Having just spent 8 days in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (with a one day trip to Samarkand)...let me just say that it ain't Russia. Though a part of the former Soviet Union-and certainly influenced by Russian culture- it differs in many ways. For the hobby...Tashkent doesn't offer the numbers or opportunities that one would find in most Russian cities of similar size (Tashkent has a population of 2.5 million). There are simply less women-and less Russian women (Russians are only about 10% of the population) here than in Bishkek for example (Kyrgzstan's population is about 50% Russian).
Tashkent is essentially a low-key, relaxed kind of place that has some night spots, and some very pretty women of Uzbek, Russian, Arab, Chinese, Turkish, Korean, Persian nationalities (plus interesting mixtures of the above). However, if you have experienced Moscow's Nightflight or Chesterfields, or have picked up "regular" women sitting in the cafes or strolling the streets of Saint Petersburg, etc...you will probably be bored here. As for myself, I contented myself with "regular" women whom I had contacted on the internet...prior to arriving in Tashkent.The women you will find, are friendly and accommodating...but they are fewer in number and don't seem to have that hungry, passionate, sophisticated nature of their Russian cousins.On the bright side, Tashkent doesn't have the paranoid, back-stabbing, nasty atmosphere that Russia has. You will relax here. Even the Russians are courteous here. It really is far from Moscow!
Surprisingly, Uzbekistan was rather clean when compared with Russia. Tashkent for example, had brigades of people of all ages, cleaning sidewalks and streets of refuse and sweeping away fallen tree branches. Like other cities in the former Soviet Union, Tashkent has many trees and parks. However, people in Uzbekistan seem to be more respectful of public property and keep their city fastidiously clean.There are quite a number of smallish clubs and discos in Tashkent. Everyone knows them, so it is easy to hop in a taxi (real tazis with signage and just about everyone else driving a car) and they are all within the city center. FYI...it only costs $1USD to get from one place to another (less for natives) in the Uzbek currency (1,000 sum=$1USD at this time).
The prices for the girls are $40-50 for the night at the clubs. The only exception is the "upscale" Nightflight type girls at the Jazz Cafe in the Hotel Le Meridien. While in reality, they cannot compare with the quality and quantity at Moscow's Nightflight, they are probably the best you will find in Tashkent. Unfortunately, they are asking for $150+ because the military contractors who work in Afghanistan, stay there-AND ARE CONFINED TO THE HOTEL- for their stay. This is due to the recent terrorism and the belief that al-Queda is targeting Westerners, Americans, etc (untrue) here. Nonetheless, the girls know the guys are "captive" so they charge accordingly.
Here are the
SkyClub: a disco in the Hotel Bumi and with a youngish crowd of 18 year old Russians and Uzbeks...some for hire. $4.00 (payable in local currency) cover. $5 on Saturdays. Girls will ask for $100 (don't they all)...but will take much less, depending on your negotiating talent. Young, handsome twentysomething Westerners can get it for a few drinks. Closes at 4:00 or 5:00am, depending on the day of the week.
Diplomat: a "gentleman's club," also in the Hotel Bumi. $10 to get in. Some real looker-hookers here...so move fast as they tend to get taken early (one of the reasons I concentrated on "regular women").
FM Bar, Broadway Bar and Star Club: All near the Broadway Restaurant in the city center. Not bad..but not Chesterfields in Moscow either. Mostly empty with few girls.
Other venues are Juliana's (spelling?: i went to this place right before closing (2:00AM) and could not believe the numbers of local babes here. Definately requires further investigation. If I go back to Tashkent, I will make this my first stop.
Not much to write home about. Just not a lot of venues...and no Western fast food. Just a few Turkish owned and managed places serving second rate burgers and kebabs, like Mir Cafe and the Broadway Bar across the street from each other in the center.My favorite place was the Italian restaurant, "Little Italy" at the Hotel Bumi (also home of the Sky Club and the Diplomat). They make a fairly good pizza, plus they deliver. The second floor bar here is a good spot to meet the many regular girls who pass through here. Internet cafes: They are everywhere in Tashkent...and like everywhere else in the world, a good place to meet women.
Tashkent has some good hotels-Intercontinental, Radisson, Le Meridien and some others. However, they are all over-priced.The best bet is to rent an apartment in the center. While the standard may not be as high as that of the new Moscow Star apartments, it is sufficient.
I contacted all the services advertising on the internet and I found the most responsive-and responsible- to be a one run by a mixed Russian/Uzbek man named Azamat Kurbanov. He has about 5 apartments in the center...all very nice and clean (better than Kiryl and Natasha's apartments in Moscow). He charged me $20 per night for a nice 2 bedroom in the center...plus he can provide transfers to/from the airport for $10USD each way. This is the rate set my the Tashkent "taxi cartel."He can also arrange tours to Samarkand, etc...plus just show your around. Also, he will give you an Uzbek SIM card to use during your stay.He can be reached at: email@example.com His telephone is: (99871) 672-272, Mobile: (99871) 157-6618
Would I go back? Yes. I want to see Buhkhara. Samarkand was really nice and I expect that Buhkhara is interesting as well. Also, I will stop here on my way to the more Russified Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. I have had Kazak girls before (in Mongolia) and they are hot, hot, hot!Is it safe? IMHO...yes. I saw French and Japanese tourists in Tashkent and Samarkand. Also, the recent terrorism was directed at the repressive government and police, NOT at U.S. interests or Westerners. Getting there: No...you don't have to fly on old Aeroflot Tu-154s. You can fly on British Airways, Turkish (my method), Uzbek (they use Airbus equipment) and Transaero from Moscow (Boeings).
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