First post here.
I'm not used to the forum datasheet format, so I'll use my own framework. Also sorry for the faults and the grammatical incoherences, I'm not an english native speaker.
Unlike Russians and Belarussians, Uzbeks are rather enterprising and arrangeant people and getting a visa is totally hassle-free, at least for EU citizens. If you're not from a EU country, you'll need a Letter Of Invitation. The max for a tourism visa is one month. Nonetheless if you want to stay longer (as I did on my first trip, I stayed two months) a two or three monthes business visa (100 €, two entries) is quite easy to negociate, even if no business brings you there. Just ask to see the consul and be friendly with him. The legendary Central Asian hospitality is not a myth.
Very few companies fly to Tashkent. Coming from the west, Aeroflot, Air Baltic, Turk Air and Uzbekistan Airways are about the only choices. Uzbekistan Airlines is a rather good company. Decent food, nice hostesses, ect. The planes (B 767) seem well-maintened. From what I noticed, flights are rarely full. People on the planes are mostly cultural-tourists on their way to Silk Road cities. No hassles at customs, as Uzbek custom officers have a quite lax and relaxed attitude. They are fairly slow and totally desorganized though , so waiting lines are often long. They is a VIP service for arrival that is quite convenient, and whose cost is $30.
Finding an apartment in Tashkent is difficult. Almost none on Airbnb, and google seaches don't give much results. Until now, I rented a nice 100 square meters in Darhan, one of the best district, for 650us$/month to an owner that I know, but he recently found a long-term expat tenant. I have to find other options from now. A guy named Anton owned the http://www.apartment.sk.uz/index.htm
site, but he moved to Russia. The site is still here but i don't know if it is still operating. BTW Anton was a decent and helpful guy, but he charged an outrageous $15 for an airport pick-up, wich is really expensive as taxis to center cost $4 at max.
There's a whole range of hotels, from the lavish 5 stars (Intercontinental, Radisson, Grand Mir, ect) to the backpacker guesthouse. In the center, there's some nice 3/4 stars in old renovated buildings, like Poytaht Hotel or Tashkent Palace. Many of them seem half-empty, and some others seem totally deserted. The big (and rather ugly) Uzbekistan hotel is a favorite of the turk mongers. Rates vary from us$140 for top-notch to $50 for mid-level. Dunno about guesthouses.
People in Tashkent are not used to see foreigners staying in apartments BTW. Taxis and girls never believe that I am NOT staying in a hotel. Anyhow they are not used to see western tourists. In Tashkent, the only very few Westerners I usually see are at the Irish Pub or at the Chelsea - and it's usually potbellied guys. In the clubs, it is usually just me.
As in Russia, you have to register. The owner of your apartment will do it for you, but it's not always easy. The rule seems to be that there is no rule. Two times I had to pass through a guesthouse to register (for a small daily fee), and the other times all went well - this for the same apartment. Weird, but, hey, this is Uzbekistan.
The official currency in Uzbekistan is the Soum of which 2500 is equal to 1€ (2800 to 3000 at black market). The biggest bill is 1000 soums and is worth only about 0.30 €. Yeah that’s right. You literally have to go out with HUGE wads of money filling your pockets. There's no western bank in Uzbekistan, and at most five or six ATMs in the whole city (notally one in Intercontinental and one in Uzbekistan Hotel, both operated by NBU - National Bank of Uzbekistan) ...which are frequently out of service !
No problems to change cash. As changing in banks is a bit time-consuming, I use to change my $$ either in bars or pubs, either to the informal money changers hanging around in front of Mir Mall (very reliable guys). Anyhow there's also NBU change counters in all 5 stars hotels.
Cost of life is damn cheap, notally restaurants and drinks in clubs ...in Fabrique, a long-neck Baltika costs 5000 soums, a Black Russian 7000 soums, and a 25cl superior vodka jug 16 000 soums. In the glam clubs, the most expensive cocktails don't cost more than 12 000 soums, and the VIP tables cost next to nothing, at least compared to Moscow, Piter, Bucarest, ect. A three courses fine dinner for two (with multiple drinks) is about 100 000 soums in posh cafes or in upscale restaurants. There is BTW many good and atmospheric restaurants in Tashkent.
It is interesting to note that because of the cheap cost of life, the abundance of available girls and the "exotism" of the city, Tashkent is also a "party destination" for some russian guys. I have some friends from Piter (good looking guys in their mid 30s) who go there each summer and wouldn't even consider to go elsewhere.
There is about 2.9 million people in Tashkent. It's the fourth largest city in FSU after Moscow, Piter and Kiev.The main ethnic groups are Russians, Tatars, Persians, Koreans, Turks, Caucasian (from Caucasus) and of course Central Asians. All the shades in-between exist also. I've met girls of truly incredible ethnic mixes, like tatar/avar, lezghin/slavic, ect. What strikes immediatly is the astonishing variety of women that covers all the types you can dream about and that is truly unparallelled on the planet. Tashkent carry an insane number of tall and gorgeous women from all ethnicities. Some are lethal creatures I'd even say. Nonetheless I am perhaps not totally objective as I have a fascination for persian looks combined with hot russian bodies, exactly one of the types that abounds in Tashkent. As a side note, even the girls with asiatic features are usually taller, bustier, and more curvaceous than what one would normally identify with an asian girl.
