The best place to experience Central Asia and Uzbekistan is in the bazaars or eastern markets. Apart from its primary purpose of buying and selling or the place for vendors and consumers, the Bazaar is a place of interaction, the place for friends to meet and news and gossip or as the Uzbeks say "uzun kulak gaplar - long ear gossips" to be discussed. If you visit Uzbekistan you should surely go to a bazaar. Its noisiness, variety, bright colors, hustle and bustle will leave unforgettable memories for good. There is nothing like visiting an open - air market or bazaar to get the full essence of Uzbekistan. Here a traveler can experience the noise, hustle and bustle, exotic aromas and bright colorful produce abundantly. Everywhere are the sounds of upbeat conversation, loud bargaining, and friendly salutations.
Clouds of spice aromas fill the areas of bazaars, enticing you with the promise of delicious local flavor. Nutmeg, cloves, red and black pepper, saffron, cardamom and thyme are among the herbs and spices abundantly available. Near the spices are bags of rice, white balls of Kurt, (dried cottage cheese), and sugar. Vendors compete with one another, calling out tempting offers of dried apricots, raisins, almonds and pistachios, walnuts and peanuts. During the summer and autumn there is a wide variety of fruit: grapes, pomegranates, apricots - which are also dried and sold at other times of the year - and dwarfing them all and mountains of honeydew.
Market ware is displayed on the ground or on tables, and sometimes in stalls or stands. You are encouraged to try a national specialty of peanuts boiled in sugar or honey and sprinkled heavily with sesame seeds. In summer and autumn the piles of huge water melons and melons, the variety of which is overwhelming, can’t help but impress any tourist visiting this country. Honey pears, rosy apples, and sweet grapes of black, amber and pink can also be found in Uzbekistan bazaars. Besides them, you will find irresistible arrays of ruby - seeded pomegranates, prunes, peaches, yellow figs and orange persimmons which market vendors also proudly offer. Also on display at Uzbekistan bazaars are arts and crafts reflecting traditional Uzbekistan culture. Many vendors have stands where they actually make their products and sell them on the spot. These include wares such as jewelry, ceramics, and gold embroidery. There is hand - made apparel for men and women, and carpentry work of wood chests decorated with metal. Knife makers are selling their craft, as well as designers of musical instruments. Many basket weavers are here selling their woven delights. Of course, the tourist will also find several vendors of oriental carpets, not only from areas of Uzbekistan but also from Turkey, Belgium, and Afghanistan. One can have no doubt that here is reflected the true heritage of Uzbekistan and its vital connection to the famous Silk Road. The best part of the bazaar is the bargaining. Bargaining is not only allowed, but expected. People just love to bargain.
Many bazaars and marketplaces are more than thousands of years. Some of the more modern bazaars are located in spacious pavilions under colorful tiled domes. Some are even equipped with refrigerators. Bazaar activity begins very early in the morning and continues until dark. A tour of Uzbekistan is not complete without a visit to at least one Uzbekistan bazaar.
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