Bukhara. Part 2: Off the limits of the old city

Having spent a lot of time in Bukhara old town and around, the next day we went further: to shop in the East bazaar, eat manty, visit the summer palace of Bukhara emir, Water museum, the Monument to grieving mother, and to remember childhood in the Soviet amusement park.

Bukhara market has open and covered pavilions selling everything from food to souvenirs.
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We were mostly interested in the dishes called pahtagul (or pahta ) with the blue pattern. The choice was not great, and we decided to buy it in Tashkent where we were going the next day.
Our next aim was to eat manty – Uzbek steamed dumplings – in the famous no-name place “near abi Samarkand” (or simply water pipe line). At the market, we met a nice woman buying food for her son’s wedding. Her husband and she were very kind to give us a ride to the manty place. On our way, they also invited us to their son’s wedding which had to happen – unfortunately – only a week later.
Manty (1200 soms per one) were not as perfect as described all over the internet. Nothing could beat Chaikhana at the Arc we had found the day before. Leaping ahead, our train companion later told us that the best manty are made in Tashkent. By the way, this is an example of pahta dishes – the teapot and piala (a cup).
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By marshrutka nr. 72 we went to Sitorai mohi xosa or the residence of Bukhara emir (entrance ticket – 6500 som). Compared to the rest of the city, this place is very cool. There is a big garden with quite old trees and grapes at the palace. It is said that sometimes the builders used the following method to choose the place for a palace: they left killed lambs at several places to choose between and watched where they decayed slower.
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One of the main attractions of the park is the peacocks walking there freely. They were brought to Bukhara in the VI century. By the way, the peacocks live 40 to 60 years, more that some humans!
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The exhibition starts with the women’s part – the harem building.
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The men’s part is much richer though. More money and skill were put into it. The main throne hall is called the White hall.
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It is said that from this tower the emir could choose a concubine for the night. It remains unclear, however, whether he stood on top of it choosing among the concubines standing down, or vice versa. At the moment, that tower was under the renovation, and it was not possible to climb up.

You can also visit the exhibition of Bukhara national clothes (XIX-XX cent.), embroidery, and carpets.

Your visit will end at the pond.
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We took marshrutka nr. 70 to return to the city center. As in Africa , these small buses employ not only the drivers, but also the conductors. Usually, this is a boy or a young man, inviting the passengers and collecting money. In this particular marshrutka, there were the coins in between the glasses, and, seeing Vitya’s interest in it (the coins are not in circulation in Uzbekistan any more), the conductor gave three of them to us!

Having walk along the wedding shops street, we visited the old railway station (the building of which is now used for the Orthodox church) and minarets at Pushkin street.

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At the market, there is a small and old Water museum. Mostly in Uzbek and Russian, it tells about hauzes (the ponds created for the sake of coolness all over Bukhara), Aral sea , irrigation. The museum has a spring from which the visitor can drink water.

Also, there is an old Soviet amusement park in Bukhara, with the Ferris wheel and other attractions. They do not inspire confidence, but the Ferris wheel is a good way to see the city.
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Not far from the park, the president erected the Monument to Grieving Mother. Newlyweds come for the photo shoots here.
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It was then time to say goodbye to Bukhara and go to its railway station to catch a train to Tashkent.
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By the way, many will argue that it is possible to get to the railway station by taxi only. Don’t trust them. It takes only 20 minutes to get there by marshrutkas, departing from Lyab-i Hauz .

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