Councils gathering in Uzbekistan.
In April, he was on a business trip in Uzbekistan. This experience should not be lost, so please use 🙂
About customs formalities.
The country does not have a customs union with Russia, so customs formalities will have to be done in full. The customs declaration is completed by every one, including the Uzbeks themselves. Filling out the declaration, please note that the biggest problems you will most likely have when you leave the country, and not at the entrance, so read it carefully. Tip one: have a pen with you. On the border of the pens categorically not enough, especially if a large plane flies. Have your own, otherwise you risk getting stuck on your watch.
Further. While flying / going (in short, while there is time), recalculate absolutely all the money that you carry with you, to kopecks, in all currencies. In the declaration, enter all this money to a penny. What for? First, you can be searched at the entrance to the country, and if you find at least one extra penny, they will begin to show currency smuggling (hinting at the possibility of resolving the issue on the spot for a tip), and secondly, it is prohibited to export more money from Uzbekistan than is inscribed in the declaration. Another interesting point. On the back of the declaration you need to list all the electronics and memory media that you have with you. In the column “Cost” write “second-hand” (without specific figures). Do not be lazy, list everything: laptops, cameras, flash cards, cellular. What is not listed and will be found on departure, can remain as an investment for the development of Uzbek customs.
About the money.
Uzbekistan is a country of cash. Do not expect ATMs to be available at every step. There are only a few ATMs, and those only in Tashkent. It is also better not to think about the possibility of calculating cards in stores, again there are very few such stores and only in Tashkent. Have enough cash with you. In the country, the foreign exchange market is under full state control. Residents of Uzbekistan, to buy $ 300 (this is the limit of a one-time purchase), are enrolled in the queue for 3-6 months. Banks willingly accept from you dollars, euros and rubles, will exchange for local money – sums, but you can not exchange soums for rubles / dollars back.
This situation has led to the fact that the black exchange market is active in the country, the exchange rate there is much higher and more profitable for the newcomer. For example, in a bank for 1 dollar you will be given 1700-1800 soums, on the black market – 2800 soums, that is almost 2 times more. From these figures it is clear that changing money on the black market is much more profitable, but it’s up to you, because exchange on the black market is illegal and allegedly persecuted, but I have not heard of one case of catching someone for currency exchanges. You can get rubles or dollars for soums (return exchange) only on the black market.
Quick recalculation of soums in rubles – divide by 100, for example, 28000 sums – about 280 rubles, 155000 sums – about 1550 rubles.
About salaries and prices.
Salaries in the country are insanely low. The bus driver’s salary in Tashkent is 220,000 soums (2200 rubles), our driver’s salary in Navoi is 300,000 soums (3000 rubles). A more or less normal salary is 700,000 soums (7,000 rubles). Accordingly, the prices in the country are very low, with our money there to go very well. Some examples: travel by bus in Tashkent – 700 soums (7 rubles), a large portion of pilaf in Samarkand + 2 salads + cakes + tea – 5000 soums (50 rubles), dinner in Tashkent for two with a bunch of shish kebabs, fresh vegetables, okroshka and beer cost us 38000 soums (380 rubles – shikanuli :)). The train “Shark” Tashkent-Samarkand, on the way 4 hours – 27000 soums (270 rubles).
A week in Uzbekistan is quite enough 1500 rubles. Taxi in Tashkent – you can agree up to 6000 soums to any point of the city (60 rubles), in Navoi – 1000 soums (10 rubles), it all depends on the city. Speaking of a taxi. At the airport in Tashkent, as in any airport in the world, the prices for taxis, to put it mildly, are too high. You will be offered to leave “to the city” for 15-20 thousand soums. Turn on adherence to principle, start walking towards the road from the airport. Obsessive taxi drivers will run after you, every 10 meters reducing the price (magic!). Pass 200 meters, go out on the road, and either the taxi drivers themselves will agree to take you for a maximum of 5000 soums, or catch another privateer.
Keep in mind that the airport in Tashkent is located in the city, and if you arrive in the afternoon, you can safely leave by bus. In general, the best tactic in Uzbekistan is “I’ve already been here”. Quietly say to the taxi driver: “Dude, I fly here once a month, always for 4000 soums I go to the city, and you tell me tales about 20 thousand here?”. It works tremendously, but the real price level with such tactics, of course, is better to imagine.
About transport.
About the taxi was said a little higher, I will not repeat. For travel between cities you can use trains, privateers and planes. The trains are very good and very treshovye, there is no middle ground. For example, trains Tashkent-Samarkand leave three in a row in the morning with an interval of 15-30 minutes around 8 am, then go back in the evening. Accordingly, to leave day / night from Tashkent to Samarkand will be difficult, plan the time.
The first goes the smartest Afrosiyob train, it flies with a crazy speed and a couple of hours you are in Samarkand. After it, 2 more decent trains leave – Registon and Sharq. On all of them you can easily buy tickets in advance directly on the website of Russian Railways. the booking system in Uzbekistan is ours. If you want to grab the Uzbek extreme – you can go on 600 trains (however, I do not advise). A privateer from Tashkent to Samarkand costs 40-50 dollars, if you collect a company at the station or at the airport for 4 people, you can get 10 dollars from the nose. The method is also extreme, the manner of driving eastern drivers is legendary, plus the state of the road in places is terrifying, but drivers do not bother with this factor at all, and the speed does not decrease from this. If you can survive this horror, then you will kiss the earth.
