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The Azerbaijan Thread - Contrarian Expatriate - 01-19-2020

Arriving In Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is a dictatorship ruled by the Aliyev family dynasty.  They are still in a frozen conflict with Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region so this brings a bit of hyper-paranoia with travel to that country.

First, a tourist eVisa is necessary to procure from this site:
https://evisa.gov.az/en/
Ensure you use only this government site and not others who have services that procure that visa for you but for inflated costs.  The government site is cheap and quick.  Ensure you print out that eVisa and present it to the immigration officer upon arrival. 
Unfortunately the eVisa is good for only 30 day visits. 

Note: Some people have had trouble with the eVisa approval but 99% of the time, you did not type your FULL NAME as it appears on your passport.  If you don't type in your first, middle, and last name as it appears on your passport, they will disapprove the eVisa.  Azerbaijan authorities do not play well with name discrepancies! 

For those of you who have Armenian entry or exit stamps, expect that you will be questioned by immigration.  They will ask you why you went to Armenia, their sworn enemy nation.  Tourism is the advised response.  Under no circumstances should you tell them you visited Nagorno-Karabakh (their disputed region now controlled by Armenia) because that is against Azeri law and you will be barred from the country forever.

In fact never even discuss Armenia or NK because no good can come of it in Azerbaijan.  People have lost male relatives over the years there in the ongoing skirmishes, and it is best avoided as a topic altogether.

To get around the city, download Bolt and or Yandex Taxi.  Uber is a bit spotty but it works, usually. 

There is one exception to the visa requirement.   Visitors on the JFK flight directly into Baku DO NOT have to have a visa!  Make sure you read the small print for all the documents you must have (passport photo, hotel reservation printout, etc.) because I have never taken that flight.  
https://www.azconsulatela.org/Visas-and-Travel/Getting-Visa-at-Airport
I personally would advise to get the eVisa just to avoid trouble.

I have taken Azerbaijan Airlines before and the Comfort Class (like Business class) is very cheap and worth the low extra cost. 

The Population
Think of Azeris as Russified-Turks.  They are almost genetically identical to Turkish people and they and Turkey consider themselves, "Two Countries, One Nation."  Their Soviet history does mean that there are some cultural differences in how they do things.  For one, many people in Baku speak or at least understand Russian language.  Those in the countryside only rarely do and recent arrivals in Baku usually do not.  But Russian is seen as a marker of higher class as it was the tongue of the "colonial master" so to speak.  I speak it there and have NEVER had a negative encounter.  In fact, they will be overjoyed whenever a Westerner can converse in Russian because it is so rare.

There is a very small population of actual Russians still living in Baku although most left for greener pastures.  There is a town of Mountain Jews in the northern city of Quba, and there are Northern Caucasus Lezgins, Talysh, and Iranians from the South Azerbaijan region of Iran which is ironically in the north of Iran.

Since BP and other big oil companies have been operating in Baku for decades, people are semi-used to Westerners now, but Azers tend to be a bit tribal and somewhat suspicious of outsiders.  

Azeris are Shia Muslim but they are, for the most part, Muslim-lite with some exceptions.  There is a region in Baku called Nardaran which is a hotbed of radical Islam but the government keeps a very tight lid on that isolated community.

The Women 
The women in Azerbaijan are weird, but overall pleasant to be with.  One thing to note is that for cultural reasons, many families commit infanticide if their first born child is female.  Male children are the pride and joy of a family.  HOWEVER, this creates an opposite effect later when those babies become adults.  Because of the shortage of female girls and a surplus of men, females are culturally discouraged from dating foreigners.  Don't worry, many still do in Baku, but they catch heat from Azeri men because the numbers are such that most men will never find a local wife.  Men are therefore free to date any nationality as a result.

The women are mostly short, thin, and in shape.  English is becoming more common, but it is not spoken very well at times.  Azeri women are generally dissatisfied with life there and they want to leave.  Most men cannot provide the lifestyle they expect, and foreign men are in play as a result.

