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Uzbekistan: Kontepa Bazaar

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Kontepa Bazaar | Uzbekistan | Asia

[Visited: June 2010]

When we were planning our trip to the Fergana Valley, and realized we would be there on a Sunday when the Kontepa Bazaar would be on, the decision was easy to take. We slept in Fergana, got up early the next morning, and caught a marshrutka to the bazaar. When we approached an area with lots of people and vehicles, we knew it was time to get off, and walked into the bazaar. Even at this early hour, it was already quite full of people, most of them dressed in traditional clothes.

Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): One of the areas of the extensive Kontepa bazaar

We saw row upon row of stalls with clothes, with silk, with shoes, and I realized that I was surrounded virtually solely by women. But as soon as we reached the car and motorcycle section of Kontepa Bazaar, the proportion of men and women changed drastically: there they were, the Uzbek men! The more we walked, the more we realized that we could buy almost everything here: from traditional Uzbek boots to screws, from fine silk to wall plugs. But more interesting than the items for sale, were the people selling and buying.

Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Uzbek girl in blue at Kontepa bazaar

Women wearing colourful head scarfs, men with the traditional skull caps: they were everywhere. Since we skipped breakfast before coming here, we decided to sit down in a corner of the market and have a cup of tea from a friendly tea man. Instead of moving around ourselves, we now had the advantage of just looking all around us. We did not go unnoticed ourselves of course, and the Uzbeks invariably appeared very friendly, smiling at us, and posing for pictures. Some tried to strike up a conversation, and some of them worked out, albeit often in a basic way. After our break, we continued strolling the huge Kontepa Bazaar, discovering always new sections, when we realized that the crowd was thinning, the temperature rising: it was time to go. It proved to be the most authentic Uzbek experience of our visit to the country.

Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Uzbek market man selling tools like scissors and saws
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Friendly Uzbek woman at Kontepa bazaar
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Colourful alley at Kontepa bazaar
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Stall selling tea at Kontepa bazaar
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Good-humoured tea man at Kontepa bazaar showing off his golden teeth
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Uzbek man in the shade of Kontepa bazaar
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Old Uzbek man with glasses at Kontepa bazaar
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Selling small items at Kontepa bazaar
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Selling drinks from a bike at Kontepa bazaar
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Some of the delicious decorated naan for sale in Kontepa bazaar
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Boots and shoes in a stall of Kontepa bazaar
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): Clothes in one of the many stalls of Kontepa bazaar
Picture of Kontepa Bazaar (Uzbekistan): People in one of the alleys of Kontepa bazaar

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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