If you think that you see the tomb and sarcophagus from 5th century, you make a big mistake. The "tomb" is restored and there is an 18m sarcophagus inside, definitely not from 5th century (not from 15th century either...)
Unique Suggestions: Do not buy ticket - please believe me, it is not worthy.
Fun Alternatives: Ishratkhana Mausoleum - really the Tomb Raider style with pigeons and a crypt in the basement. These ruins are worth of 2km walk!
While I was travelling through Uzbekistan, I was quite angry about this all the time, but later, after being back, I finally came to peace with it.
Be aware that tourists have to pay more than locals. This is a simple rule, as we westerners have definitely the better income. Already the price we pay for the flights is more than average Uzbek families have to live with for a month. So it is only logical that we have to pay higher entrance fees and also additional fees for taking pictures and videos.
My photo is of the price list for Tashkent’s Museum of Fine Arts. Locals pay 600 som entrance fee, even lower for students or schoolkids. Foreigners pay 3000 som entrance fee and an additional 4000 som for taking photos and 6000 som for taking videos.
Unique Suggestions: Just accept this fact.
Some restaurants do have the habit of charging you an additional service fee. This itself is not the problem (as it is widely done all over the world). It will become a problem for the non-Russian speaking, as it is written on the menu in Russian, and the waiters won’t inform you about that. Why should they, as it is customs.
Look for this word: БСЛ = 10% in this case. It means that 10% tax will be added to the prices.
Uzbek people are lovely, friendly and helpful. They do so much to help and just expect a smile in return.
This does not apply for 80% of the taxi drivers. They are the best tourist traps, born to rip tourists off.
If you want to hire a taxi, be it for within town or for overland travel, make sure you have info on the actual prices. Hotels usually can provide you with these.
Don’t believe any taxi driver when he tells about high gas prices or any other excuses. Check gas prices, when you pass by a station – so that you will always have a counterargument.
Fix the price by writing it on paper, and make sure it is the price you (and your travel party) will pay when getting off.
Do not hand out any money, before you have your entire luggage in your hand.
Have a map in your hand when asking the taxi drivers for directions or to bring you somewhere. Point on the locations so that he knows that you are well aware where you are and where you want to go.
Unique Suggestions: .
Popular games of these oh so nice guys are:
* you have fixed a price of say 3000 sum, and you have fixed this 3000 sum for say all 3 of your party. When you get off, he will claim that the price of 3000 sum is only for one person,
=> give him 3000 sum, and leave.
* even if you have fixed a price, he will tell you another price when getting off, and pretend that this was the only price discussed,
=> give him the amount you have fixed, and leave.
* if you start arguing and your luggage is still in the car, he will get in and be away quicker than you have an idea what is happening,
=> get your luggage first, then hand over the money,
In case, the argumentation does not lead to an end, tell him, you will call the police – militatsia.
This WILL bring ANY discussion to an end, in favour of yours !
BTW: in these cases, most of taxi drivers will suddenly understand English very well !
Fun Alternatives: .
Another nice game one of these sweethearts tried, was as follows:
we went into a car, which did not have safety belts. Driver was driving like Michael Schumacher, so we told him to slow down a bit, as we would not like to flow through the window. The window had a small crack.
After some meters, he started to yell and cry and told us, we are responsible for this crack in his window.... We laughed and told him, hahaha..
He suddenly stopped somewhere, some guys gathered around us (= 2 tourists, 5 Uzbeks; not a confidence building ratio...). Big arguments, about us having destroyed his window.
I finally pointed to the outside of the window and asked them how we should manage to break the window on the outside, whilst sitting inside.... ?
Argument continued. I said, well, goodbye then, grabbed the daypack and wanted to leave.
Argument stopped, suddenly one of them spoke proper English and said, yes, the driver understood that it was not us who broke the window.
We continued to our final destination... and suddenly that SOB wanted additional 20 USD for the window. I smiled my most gruesome smile, said militatsia and went.
He gave up.
You can be overcharged in prices in hostels and shops.
Unique Suggestions: If you are patiee and be calm, aks for lower prices and you might have a chance. like in bed and breakfast that is 15 dollars you can ask for 10. you have nothing to loose.
Before you go down the stairs in the subway you have to be checked by the police. you have to pass a metal detector and if you go with a big backpack they will want to check your bag out. dont allowed it and say you are a tourist. they will let you go.
Cheap hotels in Central Asia tend to offer you what you actually pay for them. Nothing and you'll always prefer of giving a bit more after you already pay and chose for a cheap low quality, stinky bathrooms, cold water, dirty facilities...
Unique Suggestions: Give more for your well being. If you have one for $5us and one for $12, give youself the leasure of haveing a good night rest, specially if you're coming from long jorneys where a nice bath and nice bed will be very apreciated.
Taxi drivers will try to overcharge you in the price so always ask local people how much proximately will your trip cost.
Unique Suggestions: This way, asking people how much will certain things cost you'll have a decent idea of prices and you can bargain with taxi drivers and mini bus drivers.
Tourists and therefore tourist traps in Uzbekistan are fairly rare, mainly because it's well off the beaten track. It's also fairly expensive to fly there, because it's not on any of the major routes. So I wouldn't worry about falling into any tourist traps.
When getting a bus place often people over charge you. so ask people before you actually go and by the ticket. Many time you have to buy the ticket to the ticket man that assists the driver.
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