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Uzbekistan Travel, testimonials 2000-2015.

Russian references by 2004-2015 years

Date: June 10 2015

Dear Sharif Shukur

As-Salam Alaykum!
How are you?

I just wanted to say thank you for arranging my tour in Uzbekistan! I really had a good time. All hotels I stayed were good, especially Amulet hotel. I really loved this hotel! The room was not big but, so cozy and clean. And it was so nice to have breakfast outside. When I go to Uzbekistan again, definitely stay there!

If any of my friends are interested in going to Uzbekistan, I will recommend your company.

Yuko, Japan

Ремесленники в Ташкенте Лавки в Ташкенте.

Date: May 01 2015

Sharif & Aygul

Our group had a fantastic trip. I wish to journey myself again at some point, IA next year 2016. I will be in touch in due course.

Take good care and convey my salaams to dad and the wider family.

Nizam Ismail, Manchester

Date: March 29 2014

I am home now. Thank you
Overall my trip was very good. Thank you.

Uzbekistan is very good. I fell in love with that place. Very nice people.
I am hoping to come back again next year.

Kind regards,
Tahseen Shah,


Date: July 11 2013

Dear Mrs. Djuraeva,

The thoroughly enjoyable Samarkand & Bukhara trip that your company arranged for Mrs. Xinmin Zhao and myself 25–28 June left many good memories for both of us.

One of them is the the excellent guiding we had in Samarkand from Aleksandr, the Russian architect, painter and English teacher. We had many interesting discussions about photography and art in general, and now I would very much like to send him a few photos from our sightseeing in Samarkand...

Kind regards,
Joachim Smith

Токи-Сарафон. Бухара. Узбекистан. Бухара. Узбекистан.

Date: April, 2012
Bukhara - Samarkand

Dear friends!
Now we're back home and we would like to thank all of you who have done their best to make our stay in Uzbekistan interesting, comfortable and joyful! Till the last minute of our trip we felt your care and concern. We believe we will definitely come back to continue our exciting discovery of Uzbekistan with your help and support! We wish you all the best!
Irina V.

Date: April, 2012
Andizhan - Chust - Ferghana - Margilan - Kokand - Tashkent

Dear Klara and Vlada!
Thank you so very much for your work. I am totally admired at all the things I've seen during my trip.
When I came back to Moscow, I started to share my impressions with my husband at once. Well, he is very curious about Uzbekistan now and really wants to visit it.
Thank you very much again.

Date: April, 2012
Samarkand - Ghizhduvan - Bukhara

Dear Vlada,
Thank you for an unforgettable trip to the eastern fairy-tale! Samarkand and Bukhara in spring time are just wonderful.
We would like to express our utmost gratitude to our drivers and guides, and to all the employees of "Amulet"
We will save our most kind and great memories of Uzbekistan till our next visit!
Wish you success and prosperity!

Alexey and Svetlana, Saint-Petersburg

Date: April, 2012
Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent - Chust - Kokand - Rishtan - Ferghana - Andizhan - Margilan

Dear Vlada,
Here is my review.
It is a wonderful country with rich history, culture, interesting traditions, and beautiful nature. The people are very hospitable and friendly.
You've done a great job. Thanks to all of the guides, and especially to those ones who worked with us in Bukhara. We would like to express our special gratitude to the driver for being considerate and for providing a possibility to cross a mountain pass, for making a stop to take pictures in such beautiful and exotic places.

We really liked the national cuisine: it is delicious, we've tried everything with joy much interest!
We will definitely recommend our friends to visit Uzbekistan.

Чадак. Узбекистан. Чадак. Узбекистан.

Date: April, 2012
Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent

Dear friends!
Thank you so much for the great trip! We visited your precious country from April, 26th to May,2nd, 2012, and went to Bukhara – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand – Tashkent.
We thank heartily our wonderful drivers, great guides, as well as always sweet hotel employees.
Uzbekistan has left an amazing impression on us!
We will definitely recommend our friends to visit your country.
Again, thank you very much.
Nina and Vasily

Date: April, 2012
Tashkent - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Dear Vlada,
Uzbekistan was amazing! We liked everything! We would like to give special thanks to our guide in Bukhara! A great guy with a great bundle of knowledge!
Here's what I've neem meaning to tell you – not that long ago I visited Istanbul and their famous "blue mosque"! Saw those astonished faces, heard their ahs! and ohs! And I wanted to cry out "People, is this really beautiful? The true beauty is in Samarkand and Bukhara, where the mosques are truly blue. In short, by beauty and skillfulness, your mosques are so much better that I can't even describe! I even felt sorry for you! J
And as for Tashkent tomatoes and Uzbek 'manty' – they are just beyond any compliments – very delicious!

Our friends were amazed at the order in your streets which they saw in the pictures!
So, we would like to thank you one more time and wish you prosperity, more content customers, and thank you very much for a great vacation and wonderful impressions! We hope to come visit your country once again some time!
Ksenia and Valeria, Krasnoyarsk

Date: April, 2012
Tashkent - Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Dear Vlada,
We would like to thank you and your whole team for your warm welcome, help and support, your kindness, and effective, fast and great work.
Thank you very much for booking another room for us and for transferring the money so that we could book a room at the Expo Hotel in Tashkent. We didn't expect this and were ready to pay for our room by ourselves since it was not included in our tour.
When at Shodlik I asked to extend our stay, they told me there were no rooms vacant. I thought they would help me to find another hotel, explained that my mom did not feel well and had fainted twice and that we could not wander around the city and wait for the driver to come at 11 pm since my mom was completely exhausted. But obviously they did not worry about us and told us they could do nothing to help us. I was more upset than ever, I didn't know where to go ask for help and they told me to call you/

Good thing there are such kind and sympathetic people like in your agency! We very much appreciate your support.
Nevertheless this incident in Tashkent, we are very happy and amazed at our trip, at the country, at the Uzbek people and at your agency!
Nathalie F.

Date: April, 2012
Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Nurata - Samarkand - Kokand - Rishtan - Margilan - Ferghana - Chust - Namangan

Dear all!
We came back from our trip to your sunny country a week ago and still cannot put up with the thought that our journey along the Great Silk Way from Khiva to Namangan is over.
We would like to say a big thank you to all of the members of "Tashrif Tours" and, first of all, to Vlada who organized a interesting trip in accordance with my desires, as well as to our guardian angel, a great driver and a nice person – to Suleiman. Also, a profound bow is to our dear guides for their skillful and creative approach to work: to strict and earnest Madamin from Khiva, inspiring Firuz from Bukhara, welcoming Svetlana from Samarkand, and cheerful Sardar from Fergana. All of the guides gave something beyond the program and "opened up" the great cities in such a way for us that we cannot answer the question "Which of the cities did you like most?". Thanks to the cook in Bukhara who prepared the delicious 'plov' right in front of our eyes!

The pictures are given away, all of the neighbors, relatives and colleagues already know that we're back, and everybody has heard a lot about our trip. Most of them are surprised at our choice to visit Uzbekistan. At best, they had heard only about the Uzbek cuisine. I believe everybody has gone to school and taken History and Geography lessons, but sometimes it seems they have missed them.
Customs officers at DME airport could not believe we were going to Uzbekistan as tourists. The first question was: "What are you gonna do there?" Many people had a similar reaction.

It's time we break stereotypes!
Uzbekistan is in every respect a very warm country, and a very beautiful one. The hotels are cozy there, the streets, cities, and parks are clean and safe. And the people are very hard-working, open-minded and welcoming. What's more, they know their history very well, and they have so many things to be proud of.
We found ourselves in a wonderful fairy-tale, saw a lot of unique sceneries.
Directly to the Uzbek cuisine: 'plovs' we tried were perfect, yet never had we eaten sth more delicious than a tandoor lamb near Chor-Bakr, outside Bukhara, and a fried Amu-Darya catfish en-route Khiva - Bukhara!
By the way, we all gained 8 – 11 lbs in 12 days, despite the fact that from early morning till late night were up and about! Everything was very-very tasty.

