Rustic B&B in Samarkand

By Carl Boyer
This item appears on page 32 of the April 2014 issue.

The driver of the taxi I shared with my travel companion, Bob, dropped us off at a bus station on the edge of Samarkand, Uzbekistan. It was May 2013. 

There, another driver was waiting with his old Zhiguli (Lada). He wanted “10” for the ride into town, meaning either $10 or 10, almost as much as we had paid for one person for the 286-kilometer ride from Tashkent. Then he came down to “five.”

I wrote “5000” on my hand, meaning 5,000 som, or about $2.25. At that, the driver opened his trunk for our bags and we took off.

He asked us where we wanted to go but did not understand the names we gave him. He said “Hotel Furkat” a number of times, and we agreed after I found it in my Lonely Planet guide and showed it to Bob.

We drove through some streets so narrow that, in certain places, cars coming the other way could pass only if we drove into a shallow drainage ditch.

Finally, we came to a little square with an amazing view of the Registan (the main, historic public square) straight ahead and a sign pointing left to Hotel Furkat.

However, he pulled up in front of a house with a sign that named the B&B Bahodir (Mulokandov 132, Samarkand, Uzbekistan).” I gave the driver UZS5,000, and he turned to Bob asking for another 5,000 but left when Bob said, “No.”

A young man came out of the bed-and-breakfast and invited us in. We figured there was no harm in looking at the place, which was rustic and enchanting, with many carpets on the floors and in the room with a bath that he showed us. 

The price was $30 a night ($15 each), with breakfast and registration included, and $3 for dinner, if we were interested. We said we would like dinner that evening.

Dinner was good. The bed was hard, but I slept well.


Santa Clarita, CA

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