Women come off as not very friendly in the beginning, but they might be very interested.  If a woman is overtly interested in you from jump, she is almost surely a working girl or a semi-pro.

There are two types of girls in Baku, good girls and bad girls.  Bad girls are any girls who are out late at night, are unmarried not not virgins, or divorcees.   Good girls are those who go home early, wait for sex after marriage, and remain married.

Because single moms and divorcees are so stigmatized, they are considered low-hanging fruit just ripe for the picking.  There are clubs that cater to these bad girls.  They are:

Infiniti Club
Ellips Club
Status Club
1033 Club (Closest to the center, but the other 3 are next to each other)

Hiss Club (Near the center but not as good)
Otto Club (Near the center but not as good)
Boss Club (Near the center but not as good)
Tunnel Club (Near the center but not as good)

These 3 top clubs are chock full of mostly gorgeous girls EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  Most of the customers are Gulf Arab men on vacation and Iranians, so a Westerners is a coveted jewel there.  Expect to be hit on all night.  Politely decline all comers and only choose the girls you fancy.  Enough said there.

At present, I know of only a few good girl clubs:

Enerji Club (guys must come with a female)
Hot Room (Somewhat college age, underground vibe but in the center)

There is a special club full of mostly good girls that is operates as a night club everyday from 2 PM to late night:
MoJo Club which is right in the center!
This club is mostly college age people and girls who must be home before 9 or so.  They demographic changes there after 9 to bad girls however.

The Quality of Service
Very good in the restaurants.  In the city center, most restaurants and eateries have employees who can speak enough English to accommodate the many international visitors.  Service is not always efficient and fast, but it is well-intentioned and it aims to please.  The Caucasus has a history of hospitality to foreign guests even though it is often just cosmetic.  But you will, never ever be treated poorly or with contempt in the service industry in the center of Baku.

The Hotels and Lodging
Excellent in the major hotels.  I recommend two hotels, The Marriott Bonvoy Boulevard Hotel Autograph Collection (Not to be confused with the boutique "Boulevard Hotel") which is both cheap and Dubai quality also is a tad bit away from the center.

The Holiday Inn is almost as good but it is closer to the center and accross the street from Port Baku Mall, the hangout of the rich, elites and hottest girls in Baku.   Also, it is dirt cheap! 

The Hilton, Marriott, Four Seasons are all closest to the center or Fountain Square area.

The Hyatt is also cheap and wonderful but it is the farthest from the center.  I sometimes stay there on month long stays because of the low cost alone.

Let me make it easy for you, choose I highly recommend the Marriott Boulevard or the Holiday Inn for low cost and quality.  Cabs and UBER are dirt cheap so the extra distance is not an issue.  


One new phenomenon is the hotels' visitors policy.  For years, evening guests would just register at the front desks and go up with you to your room.  However, because of the influx of rich Arab and Iranian sex tourists, some hotels have begun charging visitor fees of about $40.  To my knowledge, none of the hotels have prohibited nighttime guests, but there has been a push to prohibit evening visitors in hotels.  Something to consider.... 

Food
The food is wonderful.  I urge you to try Lulay kabab which puts Turkish kabab to shame, Tika which are soft lamb chops, and Dolma.  There are other dishes but these are very popular and delicious with visitors.
There are McDonalds, KFCs, Burger Kings, and other Western fast food joints, but there are even more local, higher end chains like City Cafe and others.

I often order my food to my hotel room via http://www.nuush.az/en/.  It is like Uber Eats, or Grub Hub but for Azerbaijan.  Just be sure you use your local hotel's phone number not a non-Azeri one or it will not work.

The Culture
Azerbaijan is, again, Muslim-lite but the young women mostly assert their more Western impulses on the down low.  Local guys will hate on you or them, but it never gets violent in that police state of a nation.  The only Westerner beat downs I have heard about were drunk guys trying to out tough locals.  That, you will not win in Azerbaijan I can assure you.