Now to the main part: for the first time in our lives we have seen pomegranate, apricot and almond trees in bloom, and steppes covered with multi-colored tulips and red poppies. The Kamchik pass on the way from Samarkand to Kokand is brilliant – snow-covered tops of the mountains above you and snow-white gardens of blooming apricot trees below you. And those petroglyphs in Sarmysh! And how beautiful sunrises and sunsets over the sands of Kyzylkum are! And craftsmen and women – tradesmen, artists, weavers, blacksmiths, ceramists in Fergana valley – we were amazed at all of their skills. And we finally got a chance to see with our own eyes the things that used to fascinate us in books and movies in the childhood: overwhelming turquoise domes, minarets and walls decorated with lacy azure ornaments… I will see them in my dreams…
We will definitely come back to Uzbekistan! See you soon!
Svetlana G. And her friends

Date: May, 2012
Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent

Dear Tashrif Tours!
Finally I am writing a review on my trip around Uzbekistan. It's hard to write something good when you're overwhelmed with emotions J, because there is a lot of information to share, yet it's hard to put it all in the right words.
Firstly, I would like to thank Klara Temirgalievna and Vlada for organizing my trip and for concern about their tourists. Thanks to Shukhrat for his great welcome at the nice "Amulet" hotel and for his interesting story about the reconstruction of this building. Indeed, "Amulet" is different from any other hotel, there is the welcoming guidance book according to which the employees here have a uniform and always smile. A very good, interesting, heartwarming, and welcoming place!
I would like to say some words about the hotels in other cities, since there are just a few reviews from the tourists and my choice was kind of a guesswork. The "Uzbekistan" hotel in Tashkent is a great hotel, a shiny and sparkling place, just like Tashkent itself. Geographically very convenient and the rates are good.

In Khiva there is the "Malika Heyvak" hotel – a very nice cozy room. The pictures on the website are true to life. Khiva is said to have problems with water, but I did not notice anything of the kind in this hotel. Though, the name is a little hard to remember, even the following thought flashed in my mind: "What a hotel I've chosen, I even cannot remember its name! What if I lose my way, how am I going to look for it?" One more note: the rooms are for smokers. I am not a smoker myself, so I could feel the room was smoke-filled.
In Samarkand I stayed at the "Karavan Saray Chorrakha" – a good cozy room, with an interesting ethnic design. I didn't like the bathroom, though - too little space, and the shower-bath was not placed conveniently.

Now, about the tour itself. The trip was organized at a top level. A very unusual thing was to make the payment in Bukhara (right in the middle of the tour), that is why I felt ill at ease in the beginning of the journey: "This is not quite right! Not like we're used to! I haven't even paid anything, but I am already taken somewhere!"
I am not going to describe the sights (you only need to take a look at them), the only thing I want to say is: "Those who are interested in the beautiful ancient architecture, go to Uzbekistan – there is a lot to look at!" Thanks a lot to the guides who showed me every part of each city and helped me to see the ancient times in their stories and legends: Galle in Tashkent, Feruza in Bukhara, Aleksandra in Samarkand. Klara Temirgalievna told me that in Shakhrisabz I could hardly find Russian-speaking guides, but when I saw little boys speaking Russian (at first they said "Hello" tho) I realized it was not that bad.
I'm attaching the photo of these boys to my review.
Wine testing in Samarkand is another story. I've never seen such a great amount of wine samples (tho not once I'd been to wine testing in Krasnodarsky region before). After I told my friend about the testing, he said: "This is not a wine testing, this is a party!"

What i remembered and liked most was a Bukhara banya-khanum. Thanks for the recommendations to visit this place.

The transfer through the Kyzylkum desert is worth a special word. Amazing, wonderful sceneries! I'd never thought a desert can be a place like this – not really deserted. J
I will always remember the transfer over the Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya rivers. Thanks a lot to the drivers: Sergey (Tashkent), Ayrat (Khiva – Bukhara), Tozhidin (Bukhara – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand – Tashkent) – for interesting trips, for comments on the sceneries.

Special thanks to Islam Karimov, President of the country, for the order and safety in the streets; for the timely drive-away of Americans and for avoiding the color revolution and anarchy. We, Russians, seriously think that the Middle Asia is a very dangerous place. The news about the color revolution in Kirgizia do their part – they scare the people out. Almost all of my friends asked me: "Aren't you afraid to go there?" And I replied: "President of Uzbekistan is a strong-willed person. It must be calm and safe there". And I turned out to be right.
Herein, I want to tell you about the difference between the Uzbek policeman and the Kazakh one (whom I'd seen in Almaty): when someone wants to do sth illegal, the Uzbek policeman whistles, comes to the person and says that it won't do to act like that; the Kazakh policeman acts as if he sees nothing till the person actually does sth illegal, then he runs, takes his passport (such a hero), leads him to the police station, asks for 50 rubles for a cup of tea and lets him go.
In general, Uzbekistan has left a whole bunch of nice and unforgettable impressions on me.
Thank you all!
Sergey S.

Date: April, 2012
Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent

I would like to share my positive impressions the trip to Uzbekistan has left on me, and to thank the "Tashrif Tours" travel agency and its members for the perfect job they've done. The trip was supposed to be a birthday present for my wife and we successfully did the trick!
Apart from the architecturally beautiful and historical cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and Tashkent, which I had heard a lot about and loved since childhood but never seen, I was impressed by the way the local Uzbek people, especially of "soviet" age, treated us - Russians! Hardly did the citizens of hot Moscow metropolis expect such warmth, honesty, hospitality, unselfishness, and kindness towards them… We even felt a little uncomfortable because we couldn't act the same way, because we hadn't bought any souvenirs or sth.

No use talking about the beauty of Khiva, neither pictures, nor anything else can describe it – you need to see it, to feel the night fall down on the ancient city. Thanks a lot to Karamat who was very kind and caring towards us, who gave us the time to get used to the local climate and who told us interesting legends and stories. Also, we would like to say thank you to Timur, the owner of the "Shelkovy put" restaurant, which is situated on the territory of the medrese opposite to the main gates of Khiva fortress. We will never forget how charming and cozy his restaurant is.
What impresses most is the ancient Bukhara, with its centuries-old minaret, ancient streets, bazaars, medreses, and mosques. We will always remember the beauty and brilliance of reconstructed Samarkand with the highlighted square of Reghistan, Timur's tomb, and the musical fountain with the "Samarkandskie vechera" song. And, of course, we'll never forget the magnificent majestic beauty of Tashkent with splendid white modern palaces and fountains.

It is hard to talk about the delicious Uzbek cuisine – at once, there appears a hungry lump in the throat. All I can say is that we've gained some pounds… The Uzbek wines also deserve a praise, and we'd like to express our gratitude to the owner of wine testing house in Samarkand.
I want to draw your attention to the fact that the streets in Uzbekistan are very clean, the "singapuras" do not even dream about such conditions. They are very safe as well, which is an important thing for the Russian tourist – this is no Near East, nor your hometown where it's not safe in the nights at all.

