View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Monday, November 6, 2023

Dushanbe is an interesting city

99% of you will have never heard of the city of Dushanbe. I admit that until I started researching this trip, I had never heard of it either! But Dushanbe is the capital of Tajikistan, and is similar in size to our hometown of Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Population about 1.2 million.

Dushanbe is a modern city, and I'm surprised that it's not more popular with western tourists. There is even a five star Hyatt Regency Hotel. 

A short walk from our apartment is the north entrance to the huge Botanical Gardens. It cost 5 TJS ($0.46 USD, $0.62 CAD) per person to get in.

While it's billed as a botanical garden, it's really just a big park. There are some small sections with special flowers and plants, but the rest is park space with wooden pavilions. On a Sunday, it's a popular spot.

Ruth, at the Dushanbe Botanical Gardens.

Ready for a wedding?

Some of the pavilions were done up like a wedding venue. And we did see photo shoots being done with people wearing wedding attire. So we're not sure if they were actually getting married here, or if it was just for the photo opportunities.

The rose garden.

Wedding doves ready to take flight.

Ruth, at the energy tree!

Lots of people out enjoying the day.

We have yet to see what appear to be any western tourists. We stand out like a sore thumb, and we attract a lot of stares, but everybody is very friendly. Some of the children say hello in English, but hello and bye-bye seem to be the only English they know. We did see one family that was speaking English but their small children had bicycles and they looked like they live here. Possibly because there is a U.S. embassy here. Canada does not have an embassy here... they handle all central Asia issues through the Kazakhstan embassy in Astana.

Some of the pavilions have some intricate woodwork.

Another one ready for a wedding?

There was a young woman taking photographs at this one, and we figured out it was her who had done the decorating. She offered to take our photo here...


The main entrance.

We continued to the southern part of the park.

A hazy view of the city.

Horse and buggy rides in the park.

We came across a bit of an odd scene. They were videoing some dancing with a guy who was mouthing the song. Some kind of music video? Who knows...

I took my own video for you...

Yes, there are a lot of photos of the President around.

We exited the park and headed down to Independence Square.

There were more parks along the way.

Wow. Beautiful flowers.

This massive building is the Five Star Hotel Somoni.

It has been under construction for 17 years! Originally scheduled to open in 2018, it caught fire in 2019. The most recent reports I can find say that it is scheduled to open at the end of 2023 under the Marriot brand name. 

More roses.

This huge monument was built last year.

This big empty plaza started to remind us of Turkmenistan. A huge glitzy monument, with nobody around. Although, it was a warm afternoon and there is absolutely zero shade. Still, very odd. I took a video for you...

Me, at the entrance gate to Independence Square.

Sunset from our 7th floor apartment.

Yesterday, we had seen a guy doing rotisserie chicken so we figured we would pick up some veggies and buy one of his chickens for dinner. But we got there and he was closed up. Must be because it was Sunday. We had a plan B though, and walked a little further to the Chatr Cafe. Really nice little spot, and the girl who served us spoke English really well. Probably our best meal to date here in Tajikistan. we both had the chicken curry with rice, and we ordered what turned out to be a huge plate of steamed veggies... broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, squash, carrots, peppers. We were stuffed. I had a sparkling water, and ruth had a non alcoholic mulled cider of some kind. Total bill was 150 TJS ($13.80 USD, $18.90 CAD), which is the same as what we paid for that overpriced lunch meal up in the mountains. 

Record low deal on the Instant Pot 6 Quart Air Fryer.

And in Canada...

Fantastic deal on Vice Grip Locking Pliers.


  1. November 6th is Constitution Day in Tajikistan. Great videos! The square is massive.

    1. There doesn't appear to be anything on the go for Constitution Day here. I checked things out on the internet and all I could find is the president normally gives a speech that day but I saw nothing about any kind of ongoing events.

      The square is massive but probably no bigger than the main square in Mexico City.


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