Saturday, 3 November 2012

More exotic souvenirs from Uzbekistan.............take a look

The Uzbek Tea Set in the design of the Ikats

With the Master of Metalwork , Abdullo
I have traveled to Uzbekistan 5 times in 2 years and when ever it's time for me to leave for home it's always a nightmare  for me as i have to worry about the excess baggage which i have to pay at the airport. My local partner in Tashkent is getting use to this . To make matters worse, most of the time i travel back alone minus my friends like the last time i had to continue doing my recce in Ferghana Valley and the year before i had to continue to check out on Russia.

It is just not possible for me to split out the excess baggage among my passengers. There are so many things to bring home. The nuts of Uzbekistan,  they just drive me nuts. I will bring home kilos of almonds, pistachios, black raisins, golden raisins, chickpeas, dried apricots ( but they are really juicy) apricot seeds -rich in B 17 and so much cheaper here in Uzbekistan  than the price we have to pay in Malaysia. There is one particular item which they "hastak" which is a must for me to bring home. Its dried  apricots with almonds, walnuts mixed with raisins. It's real yummy plus they are good for the heart. Don't forget they have good mountain honey. Until now i have one former traveller who request for the honey every time i go. Its just extending a favor but off course he pays for the excess weight too.

When i mentioned to the group, they never really think so highly about the Uzbekistan honey and always comparing with the Manuka honey from New Zealand. But once they go to the mountain and taste themselves , most will buy at least 1 kg to bring home. I will remind and pre warn them though. I kg is equivalent to 1 kg of excess baggage. You have  to check in honey in your luggage. Don't dare to take in as a hand luggage, you will be very disappointed. Uzbekistan honey is delicious  and the price is just unbelievable compare to 1 kg of other brands you have in the market here.

If its autumn , the situation can be real bad. I will bring back persimmons, grapes & peaches and other fruits for the family and friends. That is one reason why i always keep the visit to the bazaar one final round before i leave for the airport.

What about non perishable souvenirs??!! If you are house proud and you like to decorate your walls, halls, bedrooms, kitchen, you have plenty to choose. Ceramics- Gijdhuvan, Rishton, or from Shakhrizabs are the popular ones and they have lovely fruits bowls, platters, nut bowls etc. When come to this , i always here husbands grumbling with their wives because they are the ones who will have to carry as hand luggage in the end, ha ha ha. They have good packaging  ready for the purchasers .

The have copper or silver tooling just like the "damasquinado " in Spain but off course , the price in Uzbekistan are 5 times cheaper . You can see some working right in front of you and 1 good place to see them at work is at the stalls near the Ismail Samani Mausoleum & Chasmi Ayub in Buxoro. You can bargain and their price are reasonable for the quality that you get.

Uzbekistan is famous for their fine lacquer work. You can buy little trinket boxes from as low as 5 USD and the bigger ones are around USD 10-25 . The price also depend if they are done by the students or the master which can fetch more than USD 200-300 depending on sizes . After so many visits, i can just stay in a workshop for hours  and admire the art work being created right in front of me. The best place to see the lacquer souvenirs is in Tashkent. One is at The Abdul Kassim Madresse and another one at the Hasti Imam Complex. Bargaining at the bazaar is their culture but don't go overboard, as most are art work which we should appreciate!


Beautiful suzanni on silk bag from Andijon





Walnut wood and lacquer






Beautiful suzanni table cloth

1 comment:

  1. I love the Uzbek culture and i would like to explore Sufism place in Bukhara my friend offering tickets from Uzbekistan airways as we got special discount on tourists visa for travel Uzbekistan.

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