Dushanbe, Tajikistan | 24 September, 2006 | $10 USD
It took me all day to get from Samarkand, Uzbekistan to Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The trip through the mountains was beautiful and you can read more about it here. The only real hotel in Dushanbe at the time was an old Soviet monstrosity and it took a bit of pressure to free up two “cheap” $10 rooms. At the end of each hall was a woman at a desk in charge of keys. She was often sleeping or watching TV instead of watching the keys and gave me disapproving looks when I slept in, as it disrupted her schedule.
Tajikistan has a number of rules for travelers including the need to register the police within three days of entering the country. The person I traveled with from Uzbekistan tried to register at the appropriate authority but was told to register at the hotel. We did but then ran into trouble when we got to the other side of the country and were told we were only registered for the time we were staying at that hotel. It all came down to bribes in the end.
The price was quite high for a room with no bathroom and no breakfast. It was also interesting that I paid $10 for my bed in a 2-bed room and my travel partner ended up paying the same price to share his room?it was priced per bed, not per room. This was the only hotel I slept at during my two weeks in Tajikistan?as far as I knew there were no hotels in the other towns I visited, where I stayed with local families. The home stays proved a much more valuable insight to the culture than this hotel, where I was invited to karaoke with French military wearing blue camouflage hot pants.