Uzbekistan Warnings Or Dangers Tips by TheWanderingCamel Top 5 Page for this destination
Uzbekistan Warnings and Dangers: 21 reviews and 14 photos
With some of our group coming from a tick-prone area, thus being well aware of the problems they can pose, and knowing that areas of rural Uzbekistan are home to the nasty critters, we factored tick-prevention into the general traveller's list of comfortable walking shoes, long sleeves and covered legs along with the usual hats and sunscreen for days spent in exposed sites. Pale colours are best as ticks will show up more easily.
Ticks are a real threat. One settling on you and transmitting one of the tick-borne diseases that are endemic in Central Asia could seriously spoil your holiday.
Bring DEET-based insect repellant and apply it to exposed skin, avoiding eyes, mouth and any exposed wounds. Pack some tweezers or a small tube of cream containing permethrin and check carefully for ticks after a day spent in rural or forested areas and, if you find one, remove it carefully by grasping the head with the tweezers - be sure to remove ALL of it - or by a couple of applications of the cream a few minutes apart and then leaving it for 24 hours after which it should drop off or it can be gently removed.
I don't profess to be any sort of an expert on this but I do know ticks are very nasty creatures and, whilst I'm not paranoid about them, I am not prepared to dismiss tick prevention and care either. Trekkers and anyone heading for rural home stays should certainly seek advice from their doctor or pharmacist if tick-care is outside their usual experience.
Not your friendly British bobby
Although we had no trouble with the police in Uzbekistan beyond a an reasonably amicable request to see a passport at a Metro station in Tashkent and a warning not to take photos there, other travellers do tell tales of heavy-handed policing.
Make sure you have your hotel registration slip with you at all times (make sure you have one!), keep all of these throughout your time in the country and carry a photocopy of your passport pages with your photo and your Uzbek visa with you at all times also in an easily accessible place. Leave your passport in the hotel safe if there is one, otherwise carry it safely elsewhere on your body.
What else is there to say but be polite, don't get flustered, or agree to go elsewhere, and if things appear to be getting heavy, either pay the small fine but insist on taking the officer's ID number, holding onto your wallet yourself , or insist on returning to your hotel with the officer or calling your embassy or consulate.
Older travellers are less likely to be hassled, as are those in a group.
Changing money can be a real problem in Uzbekistan. Even if the banks and hotel money changers haven't actually run out of money (yes, that does happen), with the exchange rate currently being about 1500cym (sum) to the dollar (October 2009), even with denominations of 500 and 1000 cym more readily available, change $100 and you end up with quite a wad so be prepared to carry a stack of money around with you and practice the bank teller's trick of counting notes quickly. Everyone does it.
Credit cards are not a lot of use, as far as I know there are only one or two ATM machine's in Tashkent and none anywhere else in the country. Don't even think about drawing money against your credit card - you'll still be in the bank when it comes time to leave for the airport. Strictly speaking, US dollars are not currency but you can use them sometimes, just don't bank on it. Small US bills are useful for tips and big purchases can usually be paid for in dollars.
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