The Uzbek population is mainly made up of ethnic Uzbeks which are a Turkic group, however, there are significant minorities of Russians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Karakalpaks and Tartars. Almost 90% of the populace is Muslim and there are Orthodox Christians, Buddhists and Jews who reside in the country. Uzbeks, just like their Central Asian counterparts, are known for being warm and welcoming. It is commonplace to shake hands with people and ask them questions regarding their families or health issues, as well as personal lives.

Uzbekistan excursions are a wonderful time to taste the local cuisine and learn some tips with you. A typical meal may consist of dishes like palov that is rice mixed with carrots, onions and meat. Or mutton cooked in an oven called a tandir. Uzbeks can also relish manti dumplings and various types of Kebabs. There is a wide variety of Uzbek food using traditional green and black teas, in addition to drinking yogurt, also known as ayran. Even though Uzbekistan is a majority Muslim country, it’s secular. This means that you can taste local wines made in the region.

Uzbekistan is part of the Central Asian group between Asia and Middle East. It is bordered by Kazakhstan, Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Uzbekistan has a coastline that runs along the Aral Sea as well as the vast, but shallow, lake Sarygamysh. The Kyzyl Kum (also known as the “red sand” desert) covers approximately 80% of the country. Only a small portion of the Fergana valley has fertile land. Uzbekistan’s mountains include the Tian Shan Range in the south of the country.

The bazaars in Uzbekistan are paradise for buyers. Haggling here is not only an opportunity to make money but also a wonderful time. The Tashkent markets, and especially the Chorsu Bazaar, are great for uncovering bargains. Find Soviet memorabilia such as stamps, portraits of Lenin, and military uniforms and the hats. Other local souvenirs include light and intricately-patterned pottery, colorful rugs and clothes and jewelry made with traditional silver. With its endless rows of fresh produce, friendly locals, and the beautiful bazaar in Bukhara it is among of the most visited destinations.

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