Samarkand or Samarqand is the oldest continuously inhabited cities of Central Asia. The city resides in southeastern Uzbekistan. There is no exact information when the city was exactly explored but there is evidence of human life from the late Paleolithic era.
The city was taken by Alexander the Great in 329 BC, and then it was named as Marakanda (Greek name). Then the city was ruled under Iranian and Turkic rulers for quite some time. Then it was conquered by Genghis Khan in 1220.
With a long history, Samarkand is now the capital of the Samarqand Region. It is also the 2nd largest city in Uzbekistan. Poets and philosophers of the world have described the city as the mirror of the world, and some have explained it as the pearl of the orient.
Its enchanting beauty is probably can’t be explained truly in words. As per the archaeological research, the city is the oldest one and first; it was mentioned by Alexander the Great.
For around 2000 years the city was the trading hub. It was an important center of trade on the Silk route between China and Europe. In the 14th century, Samarkand was the capital of the Timurid dynasty.
Samarkand offers mainly 2 climates. One is hot, dry summers and the other one is wet winters. July and August are the dry and hot summer months of the city, and January is the coldest month with -22 degree temperature.
The people residing in the country are turkey people who are called as Uzbeks. These Uzbeks are Tajik speaking people. They are ethnic groups of the country.
The official language of the country IS the Uzbek Language which is a part of Turkic languages.
There is nothing as per law in Uzbek that a woman must wear, so you can bring your clothes that you love to wear. However, the country has its own culture and we believe you won’t like to offend it. So, we recommend packing some light shirts, t-shirts, jeans and long-sleeved dresses covering knees. You need to wear a scarf or something that covers your head while entering a mosque. You can pack some swim-dress to wear near your pool at your hotel.
Well, it’s really up to you. Bring as much as you want to spend in Uzbekistan. The country is not much expensive but most for paying most of the things you will need cash. Cards are not much accepted here. You can exchange your money at the airport or in any hotel or banks of Uzbekistan (both in private & govt. bank). Keep in mind that you need to pay tips in restaurants and to porters (not mandatory, but expected as it’s almost a custom to tip).
No, drinking tap water isn’t considered safe in Uzbekistan. We highly recommend using bottled water while you are in Uzbekistan. Also, make sure to eat clean and well-cooked food. If you are visiting Uzbek inn hot time make sure to keep big water bottles as you will feel thirsty due to the hot climate especially in the day time.
Well, the answer is No. Uzbekistan is not only a magical country with a rich history and spectacular natural beauty but also a very friendly country to visit. If you are afraid of if it is safe, then let us tell you even the country is safe for solo woman travelers. Uzbek people are warm and friendly. They will easily welcome you as their guest. Choose a reliable tour operator and explore the best of the country without any fear.
Of course, you can avail alcohol in Uzbekistan. It is kind of part of their life. Alcohol is taken by many Uzbek people especially, the Russians. Soviet people introduced Vodka and other alcoholic drinks that are now a part of their life. However, some very strict Muslims don’t prefer drinking. However, it is allowed and legal in the country.
Uzbekistan is famous for its ancient cities like Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Shakhrisabz, Termez, and Tashkent that are explained in many historical stories. These places have some stunning old Islamic architecture buildings that make it famous. As well, the natural beauty, mountains, and rich history of the country usually fascinate its travelers.
Uzbek people eat many types of food in their daily life. The dishes of Uzbekistan are delicious. Mostly they eat and drink soups, meat dishes, floury dishes, bread, milk, and oriental sweets. They share their culinary style mostly with Turkic people. Mostly they have a whole meal in one pot. You can try some local cuisine during your visit to Uzbekistan like; Plov, Shashlik, Lagman Soup, Shurpa, Dimlama, Chuchvara, Samsa, and more.
While visiting to Uzbek you are recommended to have the following vaccination-
The country is best to visit at any time except the summer season (July & August). During these 2 months, the country is at its highest temperature that goes up to 40-degree Celsius. However, spring and autumn are a great time to visit Uzbek i.e. from April to May and September to early November. During this period the country remains dry with a clear sky and cool temp.
The tropical climate of the country is great for malaria mosquitoes; hence once malaria was the worst health threat in Uzbekistan. To protect people from falling ill in malaria the govt. of Uzbek has taken various steps and in 2010 the country became malaria-free. Now it has won the WHO certificate as a malaria-free country. Hence, you can stay stress-free about malaria.
In July 2018, Uzbekistan started an E-visa facility and there are 76 nationalists can apply for a visa online. You can go to the official E-visa site, and apply for your e-visa by filling a form online. The total cost is 20USD. It takes 2 to 3 working days for processing your visa and then you can get a confirmation in your mail. The payment you can do only in the working hours. If you are not from a country where you can go for e-visa, then you can go with the traditional way. You can book it from the embassy.
There are 21 countries that enjoy visa free entry to Uzbekistan. Here is the cost for Uzbekistan-
Cost for 30-days single-entry or multiple-entry visa- US$60 to US$100 for most nationalities
Cost for 30-days single-entry or multiple-entry visa - $160 for US nationalities
Additional entry cost- $10Per entry