Thanks a lot to Natalya Mikhaylovna, our guide in Samarkand, who gave us a lot of new information yet to be learned, as well as to our young guides around Bukhara and Tashkent – the guys have done a great job, they know a lot and are very considerate. And, of course, special thanks go to our driver Marat, a true professional, who realized all of our desires throughout our trip. Hi to all of them!
We really wish we could come back to this Middle-Eastern fairytale once again.
Dmitry and Olga, Moscow

Date: October, 2011
Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Bukhara

Dear Vlada!
Dear Tashrif Tours!
Our whole family would like to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH for such an unforgettable trip! Never had we had such an amazing trip, seen such historical monuments and beauties, and MAINLY, never had we met such great, hospitable and kind people!!! Thank you for the wonderful guides, their tours were so informative and interesting that now we want to know more things about Uzbekistan and its history. During our excursions, the guides showed not only their deep knowledge, but also their respect and love for their country and its history.
Especially, we want to tell about our great driver Habib Hakimovich! Not only was he a wonderful driver, but also our teacher and tutor during our trip! He knows Samarkand and Bukhara very well, knows the history of his country and is great at any issue. It is interesting and easy to travel with him! He encompassed us with such care and attention that the whole journey was like a fascinating movie which you would want to watch again and again!
Thank you very much, Habib Hakimovich!!! We wish you and your family health, joy and successes! And a very long and interesting life!
I also would like to tell about an interesting dinner with 'plov' which we were offered on our last day in Bukhara! Thank you for the delicious plov prepared by Zoya and her nice helper!
We'd like to express our utmost gratitude to the head of the agency – to Klara! Dear Klara, you have a great team who make every trip to Uzbekistan unforgettable!!!
And again, from the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank all of you for the great job you've done and for your hospitality!
Olga, Andrey, Pavel and Maria

Date: Mart, 2011
Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent - Chust - Kokand - Rishtan - Ferghana - Andizhan - Margilan

Dear Ramil,
I am not even sure how to start this letter. I think, I first should say thank you! Thank you very much for this tour! For some reason I'd thought it would be great, but I hadn't expected it to be THAT GREAT. Veronica and I liked literally everything – it is hard to name all of the things. In such cases people usually name the things they didn't like. Then, I can say just this – there were no such things.
We were surprised and amazed at your country – its past and present, its monuments and nature, its cities and roads. But mainly – its people! Tashrif Tours members proved themselves true professionals – your guides and drivers are beyond praise, the tour's stops are very well thought over, the program is great! Each of the nine days spent in Uzbekistan we were surrounded with care and attention which we had not felt before in any other country (though we'd been to many places to compare with).

Thanks a lot to Klara and you, Ramil, for our trip. Thanks a lot to all of the people who took the trouble to let us discover Uzbekistan: to the guides, drivers, and to all of the people who were part of our trip – all of the craftsmen and artists who showed their skills, and just to the people we met on our way – merchants, cooks, hotel employees, and just passers-by. All of these people are really good at what they do and give their all to what they do. Thus, we always had an impression that we didn't just buy a tour at a travel agency, but came to see our relatives or good friends!
We've got a whole bunch of impressions, an unbelievable amount of photos (so we will need to spend a lot of time organizing them in groups), and so many memories that that'll be enough for many years ahead, and these will be exceptionally nice memories. As a result of the efforts and care of all the above mentioned people, we've fallen in love with Uzbekistan and its people (the impression of a country is created exactly by the people living in it, not by official propaganda or any other things). I hope we will come back and see other of your well-known cities and monuments, listen to the stories about the great people who made the history of the country, and get to know the people – living today – who continue to make this history.

Our way back was okay, had no unpleasant surprises, and we made it home just like we planned. Though, we were disappointed with the Moscow weather – snow and rain and a stormy wind, it seemed it was a blind landing, but everything was okay. The other day we unpacked our things, felt sad, cheered ourselves up with the flat bread and sweets we'd brought over, and today in the morning I started to write this letter to you.
Dear Ramil! Now Veronica and me are the followers of Tashrif Tours, and we will definitely give a detailed a review of the trip on travel websites as soon as we're done a little with work problems here in Moscow. But I can say now there are three potential customers of Tashrif Tours and overall ten people have heard about Uzbekistan already (all this when we're not back to work yet).

In the end of this letter I'd like to say one more thing: in Uzbekistan we were impressed by humane relations among people (which is missing so much in Russia). The people there are confident, self-contained, self-respecting, and, therefore, respecting others, very hard-working and respecting the work of other people. They are proud, honest and outgoing! Of course, every country has its own problems, and I suspect your country is no exception, but still, an attentive traveler is impossible to be wound over his little finger with a window dressing trick. I was a very attentive observer and I got an impression that such human relations (who take pride in their native land, who have respect for their traditions, their elderly people, who are hospitable and open-minded) help overcome any difficulties.
Thank you very much again for such an amazing trip!
Alexander and Veronica

Date: May 01 2015
Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Samarkand - Tashkent

Dear Klara and Aygul!
I am sorry I had no time to say thank you right after coming back, was very busy at work, with different events, meeting with friends. This routine is very time-consuming. Literally all of my friends and relatives craved for different stories, impressions, highlights of the trip. Such a surprisingly intense interest! Obviously, the conscious Russians have got fed up with cheap, affordable and uneventful vacations in Turkey or Egypt, have opened their eyes and turned their attention to Uzbekistan with similar past and rich history! Apart from me, two more of my colleagues spent their May holidays in Uzbekistan. And this is a good thing! But neither of my colleagues had such a varied program!
Thank you for the well organized and comfortable trip. Despite a lot of transfers around the country by different means of transport, as well as eventful and varied program, never did we feel confused, worried, or sad. We were deeply impressed by the accuracy, care and attention which surrounded us during our whole trip!

We would like to give special thanks to the guides in Bukhara and Khiva! Thanks to them for their commitment during the excursions which sparked our genuine interest to the country, its history, traditions, folk art and its life, for their help to solve literally every problem we had (be it either our desire to shop for souvenirs or fruits at bazaars), as well as for their kind-heartedness! Also, a low bow goes to the great cook who organized an unforgettable night in Bukhara and showed us how to prepare the Uzbek plov. We will never forget this "gastronomic ecstasy"! And of course, we would like to express our gratitude to the guiding team headed by Boris who were with us during our horse-back tour. You can hardly think of a more comfortable vacation in camping conditions. We were amazed at the horses, breathtaking Chimgan beauties, the tented canteen fitted up with electric light, the delicious food, and at the two-day journeys on foot to the snowfields and waterfall. Fact: this trip was a fantastic success!
Olga and Co

Date: May, 2011
Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Nurata - Bukhara

Dear Elmira,
We've made it back home.
Thank you very much for the great management of our trip. A special thanks to Firuza and Alexandra for wonderful excursion tours. And we very much appreciate how caring and attentive Habib was. We will definitely recommend you to our friends.
Good luck!
Evgeny D.

Date: May, 2011
Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Bukhara - Khiva - Urghench

Dear Klara and Ramil! We finally made it to gloomy Moscow and are already missing the Uzbek bright and hot sun J Thank you very much for a flawless tour management, for your care and hospitality. We are sure we will visit your amazing country many times again and we seriously think we will use your services in the future.

Date: July, 2011
Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara

Uzbekistan Airlines are rightfully considered reliable. I arrived in Tashkent from Astana on the 4th of July. Got my passport stamped, and further on had no problems with registration since I stayed in hotels. "Registration certificate" issued by the hotels is a very important document. You won't need to address the migration service if you don't lose it. When you're in a country and have this certificate, you may fear nothing.
At the local airport I bought a ticket to Samarkand and had to exchange 100 dollars at the exchange office at the rate 1,700 soms for 1 USD. Afterwards, I exchanged the money at local speculators in foreign currency at the rate of 2,460 soms for 1 USD (beware the police, though).
Tashkent taxis cost about two to four thousand soms up to 15 kms around the city. Airport taxis drivers ask from 20 thousand soms to 100$.
Samarkand delights with the abundance of green and conifers. For four days I stayed at "Emir", a well-known private hotel, which is situated near the Gur Emir mausoleum. Not far from the mausoleum there is the Reghistan square. The prices and quality of service at the hotel surprised me, its owner named Olim turned out a very nice and decent man. Later it turned out I was very lucky to stay at this place.
A picture is worth a thousand words… that's why I will only say that all the architectural beauties in Uzbekistan impress you more than their pictures. This pays off all the expenses, and I think nobody can be disappointed. Your guide is another important thing. No problems here, there are a lot of professionals who will help you; you can also save some money if your guide has a car. Or you can take a local taxi and your driver will give you comments on everything you see around you. A very good wine is called "Baghizan" (no food coloring, nothing). A bottle is only 1$, since there are many vineries here and it is made in Samarkand.

