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Home » Articles » Destinations » Asia » Our trip to Azerbaijan
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Our trip to Azerbaijan
Submitted by christine on 2008-06-20 09:04:49 (via journals.worldnomads.com)
Finding accommodation in places unpopular with tourists is difficult, as it proved to be in Azerbaijan, it is rather expensive as well. Don't let this scare you off, the joy of exploring Baku will surely compensate any annoyance.
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Submit Your Vote   |   Add Comment      5 comments   |   Topic: Azerbaijan  
 
Submitted by Anonymous on 2008-07-03 08:06:21
Been there and I agree with your comments!
I loved there :)
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Submitted by Anonymous on 2008-07-03 12:59:39
Nice city. Getting nicer with old architecture being cleaned up. I wouldn't go there by choice, only cos I work there.
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Submitted by Anonymous on 2008-07-19 17:48:48
it was a nice experience being there , baku is a nice historical city. Well, you can expect to face some problems because of incompatibleness like all ex. soviet states. I mean, in many areas they have different ways to doing something and learning takes time.
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Submitted by Anonymous on 2008-08-07 00:41:42
Its dirty, polluted, the roads are a disgrace, fortunately the bad road slow the traffic, I say fortunately as the driving is so bad.
Some nice architecture, but most of the buildings are not in a good condition.
They are doing work to tidy up the city but most of it is superficial, main roads and buildings on main roads tidied up a bit, new park areas being contructed or old ones tidied.
There are plenty pubs and restaurants, a few are quite good, the pubs are quieter than previously as there are not so many expats here now, which good in some ways, bad in others.
The pubs are more pleasant with less assholes in them, but some are closing due to lack of trade, many hookers have moved out too as they have less customers.
It is quite an expensive place too, meals much the same as UK, drinks more expensive, taxis less expensive but really mainly crap cars, beat up old Ladas.
Crime against expats has risen since the downturn in work, it is not just expats who have been laid off and there is an element of resentment against the remaining ones, I have been robbed and I know a few others who have been mugged.
I amhere because I am well paid to work here, otherwise I wouldn't be.
I don't recommend it as a place for backpackers/vacationers.
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Submitted by Anonymous on 2008-08-16 06:57:33
while i don't disagree entirely with that last pessimistic comment, i think it's really one-sided and reflects the view(s) of many foreigners/expats who don't open up and realize what there is to appreciate about Baku and Azerbaijan as a whole.
In all honesty, that last comment applies mainly to the city of Baku by itself. Outside of the city, the rest of the towns are supposedly a lot poorer/less privileged, as one can expect from a country where the main body of development is in Baku, where the bulk of business opportunities are situated due to this reason or that (oil, established companies setting up here, expats, etc.)
The country itself (i.e. the countryside) is really beautiful. Breathtakingly so.
A person who has an interest in architecture would enjoy a trip to Baku. Buildings from many different time periods can be found in the city centre alone. Pre-Soviet, Soviet, and more modern/almost Western-influenced buildings can be found one next to the other. There are many other periods that can be found, but it's been a while since I have thought about it/talked to someone who knows more about it.
Once again looking at the pessimistic comment - this person comments about the many things that an expat in Baku is exposed to; but there are many things many foreigners do not observe about Baku that could be greatly appreciated. The traditional music is rather interesting, if a bit difficult to take in, for foreigners. The art, in general, is pretty interesting.
I do agree that many things here are pretty expensive, especially for foreigners... Many Azerbaijanis will try to rip off foreigners (or really, anyone who does not speak either Azerbaijani or Russian)... Traffic is a hazard we all have to deal with here, also... But really, a lot of the flaws people would feel Baku has (traffic, expensive shopping, etc.) is easy to get around if you know the right people/right ways, as it is in most countries.
There are many interesting people here in Baku. Yes, still quite a bit behind the 'Western world', still quite old-fashioned, but really interesting. Although some of the middle-aged/younger people are quite obnoxious and sometimes border - yeah, that's actually pretty irritating =S If you know the right people, though, you'd find a large group of Azerbaijanis who are really cool, really fun, really nice people...
I dunno - I really enjoy being in Baku. I'm helping some people do some filming which shows two aspects of Baku - the 'beautiful Baku' and the 'bad Baku'. So yeah, I really feel like I can appreciate quite a bit of what Baku has to offer - it's very bright, colourful in the summer; quite dreary in the winter (but I hate winter in general so I may be just slightly biased lol). On the one hand, with Baku, you have really interesting architecture, some beautiful sights, very interesting culture; on the other hand, you have streets full of litter (although, these seem to disappear when we want to go film them =S), some rather obnoxious people, and stand a 68% chance of getting ripped off most times you go shopping...
Baku has its ups and downs in all aspects of the city, much like any other city. I really wish I could tell you more about the smaller towns and the regions (the countryside, yea), but I haven't got much experience with either.
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