Country people have to look up when they here the name...
...independant since 1991 when the USSR broke up. Key towns include Tashkent (the capital), the fabled Samarkand (Samarqand) and Bukhara (Buxoro). Genghis Khan invaded the area and later it gave rise to it's own bloody thirsty conquerer and national hero Tarmerlane (Timur Lange).
Some tourists do go there, normally heading for Samarkand (Registan Square or 'Reggies Place', Bib Qanum Mosque, Ulug Beg's observatory), Bukhara (the 'Ark' fortress) and Khiva (or Xiva - one of the most complete medieval moslem towns in the world).
Mainly Sunni Moslem since the Arabs invaded before Genghis Khan and kicked out the Buddhists, Zoroastrians and Nestorian Christians. Some Russian Orthodox Christians still around. Generally peaceful these days apart from a few hardliner Commies and Islamists committing the odd misdeed. Maily Uzbeks, with a few Tajiks, Russians and a tiny number of Koreans (don't ask how they got there - last local reminant of Buddhism).
By the way, 'X' in Uzbek is 'Kh' and 'K' keeps getting replaced by 'Q' in their alphabet.
Uzbekistan - Uzbeki-where???
Prices shown in USD.
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