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Uzbekistan: Officials Strive to Ease Hassles for Tourists

After seeing much of Europe and countless beaches in Southeast Asia, Dmitry and Irina Dagbayev thought they might try something different for their next holiday.
 
“This time we decided on Uzbekistan, so as to see Samarkand and Bukhara,” said Dmitry Dagbayev, a retail entrepreneur from Ulan-Ude in Russia.
 
As soon as they arrived at Tashkent airport in March, the Dagbayevs felt they had made a mistake. “Our first impression wasn’t very positive. In the airport, it turned out that you have to declare every single thing you have — down to your money and telephone,” Dagbayev told EurasiaNet.org. “The whole process took 30 minutes, which is too much.”
 
They got off lightly.
 
Many tell of property and cash getting confiscated and of enduring lengthy and intimidating bouts of questioning. In some nightmare cases, unwitting travelers have been thrown into jail for trying to enter the country with pain-relief medicines containing codeine, which is illegal in Uzbekistan.
 

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Uzbekistan: Officials Strive to Ease Hassles for Tourists

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