The people are friendly, since in Samarkand and Bukhara there are many tourists from all over the world, and everybody is happy to help the visitors and to get some honest profit. 80% of them speak Russian. At daytime it is safe everywhere, at night it is pretty much the same, but I didn't check distant quarters of the city. Policemen are everywhere, so it is kinda dangerous to rob there, besides the locals will punish the criminal severely (such a mentality). That is why Uzbekistan has the air of trust and safety.
Bargain with all the traders. Somebody may be very offended to buy a thing at a price 10 (!) times higher than the actual one. So, compare the prices and make bargains before you buy sth. Remember that you can trust only your eyes (by that I mean handmade items), traders in Uzbekistan will tell you anything, just to sell things. Take no chances purchasing antique items, cold steel arms, knives, military medals: they will be confiscated at the customs with a fine. The only way out is to buy these things at the airport or railway station, in this case they will not be confiscated, but no seller will do that! He'll be brave and veeeery "honest" only by word of mouth… You will have no problem exporting souvenirs no elder than 50 years, badges and clothes, 2 liters of strong beverages. Enquire about everything in advance.
There are no planes to Bukhara, so I had to take the "Shark" train. It was a comfortable 3-4 hour trip.
The railway station is 14 km away from Bukhara, the hotel owner was already waiting for me there upon the recommendation of Olim (see above). Do not hesitate to ask passers-by for the way or where to stay, ask those locals who you can trust.

Bukhara differs from Samarkand in a little hotter climate since there are no mountains around, and there is almost no green in the city. But there are more places of interest in Bukhara and it has its own atmosphere. Of course, tastes differ… so you'll make your own conclusions if you happen to visit these beautiful places. By the way, my second stop was the "Nazira i Azizbek" hotel, which is situated in Liabi House, the center of Bukhara. The owners are very nice people, besides I was surprised at the prices and service level: there was a good air conditioner, satellite TV, a comfortable and cozy place.
So, my trip lasted two weeks and cost me 1,000$. To be more specific, I spent 4 days in Tashkent, 4 days in Samarkand, 6 days in Bukhara. Had 4 transfers by plane (Astana – Tashkent; Tashkent – Samarkand; Bukhara – Tashkent; Tashkent – Astana), 3 city-to-city transfers by train (3 – 5-hour trips). The hotels were great. I saw all the significant sightseeing attractions, took taxis, ate what I wanted, bought souvenirs and stuff. Really liked it. Of course, I could have spent less, but I don't regret anything, since tourism is for those who have money.
Be careful with what you eat! Not every place has good cuisine. Ask people for advice: where to eat, what kind of meal they serve – local or European? And mostly important: the food in Uzbekistan is fat-laden: if you eat it for the first time, it is not advisable to drink water or tea! Even the warm one. You may take a warm sip an hour after your meal, otherwise you'll have problems with your digestion.

Everything written here was checked in 2011 by me.
Timur B., Pavlodar, Kazakhstan

Date: September, 2011
Ferghana - Tashkent - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Dear Vlada!
I would like to express my utmost gratitude to the "Tashrif Tours" travel agency and to you in particular for the great trip around Uzbekistan (Fergana valley – Tashkent (Chimgan) – Bukhara – Shakhrisabz – Samarkand – Tashkent).
Highly professional guides opened every city of Uzbekistan from unexpected sides for me. In Fergana valley I was amazed at the astonishing beauty of folk crafts made in the spirit of ancient traditions by the hardworking people of Uzbekistan. The nicest guide named Sardar helped me puzzle out all the nuances of the East. He made my stay in the valley very comfortable thanks to his impeccable Russian, informal attitude and good sense of humor. Overall, it has to be said that all the guides in every city were very well trained.

Also, I would like to compliment the "Amulet" hotel personnel in Bukhara, especially the caring Shukhra. Transportation of the tourists was great: where else would they provide fancy individual transportation for the group of 1 to 3 people?
To sum it up, I may say that the services provided by "Tashrif Tours" comply with high European standards, and even excel them at times. That's the way to go!
Hope to address you again in the future and will recommend your agency to others.

Yuli B., Moscow

Date: September, 2011
Bukhara - Ghizhduvan - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent - Urghench - Khiva

Dear all!
Thank you very much for the "Cities of Golden Domes" tour. We liked a lot kindness of locals and high professionalism of our guides – Alexander who showed us many sights of Samarkand which were not on the list, and Zoya who told and showed us a lot of amazing and fascinating places in Bukhara. I also would like to say thank you to our driver Amin, he always did his best to make us feel comfortable and at ease.

I highly recommend to all of you to visit Uzbekistan, here kids' fairytales from "The Arabian Nights" and "Khodja Nasreddin" come true.
Thanks a lot to the organizers of the tour who adjusted the dates and time of the excursions specially for us.
Valeriya F.

Date: September, 2011
Tashkent - Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Bukhara - Khiva - Urghench

Dear all!
Thank you for our trip! Everything was great! Our drivers, guides, hotel rooms were the best.
Now we're left with the warmest, the best impressions! Thank you for everything! Wish you all health, luck and prosperity!
Andrey and Natalia F., Ukraine

Date: October, 2010
Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Dear Shakhnoza!
As for the trip, everything was great and interesting. The tour was organized very well, we had skillful drivers and guides. But special thanks are to Habib, we literally fell in love with him. And to "Amulet". I've had only a few interesting and memorable hotels, and "Amulet" is among them.
I still have a feeling that I'll be back to your country and I think I won't be alone. I share my impressions, show my photos, tell about what I've seen – everybody is very interested. Besides, we know a little about the life in our countries, and for many our impressions are a true revelation – it is clean, cozy, safe and friendly there, and what trust!
Thanks again to the travel agency and to you in person for our vacation!
Elena B.

Date: Mart 2010
Bukhara - Ghizhduvan - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent - Urghench - Khiva

We visited Uzbekistan in March, 2010, and the first impressions we got were on the Uzbek airlines – we bought a round trip. We liked everything: the crew were experienced professionals, the service level was high, the food was good.
We were kinda scared of the customs clearance process, but we managed to do everything quickly and correctly.
The weather in Khiva was cloudy and a little cold, but the excursion was very interesting and in a professional way, thanks to the guide.
Bukhara gave us a warm – both to our souls and bodies. The way the "Amulet" hotel welcomed us exceeded all our expectations. We felt nice and cozy, like at home. The time flew by quickly and we wished we didn't have to leave and say good bye to the welcoming and friendly hotel personnel. Special thanks to Klara, the owner of the travel agency, and to Shukhrat, the hotel manager, for their constant care for us and for the great organization of our trip. Delicious breakfasts, night tea with sweets and pleasant talks, amazing Bukhara plov prepared for us right in front of our eyes on March, 8th.

Bakhshillo, the great guide, introduced Bukhara to us, with its oriental air, ancient streets with the breath of the old times, with its memorials and architectural ensembles, with the works of skillful craftsmen, with its history dating back to the centuries, with its national meals at a chaikhana. We believe we will keep the memories of this city forever in our hearts and we will want to come back here again.
The transfer to Shakhrisabz, and then over the pass to Samarkand, also left an unforgettable impression on us of the nature, mountain sceneries, blooming gardens. Thanks to the guide in Shakhrisabz for the interesting tour.
In Samarkand, again, the weather was not favorable: the snow had fallen and covered the mountains and the blooming trees. However, during the excursion, to get warm, we stopped by different souvenir shops and Eleonora, our guide, told interesting stories about various crafts and craftsmen of Uzbekistan. We tried on yashmaks and other national dresses, and felt as if we were women of the East. We were invited to get warm and drink a little tea with sweets. And everywhere we met interesting, surprisingly welcoming and friendly people. Eleonora, our guide in Samarkand, showed us the city very well, told many interesting things about the city and its traditions, treated us to "the best plov" in Samarkand. Thank you, Eleonora, very much. The end of the day was amazing. We stopped by a café on the Amira Timura street to have a snack after the substantial lunch with plov. We were about to leave already, but the musicians came and started to play classical music, we enjoyed the works by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Mozart and couldn't make ourselves leave, though it was very dark outside.
The next day, the last day of our program, was sunny and warm, and the city was shining with all its colors. We had a lot of time and we were just strolling around the city enjoying its views and sceneries.

