I’m having a hard time trying to say anything nice about Uzbekistan and I’m not feeling the need to write out this experience in detail for future reference. So I thought it best to just list some observations and some things we have experienced along the way thus far.
Uzbekistan must be the turquoise tile capital of the world.
It’s August and super hot outside, hovering around 100F or 37C
Cycling in the desert like atmosphere is extremely unpleasant.
The food is much better here then in previous Central Asian Countries we have visited.
People whistle at you to get your attention. You begin to feel that people are calling you like they would call a dog.
The bureaucracy borders on the insane.
Almost all the police are corrupt and not to be trusted.
There aren’t many roads and they are in horrible condition.
Watermelon sellers are everywhere and everyone buys watermelon.
Alcohol is prevalent.
Sending a package out of Tashkent requires an act of God.
Buy your train tickets in advance.
Vodka fixes traffic tickets.
Trains can and will leave before the scheduled time.
Samarkand is a must see.
Roadside eateries are everywhere and cheap.
Always check your change.
Change your money on the Black market, normally in front of the actual market.
Never eat at a restaurant with out a menu with prices and be sure to check the bill for “accidental errors.”
There are no ATMs outside of Tashkent, I’m still not convinced there are any in Tashkent.
Banks will not give you money on Saturday and are closed on Sunday
Hotels rarely take credit cards even if they tell you they do, they will not.
If I ever make it back to this part of the world I will go to see Khiva.
Negotiate for everything everywhere.
Learn a bit of Russian but when dealing with authorities pretend to know nothing.
People will purposely try to cheat you. Watch and be aware.
Not all hotels accept non residents.
B&B’s are hostels and are normally the cheapest places in town, breakfast included.
Coke is expensive.
The old city areas are normally quite beautiful.
Ask for prices first.
I haven’t seen one live camel but many golden camel statues.
Taking the Metro in Tashkent is cheap and easy.
Standing in a queue is almost equivalent to a wrestling match except the little old ladies almost always win.
We drink more then 6 liters of water per person per day while cycling.
Gas stations are all over but almost all are closed.
Most of our cycling is done on the main road.
Use the crosswalks, they work.
Uzbekistan handicrafts are amazingly detailed.
There are a lot of tourists even in the hot/low season.
The highest currency note is worth less then .50 cents US
Almost any car is a Taxi.
You can find Medicinal Alcohol for camp stoves (Trangia) in the Pharmacies.
Carrying your bags in the Tashkent metro be prepared to stop for an ID check and bag search.
Dachas in the mountains outside of Tashkent in the Chorbog area cost over $100 USD per night the one hotel is $75 USD (August 2013)
There is good Indian Food!
Bukhara has a beautiful old city, small and compact.
Authorities always what to hear how great Uzbekistan is.
Trying to remain positive about Uzbekistan can be hard, I feel like I’m waiting out the last few remaining days of a prison sentence. Where the promise of better times are just ahead. Our visas for onward travel into Tajikistan were dated for 2 weeks after our entrance into Uzbekistan. Killing time has been priority one lately, which isn’t good for either one of us. We both need a focus to keep happy and motivated. There are just a few more days left until we can leave this country and hopefully put all the bad memories behind us. Here’s some photos: