Coastline at Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Return to Uzbekistan

By 6:30am, we were out the door and on to the road in front of our rented apartment in Dushanbe.

Our flight to Tashkent didn't leave until 10:30am, and the airport was only a 20 minute taxi ride, but I had read horror stories of customs problems at Dushanbe airport where they target foreign travelers with bribes etcetera so I wanted to make sure we had lots of time to deal with that if a problem came up.

We were quick to get picked up by a taxi, and at that hour there was very little traffic. The ride to the airport cost 40 TJS ($3.65 USD, $5 CAD).

We couldn't even check in until 7:30am, so we were definitely there with lots of time to spare. Better early than late though.

Got checked in, and went through passport control. I was a little nervous about this because there are a lot of stories out there about corrupt officials at Dushanbe airport. They come up with reasons to try to relieve you of some of your cash... hold you back, and threaten to have you miss your plane. Things like that. There were a whole bunch of people fired back in 2021, but there are still some problems based on recent reports. 

Fortunately, nobody seemed bothered by us, and we didn't have any problems. The only issue is that we took out too much Tajikistan money and so we have leftover equivalent of about $40 CAD which we may not be able to exchange anywhere outside of Tajikistan. 

Our Uzbekistan Airlines plane.

It's a one hour flight from Dushanbe to Tashkent. The flight cost us $84 USD ($117 CAD) each. It was totally uneventful (the way you want a flight to be!) and we departed and arrived right on schedule. I actually had a snooze for part of it, so it went by really quickly.

Arrived in Tashkent.

Spitting with rain on and off in Tashkent, with a high of about 15C (60F).

We got a Yandex Go taxi and the cost to our hotel was 33,000 SOM ($2.85 USD, $3.70 CAD). We had kept quite a lot of SOM from when we were in Uzbekistan a week ago, so still had some cash.

Tashkent is more expensive than we thought it would be, but it's the capital city and of course most capital cities around the world are expensive. I had a hard time finding us suitable accommodation for under $45 CAD ($33 USD) a night, and that's what we ended up paying.

It's a new hotel/hostel and I booked us a double bed with in room en suite bathroom. It's a tiny room, but we have access to the common areas so it'll be fine.

Ruth in the lobby.
Looks pretty fancy, doesn't it?


And it is nice enough, but our room is right by the lobby so we hear anything that goes on out there.
Fortunately, there wasn't much going on overnight and it was reasonably quiet.

Bathroom is fine.

We had only had a bowl of cold cereal before we left this morning, so we were pretty hungry. A lot of restaurant choices that are walking distance from our hotel, and we picked a Vietnamese Pho place. It was really good, but a bit more expensive than we thought it should be. Still, it was good enough that we might go back.

We shared a small bowl of Pho.

And we split three spring rolls.

Just enough to keep us going until dinner time. Total bill was 88,000 SOM ($9.90 CAD, $7.15 USD).

We needed some exercise, so despite the occasional drop of rain, we went out for a walk...

We walked around this park where they had a pond with boats for rent and a small amusement park.

It is fall in Tahskent.

Lots of swans and ducks.

And lots of leaves on the ground.

We relaxed for a bit back at the hotel, then went to a nearby German themed restaurant for dinner at about 7:30pm.

We knew it was a bit pricey, but it was raining and we didn't want to walk too far. Bit of a strange place. They make their own beer, which was quite nice. And the food was decent. But they have these big comfy couches and they don't really fit the tables. And they have three or four big video screens that were playing rap (we call it crap!) music. Lots of swearing and bad language in English. Like I said, a bit odd. I think someone must have complained about the music because they changed it to something a bit more mellow.

A full bottle of wine was much better value than just a glass.

My mug of beer was quite nice.

I had the homemade sausage.

And Ruth had the chicken breast and salad.
And we shared a plate of grilled vegetables.

The bill was 416,556 SOM ($46.70 CAD, $33.75 USD) which included a 20% service charge and a 1.5% fee to use a credit card to pay. It costs us 2.5% to take out cash, so using a credit card is a better deal. The "service charge" is instead of a tip, and we have seen it here in Uzbekistan range from 7% to 20%. 

So, a bit more than we would normally pay, but considering it included a whole bottle of wine, really not to bad. Can't afford to do that on a regular basis though!

Spitting with rain again this morning, but we are going out exploring anyhow. We have rain coats!

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Fantastic deal on this 110 Watt Folding Solar Panel plus there is a $15 off coupon showing.

And in Canada...

4 comments:

  1. Another great city! The food looks really good.

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    1. It is a nice city, I don't think our two full days here is going to be enough time. Our meals were great, although our dinner one was a bit expensive by local standards.

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  2. One time in Merida we checked into a small "boutique" hotel and found out that our room was right off the lobby. The door was actually right next to the front desk! We knew that would drive us nuts if people came in late or left early in the morning, so we asked if they had other rooms available. Sure, if we were willing to take twin beds, we could have a room upstairs. DEAL! It was very quiet and comfy, and we were so glad we changed rooms. Your meals looked enjoyable! The foliage there looks about like NC right now.

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    Replies
    1. I am thinking that maybe we should have done like you but the room has actually been quite quiet over night so we will just stay put, it is only for three nights. To be honest our last two nights here have been the best sleep that we have over the last week.

      Both meals were good but the dinner one was a little more expensive by the local economy. Kevin's sausage dish was better presented that my chicken dish but they were both pretty tasty.

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