Summary
With all the eVisa hassles, cultural quirks, and hotel restrictions, I say go, go, go.  Azerbaijan is a great place to visit and it is but one brief flight away from Kyiv and or Tbilisi.  Western men do get extra attention there and the women are often gorgeous, Latin-looking sweethearts.  I have been a repeat visitor for good reason.


RE: The Azerbaijan Thread - Rottenapple - 01-19-2020

Very nice write up, really gives a sense of the place! What's the body type like there of the average girl you see in a club? Are they more skinny, Russian style or more like Armenians with some curves? Also almost all dark-haired I imagine?


RE: The Azerbaijan Thread - Contrarian Expatriate - 01-19-2020

(01-19-2020, 03:07 PM)Rottenapple Wrote: Very nice write up, really gives a sense of the place! What's the body type like there of the average girl you see in a club? Are they more skinny, Russian style or more like Armenians with some curves? Also almost all dark-haired I imagine?
Body types vary, but most of the girls from 18 to 25 are usually thin like Russians or Ukrainians.  Girls in the late 20s to mid 30s are thicker.  There are sizes for every taste in Azerbaijan, but thin women are aplenty.

The fast food industry has created a subset of fatties as it has all over that part of the world, but you will not see hordes of American-sized wildebeests waddling down the streets.

Most Azeri men like thicker, shapely women similar to the Latin ideal size.  However, like any place, thin women are at a premium because that is a marker of higher class status.  

About the hair, 98% percent of Azeris are brunettes just like in Armenia.  Even the few mixed with Russian are brunettes because of those strong Turkish genes.  In fact, Azeris do not look all that different than Armenians (They would slit my throat and toss me in the Caspian sea if they heard me say that), but Armenian women tend to be a bit more physically attractive on the whole.  

Maybe I will do an Armenia thread in the future.


RE: The Azerbaijan Thread - Nulled - 01-20-2020

I realize this is slightly off topic. Have you visited Kazakhstan before?

Looking forward to the Armenia write-up.


RE: The Azerbaijan Thread - Contrarian Expatriate - 01-20-2020

(01-20-2020, 04:11 AM)Nulled Wrote: I realize this is slightly off topic. Have you visited Kazakhstan before?

Looking forward to the Armenia write-up.

Yes, I was there 2 years ago in Almaty.  Did you have a particular question about it?


RE: The Azerbaijan Thread - Obermarschall - 01-20-2020

Nice information and yes please I am also interested to know about Kazakhstan!


RE: The Azerbaijan Thread - 262 - 01-20-2020

How do Azeri and Armenian girls compare to Georgian girls in Tbilisi? I ask because I wasn't impressed with the quality in Tbilisi: https://www.swooptheworld.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=608


RE: The Azerbaijan Thread - Nulled - 01-20-2020

(01-20-2020, 04:18 AM)Contrarian Expatriate Wrote:
(01-20-2020, 04:11 AM)Nulled Wrote: I realize this is slightly off topic. Have you visited Kazakhstan before?

Looking forward to the Armenia write-up.

Yes, I was there 2 years ago in Almaty.  Did you have a particular question about it?

How would you compare it to Azerbaijan?


RE: The Azerbaijan Thread - Contrarian Expatriate - 01-20-2020

(01-20-2020, 04:27 PM)Nulled Wrote:
(01-20-2020, 04:18 AM)Contrarian Expatriate Wrote:
(01-20-2020, 04:11 AM)Nulled Wrote: I realize this is slightly off topic. Have you visited Kazakhstan before?

Looking forward to the Armenia write-up.

Yes, I was there 2 years ago in Almaty.  Did you have a particular question about it?

How would you compare it to Azerbaijan?
Kazakhstan does not compare favorably to Azerbaijan to be honest.  Azeris are a Turkish people, while Kazakh are Central Asian (think Mongolian-like).  That being the case, their women are not very attractive to me for starters.

