Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan. All tourists must go through this city at some point during their travels within the country. However, unlike its Silk Road counterparts, the city was levelled by a massive earthquake in 1966. The city was rebuilt with a heavy Soviet influence.
When we first arrived in Tashkent from Almaty, we stayed for about 15 hours (including 8 hours of sleeping) before leaving. Based on other travellers, the city is a good place to pass through. Returning to Tashkent, we decided to give the city another chance.
After taking the overnight train from Urgench, we arrived back in Tashkent bright and early at 07:00. We got to our hostel but of course, it was too early to check in. Two days of no shower continued…
After several cups of tea and a long chat about politics with the hostel manager, we eventually got our room and freshened up.
Lunch was at some hole in the wall restaurant that served us plov, Uzbekistan’s national dish of rice and meat, and some mystery soup with rice and animal fat. Let’s just say I wasn’t feeling so good afterwards.
We went into Mirabad Bazaar where we were accosted by moneychangers. For old times sake!
We walked to Amir Temur Park, a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city. A few years back, this park was lined with trees and old guys playing chess. But the president cut the shady trees down, apparently for unobstructed views of the buildings he built but no one can go inside.
Walking down the pedestrian-only Sayilgoh Street was pleasant. People were out and about enjoying the sunny spring day.
One particular section of the park was where the artists hung out and sold their art.
We finished the day in Tashkent with some Uzbek ice cream. Knock-off Snickers and a very Soviet print.
We took the Tashkent metro back. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take any photos of the subway stations because of the strict security measures. But each station has a theme to it and is beautifully decorated, just like in Moscow. It was cool to see each station while waiting at each stop.
We were happy to see some bits of Tashkent. Perhaps we could’ve stayed another day, but onto bigger and better things!
- Accommodations: We stayed in Topchan Hostel and Sunrise Caravan, but we both preferred Topchan. It actually felt like a hostel with plenty of showers and toilets and lots of bright colours. A big kitchen allows guests to cook. And comfortable beds! Sunrise Caravan was a bit dark. There were only one toilet and two showers for men and same for women. And their beds are are barely nothing. I woke up with a sore back because I felt the bed frame all night long.
- Eating: Anor, a restaurant with a picture menu! Many Urgyur specialities and cheap.
- Coffee: Angel’s Café is a posh-looking coffee shop with good coffee.