During Soviet times, and particularly during WW2, there has been huge migrations from Russia (there was some 1.5 million people forcibly delocalised from Russia - especially from West Russia - and Ukraine, including 300.000 orphans) so there's also plenty of blond haired blue eyed beauties named Svetlana, Lena or Tatiana - that said, and logically, the ratio of truly hot slavic blondes is definitely higher in Russia or Ukraine. Some ethnic groups of the Caucasus also have been massively delocalised to Tashkent during Stalin era, as most korean-ethnic people from Far East Russia. Uzbekistan is definitely much more ethnically diverse than Kyrgyzstan or even Kazakhstan.
I still remember the very first time (it was summer) I went to Tashkent. After arrival, I immediatly went to an internet cafe where all users were girls. I was surrounded by tatar-ethnic, russian-ethnic, korean-ethnic, persian-ethnic, ect beauties, all dressed in too short skirts or small shorts, minimalist tops and fuck-me heels. I then decided that Tashkent will be my new favorite place on the planet.
Tashkent has a smooth mediterranean climate, nonetheless it can be scorching hot in summer, up to 45°. During this period women wear next to nothing ..."Wawaweewa, it's a very nice" would say Borat.
Fall is a rather enjoyable period, nonethess swimming pools are closed, which is a pity as it's one of the wonders of Tashkent (see below).
Uzbekistan is an enthralling country. It's really worth visiting some of the Silk Road cities. A high-speed train whose comfort almost equals the Eurostar is, since last year, running the Tashkent - Samarkand route and makes the trip in 2h30. Audacious guys will venture to Fergana Valley, which is also worth the side trip. I've had a lofty score in Fergana with a tall and slender gorgeous persian-ethnic hotel receptionist - when you go where others don't, the unexpected can happen each minute.
BTW Tashkent is a liberal, mainly unreligious place and even though many guys refer to the Islamic character of Uzbekistan, I myself can't agree to any of that for Tashkent. You encounter here MUCH less of the cliche Islamic lifestyle than you would in Jakarta or KL, or even in London or Paris.
Tashkent is the nicest, greenest and cleanest city I've ever been to in FSU. Wide smooth streets, large tree-lined avenues, dozens of beautiful and well-maintened parks with plenty of gorgeous fountains, ect. Traffic never get stuck and the air is pure. Also what is great from a touristic point of view is the enjoyable blend of Soviet, Oriental and Central Asian atmospheres/architectures. Truly exotic. There are cops (militziya) on every corner and street-crime is non-existent, thanks to the dictatorship regime. Never been stopped nor hassled by cops BTW. Uzbek guys are a bit rude (pardon, hello, thanks are unknown words, and smiles non-existent) and seem a bit overfilled with testosterone but in fact are rather friendly. Never, once came close to feeling threatened or unsafe, save by some drunken punters in discos (I have been involved two or three times in brawls with drunk turk and indian guys - one of the brawls caused me a retinal detachment, something you definitely don't want to have in Uzbekistan). As a side note, and oddly enough, turks and indians are about the only foreigners in Tashkent. Anyway uzbeks are also genuinely honest. Never been swindled by a taxi driver nor a informal money changer.
What is great in Tashkent is that almost every car is a potential taxi. You flag a car, it immediately stops, you go in, say where you go, and pay 2000 soums (or 3000 if you look like a lost tourist) or 3000/4000 soums late at night. Wherever you are and at any hour you never wait more than one minute before a car stops to pick you up, which is highly handy.
The Metro is worth a try. It can compete with Moscow or SPb in term of imposing Soviet "beauty". Nonetheless "taxis" are so cheap that taking metro, marshrutkas or trams for hanging around doesn't make sense.
Tashent is by no means a balls-out wild city as Moscow, yet girls are plentiful and litteraly everywhere. As a side note, there is in most clubs and bars/pubs in Tashkent, sometimes in small proportion, and sometimes in significative proportion, some "occasionals" or "weekenders" (students, girls with modest jobs, ect, i.e girls who are not prostitutes but who for whatever reasons are willing to screw a sranger for money). I won't elaborate about that as it is a priori not the subject of this forum, nonetheless it can be interesting for some guys here to know that those girls congregate at Fabrique - ex Niagara, and to a lesser extend at Opera. BTW my experience is that many of them are capable to abandon their goal to have fun with a guy they mesh well with. There is of course also many real pros also in Tashkent - let's not forget that uzbeks (and most often the most ugly) are the largest contingent of FSU working girls in Thailand.
