Samarkand and through it and the other major Silk Road cities, Bukhara and Khiva, make Uzbekistan a place for tour groups and armchair travelers. No longer is it hard to get to, and every major Silk Road city in it is a tourist trap.
Almost all places you go, you will be asked to pay an entrance fee. Really no big money, few bucks. However, the clerk will ask you if yo gonna shoot a video or snap. If you say yes, you will pay an extra without a receipt. Normally, all places are free to take a snap/video but you dont know it.
Unique Suggestions: Don't pay an extra for shooting as it is free of charge unless otherwise offcially specified.
Fun Alternatives: You don't want to argue with locals anywhere so when shooting better not to do it in an open and careless way as they may feel offended.
There are kid beggars around historical places. Mostly girls, notices you are a foreigner and sticks to you. Moves whereever you go and starts to sing a local prayer until you pay her.
Unique Suggestions: Better to pretend they don't existand walk away.
While Chorsu for me stands/stood for bazaar in the several Uzbek cities I visited (and I still don’t know what the name stands for), and LP described this one as “market arcade”, I thought I could have a look inside, maybe for silk.
What a *** disappointment !! Well – tourist trap par excellence !
I paid 1000 som just to look at contemporary art, paintings and statues, which is for sale……. Inside, it is hospital-clean-white, so not even a glimpse of trading dome – or yes, of rip-off trading.
You best should give this one a miss and spend the 1000 som elsewhere.
Oops, as I did not made any pictures – this is the rounded shaped little building east of (or behind) Registan’s Sher Dor Medressa.
As I consider this both, tourist trap and warning, I’ll double it. Please be fair to the system and if, only rate it once (either here or there – thanks).
In our www world, I still love to send postcards from special travels to people dear to me, thus also from Uzbekistan.
First, it was a bit tricky to find the post office (I was given several different locations), then I found it in Tashkent street (the pedestrian one between Registan and bazaar). With the help of a map, the girl even managed to understand my destinations, written in English, and I even saw how she put stamps on the cards………. but none ever arrived (correct me dear friends if one actually found its way to Sweden, Scotland, Germany, NZ or Australia).
If you still want to send postcards – don’t even think to do it from Samarkand !!!! However, I cannot give a recommendation about which city actually sends cards; Tashkent maybe.
If you still want to send postcards to overseas’ friends, better buy cards and send them from home. If you want to send cards to nearby friends and family, better get them a nice souvenir.
As described at the Resaturant tip it is a nice place but tourists pay clearly more than locals.
Unique Suggestions: Ask for a Menu with pricelist. Uzbek is now written in Latin characters so you should in principle be able to read the names of the dishes.
If you plan to visit other places in Uzbekistan and plan to buy souveniers and local handcraft things - don't buy the first thing you see in the madrassahs in Registan square - you'll find the same things at least 30 percent cheaper in Bukhara or Khiva.
Unique Suggestions: Still, if you can't help yourself and are really set on buying something, try at least to bargain - start at half the offered price and go up a bit as the sellers lower their prices.
Fun Alternatives: Ask the locals about the usual market where they shop themselves, or as I said, wait until you get to Bukhara - there's a huge market with friendlier people and prices.