Exploring Tashkent

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Sunday, October 19, 2014.

To the uninformed, it would seem that the giant green dome of the Old Town is of a place of worship. However, inside is the huge meat market at Chorsu Bazaar with dozens of butcher stalls. I guess it still is a place of worship — if you’re a carnivore.


Tashkent’s Metro network is a fast and convenient way to get around the sprawling metropolis. It is also safe and secure — so secure that there are police at every entry, exit, and turnstile. Make sure you have your passport on you; they’ll ask to see it after they search your bag each time.

A video posted by Erik (@theglobaltrip) on

A long row of water streams comprise the fountains by the Senate building in Mustaquilik Maydoni (Independence Square).

“...and then he said, The Aristocrats!” – the laughing ladies at Mustaquilik Maydoni.

Walking to the Crying Mother monument, who is shedding tears for the 400,000 Uzbek soldiers killed in WWII.

The National Library of Uzbekistan had many leather-bound books and smells of rich mahogany.

The Amir Temur State History Museum not only has artifacts from centuries of Uzbek history, but it’s a popular stage for wedding photography and videos. This is one bride and groom; another pair of newlyweds was waiting their turn outside.

In the center of the eponymous square stands a statue of Amir Temur (aka Tamerlame), one of Central Asia’s great nomadic conquerors. Although Muslim, he claimed and considered himself to be a heir of Ghenghis Khan.

Funky facade of the 4-star Hotel Uzbekistan.

“They have this wonderful statue, and the most horrendous building behind it,” said a middle-aged man in an Aussie accent to a guy that I assumed was his guide, when I was at the Amir Temur statue. He was referring to the Hotel Uzbekistan, a building he wasn’t too fond of. He made sure he took his photo at a different angle, with the classic Dom Forum building behind instead.

“That’s what I did,” I interjected. Little did I know at the time that that wouldn’t be my only encounter with those two.

From the Hotel Uzbekistan, I took the Metro to the main railway station, where Akmal said I should get a taxi to his place on the outskirts of town. I didn’t realize how out they were until drivers were declining to go, and I felt like I was trying (and failing) to get a taxi from Manhattan to Brooklyn in the early 2000s.

One driver took me though, provided we could fill the car with other fares on the way. He’d pull over to people hailing him down, ask “where” and “how much,” and immediately speed off and leave them hanging if he didn’t agree. He picked up one woman though, and I don’t know what their exchange was, but he soon pulled over and told her to get out. In the end, it was just me who got the ride all the way to the Kuluk pyet (5) district.

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Next entry: Farewell Akmal

Previous entry: Tashkent: A Proper City

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This dispatch is one of over 70 travel dispatches from the trip grouped and titled, "The Global Trip: 'Stan By Me." It's an archived compilation of Instagram and Facebook posts which chronicled a trip through three countries in Central Asia: Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

Next entry:
Farewell Akmal

Previous entry:
Tashkent: A Proper City


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