Travel Guide

Very light and loose clothing (preferably cotton or natural fibres) is recommended for daytime use, with a light jumper and/or casual jacket for the cooler evenings. Because of a large amount of sightseeing on foot in dry, dusty and sometimes rough areas (i.e. dirt, cobblestones, etc.), comfortable, solid walking shoes with strong soles and support are essential You may be required to remove your shoes on entry to some religious sites. There are no special clothing requirements for visiting Islamic religious sites, except that you should take care to cover most parts of your body including arms and legs.
Above all travellers are encouraged to dress for comfort rather than fashion. Valuable jewellery and any clothing requiring special attention should be left at home. Due to very high danger of sunburn, your clothing should offer as much protection as possible. A hat with good shade protection and sunglasses are essential.
In some areas the average visitor may appear extremely wealthy to local people. A lavish display of jewellery, bulging handbags and wallets and a neck full of cameras will make you stand out in a crowd. Be discreet, respectful of local culture and traditions and carry the minimum of valuables.

You will be travelling in areas, which are largely free of major infection diseases, so there are no official vaccination requirements for foreign visitors. However we strongly recommend you to consult your physician of the Vaccination Centre for current health warnings and recommended vaccination.
As it is practically inevitable in the areas where water is high in mineral and metallic salts (as in the case with Central Asia) one should be prepared for minor gastric complaints. Consult your physician or pharmacist for recommended remedies.
Throughout the areas you will be travelling, one of the main health warnings is dehydration. At all times maintain a steady intake of non-alcoholic liquids.
Sunburn is another major problem. Bring adequate suntan lotion and a wide brimmed hat.
If desired, you may also bring a supply of vitamins, throat lozenges, a throat gargle to prevent basic infections, cold / flu tablets, aspirins, Band-Aids, antiseptics and antibacterial cream. Please, advise us if you have any allergies or particular medical aliments which may require special attention during the trip, if your doctor has prescribed any medication, make sure that you have sufficient supplies to last the duration of your holiday.
IMPORTANT: Please, ensure that you carry in your hand luggage any medicine you may require in case your suitcase is separated from you.

Individual safety boxes are not always available in Central Asian Hotels. An essential part of your luggage is a comfortable money wallet, which may be worn under your clothing. At all times you should carry your main documents (i.e. currency, travellers cheques, air tickets, passports, visas etc.) While it is highly unlikely you will encounter any physical danger, minor thefts in crowded pubic places may occur and every precaution should be taken to avoid loosing anything of value.
In accordance with local laws, you will be required to hand in your passport to the hotel reception on arrival to allow registration of your passport details by the hotel. Your passport will normally be available again after a few hours. Do not forget to collect it before departure.
The currency in Uzbekistan is the Sum. Please, contact Uzbek Diplomatic Missions in your country or Representations of Uzbekistan Airways for the current rate, Travellers Cheques are accepted in all hotels. Credit cards are accepted only in hotels for payments of the services provided by the hotel, as generally Credit Card facilities are poor in towns, shops, etc. Travellers are recommended to carry Cash (US Dollars) in small denominations. Fresh and clean notes preferable, as it is often impossible to exchange or purchase with old or worn banknote. US dollar banknotes with a serial date prior to 1996 are generally not accepted.
A mixture of languages is spoken in Central Asia most of which are of Turkish origin, except for Tajik, which is related to Persian. In addition, Russian is still widely used in Central Asian countries (although English is rapidly replacing this).
No difficulty is put in the way of visitors who wish to photograph places of historic interest.
Photography inside some religious monuments and in airports, railway stations or near military installation may not be allowed. If in doubt ask your local guide. Please also note that there is a fee for photography in most sightseeing places (not included in your tour price).
Films and batteries are available in major cities, but you are recommended to purchase your supply before arrival, particularly if you have the latest modification or a sophisticated type of camera that requires a specific film and / or batteries.
220/230 AC 50 volts. Plugs are the two-pin types as found in continental Europe. Adapters are sometimes available, however you should carry your own.
Uzbek cuisine is rich in vegetables, meats, pasta, and rice as well as fat (i.e. cholesterol). Therefore if you have any dietary requirements, please advise us as soon as possible.
Local mineral water contains a higher level of minerals than western spring or bottled water and the taste can be rather "salty" (these mineral waters are considered healthier than European spring or mineral waters).
Imported spirits and wines are available, however in some places the provenance of some spirits and wines is questionable and the prices inflated. Accordingly, you are recommended to purchase you favourite alcohol duty free prior to arrival.
Travellers in Central Asia will be pleasantly surprised by the interesting jewellery, clothing and local handicrafts. Books, postcards and maps are other popular souvenirs. There are restrictions on exporting carpets from the country, ask your Tour Manager for detailed up-to-date information on this matter, before purchasing one.
You will be responsible for covering the cost of your hotel incidentals such as phone calls, room service, mini-bar in your room and laundry. Before departing from all the hotels on the tour, please ensure that you have checked with the front desk for any personal charges that the hotel may have made to your room.
Passengers may wish to express their appreciation - reward for extra service to the porters, waiters, drivers and guides. The degree of appreciation may vary, and our policy is to let you decide this. This is usually given individually in an envelope at the end of the tour / service.

