English Français Deutsch Русский Русский Home page E-mail Site map


Bazaars

Bazaars in Taskent

Alaysky bazaar Located in the center of Tashkent, Oloy Bozori (Alay Bazaar) was set up 150 years ago in the New Town. It is the most up-to-date, equipped and advanced bazaar in the city. Standing under the huge shelter, the bazaar's rows of stalls stretch as far as the eye can see. At this bazaar only first-class produce is on offer. Oloy Bozori deals almost exclusively in choice fruit and vegetables. As you walk along the rows, you most likely will find no bruised tomatoes or wilted cucumbers.
The types of products on sale at Oloy Bozori are practically the same as those you will see at other bazaars; however Oloy Bozori is still unique. Only here can you can buy all varieties of meat and poultry, including turkey, goose and duck; button and oyster mushrooms grown in greenhouses; Caspian sturgeon and Far Eastern salmon. Moreover, this bazaar is the only place where it is possible to buy bundles of leafy birch twigs (called "venniki" in Russian) for stimulating massages in the Russian sauna ("banya").
Chorsu bazaar (Eski Juva bazaar) the traditional ideal of an oriental bazaar as a place of abundant merchandise, bright colors and a lively bustle finds its embodiment in Uzbekistan. A perfect bazaar is crammed with produce, has a motley appearance and allows loud voices and exclamations; it is a place in which bargaining is intrinsic. There are 15 such large bazaars in Tashkent.
Here you will find again vegetables and fruit (under the new blue domes) as well as all the other well-known products. The Chorsu bazaar has a very but large open-air market for clothes, shoes, carpets, wood carved products, and handmade aluminum products. A very nice shopping is to wander around with guests, no matter what you are looking for.
Farkhatsky bazaar They only sell melons. The melons from the country are brought in by trucks. They dump their cargo on the streets. In September/October you see the whole street with only melons. The owners of the melon harvest stay day and night with their business. Even in winter they sleep outside in the street until they are sold out.
Hippodrome bazaar There are less fresh products and more (leather) clothes, shoes, carpets and whatever else you can imagine. It is difficult to park your car and the market is most of the time very crowded. Here you can find the real bargains. Even imported goods from India and Pakistan are sold here. If you like it, shopping here can take you a whole day.
There is also a huge and real car sale bazaar for new and second hand cars. In the recent past this was the only place where people could buy new cars. Open: everyday, except monday.
Parkentsky bazaar This bazaar is fall of bargains if you don't mind the crowd. It is a good place to buy in quantity: beer, biscuits, cigarettes, coffee, cookies, cooking oil, soft drinks, liquor etc.

Bazaars in Samarkand

The area of today's central market of Samarkand was the southern trading and crafts suburb of the city in 8th and 13th centuries. By the late 13th to early 14th centuries this territory had become a focus for urban revival after the extinction of life on Afrasiab.
Craft workshops and trading stalls, warehouses and caravanserais located between Reghistan and Afrasiab were the busy center of public life in Samarkand until the beginning of the last century. Public holidays were usually held near these places, and merchants from China, India and Iran met there to buy and exchange goods.
Situated next to the mosque and mausoleum of Bibi-Khanum, the central market of Samarkand no longer has its old buildings, but still keeps alive the spirit of the ancient trading culture of the great city, with dried fruits and nuts, traditional sweets, honey and dairy products and bread.
The many chai-khanas (pavilions for tea drinking) nearby are filled with the atmosphere of traditional Samarkand hospitality.
And finally, the characteristic Samarkand bread - "obi-non", baked in clay furnaces, is on sale in the market. This round type of bread which looks like the Sun's disk is famous for its special taste and the originality of its decoration.
The Swiss traveler Ella Mayar who visited Samarkand early in the 1930s wrote that as a European woman she was impressed by a mixture of so many different things sold there: scull-caps, soap, tobacco, braids, textiles, silk scarves, stockings, ribbons, and thick pancakes on frying pans, chunks of mutton on big trays, sparkling crystals of navat sugar… Today Chorsu is a trading exhibition hall where you can buy Samarkand craftsmen"s works.
In the old times, on a certain day once a week there used to be held trade fairs in Asian countries. Some towns and villages were even named after those "market" days: the name of the Tajikistan"s capital Dushanbe means "Monday", a small town Juma near Samarkand is "Friday". The tradition of the weekly bazaars has been maintained to the present day. One of the most well-known of such bazaars is the one held on Sundays in the ancient town Urgut, 60 kilometers from Samarkand.
Urgut is really a town of craftsmen. There live hereditary blacksmiths, potters and embroiderers. On Sundays at this bazaar you can buy modern and traditional Urgut embroideries, silver jewelry with carnelians, tapestries and carpets, traditional clothes, handmade silk and cotton textiles, and many other exotic things.

Bazaars in Bukhara

The bazaars in the historic part of Bukhara impress with their exotic character and an abundance of merchandise. At the beginning of the 20th century the American geologist and orientalist Rafael Pompelli left us the following notes: "The nature of huge Bukhara bazaar makes it the most "oriental" of all the bazaars: its narrow passages are protected from the sun with latticed roof; each type of goods is sold in a certain quarter of the city. Bukhara is famous for its unique arts and crafts: peculiar only to Bukhara are its silk textiles of exquisite colors and texture, carpets with amazing patterns, gold-embroideries and jewelry. We had bought a lot of things here, and yet later we were sorry we had not bought more." In Bukhara there have remained intact a few shopping passages under 16-century domed roofs. And they are still used for trading! The passages lie at the crossroads of the streets Toki-Zargaron ("Jewelers Dome"), Telpak-Furushon ("Headgear Salespeople"s Dome") and Toki-Saraffon ("Money-changers" Dome"). These names themselves explain what trades the residents of these streets were initially engaged in.
Today at the modernized Bukhara bazaars they sell not only the local handicrafts and agricultural products but also what has been grown in the neighboring provinces.