Tuesday, November 11, 2008


We got a glimpse of local culture by visiting the bazaar in nearly all the cities we visited. Although the selection of goods was pretty much the same in each city ( a mix of Chinese products and local produce), they each had their own character. The Osh Bazaar in Bishkek was not particularly colorful, but seemed to be the most crowded of the markets we visited. It also definately had the largest selection of tourist goods. The bazaar in Jalabad was much smaller and offered a beautiful glimpse at the rich selection of fresh produce and local spices. The famous Jayma Bazaar in Osh is considered one of Central Asia's best markets. It seems to go on and on in a chaotic fashion -- we meandered through it for more than 2 hours and still only managed to see less than half of the market. We visited Khojand's famous flea market on the outskirts of the city, but because of the rain there were few sellers there and we didn't find much. However, we were excited to see the animal market where cows, sheep, goats and other animals are sold and traded. At the incredible Panchshanbe Bazaar in the center of Khoujan, we bought dried fruit and nuts and admired the strange architecture of this 1954 building with its arched pink entrance and a neoclassical facade, giving it what the Lonely Planet refers to as "Stalin meets 1001 Nights." By the time we reached Dushanbe, our suitcases were full and we decided to leave a trip to the market for our next visit.

Posted by Susan Katz

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