Cotton Eye Joe
Bukhara Travel Blog› entry 69 of 80 › view all entries
In Soviet times it seems that Uzbekistan was the province where cotton was grown. Though we believe that independence has led to some diversification of farming, virtually every field we pass on the way to Bukhara has cotton growing. As it is now the harvesting season in the morning we see coaches collecting workers from around the town to head out to pick cotton in the fields. We hear the rate is 1000 Sum per Kg and a good picker can pick 10Kg in an hour - maybe OK for local students but not something I'll give up my day job for.
To reach Bukhara we catch the train from Samarkand. Hoping not to run into my conductor "friend" again, we buy a 2nd class ticket and actually find it better for a short journey than 1st class - the seats are more comfortable and we don't have to watch the Russian action films that are shown non-stop in the 1st class compartments.
Many other travellers we have talked to have liked Bukhara and it is easy to see why. The accommodation options are excellent and right in the centre of town and the sights all reasonably handy. But the town is a bit of a tourist trap and overrun with carpet and souvenier shops, the modern town is south of the old town and though the mosque and minaret are magnificent there is nothing quite as awe inspiring as the Registan in Samarkand.
We will spend a day or so here before catching a bus/taxi on to Khiva but we will return on our way back to Tashkent and then we may be tempted by the markets.