You are reminded that for the general comfort of all, smoking is not permitted during coach journeys. You should always report at the advised time, or that given by your Tour Manger, to ensure that the group travel times are not adversely affected by latecomers
•    Wash hands always before meals (sorry to remind it but it is important).
•    Do not drink TAP WATER, purchase bottled water.
•    Do not eat fruit / vegetables purchased at the market before it is disinfected.
•    Carry a small knife for pealing fruit. Pack this in your aircraft hocked bag for all travel.
•    Keep well hydrated with at least two litters a day or water / tea particularly when in deserts or at altitude.
•    If you should suffer stomach problems DO drink lots of strong black tea, green tea. Do not eat for 24 hours. And report to your local guide, as soon as possible please

Public Transport 

In all major cities of the country represented by a centralized public transport. In Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Kokand, Andijan, Navoi and other cities there are buses and taxis. In all other cases, the passenger traffic in urban areas is carried out only by taxi.

Taxis in the cities of Uzbekistan's relatively cheap, but there are cases of fraud and over-travel fares. In other cities of Tashkent rates below. Moreover, Uzbekistan has developed a very private taxi system, where any car can be a taxi. Bargaining is necessary in any case, whether the taxi driver or private car.

Tashkent Subway (Metro)

Tashkent boasts the only subway in Central Asia, and one of the cleanest, safest, and most reliable mass transit systems in the former Soviet Union. It is no wonder, then, that residents of Tashkent talk about their subway, called the "metro," with pride. 
Tashkent is the largest city in Central Asia, with a population of over two million, and a good transportation system is essential. In addition to a subway, the city has a bus, trolley, and tram system. One cannot walk down any major street without seeing at least a couple of buses gradually making their way from stop to stop. 
Tashkent also has trolleys, but not the kind found in San Francisco. Rather, they look like buses with long poles attached to wires overhead. They do not run on fuel, but derive their power from electricity. Occasionally, the poles come off of the wires, and the driver, using ropes, must reconnect them. 
Dividing the major arteries of the city are rails, which electric trams travel on. The bells of trams can be heard ringing through the city, warning pedestrians of an imminent arrival. These modes of transportation are not uncommon throughout Central Asia; it is the metro that is unique to Tashkent and Uzbekistan. 
The Tashkent metro has two lines, the Uzbekistan and the Chilanzar, with a third under construction scheduled to open in next years. The Chilanzar is the busier of the two lines, and at rush hour, trains come and go every two minutes. The metro is open between 5:00 a.m. and midnight. At night, one can wait up to ten minutes for a train, but no longer than that.
Every station has a token booth with one or two sellers inside. Tokens cost 10 sum, but there are rumors that this will increase shortly. The tokens are made of hard blue plastic, and are inserted into an entrance gate. There is special gate for people with monthly passes, and for those allowed to ride for free. These include veterans of the Great Patriotic War (World War II), and Afganistan Veterans as well as transit employees and policemen. 
Once inside, passengers can see policemen patrolling, duty officers making sure people do not fall onto the tracks, and janitors cleaning. One of the policemen, who has been patrolling the Kosmonavtov metro stop for two years, says that it is rare for a crime to occur on the trains or in the stations, because of the presence of police in every station, and the confined nature of the stations. 
People who use or work on the subway line are grateful for its convenience. It only takes 22 minutes to go from one end of the line to the other. As one passenger explains, "You could never do this in a car. Underground there is no traffic, and no stop lights or pedestrians, just station stops which don't take more than a minute." The trains travel at a speed of 60 kilometers per hour, a speed rarely attained in the bustle of Tashkent. This year is the 20th anniversary of the metro, and mass transit employees and residents alike have reason to celebrate.

Tashkent Underground Map


















Hotels in Central Asia

Useful Links
The Governmental portal of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
National Company "Uzbekistan Airways"
National company "Uzbektourizm"
APTA - Association of Private Tourism Agencies