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Uzbekistan Travel Tips

2.0 stars

Insider advice for your Uzbekistan vacation

photo fees 1 stars
As wonderful as the buildings and mosques in Uzbekistan are and as much I see the need for the people to make money, it is a nerve-racking habit to charge photograph-fees from European looking persons. This begins at a fee from a few Sum and goes up to several Dollars in more popular places.
I had my worst experience at the Registan in Samarqand when after paying to enter the place, two guys cornered me and each wanted about $20 when they had seen I carried a video camera. Bartering is all you can do here, or just put the camera away and pretend not to have one and if they corner you later, give them a few sums and then ignore them. This is quite rude, but after a few days of paying for entrance and then paying for the camera, I began to develop some tricks.
I checked this with a policeman later and found that this is absolutely illegal, so you are not forced to pay unless it is in some mosque where you find a camera-payment-sign over the cashier. Some have it, some not.


good food 4 stars
You won't lack places to eat in Bukhara, but I would recommend you find the Labi Hauz, the center of the old town- easy to locate as it is a large bassin filled with clear water, surrounded by trees and at least 4 restaurants that kind of melt one into the other. I have tried all of them and they offer approximately the same food- the ubiquitous meat skewer with either lamb or chicken meat and soups, but I found the best dish was served in the open air restaurant beneath the stairs of the medrese Chanaka Devon Begi that dominates the west side of the water bassin.
Try to order Ajabsanda, a beef-potato-carrot-stew that tasted fantastic! They also had a large variety of skewers, served on the large "metal sticks" that seem to be the same everywhere you go, and I found a large choice of meats here- except for pork, that is not served nor eaten in an Islamic country, of course!
I also tried the other restaurants around the Labi Hauz, but the one in the south was quite expensive compared to the size of the portions and the meat was rather dry and twice, it was sinewy, and the one in the north had very very slow servers who seemed to neglect European looking people in favor of the locals. I don't mean to say that they did this on purprose or that I expect better treatment as a tourist, but we seemed to be quite invisible while we were there and my friends who ate there at another time reported the same. So, just an idea- it might have changed in the meantime though.


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