Ciraq Kitab Magazansi: Secular & Christian Books
The shop has a selection of new and used books, nothing great but when you're in a non-English speaking country you must make do with what you can find. There are a large selection of bibles and Christian themes as it is a Christian business.
What to buy: Lonely Planet guide books were avaialbe for many places and popular novels.
What to pay: It's over the top of marked US prices.Related to:
- Religious Travel
- Budget Travel
TenBaki: Pipe Smoker's Delight
A fine selection of pipes, hookahs, and tobaccos along with gentleman's goods and on-site lighter repair shop!
What to buy: Tobacco other than cigarettes were hard to come by and this was one of two stores that I came across that was geared to serve the refined smoker.
What to pay: Tobacco ran from 3.50 Manat for American packaged goods e.g. Captain Black to 8 Manat for tins of English cuts.Related to:
- Luxury Travel
- Arts and Culture
Vodka - it's eveywhere !: Vodka
Every corner store
What to buy: I just couldn't resist all the vodka they sell in Azerbaijan. They sell imported, domestic, funny bottles, cheap vodka, expensive vodka, it's all there at every turn. I wanted to sample them all, but ended up hauling back only a single bottle which disappeared fast.
What to pay: $ 3 - $40 US.
Buying carpets in Azerbaijan
This shop is right in the middle of the old city of Baku, but on a road that has traffic, just off the pedestrian-only area.
The building is hundreds of years old and perfectly suited for a carpet and antique shop.
What to buy: Carpets and other weavings.
Carpets older than 50 years are not allowed out of Azerbaijan. So when you buy a carpet, you'll need what's called a 'Carpet Passport'. This is a document which verifies that the carpet is of a certian age, origin, etc. It is assesed by a government body after you buy it (can take as little as 2-3 hours to do) and comes with a photo and the buyer's name and passport number.
What's good is this legal organization that asseses the carpets is not connected to the carpet shop so the carpet salesman can't tell you it's older/more expensive than it really is.
When you leave Azerbaijan you can then show this document to the customs officials and they will let the carpet out.
This costs US $50 but should be paid for by the carpet shop.
The shop asked me to pay for my carpet and told me they would have the passport made. I was with an Azeri whom I trusted that knew the shop owner - otherwise I would not have left my money there without taking the carpet. But you can trust this shop!
What to pay: US $200-$20,000. You might be able to bargain. I bargained by about 30% and got it for that price.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Caspian Fish Co.: Caviar from the Caspian
Caspian Fish Co. has shops all over Baku and some in the regions. There you can buy different fish but most importantly you can get the best caviar in the world! Both red and black caviar are available in these shops.
What to buy: Beluga is of course the best type of caviar around and it is also the most expensive. You can buy them in small cans because by law you can only take 200gr out of the country. Caspian Sea provides 90% of the world's caviar supply because it has sturgeon but the sturgeons are endagered species. Anyway, if you are in Azerbaijan, you can not leave without having tried some of the wonderful local caviar! Caviar is also a big part of the Azeri eating culture...
What to pay: A small can of caviar (110gr) is around $30-$50. Compare that to $300-$500 that you'd pay in New York or London.Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
- Food and Dining
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