Before we arrived in Uzbekistan, we met so many travelers raving about the quality of the Uzbek guesthouses and B&B’s but also complaining about how expensive they were. They were right on both accounts. In our 2 weeks in Uzbekistan, we were pleasantly surprised to stay in nice rooms which in most cases we even had our own bathroom and toilet which is quite special in Central Asia. Every morning we were treated with a scrumptious breakfast, naan, eggs, yoghurt, curd, pastries and fruit. We negotiated hard as the end of the tourist season is nearing, however, the average price per night was still quite high – $ 28.60 per night.
These were our homes in Uzbekistan (and yes, carpets is a big thing here):
Fergana – Valentina’s Guesthouse
Tashkent – Gulnara’s B&B
Samarkand – Abdurahmon Guesthouse
Bukhara – Ilyos & Madina
Khiva – Alibek
Nukus – Jipek Joli (extremely colorful yurt)
Our last night in Uzbekistan was spent in a sleeper train from Nukus to Tashkent. It was a train ride like in novels, with traders rushing up and down the hallways laden with goods from Russia and Kazachstan, as our train originated from St. Petersburg. Train conductors with stiff uniforms and enormous hats tried to keep some sort of order in our carriage. We were lucky to have a compartment with a mother and daughter, nice and quiet, and more importantly not a bunch of men travelling with their beloved bottles of wodka.
We kept our train tickets carefully as this is our proof on where we had spent this night. In Uzbekistan, an important law forces all travellers to spend the night only at places where you can be registered. So everytime we arrived in a guesthouse or B&B, our host would always register us for the night(s) and as proof provide us with a small slip of paper which must be signed and stamped. Apparently this was also a factor contributing to the high accommodation prices as the guesthouses would also need to pay an amount to the government for accepting foreigners.
When we departed Uzebekistan, we needed to hand over our registration slips together with our passport before we got our exit stamps. Luckily in our next ‘stan – Tajikistan, we won’t need to collect any slips or register anymore.