Bukhara, Uzbekistan | 14 September, 2006 | $25 USD
I arrived in Bukhara late after a long journey from Khiva involving four shared taxis and two buses (one of which broke down in the desert). Bukhara’s historic center is car-free so the taxi could only drop me off in the center. I promptly turned the wrong direction and got lost down a maze of narrow, crumbling alleyways. My bag was pretty heavy at this point and I was struggling to make it up any more stairs. Every low-cost hotel I could find was fully booked something I found to be true throughout Uzbekistan in September. I ended up at a nice hotel and collapsed. For $25 a night (hotels ask for payment in US dollars in Uzbekistan) it was more than my total daily budget but I had exhausted all of my options and after traveling all day was sweaty, covered in dust and hungry.
The hotel was so clean I felt horrible staying in my own room. Not only did it have air conditioning and a bathroom… the bathroom had glass shower doors! It was the nicest hotel I stayed in my entire 14-month trip and probably the most expensive as well. Breakfast was served outside in the courtyard with a beautiful tea service.