of population are Uzbeks, more than 10% are representatives of Central Asian nations (Tajiks (4,5%), Kazakhs (2,5%), Karakalpaks (2%), Kirgizs (1%), Turkmens and others). Other largest ethnic groups include Russians and other Slavic nations (10%).
Uzbeks are of a Turkic origin. Anthropologically it is the nation of mixed ethnogeny with Caucasoid and Mongoloid components. The formation of Uzbek nation is closely related to ancient nations of Central Asia: Soghdians, Bactrians, Sacks, Massagets and other tribes have been settling in Central Asian area and surrounding territories for many centuries. But the name Uzbeks appeared only in the 15-16th centuries. Today Uzbeks comprise the majority of Uzbekistan population. Also large populations can be found in neighboring Central Asian republics, Afghanistan, countries of CIS. By religion, Uzbeks are Muslims, mostly Sunni.
The Uzbek language is the only official state language. Though the major part of population can speak Russian as well. In some regions such as Samarkand and Bukhara, local people also speak Tajik.
Due to the hot and dry climate, the dominance of mountain and desert landscape in Uzbekistan, people resided unevenly, main life concentrating in oases. In desert areas of the republic the population density is very low. For example, in Karakalpakstan and Navoi regions, number of people per square kilometer gets up to 7-9 whereas the most populous region the Ferghana Valley numbers about 500 people per square kilometer. It is the largest rate of population density not only among CIS countries, but also in the world.
The urbanization process in Uzbekistan caused the increase of cities, and consequently urban population. Today in Uzbekistan cities reside more than 42% of the total population. The largest city is Tashkent. It is the capital of Uzbekistan with the population of over 2 million people. Tashkent is the administrative and business center of the republic. A lot of industrial enterprises and offices of large companies are located here. Tashkent is noted for its theatres, museums, parks. Other major cities include Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Andijan, Ferghana, Navoi as well as Almalik, Angren, Zarafshan and Chirchik.The largest part of the Uzbekistan population is made up of rural residents. There is about 60% of the population living in rural areas. There are usually families with many children. The average Uzbek family consists of 5-6 people. According to centuries-old traditions and mentality of Uzbek people, family was and is one of the most important priorities in modern society.

Information for tourists

To be sure of the availability of seats in your chosen hotels and tours, we recommend that you make an advance booking, especially during the tourist season, which lasts from May to October. Before traveling to Uzbekistan you can book online. For our guests to get good impressions from traveling to Uzbekistan, we try to organize small groups, usually no more than 10 - 15 participants per guide and tour leader

 

Uzbekistan Visa Requirements
All foreign nationals except citizens of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine, are required to have business or tourist visas to enter the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Before application for the tourist visa, foreign nationals need to obtain Uzbekistan visa support, in the form of a Letter of Invitation (LOI), from a licensed travel agency in Uzbekistan. Citizens of Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Switzerland and Japan do not need LOI if they are obtaining visa in their country of citizenship, but LOI may be required, if they obtain Uzbekistan Visa outside of their country of citizenship. All travelers are suggested to contact in advance Uzbekistan Embassy or Consulate, where they are planning to obtain their tourist visa, for the latest requirements.
Where to apply for Uzbekistan Visa?
You can apply for a visa where Uzbekistan Embassy or Consulate exist. Please note that required documents and visa fees may differ based on your citizenship and where you apply.
Uzbekistan Visa at Tashkent International Airport
It is possible to obtain a visa at the international arrivals lounge of Tashkent International Airport, if both of the following conditions are met:
There is no Uzbekistan Embassy or Consulate in the country, where you are originating your flight to Uzbekistan,
Connecting flight to Uzbekistan, in the country where Uzbekistan Embassy or Consulate exists, does not provide enough time to obtain a visa.
Uzbekistan Visa Application requirements:
Uzbekistan Visa support, also referred to as Letter of Invitation (LOI);
Valid passport (be sure that you have enough pages for visa and entry/exit stamps);
Completed application form;
1 passport-size photo;
Fee, payable on collection of visa;
Stamped, self-addressed envelope, if applying by post;
Evidence of purpose of a visit;
Confirmation of hotel reservation and details of stay.
Uzbekistan Visa Application form:
You can download the official visa application form for applying tourist visa at evisa.mfa.uz
This application form is valid for all Uzbekistan Embassies and Consulates.
Preparing for your travel to Uzbekistan
To ensure that your choice of departures, tours and hotels are available, we highly recommend an early reservation, especially during the high seasons, which run from mid April through mid June and from the end of August through early November. Before traveling to Uzbekistan you can make an online reservation using our online reservation form. To give our guests good impressions from a trip to Uzbekistan we try to organize small groups, usually not more than 10 - 15 participants per guide and tour leader
How to get to Uzbekistan
The most convenient way to travel to Uzbekistan is by plane to Tashkent, the capital of the country, from the main international airports of Europe, Asia and Middle East. Tashkent is served by several international airlines. National company Uzbekistan Airways offers regular flights to London, Frankfurt am Main, Paris, Beijing, Bangkok, Delhi, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Seoul, and Tel Aviv. Further, in addition Uzbekistan Airways offers flights to many destinations within the CIS and Uzbekistan. Also you can get to Uzbekistan by train, this kind of trip.
Arrival
Customs Declaration Forms
Upon arrival at any international airport or land border of Uzbekistan make sure that you fill out 2 (two) copies of the Customs Declaration Form (“Entry Custom Declaration Form”) at the customs check point. The form should be printed double sided and cut along the line. Please make sure to accurately indicate all types and exact amounts of foreign currency you are carrying and declare all valuables, including expensive items such as jewelry, electronics and photo equipment. One copy of the Entry Custom Declaration Form is kept by the customs officer, and the second copy is stamped and returned to you. You are strongly advised to keep the second copy of the Entry Customs Declaration Form until departure, as it contains information about the amount of valuables and foreign currency being brought for your trip to Uzbekistan. Upon departure, travelers will be permitted to take out valuables and foreign currency up to the amount indicated in the Entry Customs Declaration Form. There is no “Green Line” at Uzbek custom check points.
Registration
All foreign nationals are required to register if they stay longer than 72 hours in Uzbekistan. If you are staying at licensed hotels, registration is done automatically when you check in (although a few budget hotels are not allowed to handle this service). Your hotel will give you a registration slip, which you should carry in your passport at all times for the duration of your trip (If you run into trouble with the authorities, they will want to see your registration slips). We do not advice to stay at private houses during your travel to Uzbekistan as you will not be able to obtain a registration at the local OVIR office and may have problems upon departure.
When leaving Uzbekistan at passport control your passport and visa validity will be checked. Sometimes the immigration officer might also request that you show registration forms from hotels or local OVIR office. So make sure to have your hotel registration slips handy (preferably clipped into your passport) when you pass through passport control.

