Around and behind Bibi-Khanym Mosque is Siob Bazaar, the largest bazaar you can find in Samarkand. The bazaar is lined with stalls selling various types of food like dried fruits, nuts, traditional sweets, honey, dairy products, bread, fruits, vegetables and meats. There are a few souvenir stalls located at the entrance, a section specialising in skullcaps and the other quarter devoted to halva (fudge-like sweet). You can experience the silk route vibes while shopping for some products when you visit Siob bazaar.
A homey feeling awaits you in the small Samarkand “Schastivaya ptitsa” (Happy Bird) Art Gallery, housed in the historic building of a caravanserai of the last century. Luxury Uzbek handmade art enriches the gallery, like luxury pieces, but with a domestic, informal interior. The name Ali Baba Cave is given to the Gallery by visitors. Undoubtedly, each of the works of art carefully preserved carries its own character. Old masters and well-known contemporary writers present their works there. Most of the pieces exhibited can be purchased, but business is not the primary objective of the Art Gallery.
Silk production in Uzbekistan is the third-largest in the world, aside from India and China. These silks are made out of silkworms and mulberry plants. In order to facilitate the maximum feasting of the silkworm, the process lasts up to 20 days from hatching to harvesting. One cocoon contains enough fiber for 1,000 meters of thread, therefore millions of cocoons are needed just to make a carpet. Each carpet takes up to 12 months to make and has more than a million hand-tied knots per square meter. With more than 400 skilled craftsmen, the workshop produces top quality carpets at a rate of thirty to forty per month.
40km south of Samarkand, a town named Urgut is well known for its bazaar. Urgut is notable for its bazaar, which is way larger and cheaper compared to the Siob bazaar in Samarkand. This is one of the best places in the country to look for jewelry, suzani and antique clothing. Prices on the lower side and the quality is on par with everything sold in Samarkand and Bukhara, but under one condition, you have to negotiate hard with the sellers. The best days to visit the bazaar is either Wednesday or Sunday when the bazaar is at its peak. Do take note that not all sections are available if you were to visit on other days.