The huge blue-green dome of Chorsu Bazaar’s fresh produce market is at the centre of old town Tashkent, where all the ancient arterials once met the great Silk Road and caravan merchants told tales of faraway lands. You’ll perhaps have a few of your own when you arrive in Tashkent, so don’t let any language barriers keep you from conversing with the vendors. They’re friendly and keen for a chat despite their initial gruff stoicism. Buy ripe melons, bright-fleshed pomegranates and aromatic persimmons and wander the heaped spice, nut and grain sacks, and stacks of oversized fruit and vegetables. Once past the slabs of slaughtered livestock, you’ll find the expansive open air markets, where you can pick up an embroidered kaftan and skull cap, or a souvenir carpet, basket, wood carving, knife, day mattress or handmade tapestry.