During our whole trip we were accompanied by the drivers. Special thanks to Marat who was not just our driver, he was with us everywhere, cared for us, helped us, gave us advice, bargained at bazaars for us, worried about us while we were out walking around without him, he did his best to make us feel comfortable. We wish we didn't have to say good bye. Thank you, Marat, and good luck!
A general impression of all the hotels – comfort, high service level, cleanness, friendly personnel, the rooms are equipped with all the necessary things.
A fly in the ointment was the customs clearance on our way back. But you can do nothing about it, this is obviously a temporary need and everything will be easier in the future.
We went back overwhelmed with the impressions which we shared with our relatives and friends. Hopefully, our story about the welcoming and beautiful country will help somebody to decide to visit Uzbekistan and get unforgettable impressions.
Natalia K.

Date: March, 2010
Urghench - Nukus - Khiva - Bukhara - Samarkand

Dear colleagues,
We've just had the K. +2 tourists arrived. It is significant that they are used to expensive hotels and flawless service, and they are TOTALLY delighted with the organization of the tour and the guides.
Thanks a lot to you and your whole team.

Anastasia Novikova,
International tourism manager
Swiss House of Travel, Saint Petersburg

Date: April, 2010
Tashkent - Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Dear Tashrif Tours!
First of all, we would like to thank you for our great trip to the most beautiful cities on earth we had in April. We'd been to many places and usually we don't go to the same country again because there are so many places in the world we want to visit! But this time is an exception – since we haven't been to Fergana valley yet! We would love to come there in the end of September and spend a week there, see the cities of Kokand, Rishtan, Margilan, Fergana and of course Tashkent – we spent half a day there only, moreover, it was rainy.

No words can describe how much we liked the "Amulet" hotel, that's why we would like to stay at a guest house, not at the hotel. If possible, we would like to spend a couple of days at a picturesque lakeside somewhere in the neighborhood.
Say hi to Klara, Shukrat (special thanks for the mint tea!), the cook ('rahmat' for delicious breakfasts!), to the drivers and all theemployees of your agency!
Olga and Tatyana, Novosibirsk

Date: April, 2010
Tashkent - Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Kokand - Rishtan - Ferghana - Margilan - Chust

Dear Ramil,
With all our heart we would like to thank you for the great organization of our trip! We were absolutely thrilled! We hope to come back again!
Good luck to you with everything!
Liana and Mikhael,
April, 26th, 2010

Date: May 2010
Bukhara - Nurata - Samarkand - Tashkent - Shakhrisabz

Dear Shakhnoza,
Would like to say thank you for the great organization of the May tour.
The "Amulet" hotel was actually the most welcoming hotel of the ones I'd stayed at. I'd travelled a lot, been to different places and hotels, and I myself work in the hotel business and I can say that I will always remember "Amulet" and its personnel.
Special thanks to our driver – Marat. Our Bukhara to Samarkand journey with him was fascinating, safe and nice.
Please, say that to all of the members of your team.
And, of course, Shakhnoza, thank you very much, you are the "off-screen" person of our trip, the person who had planned it to the smallest detail and made the journey perfect.
Evgeny and Marina N., Latvia

Date:September, 2010
Tashkent - Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Dear all!
We would like to express our gratitude to Tashrif Tours for our trip. We liked everything. The "Amulet" hotel made us feel at home. Thank you everybody.
Special thanks to Marat, with whom we spent the most part of our exciting journey and whose care we always felt.
Lyudmila P., Ukraine

Date:September, 2010
Tashkent - Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Dear Shakhnoza,
Thank you and Klara for the wonderful organization of our vacation. Everything was amazing! We came back home overwhelmed with positive emotions and great impressions.
Thank you very much!!!
Olga V.

Date: September, 2010
Nukus - Khiva - Bukhara - Nurata - Samarkand

Dear Klara Temirgalievna,
It's been a week since our second trip to Uzbekistan organized by your agency ended and we're still full of adoring impressions.
This time the organization of our tour was great as well, just like last year. Thanks a lot to you and all the members of your travel agency!
Next year, we are going to visit Uzbekistan again. Approximately, same time and same itinerary as this year: Nukus – Khiva – Bukhara – Samarkand. Of course, we'll address Tashrif Tours again.
See you next year!
Galina and Yury S.

Date: November, 2009
Tashkent - Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Bukhara - Khiva - Muynak - Nukus

Dear all!
This is Masha and Zhenya from Riga for whom you organized a trip on the last two weeks of October.
First of all, we would like to say thank you again for the great program, for your hospitality, level of service, and, in particular, for your guides (especially for Eleonora in Samarkand and Elizaveta in Bukhara, say hi to them)!
Secondly, like you asked, here we are sharing our impressions of the trip to Ustyurt tableland and the Aral sea (and attaching some photos). To be honest, if we had known what this part of the trip is like, we would have thought twice whether to go or not… and would have gone but prepared a lot better.

It was very cold on the tableland (those who go there at this season will definitely need warm clothes, preferably, hiking outfit); besides, the trip to the tableland and the sea is hard itself – both physically (the road is bumpy, now it's cold and then it's hot), and morally. However, it is worth it! The beauty is just unearthly. Well, of course, those, who hadn't seen what the sea was like before, cannot imagine how massive the disaster was, but the scenery and emptiness (no people, no connection) are really impressive. So, we think, everybody who comes to Uzbekistan must visit these places (but you have to be ready to the weather conditions, moral and physical load).
In the attachments (just like I promised) there are some of the pics of Ustyurt, the Aral sea, and the ship breaking yard.
Again, thank you very much for our unforgettable vacation!

Maria and Evgeniya B., Riga

Date: November, 2009
Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent

Dear Aygul,
It's been a month since we came back to Moscow, but we're still filled with joy after our trip to Uzbekistan.
The beginning was interesting. In the airplane we had five seats near each other and the sixth one separately, between two guys. My friends were a little embarrassed, and I was the one to go get acquainted with the Uzbeks. In less than 10 minutes after the take-off we were already chitchatting about work and school, farms, cars, families, weddings and many other things.
- How many siblings do you have? Are they younger or older than you are? – asks Said.
- I have a younger brother.
- And no sisters?
- No.
- So your parents have two kids: a girl and a man. That's what I want.

These words made me laugh and I told the story to my fellow travelers, but they got really strained.
But then it turned out they didn't have to feel that way. During our whole trip we felt not just like ordinary people, we felt like women. Everywhere we were treated very well (thank you very much!), everybody was happy to see us and was ready to help us. We, the citizens of Moscow, used to indifferent politeness (and maybe worse!), were surprised with how open-minded and friendly people in Uzbekistan are.
Well, for the seven days we spent in this amazing country we made a lot of wonderful discoveries. What cuisine! Ah, what delicious cuisine! And the streets in Khiva, the magic of Bukhara, the expanses of Tashkent – all the cities were so different, but each of them was great in its own way. But what impressed us more was that the time in Uzbekistan passed by in a different way, not like we are used to. Our time is always in a hurry, it jumps over events and people, crumples little details. But there it moved on slowly and with dignity, it didn't make us run or worry about anything. We looked at our watches only once during the whole day – in the morning, to be in time for our meeting with the guide. An unprecedented thing! And during the whole week we felt so calm and at peace…

Thanks a lot to the people who made our journey so amazing and unforgettable. Thank you, Aygul, for fats and informative answers, for the great organization. Thanks to Klara. When we first met her, at once we felt our trip just couldn't go wrong, since the travel agency is headed by such a great and kind person. Thanks to our driver Hikmat who took time to help and support us, just like little kids. His tranquility, charm, and sense of humor just made our whole trip. Thanks to all the people who shared love for their cities with us. To Rustam in Khiva (he was the one who got it all. We didn't have enough time to adjust to Uzbekistan after Moscow and perfected our wittiness on him), to Bakhshillo, a strict and romantic man at the same time, who showed us the magical Bukhara. To Elena in Tashkent. We didn't expect much from Tashkent – this was just our last day before going back to Moscow. But thanks to Elena we filled with the air of freedom and hospitality. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of our guide in Shakhrisabz (the Uzbek names were very hard to remember for us), but we really liked him as well. Thanks also to all the other people who made our trip so wonderful.

