Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

This traditional marketplace in Eski Shahar, Tashkent’s old city, claims to be over 2,000 years old. In Farsi, the word chorsu means “four streams,” an indication of how this place has long existed in a cultural crossroads. Elderly ladies sell obi non, a round Uzbek bread, while younger men jostle for customers’ attention with their baskets of dried fruit and nuts.

Everything from imported electronics and counterfeit goods to children’s toy and handcrafted knives are on sale here. There’s even a thriving black market for dollars and rubles. And as one might expect of an old Silk Road bazaar, spices such as cumin, cinnamon, and saffron are plentiful, as are traditional Uzbek sweets.

Follow your nose straight to the market’s food alley. Here you can try everything from the standard Uzbek shashlik (grilled meat skewers) to khasip (liver sausage). There’s also khanum, a doughy, tomato-flavored potato dish, to balance out the otherwise meat-heavy offerings. 

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