As one can expect from the fourth largest city in FSU, nightlife is pretty good, even on weekdays. There is some "in" and glam clubs like KataKomba (property of Karimov's daughter, where international DJs come performing) or People. Fabrique and Opera are more middle-class options, but more friendly IMO. There is also a whole host of hip and happening cafes and bars like Barxan, Gorod, Skazka, Cafe 1991, Red Bar, L'Eto Bar, Ellipse, Jimmy Poy karaoke, The Rooms, SMI bar (which is also the best "after-hours" spot in town), Fashion Bar, Red’n’Black, ect. Many pubs also, like Pivovar Dudek, Chelsea Pub, Irish Pub, Gasthaus, Brauhaus, ect. Many bars and pubs have nice outdoor terraces, which gives to Tashkent, on summer nights, an enjoyable atmosphere that most FSU cities don't have.
Of course, like everywhere else, scoring requires a bit of work, but guys with "game", time, dressing style/refinement and cultural awareness can do VERY well in Tashkent, much more so than in EE over-runned destinations. Nonetheless it's rare that you find, as in Moscow, one-night-stand drunk sluts, but it can happen. In Tashkent, girls are (or at least try to appear) more conservative than in Russia.
As a side note, there is also in Zharatshan Komplex (Broadway) a small strip bar named FM Bar which is quite simply one of the friendliest strip club I've ever been to. It's a small and rather sleazy place where 90% of the girls are really attractive (all ethnicities are represented), where atmosphere is cool, and where prices are very fair : 4000 soums for a one song lapdance and 5000 soums for a long-neck Baltika. Girls don't get totally naked and stay in underwears or sexy outfits yet are really, really good at driving you crazy. They don't order silly cocktails when they come to have a drink at your table but are happy with beer and accessorily a hookah. Great place indeed. Girls are only dancers, yet if you hit it off with one of them you can quite easily date her for a lunch or a drink the next day, and more if affinity.
BTW one of the great things about Tashkent is that girls have not been brainwashed against beer. In EE, Ukraine or Russia, most girls consider beer as a low-class thing. But not yet in Tashkent. Even the most upper-class girls seem to enjoy beer during meals, and in clubs it's not rare to see girls drinking Baltikas, even sometimes from the bottle (honestly, what is more appealing than a sophisticated 9+ girl drinking beer from the bottle?)
Last but not least, there is nice bellydancing floor shows with generally outrageously stunning girls in many clubs and restaurants in Tashkent. Some of the dancers are scorable, I can testify, but some others may have local mafioso boyfriends, and this is people with who you don't want any trouble with, so beware.
Daytime game is not really evident. From June to September, it's impossible to chase in the streets or the parks, it's too hot. The only mall really busy is Mir Mall, near Zharatshan Komplex, but it's just a two storey building, with just a few stores and a miserable food court. That said, in summer, from 5 or 6pm, people have the habit to stroll on "Broadway" (a long walking street in the gorgeous Amir Timur park), and there is many groups of girls strolling around or simply drinking beer in the old-fashioned summer houses boarding the promenade.
During summer scorching hot days, most of the upper-class girls take a three months subscription at the Radisson swimming pool. It's expensive by uzbek standarts so only the "cream of the crop" frequent this place. It is a goldmine if you have skills, if you have enough self-confidence to game high-value targets and if you are are physically above average (swimming pool = swimsuit). At the Radisson pool, on good weekends, you need all your willpower just to keep your tongue from dragging the floor. Of course those girls are aware of their "market value" and behave as such, but in the end they are still women... and vulnerable. It is my favorite hunting ground in Tashkent, and I scored a lot there (even too much, some days I knew that there'll be at least four or five GFs or prospects so to not vex anyone, I didn't showed up and choosed to go to the Aqua Park nearby - no cheating) . But I really like this place. Spending an afternoon at the Radisson pool with a ridiculously hot 20 yo beauty in tiny Versace bikini is pure bliss.
The immense Aqua Park is also enjoyable. This is where middle-class girls with less financial means congregate. Nice spot to take a date or simply chase girls.
There is also BTW a gorgeous spot named Charvak Lake (about 60 km out of Tashkent, informal taxis can take you there for around 30 000 soums ) to kick back for a few days with a chick or two on board during summer. It's the largest water reservoir in Central Asia. In fact "reservoir" is a rather pejorative term, it's an immense and immaculate lake with nice natural beaches and with an interesting (yet a bit scattered) beach scene in summer. Water is turquoise, drawing a bit on the green, surroundings are majestic mountains of brownish and reddish dry tones. Breathtaking. Many choices for accommodation (datchas to rent, a big resort (Pyramids), small hotels, guesthouses, ect)
Is Tashkent worth a visit ? ... yes, definitely. Even if it's not a 7/7 sex-marathon destination, it's a very enjoyable city, exotic, culturally enthralling, safe, dirty cheap, still off the beaten tracks, swarming with outrageously stunning girls from all ethnicities, with many good bars and cafes, a lot of culinary options, a decent club scene, and a great potential. The only minus is the outdated "old style FSU" atmosphere (if Miami lifestyle is your idea of ideal vacations, don't go to Tashkent), with all the drawbacks, hassles and absurdities that it implies. Also, if you are not there since long enough to have a small stable of girls, you might feel moments of immense doubt and solitude - but this is frequent in FSU. Beside that, I personally see no reasons for a skilled, culturally curious and adventurous player for NOT going to Tashkent.
Hope this help.