We were going to Uzbekistan just out of curiosity and yawn for something exotic, saying "Well, at least once in your life you need to go see the Middle Asia". And now I am sure I will be back once again, just to take a closer look at the country and to feel what I didn't have time to feel during my first visit.
Nadezhda B.

Date: November, 2009
Tashkent - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Dear Aygul,
I would like to say thank you for your warm welcoming and for the atmosphere we dived in during our trip to Uzbekistan! I got to know your country from a different side! My wife literally fell in love with Bukhara! Thank you very much! Say hi to Klara, Eleonora, and of course to incomparable Elizaveta! Please say hi also to Shukhrat and Erken! For the God's willing, we'll definitely come back. Again thank you very much and good luck to all of you!
Roman S.
November, 16th, 2009

Date: April, 2009
Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent

In spring, 2009, I visited the amazing country of Uzbekistan. It is situated in the central and north-western parts of the Middle Asia, extending from the north-west, the Aral Sea, to the south-east, the Surkhan-Darya river. On the north-east there is the long "tongue" of the Uzbekistan land, extending through the Pskem and Ahangaran interfluves area, and through the Chatkalsky and Kuraminsky ridges to Fergana valley.

…Everyone who comes to Uzbekistan will find here something for themselves: delicious cuisine and fresh vegetables and fruits, the Chimgan mountains and Aydarkul lake, historical and religious monuments, and not only Islamic ones. A photographer will need to have enough tape or memory here, and a souvenir lover will need a big bag.
I would like to say thank you to the two women who not only helped me, but also organized an amazing trip to Uzbekistan for me, - these are Klara Djuraeva and her daughter Aygul.

Part one — Bukhara: www.liveinternet.ru/users/3590301/post133583669
Part two — Khorezm: www.liveinternet.ru/users/3590301/post133671580
Part three — Khiva: www.liveinternet.ru/users/3590301/post133730974
Part four — Shakhrisabz: www.liveinternet.ru/users/3590301/post133821383
Part five — Samarkand: www.liveinternet.ru/users/3590301/post133832712
Part six — Tashkent: www.liveinternet.ru/users/3590301/post133834308
Roman Skryabin, Moscow

Date: April, 2009
Tashkent - Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Dear Aygul, thank you and your whole family (Klara, Habib and others) for the amazing tour.
We literally fell in love with Uzbekistan! This is the country of contrasts and unbelievable beauty. Thank you for your patience and prompt attention to different matters. It was totally worth it!
Several months of communications, when we at first planned to go with a group of friends, but then only two of us were left, took their toll. The group we joined turned out to have similar interests. We found it easy to talk to everyone of them and were very happy things went that way. Obviously, interest in Uzbekistan unites and faces sympathetic people.

Special thanks to Alisher (our driver in Tashkent). He literally sank into our minds. He is a very attentive person who afforded our protection. We felt so comfortable with him that it was almost like we were with a very close person. Please, if you get a chance, tell him we said hi and thanks a lot and we're also sorry for the troubles we caused. Thanks to his organized nature and efficiency, we managed to see Tashkent and go to the mountains for just a half of a day.

Also, thanks a lot to Habib for his sensitivity and kind-heartedness, for his care and for his taking us to the mountains from Shakhrisabz to Samarkand (though it was out of our program) and for showing amazingly beautiful places to us. Everything was interesting and great, despite the fact that he was there only for the 2nd time, as he said.
We will never forget that wonderful tea and those little plates with various sweets which Klara used to treat us with. That was just a true magic!!!
We've remained satisfied with our trip! Thank you all! And good luck with your ideas and projects! We also wish you only good and curious tourists! And more of them!!!
Alexandra Ch., Anna L.

Date: April, 2009
Bukhara - Ghizhduvan - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand - Tashkent - Urghench - Khiva

Dear Klara,
Thank you very much for the great organization of our trip. I'd like to pinpoint how skillful the responsible employees were, first of all this is Helma Ivanovna. We also would like to thank our driver Habib for his impeccable job and care he expressed to us and our desires during the whole tour.
I think in the near future we will visit you again, and we will be happy to recommend you agency to our friends and relatives.
Next time I'm asking you not to be shy and strongly recommend the tourists to stay at your hotel and at other private hotels where the atmosphere and level of service are better than at so called 4* hotels.
Good luck to you!

Vladimir Vladimirovich and Lyubov Konstantinovna

Date:April, 2009
Bukhara - Samarkand

Dear Aygul!
I would like to say thank you and your colleagues for the great organization of our trip, warm welcoming, wonderful attitude and for exciting excursions!
We really liked your hospitable and friendly country and we hope to visit it again!
Again, thank you very much!
Sergey P.

Date: April, 2009
Samarkand - Shakhrisabz - Bukhara - Khiva

Dear Aygul,
Irina and me are now in the airport of Urghench, getting ready for the departure, and in the end of our trip we would like to thank you and your whole family for our great trip around Uzbekistan. We felt like at home during all of these nine days. This has been our second trip to Uzbekistan for the both of us, and, again, we're leaving with a feeling that we want to come back.

Something we would like to mention specifically is visiting Bukhara. It is best remembered for the great Amulet hotel, for beautiful architectural monuments, and hammam. We will always remember how hospitable your mom and Shukrat were, to whom we enjoyed talking at nights.
Thanks a lot to Sattor, as well, who showed us Uzbekistan from its best.
Our impressions during our trips are made not only and not so much by architectural masterpieces of the places we visit, but by the people we meet on our way. In this respect, our whole trip to Uzbekistan has exceeded our expectations.
Vladimir and Irina

Date: May 2009
Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Thank you very much for the great organization of our interesting tour!
We're very glad your team is so great.
Special thanks to our guide in Samarkand. We really enjoyed how professional he was.
We wish you all the successes and prosperity! Se you!

Irina and Alexander P.

Date: May, 2009
Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara

Dear Klara,
Thank you for the great vacation we had in your republic. We liked it very much and we will recommend visiting your country to our friends.
Hope to see you again. Special thanks to Murad.
Evgeny and Nadezhda P., Tyumen.

Date: May, 2009
Bukhara - Ghizhduvan - Vabkent

— Hello! I'd like to book a trip on May holidays… — I start carefully.
— It's a right thing to call us! — a voice says cheerfully. — We may offer the great Turkey. Although — this is becoming annoying, but what about Egypt! Have you seen our special offer? There are only…
— I wanna go to Uzbekistan! — I could hardly chime in.
And, luckily, the voice stops. My ears are relaxing after his (her) working enthusiasm. Which call is that on my list? The 20th? 40th? Not important. Because they're all pointless. They all have the great Turkey and last three (five, one, seven) trip tickets for other direction. And all of their websites say: "tours to Uzbekistan". So, that is why I call. But they start keeping silent after my question, think for ten seconds or so and say sth like:
— Well, you can go to the Emirates… Or wait, here — a wonderful cruise around the Mediterranean…
— Does the ship go in Uzbekistan? — I ask fiercely.
— Are you kidding? — there, in the office of last minute tours and rascal clients who scent a crisis and don't want to buy them, they're sincerely offended.
— I need to go to Uzbekistan, — I nag and start feeling a little of a maniac. — You understand? Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and so on.
— Make a group of four, — the voice sighs sadly. — And call us back.
Well, you got me.

