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It’s city of many beautiful places to visit, parks, gardens, monuments, green sidewalks and a relatively pollution free environment. But Tashkent tourism seems to have their sights fixed elsewhere. One half foul-mouthed Russian cab drivers and other half long bearded old men in their open-fronted chapans. For a predominantly Muslim state, Tashkent seems to have set his sights pretty far, being more and more popularly referred to as the “Thailand of the Middle-East”. A Muslim state and sex tourism, two phrases I thought was impossible to pair together.

Nothing in more exciting than Tashkent’s Night

The Tashkent nightlife scene is quite unexpected and still pretty young; it has been touted as the best nightlife in the Muslim world. Dance bars and late night massage parlors are the norm here. The city has some of the best belly dancing bars, glamorous and chic. Belly is actually quite a subtle and exotic art that has slowly taken on the forms of scintillating and vulgar in popular culture. And Tashkent is only adding on to that image. Maybe it’s simply waking up to the demands of an increasing foreign tourist population.

Shake your belly

The massage parlors and saunas are a whole other story. They operate late hours and are fairly outspoken about their services. Russian girls are quite popular for their beauty across the globe, and you will find plenty in Tashkent. There are a number of what they refer to as “villas” on the outskirts of the city that serve as safe hubs. Unlike Thailand, the legal boundaries for such activy are not clearly demarcated and you might just land yourself in a very hot tub. All things considered, it will be impossible for you to spend a night on the city without at least a couple of propositions for paid pleasures of the flesh. In all likelihood, the first thing your cab driver asks you probably has nothing to do with where you want to be taken.

Rhythm night

There are so many other things to do on a Tashkent tour, I suggest ditching the nightlife. By all means, enjoy a good belly dance or two, just know where to draw the line. There plenty of green spaces, a clutter of interesting museums and great hiking, rafting and skiing in remarkably accessible Ugam-Chatkal National Park.

As the newest member of the content team, Shivangi Rajendran comes from the world of professional dancing. With a passion for travel and a flair for writing, the Masters in Mass Communication is just an added advantage. A gypsy at heart, she doesn’t believe in planning and is always ready to pack her bags and leave.

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