In the country there is a rather active development of air transportation, in many cities there are airports. Transportation is carried out by the local company Ozbekiston Havo Yollari (Uzbekistan Airways). The company is progressive and reliable, actively captures including international markets. The flight Tashkent-Navoi (through most of the country) cost $ 100. If you value your time – then please, the method is quite decent.
It would be interesting to look at those who will travel to Uzbekistan by car. Keep in mind that there is NO petrol in the country. It is imported in very small batches, and usually the picture looks like this: there is a closed refueling, once a week a small petrol tanker arrives, a huge crowd flies up at once, instantly sucks out the entire petrol tank, after which the refueling closes again for a week. For this reason, the whole country (with rare exceptions) travels on gas. If you come to Uzbekistan in a gasoline car, you risk there and leave it 🙂
A separate remark about the metro in Tashkent. All the guides and experienced travelers do not recommend traveling on it, because the local police show an unhealthy interest in foreigners (that is, to us), constantly detains for checking documents. On the Internet (google) described a large number of cases, how people metropolitseyskie threw various dirty tricks, and then the episodes of extortion began. For this reason, we did not go to the metro, so there is no experience, thank God, and I do not advise you to receive it. Ground transportation and affordable prices from private traders – and you will always reach anywhere in the city without the metro.
Shocked (pleasantly) the attitude of Uzbeks to transport security. All airports are guarded as prisons – along the perimeter of the fences there are watchtowers with submachine gunners, you will not pass to either one airport or one railway station unless you present your ticket and passport.
About people and language.
People are open, positive. Except those in the markets 🙂 In Russian, they say almost everything, someone is better, someone is worse, but you will understand and you will understand. Uzbek language is absolutely different from Russian, so do not expect to be able to understand the same signs over shops and offices. The Government of Uzbekistan is systematically working on the replacement of the Russian language from the country, so less and less often the inscriptions are duplicated in Russian. It would be nice to have a phrase book with you, but in principle it is not necessary.
About what to see.
In Tashkent there is absolutely nothing to watch (a rare case when there is nothing in the capital). The city was destroyed by an earthquake, it was rebuilt, so it’s just an ordinary city, without special beauties, attractions and monuments. Obligatory to visit: Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. The most beautiful, ancient cities, with the most famous monuments, among them are Registan, Kalyan, and others. The cities through which the Great Silk Road passed. This is a real eastern fairy tale. There is no point in going to Uzbekistan, if your visit does not include visiting Samarkand and Bukhara.
About what to bring.
You can carry standard souvenirs – magnets, postcards, I do not stop here. Bukhara can be known from all over the world for Bukharin shawls, as well as karakul fur coats, which are 4-5 times cheaper in Uzbekistan than in Russia when they are brought. From the food everything carries oriental sweets, including nuts in sugar, fresh almonds (depending on the type and size it costs from 9000 to 27000 per kilogram), as well as absolutely masterpiece lemons. Those lemons that are sold here (yellow) are immature. In Uzbekistan, fully-ripe, orange lemon trees are sold, they should definitely be tried, but better brought. Do not bring sausages, although the temptation is great – such things can be taken away from you at the airport by the employees of the phytosanitary service.
About the markets. Markets and bazaars are a style of life in the East. So go, do not be embarrassed and always bargain. With the Slavic appearance, the price will be broken, in 1,5-2 times it gets off completely calmly. If you have an acquaintance Uzbek – take it with you, will help to bargain. If you want to see a huge real oriental bazaar – go to Tashkent to the Chorsu bazaar, half of the city transport goes there. This is a huge market, occupying the whole quarter, where there is absolutely everything – from food to clothes and carpets. Do not go hungry there 🙂
About pilaf and food.
It is clear that if you go to Uzbekistan, you should try the pilaf. Keep in mind that in every city it is cooked in its own way. Pilaf in Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara are three different pilafs. For example, in Samarkand, pilaf is rice with peas and pepper, plus well-braised meat in several pieces. In Bukhara, it is rice and separately one piece of boiled (!) Lamb. Portions are usually huge, so there is the possibility of ordering half the portion. Pilaf in Uzbek is called “palov”, but you can just say “osh” (“osh” translates as “food”, and palov is the main meal, so you can just ask “osh”). You can try other dishes, almost all of them are meat and nourishing. From the interesting and delicious I can advise roasted lamp and shish kebab, here it is really delicious.
Tea drink green, you can with lemon. Tradition requires a triple overflow of tea: from the teapot, tea is poured into a mug, then from the mug is poured back into the kettle. And this is done 3 times. This is the so-called tradition of “loy-my-choi” (which is translated as “mud-oil-tea”). According to Uzbeks, pouring a drink several times, its flavor qualities improve, the water is structured, after that it can be drunk. Once it was poured – it turned out loy (mud), the second overflow – my (oil), and the third overflow – choy (tea). So do not be surprised at anything 🙂
I wish everyone at least once to visit this amazing country 🙂