Note: I haven't had a vacation for a long time. For such a long time that I hardly remember what it feels like. I took to writing fairy-tales – and there it is summer, the weather is good, and the nature, everything is so great and satisfying – well, you know, you've read them.
And I don't want to go to Turkey. I don't know how to rest lying on the beach. I need sth different. I need to be isolated – from the Moscow rhythm of work. A very fast and severe rhythm. And the beach is definitely a hot red color of cooked crawfish of my super sensitive skin. And it's boring. I won't feel isolated. I will think over and over again about my work, about ads and the hotel rooms' schemes. And that's how I will spend my poor time carved out with so much trouble.

One time, in Czech Republic I found myself so much isolated, truly isolated, that I even forgot what day it was and when my visa expired)))
It was not Prague. I went by my own car to Moravia. Btw, a good place, you won't regret visiting it. Delicious wines in addition to delicious beers. Slavic brothers. Much more outgoing and open-minded than Czechs in the north. Wonderful palaces, lakes, hills, narrow paths, and only 50 km away from Switzerland. Yes, the prices for the motel rooms on the road are a lot better than I had expected. Everything is very affordable.
Yet, as they say, you cannot step twice into the same rivers… Again, I have only one week, and that is only the way to and from and one night out at a bar)))

And I awfully want to see Samarkand. This started a long time ago. And it's obvious: what's the name of the ship of volveks? That's the thing…
I was a lucky one – that's how I thought then – when I reached a travel agency number.. I don't know what number that was. Yes, they have the tour and a group of seven. To be more exact, of six people. Would you like to be the seventh, Miss? Let's not think this was a harem thing. Let's just smile and tick it off. Yes!

That's it. Now we only need to arrange a meeting with kind tour agents, pay the money and start meditating about t-shirts and shorts. In Moscow it's just +4, and there they have +24. And this 20 degrees' difference warms up your mind so much – feel it, people)))
I was full of joy for three days. Like unzipped – the seventh in succession – nana.
And then I came to the office of the travel agency located on the attic floor of Moscow slums… oh, sorry, of the Moscow historical center. But when you walk into a rundown building – you slightly start to doubt. And when you take the continuously narrowing stairs and make all the way to the top – your doubts grow huge.
I was seated on the most stable chair, it even had four legs of the same length. They offered me a cup of tea, not a contract. And – hello, Schulz! – there you're born, they started turning me out for a trip. At first they didn't ask for a lot of money.
— You see, — the agent was honestly deceitful, — we have got the group. Almost. Here is the copy of Rabinovich's passport (I'm honest here, that very last name, this is no exaggeration and no joke). He lives in the USA, though was born in Ukraine. And he is coming. He has approved everything.
— And what am I supposed to do with all this? — my chair and I are creaking a little and heeling over to the wall.
— I mean there is the group! — the manager says cheerfully. — Let me make a copy of your passport.
— I've already given it to you, — I said regretfully. — But keep in mind that I'm not going to pay for all those who have allegedly cancelled their participation.
— But here is the passport of Rabinovich! And yours… Well, in the end, we have the great Turkey, just in case, take a look.
I left the office with my money, my passport with me, and – alas! – with my bad-bad spirit. — Uzbekistan! You're there – and I'm here...
Well, regards to those guys, their creaking chair and the Ukrainian frontier crosser Mr. Rabinovich. I remembered the words by another Ukrainian citizen: "If you're drowning, you're on your own". And I started my own rescue campaign.
I found a tour operator in Uzbekistan. I bought a ticket. I ignored all those who had managed to save my phone number and called me for another week offering the great Turkey.

Yes, the individual tour cost me more. Yes, I took a risk – I did not know the inviting country at all. That's the reason I refused to go to Samarkand – there are reliable flights to Tashkent only, which is 300 km away(((
And I took one week to visit one city, not to make the grand tour with transfers and all that – I went to Bukhara. And I do not regret anything.
My driver had a Daewoo Matiz. It was a middle-aged, wise Uzbek, who believed his city was the best on earth. It was sunny, the rain which had just stopped laid the dust and made the sky deep blue. The roses were going crazy trying to hide all their green with their blossom.
The hotel turned out to be adorable, it was located 30 meters (!) from the central square. And nobody even tried asking about money. It's just like I found myself in the era of communism. I was said: well, you're from Tashrif Tours. We will settle everything with them. And then I realized I had already had connections here, which is very important on the east.

Let me say this straight: I was never asked to pay a cent more, than it was indicated in the first letter with the calculation. I was guarded and taken care of as if I was a crystal vase. I traveled around the city with my own guide, went to the countryside with my permanent driver. Everybody spoke Russian – I cannot even remember anything bad… Ah, yes: I did not have an umbrella and a sweater with me. Luckily, the rains were only at nights, and I replaced a sweater with a scarf. Bought on the very first day.

Shall I bore you with the history of Bukhara? I think, no. This is a vivid city, a true fairy-tale. Once you're here – you'll understand it. It is worth being looked at, listened to, worth being inhaled. And then the history will acquire its sense.
I will only tell you about what I had wanted before my vacation: about the "isolation". I left my things in a hotel room and went outside to the main square, which has a monument to Nasreddin and the unbelievable greenish glazed waters of Lyabi-hauz. If you remember, the wicked moneylender was drowned in it.

I started in a fast pace of a pathetic Muscovite who is always in a hurry – during her whole life. A glance to the right – to check a map. A glance to the left – to read some info about the building. Go on. Scan the scenery. In half an hour I got bogged down. The city was waking up, merchants were weighing and arranging their goods. Lining out clay Nasreddins ready to attack tourists. Catching weightless scarves fluttering in the wind and not intending to calm down and land. Piling out tubeteikas, colorful, crinkling with beads.
— Hey, where are you going? Look at you, you're so green! — the old Aqsaqal sounded worried. — Stop! Have you had breakfast?
— Hello. I've just arrived… — I muttered.
— Come here. This is Bukhara, the city where the land shines and is filled with light! — he said proudly. — Sit down. We're going to have breakfast now. I'll tell you how our began to exist. Fire worshippers used to live here. It was long ago, when there were no religions. They believed the man is sacred and pure. He is not a slave and not a beast, — the old man said proudly. — Just listen! Our city can talk.

Trust me, he wasn't trying to sell me anything. He treated me with pilaf and told me to go farther, across the trade domes. To see them all.
Afterwards, for two hours, I was buying my scarf. And for three hours, was trying tea. And in the afternoon I came across local wine testing by a charming elderly couple. She was a former process engineer at the winery. He was a worker there during his whole life…
On the second day in the morning, when my guide came, I did not rush anywhere. I had about twenty friends in the city. By the end of the second day – even more. And we were sitting there, drinking tea and talking about the crisis, cars, old movies and the destroyed Soviet Union – and nothing upset us.
Bukhara for me stays the city of imperishable peace of mind. The city beautiful, like a fairy-tale. And very wonderful – it enchants you and never lets you go.
Moreover, it's a very money-saving city. A silk scarf – 300 rub. (10$), a huge cashmere one – 500-600 rub. (15-20$). Lunch – 2-4$. A good hotel room for two people in the city center – 30-40$ per day (breakfast included).
And, by the way, don't trust anybody if they tell you in Moscow they can prepare shashlik! Now I know: we don't even eat meat there…

Besides, don't trust those who tell you that minarets were originally built for prayers. Bukhara minarets would always serve as lighthouses in the desert. And air conditioning system was invented exactly here – in as early as the 14th century… because in stone trade domes it is always cool. No matter how hot it is outside. And trade centers were first created again here. The domes are product-oriented. And these are the true streets of bazaar, a lively and nice one.

Please, don't judge me if me review is a little missy and confusing. It's just I'm overfilled with impressions. I had tears in my eyes when I was leaving. Customs officers were mad at me and suspected me of smuggling – why would I be so sad? Like it – come back again! I'll try. Though the worst thing about Uzbekistan is exactly the price for the ticket…
P.S. Special thanks to the Tashrif Tours travel agency and its charming head – to Klara. Id never met a more caring, concerned and interested person. This was a truly family vacation. I cannot call it an "individual approach". Really, Mrs. Bureaucratic Routine?