Accommodation
Uzbekistan tourism infrastructure has been actively developing during the past few years, making the travel to Uzbekistan more comfortable. Many good hotels were built in Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukara, Khiva  and other big cities, which comply with modern hotel standards. In addition, there are some family-run hotels and B&B hotels which offer a suitable accommodation at much lower price. Most hotel rooms are equipped with a shower, private bath, air conditioning, telephone, satellite TV with international channels like CNN, BBC, ESPN.


Cash and travelers checks
It is possible to exchange US Dollars, Euros, UK pounds and Japanese Yen into Uzbek soums at banks and exchange offices in hotels. Exchange offices and banks do not accept hard currency banknotes that are old, worn out, have handwriting on, torn, lined or wrinkled. Such banknotes are accepted only in one branch of National Bank of Uzbekistan in Tashkent for about a 10% fee. It is extremely difficult to change soums back into dollars at reasonable exchange rates, so it is advised that you spend what soums you have before leaving the country. American Express Travelers Cheques are not recommended during your trip to Uzbekistan, as they draw hefty fees and cannot be exchanged at favorable rates.

Credit Cards and ATM Machines
Credit cards are not widely accepted in Uzbekistan outside of upscale restaurants and hotels in Tashkent. Shops, restaurants and local transport prefer to be paid in Uzbek soums. Some upscale hotels in Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara accept Visa cards. Master cards are less frequently accepted. ATM machines are not widespread in Uzbekistan. Upscale hotels in Tashkent usually have separate ATMs for Mastercard and Visa cards that dispense US dollars, but one or both are often out of order or out of cash. A few banks in Tashkent across the country have ATMs that accept Visa or Mastercard as well, although they are subject to the same uncertainties. Always have a backup plan. A more reliable way to get dollars is to go to a local bank and get a cash advance on your credit card. A few banks accept Visa cards (KDB Bank Uzbekistan, National Bank of Uzbekistan), while only Asaka Bank can perform Mastercard cash advances. Banks charge 2 to 4% of the amount being withdrawn for this service.
Bank working hours: from 09:00 till 16:00, lunch break from 14:00 to 15:00
Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Exchange offices working hours: from 08:00 till 18:00 and 24 hours in big hotels.
Personal medication
There are medications circulation of which on the territory of Uzbekistan is prohibited or limited. Generally, the limited circulation medications list consists of sedative, tranquilizing, and pain relieving drugs (for example, Temazepam, Valium, Xanax, Morphine, Codeine, Librium/Novopoxide, Halcion, ProSom, Xanax, Ativan).
If you intend to bring medications to Uzbekistan which is in limited circulation in Uzbekistan, you must declare them on arrival and departure from Uzbekistan in customs declaration form and bring the doctor prescription in your native language.
Not declaring the medication containing narcotic and psychotropic substances or absence of doctor’s prescription may be subject to criminal charges.
Medical
Note: Your regular medications, which you would never think, may contain narcotic or psychotropic substances, for example in some countries Panadol and Cold & Flu contains Codeine, or Sudafed contains Pseudoephedrine, both need declaration.
It is allowed to import and export the following medicaments without doctor’s prescription for personal use in the amount of 10 medicaments of different names and no more than 5 packs of each; medical devices in the amount of no more than 5 units.
Each pack should contain:
For solid finished dosage forms (pills, dragees, granules, powder, capsules) – no more than 100 units;
For powders used in preparation of solutions – no more than 500gr;
For homeopathic medicaments in the form of granules - no more than 50gr;
For infusion solutions and solutions for oral intake – no more than 500ml;
Solutions for injections – no more than 10 ampules or no more than 10 vials;
For externally used medicines - no more than 200 ml or 200gr.
Medicines should be in the original container of the producer.
If the amount of importing and exporting medicaments exceeds above stated numbers, tourists are required to provide a document to the customs office issued by a medical institute of the country of residence. The document should indicate the list of medicaments intended for his/her personal usage, dosage forms and recommended amount for the course of treatment.
It is allowed to import / export five different (names of) psychotropic drugs, maximum 2 packs of each for personal use without a prescription.