Central Asians are kinder, gentler, and more unassuming people than Azeris and Turks, but it also means they are more socially insular and relate you as a Westerner less comfortably.  

I have an American friend who lives long-term in Kazakhstan and there is a certain ingrained, collectivist groupthink there that drives him mad.  He always has to explain to people why he is not married, why he does certain things the way he does, and other cultural quirks that would just never perplex Azeris.

On the positive note, there are more Russians in Kazakhstan now but they are hard to find and they stick to themselves as an ethnic group.  Also, the Russian language is more widely spoken and more fluently spoken there so that was a plus for me.

Perhaps the best plus for Kazakhstan is that most Western citizens can go there visa-free for a visit of under 30 days.  

Nearby Kyrgyzstan permits visa-free for 60 days however, and while it is smaller than Kazakhstan, I found it to be a bit more enjoyable
a visit than Kazakhstan.

(01-20-2020, 11:57 AM)262 Wrote: How do Azeri and Armenian girls compare to Georgian girls in Tbilisi? I ask because I wasn't impressed with the quality in Tbilisi: https://www.swooptheworld.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=608
In terms of female beauty:

First Place - Armenians in the capital of Yerevan are a far more mixed lot with usually Persian and sometimes Russian admixture so their women tend to have a far higher rate of high beauty.  However, I have seen Armenian women in the countryside near the border of Georgia who look almost like darker-skinned Roma women and are quite unattractive.  You'll never encounter that in Yerevan however.
Think of Armenians as genetically Persian and Christian Arab with dollops of Russian and sometimes Georgian mixed in.  Very nice result actually!

Second Place - Georgians are the most European-looking, but in recent years most Georgian women have been dressing down and playing down their beauty.  My theory is that this is a strategy to keep sexually aggressive and relentless Georgian men at bay.  If you go to upper class neighborhoods in Tbilisi such as Vake, you'll see absolute stunners walking around.  But Georgian women are the most westernized now and they are falling prey to the feminist, short pastel-hair, lesbian-chic, ethos of their Western sisters.  Quite a shame because it was not like that a decade ago.  The fast food industry has absolutely exploded in Georgia and that has increased the average size of Georgian women also in the past decade.

Third Place - Azeris are swarthy skinned Turks who are can be attractive, but not quite as attractive as Armenians for some reason.  I think that most of the wealthy, attractive, urbane, Bakuvians (Natives of the capital of Baku), have mostly moved away from Azerbaijan in the past 25 years and have been replaced by countryside Azeris who are less attractive and far less mixed with Russian, Jewish, and other genes.

Despite their third place status, Baku is still the place where men can most likely have their sexual needs satisfied because Georgian and Armenian women are still mired under the Orthodox mandate of virginity until marriage and social stigma for perceived sluts.  Ironically, Azerbaijani women are Muslim-lite so they are far more comfortable ignoring those religious rules so long as discretion remains the rule.


RE: The Azerbaijan Thread - 262 - 01-21-2020

^ Thanks.

As I said in the Georgia thread though, based on my short time there, I have to disagree on finding stunners in the Vake area of Tbilisi. As we both seemed to say in that thread, Tbilisi is meh for girls now.


RE: The Azerbaijan Thread - Kamaki - 01-21-2020

(01-20-2020, 04:27 PM)Nulled Wrote:
(01-20-2020, 04:18 AM)Contrarian Expatriate Wrote:
(01-20-2020, 04:11 AM)Nulled Wrote: I realize this is slightly off topic. Have you visited Kazakhstan before?

Looking forward to the Armenia write-up.

Yes, I was there 2 years ago in Almaty.  Did you have a particular question about it?

How would you compare it to Azerbaijan?

Armenian women are slightly more attractive than Georgians, Turkish women are significantly more attractive then both IMO