Trip report: Uzbekistan

All about Uzbekistan.
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Trip report: Uzbekistan

Post by Jpinilla »

The main sites are well-covered in other articles/posts, so I'll focus on things that are hopefully more unknown:

In May 2015, the unofficial exchange rate was 5000 som to the dollar. The best places to exchange were at hotels or from taxi drivers. Unless you can count as quickly as the locals and don't mind carrying a garbage bag full of money, it pays to ask for 5000 notes. Do not be afraid to insist on the black-market rate!

If you offer to pay in dollars, some hotels will give you a discount on the official price of a room, as they prefer hard currency to accepting som at the official rate. All you have to do is start counting out som and then casually mention that you could give them dollars in exchange for a discount.

It is not a good idea to rely on ATMs. Even in Tashkent, there are very few of them and they are typically empty. If you take a 'just in case' card, make sure it's Visa. Anything from MasterCard will invariably not be accepted.

It is possible to order train tickets for Uzbekistan on RZhD (Russian Railways). The site is available in English and the prices are much lower than from an agency.

Like in Russia, the train conductors in UZ often allow you to upgrade your seat on the train. When the journey is long and your tired, it's often worth the extra som to get a bed.

A few hundred meters from the train station in Bukhara, there is a beautiful palace. According to our driver, it was built for a visiting Tsar and then never used again. Few people seem to know about it, but it's a cool place to walk around and snap a few photos before your train.

Although Samarkand is definitely beautiful, anyone visiting it should try to take a day trip to the mountains. We sat in fields of poppies, swam under waterfalls, climbed on beautiful rock formations, and ate lamb roasted in the local clay ovens. Any hotel/hostel should be able to organize a driver/itinerary for around $30-40 a person.
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Re: Trip report: Uzbekistan

Post by bwv812 »

Interesting on the Kogon Palace. Like most everyone who takes the train, I went right past it without even noticing it. ... khara.html
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Re: Trip report: Uzbekistan

Post by steven »

Some good advice here. For hotels, I would bargain all the time, som or dollar, doesn't matter. They will always give at least a little discount. I bargain for everything in Uzbekistan, down to the price of the toilet. :-)
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