While passing customs at the border checkpoints, individuals are required to declare (Point No.6 of Customs Declaration) drugs and psychotropic substances, and provide the document issued by a medical institution of the country of residence with indication of the medical preparation, its medical forms and recommended quantity for the course of treatment.
Departure from Uzbekistan
Preparing for departure
The departure procedure at the airport is straightforward: Check in for the flight, go through customs (please see Customs Declaration Forms instructions for departure) and passport control, pass through security and board the plane. For international flights travelers are advised to arrive at the airport 2 ? to 3 hours before their departure time. Before leaving the hotel for the airport please check the following documents: passport, registration forms provided by hotels or OVIR (the police branch that handles visas and registrations - see "Registration", below), Entry Customs Declaration Form, air-ticket and validity of Uzbekistan visa in your passport. If your Uzbekistan visa expired before your day of departure, the penalty at the airport at departure applied might be up to US$ 3,000. If you need to extend your visa please contact wadvance (at least 5 days before your departure).
Departure
Upon departure at the customs checkpoint you will be requested to fill out 1 copy of the Customs Declaration Form. Please make sure to indicate the all types and exact amounts of foreign currency you are carrying and declare all valuables. Remember, you are allowed to take out valuables and foreign currency up to the amount indicated in the Entry Customs Declaration Form, filled out upon arrival. In case if traveler has more cash than it was declared upon arrival, travelers will have to prove the source of the money (ATM receipt or any other bank documents). When source cannot be proved, money will have to stay in Uzbekistan, traveler will be requested to leave the exceeding amount with friends, travel agency, or even can be confiscated if there is no one to leave the money with. It gets more complicated if you lose the Entry Custom Declaration Form, you may not be able to take out any amount cash or valuables. At customs you may be requested to show declared valuables and recount foreign currency indicated in Customs Declaration Form.
Handicrafts and souvenirs
At the customs checkpoint the customs officer might request to see any handicrafts and souvenir items you have bought in order to ensure you are not illegally exporting items of cultural value or antiques. If you are bringing such items out of the country be sure to have proper documentation. For other souvenirs, it's a good idea to have a receipt or certificate from the shop that states that the item is mass-produced. If you don't have a certificate, there is an expert from the Ministry of Culture of Uzbekistan on duty at the airport who is tasked with inspecting suspected items. An "inspection fee" must be paid on site; the amount of the fee depends on the nature and value of item being inspected. When making purchases during your travel in Uzbekistan it is advised to keep receipts and request certificates of items that may have cultural value and/or look like antique. Items that have cultural value and souvenirs out of Uzbekistan:
- Antique items (carpets, ceramics, suzanis, musical instruments, paintings, etc) that were created 50 (fifty) or more years ago are not allowed to be taken out of Uzbekistan.
- Items of cultural value that were made within the last 50 (fifty) years (including fully handmade artwork, exclusive handicrafts, artwork that contains precious metals and stones, items or fragments of items found during archeological excavations, ancient books, musical instruments, and various kinds of weapons that have historical or cultural value) require a special certificate from the Ministry of Culture of Uzbekistan in order to be taken out of Uzbekistan. If you have bought any items of cultural value, please contact your agent at Bahshanda-sakura in advance.
Mass-produced items - ordinary souvenirs, machine-made suzanis, carpets, embroidery products made within last 50 (fifty) years - require no special certificate. However, to prove that such items are indeed mass-produced you should get a receipt or certificate stating such from the shop where you purchased the item. If a customs officer has doubts about whether or not items you are carrying have cultural value, and you cannot produce the necessary documentation, he or she will ask the expert from the Ministry of Culture on duty at the expert to inspect the item. The inspection fee must be paid on-the-spot in cash by the owner of the item in question. The amount of the fee depends on size and value of the item. The minimum fee starts from about 25,000 Uzbek Soum.

 

 


 

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