Indian Gala Dinner And Belly Dance in Tashkent 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Like it or not, this gala dinner with belly dance is the main selling point used by Indian tour operators when they market package tours to Tashkent. The travel agent that I used for my first and perhaps the last package tour to Uzbekistan in January 2017 - McTrip Holidays (silkroutepackages.in, tashkentlive.in) promised an Indian buffet dinner along with a "world-class" dance show every night of the tour duration. Later in this page you will get to see a video of the dance show that was presented on our first night in Tashkent. You can decide on your own whether it was "world-class" or not. This tour operator cheated our group in so many ways that I had to write an exclusive article just on the fraud aspect. Read it here: Delhi To Tashkent Tour Fraud. Anyway, since these so-called belly dance shows always become an important part of the tours from India to Tashkent, this is what you can expect to see:



YouTube Link To The Video: https://youtu.be/7eYKm2GjbY4

The show begins with one or two genuine local cultural dances in which the dancers are wearing some sort of traditional costumes. The music is local too. However, there is not much enthusiasm among the dancers or among the spectators and actually both parties are waiting for the formalities to be over so that the real show can start. In this video, you will see the second dance performance of the evening at the end of which the dancers leave the stage and join the spectators at their tables. Then a sort of private dancing, rather gyrating, starts for the pleasure of those watching up close. Spectators are free to stand and dance along with the ladies but the amount of attention the guys get from the ladies will depend on how much money they can give to them. The currency is Uzbekistan Som in the denomination of 1000 Som, and sometimes even 5000 Som. Keep giving money and the ladies will keep dancing near your table. This is almost like what happens or used to happen in the dance bars of Mumbai. When your stack of bills is gone and you make no attempt to take more cash from your pocket, the ladies start looking for other tables around. Be careful with your money because when you are not looking, currency notes on these dinner tables in Tashkent have a tendency of suddenly disappearing.

The Music

The Music is racy and mostly Indian so that the visitors from India can relate to it. The DJ, also the guy who picks up currency notes from the floor, usually knows his music. This was always true except for our final night in Tashkent when our local tour operator - iTravel, brought a DJ who had no idea what dance music should be like.

Duration Of The Show

The dance show usually continues for two hours but our fraud tour operator ended the show after one hour only on our last night. The cost of the dance show for the operator is 150 USD that includes the DJ. Our local tour operator must have saved 75 USD on that final night.

The Food And Drinks

This gala event is supposed to include unlimited local vodka, beer, and snacks followed by a buffet dinner. How unlimited the drinks get depends on the tour operator because on two out of four nights, our tour operator ran out of drinks mid-way. The beer is brought in re-used 2-litre cola bottles, from some bulk source. During my tour, the quality of the snacks and the food was good on two nights and very bad on the other two nights. The restaurant that you see in the video was good. We had two dinners and one lunch there. On both the nights when dinner was arranged in this restaurant, the dance ladies were the same. The menu of the buffet dinner was the same every day. It was always Rajma, one veg curry, one paneer curry, one non-veg curry, plain rice, chapatis, and dessert (ice cream, but reluctantly served).

The Venues

The lunches and dinners are supposed to be organised in Indian restaurants, at least that is what the Indian tour operators promise. In reality, none of our meals was arranged in any Indian restaurants. All were small party venues that arranged for Indian food on order.

I know I am not making all this sound very encouraging. The honesty of both Indian and the local Uzbek tour operators actually decides the quality of the tour. May be there are some honest travel agents out there, only I could not find them.





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Posted by Narinder Singh



 

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I left my day job in October 2013 and became a full time blogger. I love travel and hence a travel blog was the obvious place to start from. The result is desiyatri.com. I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh.

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