The Uzbek population is mainly comprised of Uzbeks, who are an ethnic Turkic group, however there are significant minorities of Russians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Karakalpaks and Tartars. Nearly 90% of the population is Muslim, but there are Orthodox Christians, Buddhists and Jews living within the country. Uzbeks, as their Central Asian counterparts, are known for being warm and friendly. It is customary to greet visitors with handshakes, and considered to be polite to ask questions about the person’s family and health with no need to wait for the answers.
Uzbekistan tours are an excellent opportunity to sample local cuisine and get a few tips back with you. A typical meal might include palov (rice combined with onions, meat and carrots) or mutton cooked in a tandir. Uzbeks can also enjoy dumplings called manti, and a variety of kebabs. You can indulge in Uzbek cuisine with traditional black and green teas, and also drinking yogurt called the ayran. Uzbekistan, although a predominantly Muslim country, is also a secular one that allows people to drink local wines.
Uzbekistan is part of the Central Asian group between Asia and Middle East. Its neighbors include Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. Uzbekistan is a coastal country along the Aral Sea as well as the massive, yet small, lake Sarygamysh. The majority of the country is covered in the Kyzyl Kum, also known as the “red sand” desert. There is a small portion of fertile land located in the Fergana Valley. The Uzbekistan mountains include the Tian Shan Range in the south of the country.
The bazaars of Uzbekistan are a paradise for buyers. It’s not just an enjoyable way to live however, it’s also a fantastic time. The Tashkent markets, and especially the Chorsu Bazaar, are great to discover bargains. There is a lot of Soviet-era souvenirs like stamps, portraits by Lenin military uniforms, and caps. Other local souvenirs include pale and intricately patterned pottery, vibrant rugs and clothing and jewelry made with traditional silver. The Bukhara bazaar is perhaps one of the most beautiful, with its fresh produce stalls and smiling locals.
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