Oksana Demchenko, Moscow
The original is here: zhurnal.lib.ru/o/oksana_demchenko/buxara.shtml

Date: May 01 2015
Tashkent - Bukhara - Shakhrisabz - Samarkand

Ugh, finally I'm writing about my trip to Uzbekistan – the country of blue domes and truly hospitable local people.
After surfing the Internet, we found the Tashrif Tours agency. Let me say this at once: we were not wrong about them: all the way they fiddled about us just like about little kids. So, Tashrif Tours have tours to Uzbekistan for any group of people, and even for one person. There were two of us, and this was just exclusive: personal car, personal guides, hotels, program. We were in Uzbekistan May, 1st thru 9th, visited Tashkent, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, Samarkand, traveled by car and train, stayed at amazing hotels, had excursions in every city, and all this was just for the two of us…
You can read the whole report on our trip to Uzbekistan here: kdemidova.livejournal.com/tag/Узбекистан
Ekaterina Demidova, Moscow

Date: July, 2009
Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara

Dear Klara, Aygul and Ramil!
Thank you very much for the great organization and support of our short romantic tour to the ancient land of Uzbekistan. My wife and I could not dream of a better wedding present. ;-)
In Khiva and Bukhara we spent only four days, but they were so sweet, so eventful, and joyful, and we left a part of our mind and heart somewhere in these lands… in the ruins of the ancient Ayaz-Kala fortress, I guess… or on the shore of Tudakul lake at the sunset…
We are going to come back and see Samarkand, Tashkent and Shakhrisabz.
Thanks a lot to our guides Rustam and Helmi Ivanovna, they prepared great excursions and thans to them we could feel the atmosphere of these amazing cities.
Also, special thanks to our drivers Habib and Gayrat, with whom our transfers were easy and nice in every respect. And thanks to Suzanna from the "Malika Heyvak" hotel and the whole staff of the "Sasha i syn" hotel.
Again, thanks a lot to such friendly, hospitable people and professionals. We wish you strong health, high spirits, and good luck and prosperity to your tourist business !!! ;-)
Konstantin S.

Date: September, 2009
Urghench - Khiva - Bukhara - Ghizhduvan - Samarkand - Urgut - Shakhrisabz

Dear Klara!
Dear Aygul!
It's been a week since we're back from our wonderful trip to Uzbekistan, and we would like to thank you for the great and clear arrangement of our trip. We liked everything – from welcoming in Urghench to good-bye in Samarkand.
We liked a lot the hotels you offered to us. The peaceful "Malika Heyvak" with its cozy chaikhona where you can take a rest after an eventful excursion day; the magical "Amulet" with its unbelievably delicious breakfasts and very attentive staff (thanks to Zulya and Shurkat!); the comfortable "Malika Prime" where we also liked the level of service.
Thanks to our guides – Rustam, Helmi Ivanovna and, especially, Eleonora in Samarkand! They helped us feel better in Uzbekistan.

As for our driver with whom we drove along the almost whole tour, it is a great and hearty person – Sattor became our friend who sincerely took care of us during our trip, special thanks to him.
We wish your agency prosperity, and your team to stay happy and healthy!
If you don't mind, we will recommend "Tashrif Tours" to our friends. We ourselves hope to see you all during our next visit to Uzbekistan. Probably, next year. We liked everything! See you! Thank you very much!
Galina and Yury S.

Date: September 26 2008

Dear Ravil. Thank you for your interest in our well-being. I want to emphasize right now that we have returned to Israel happy and satisfied from the trip to Uzbekistan organized and planned by you and Mrs. Clara. We want to raise a few comments and suggestions for the future .

1) The driver Chikmat an excellent human being that has done his job in a superior way. The only disadvantage was that we could not communicate with him because of the lack of his control of the English language. This raised some difficulties along the way.

2 ) The guides in Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Sharisbasz, and Tashkent were very helpful and we enjoyed their explanation, and they have added a lot of knowledge on the history and the current situation in Uzbekistan. We have to point out Diana and Galla for the quality of their work. Noila was also very knowlagable.

3) The guide for the trip to Chimigan and Chervak was not as good. We drove about  2 hours to the cable car to find out that it does not work. This could be checked before

4) Hotels- All were very good and located in excellent places.

5) The delay in the Tashkent-Organge flight was not expected and does not depend on Tashrif. I think that although we are regular travelers and know how to check in to the flight, we should not be left alone at the airport.!! The driver has to check out the flight time and that boarding passes were obtained by the passengers and then leave.

6) Although we gave up on the issue of the Visa support, we urge you to check why we have to pay twice for the visa support?

Please take into consideration our comments, and send our regards to Klara and her bloveley Son.

We will recommend Tashrif tours to all our friends that are planning to travel in Uzbekistan

The Katzins and Gedankens from Israel 

Date: October 17 2008

Dear Aygul,

It has been a long time since I wrote a letter to shukhrat, unfortunately I did not receive reply, may be he did not receive my letter.
I have been busy for quite a while after I came back from the tour, I needed free time to write to you.

Please give our heartfelt and sincere thanks to Habib, your mum and shukhrat firstly, for making our tour possible and very comfortable.
We would especially like to thank Habib who looked after us like his own family. And your mom Clara made us felt like we were in our homes. Beacuse of our different life style Habib, mom and Shukhrat stayed awake till late to provide all kinds of facilities at your hotel. We were looked after really well through our tour and I will recommend all my freinds to travel with Tashrif Tours. Regarding the guide we wish it was someone else with us, although Rustam was very helpful and made every effort to make us comfortable, unfortunately we we could not bond with him like we did with Habib.
We absolutely loved Uzbekistan and wish to come several times in the future. We found the country very beautiful especially the Islamic shrines, historical buildings and the landscape. The people are very freindly, helpful and made us feel invited where ever we went.
We were very impressed by the work carried out by the President Mr Karimov, who is taking special interest in building all the shrines again like it was in its past and developing the country. I think in the next 10 to 15 years uzbekistan will be one of the most developed country in the world.
I hope that Habib and Clara will have us at their hotel when we come back again in the future. Please tell Habib to give my salam to my mother at Kazi Urda .

Thanking All at Tashrif Tours
Munaf Patel

58 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)
33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)
Carver Barracks, Wimbish, SAFFRON WALDEN,

Telephone: 01223 203658 (GPTN 94659-3658)
Fax: 01233 203765 (GPTN 94659-3765)
    : Date: November 02 2004

Captain Michael Jenkins, Royal Engineers, would like to thank you and your travel agency “Tashrif Tours” for your very kind hospitality during my stay at your hotel when I visited Bukhara recently.

It was a very great privilege for me to be able to stay at your magnificent hotel “Amulet” and to be treated to such exquisite Uzbekistan cuisine. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and also to meet Abdul Aziz, a wonderful small man..!!

Andrea and Larissa looked after me marvelously whilst I was in Bukhara and my visit to such an historic city will forever remain with me.

I do hope to meet up with you all again in May and October 2005 when I visit again as part of the Great Game Challenge. You should all be very proud of your hotel, your wonderful kindness, and your magnificent city..!!

If I can ever be of any assistance to you in England, please let me know.

Yours sincerely


International Asian Powerlifting Championship 2000, 2004.

Subratta Dutta
Asian Powerlifting Federation
9/3. Meptaratar Apartment
Bd 'M' Road Bistupair
Jamshedpur 851001 India
Date 13 May 2000.

To: Mrs Klara
Tourist Agency «Tashrif Tours»
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Fax No: 998 65 226 03 80

Dear Klara,

Thank you very much for your hard work from the receiving of our team at Tashkent Air Port to till departure for Delhi.

All of our team members enjoyed your association during their visit at Tashkent and Zarafshan.

We have also benefited for your timely suggestion for tour and guide for shopping, accommodation, transportation matter etc.

In future whenever we visit to Uzbekistan we wish to have service of Tashrif Tours & especially from you.

Thanking you,

Your sincerely,

Subratta Dutta
Hony. Genl. Secretary