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Uzbekistan

 
 
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Author paul
Partaker
#16 | Posted: 18 Oct 2016 08:11 
Independent travel in Uzbekistan is very easy, the trains - especially the night trains are great and very cheap and shared taxis are also really easy to arrange.

If you can arrange it a 5 day Turkmenistan transit visa will enable you to move independently without a guide using public transport. This is possible I met 2 young Austrian girls with one in September.

Author clyde
Partaker
#17 | Posted: 23 Oct 2016 08:20 
Seems quite straightforward to get a visa/official invitation for Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan if you contact any of the official companies to organise a private driver and accomodation. Will have to wait and see.

Author elsslots
Admin
#18 | Posted: 23 Oct 2016 13:14 
clyde:
Kazakhstan

Ah, I see that the current visa free regime for the Expo 2017 does not extend to Maltese! Sorry for you.

I am planning for Kazakhstan (and Kyrgyzstan) for next year as well. Will open a separate topic for that. as not to spoil this one about Uzbekistan which is an entirely different country. A great one, in my experience. Bukhara ranks among my all time favourite WHS.

Author clyde
Partaker
#19 | Posted: 23 Oct 2016 17:21 
Not really a problem. Might as well get a visa for all 3 countries from the same company. I was always looking into getting a car + driver especially to help with border crossings. Kazakhstan came as later addition when I saw the recent review of Turkestan :) It also makes sense to leave Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan for a future trekking trip while Turkestan fits in well with this cultural trip :)

My primary focus will be Uzbekistan though with 3-4 days in each of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Will be glad to let the tour companies settle my visas while I'll be busy travelling soon and preparing for my next trip before the Stans.

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#20 | Posted: 6 Dec 2016 11:08 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Oh it looks like a bit of a shake up in visa free travel to Uzbekistan:

Complete abolition from 1 April 2017 the visa regime for tourists from 15 countries, including Australia, Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Finland, Switzerland and Japan.
As well as for tourists from 12 countries under the age of 55 years, including Belgium, Indonesia, China (a part of tourist groups), Malaysia, the USA, France, Vietnam, Israel, Poland, Hungary, Portugal and the Czech Republic. Visa-free regime will apply to foreign citizens arriving to the Republic for tourist purposes for a period not exceeding 30 days

Or this source in English which seems to have it that the restriction is lifted for those over rather than under 55 (an odd stipulation to me). My Russian isn't good enough (mostly non-existant) to know which is the correct translation.

Again no direct mention of Malta, but perhaps it may be on of the other countries not listed.

And still even if it is selective and with a weird age caveat it is still promising news that travel is opening up in the area, I look forward to the Guardian travel section on it in January and the follow up one one in March 2020 decrying how it has lost its soul to tourism.

Author clyde
Partaker
#21 | Posted: 7 Dec 2016 04:36 
Since I need an invitation letter for Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, I asked for one in Uzbekistan too just in case. The same agency will organize a private driver for us while in the Stans :)

Author wojtek
Partaker
#22 | Posted: 7 Dec 2016 07:09 
meltwaterfalls:
Or this source in English which seems to have it that the restriction is lifted for those over rather than under 55 (an odd stipulation to me). My Russian isn't good enough (mostly non-existant) to know which is the correct translation.

Yes, the changes are for tourists older than 55, and only those travelling in organised groups. But they want to significantly simplify the visa process next year and introduce e-visa. Anyway, after the change of visa regime to Kazakhstan, the only difficult country in the region will be Turkmenistan (and even there we may hope it wil change in the next years).

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#23 | Posted: 8 Dec 2016 07:26 
Thanks for clarifying wojtek.

Whilst it doesn't change things for me it looks positive that visa regimes in the area are liberalising.

Author elsslots
Admin
#24 | Posted: 19 May 2021 14:49 
Good to hear that you travelled, carmendavid. Please write us some reviews!

Author christravelblog
Partaker
#25 | Posted: 29 May 2022 09:24 | Edited by: christravelblog 
Planning Uzbekistan for 2nd half September. No visa needed, no pcr tests, and an easy flight from istanbul where i can plan a long stopover of 2 weeks on the way back from Singapore.
I don't like public transport so I will hire a car and drive myself. I am checking for one way rental though and possible fly back from Itchan Kala (Urganch)

I came up with this itinerary. If anyone has suggestions?

Mon 19 Sept Day 1 Depart late evening to IST
Tue 20 Sept Day 2 Arrival IST very early morning continue to TAS evening

Wed 21 Sept Day 3 Tasjkent day trip

Thu 22 Sept Day 4 To Samarkand via ?? (direct 4.5h drive)

Fri 23 Sept Day 5 Samarkand day trip

Sat 24 Sept Day 6 Shakhrisyabz day trip 1.5h drive one way

Sun 25 Sept Day 7 Samarkand to Bukhara via? (direct is 4.5h drive) 4 places possible each 1 hour, idea:
Mir-Sayid Bakhrom Mauso & Qosim Sheikh Mosque in Navoy (1h)
Rabati Malik Caravanserai (30 minutes)
Deggaron Mosque (30 minutes)
Bahoutdin Complex (1.5 hour)

Mon 26 Sept Day 8 Day trip in Bukhara (Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum already include)

Tue 27 Sept Day 9 Bukhara to Itchan Kala with stops:
Chor-Bakr (1h), Varakhsha (1h) near Bukhara
then near Itchan Kala and Khazarasp Sheikh Mukhtar-Vali (mausoleum)

Wed 28 Sept Day 10 Itchan Kala day trip (most western visit)

Thu 29 Sept Day 11 Desert castles day trip from Itchan Kala

Fri 30 Sept Day 12 Depart Itchan Kala to Samarkand (long way 10-11h)
Idea?!: Stop for the night at Sarmishsay for the petroglyps breaks both days in better do-able driving as well.
Sat 1 Oct Day 13 Samarkand to Tasjkent (via? If petrogplyps then no more via)

Sun 2 Oct Day 14 Day trip to Western Tien-Shan (skip this if above doesn't run well as Tien-Shan is transborder.

Mon 3 Oct Day 15 Fly out late afternoon to IST onward to AMS
Tue 4 Oct Day 16 Or here onward to AMS

Author elsslots
Admin
#26 | Posted: 29 May 2022 10:06 
It's the classical route that you've planned. Can't go wrong on that one, would maybe skip the day in Tashkent, and Shakhrisyabz only takes an hour or 2 not a full day. It would give you time to properly add Western Tien-Shan, this would add more variation to your journey. Also, when I was to visit Uzbekistan again, I would add some places in the west as well (Karakalpakstan, Cold Winter Desert upcoming WHS).

Author mrayers
Partaker
#27 | Posted: 29 May 2022 12:18 | Edited by: mrayers 
christravelblog:
I came up with this itinerary. If anyone has suggestions?

I did these four sites at the beginning of this April, just two months ago...

Yes, logistically easy country to travel in right now, minimal covid rules at the time (almost no masks), one ATM/money exchange at the airport just after the baggage claim, few problems with money elsewhere, apart from a day where the nearby ATMs were all out of service.

I'm not sure if you would consider the new high-speed rail service "Afrosiyob" to be Public Transport, but you might consider it for the Tashkent/Samarkand/Bukhara section, at least in one direction. Service is similar to Europe, tickets are inexpensive, and relatively easy to buy online. https://e-ticket.railway.uz/en/. Travel time between Tashkent and Bukhara is 3:50. The slower trains are still running, so if you do decide to go that way, be sure to get the correct ticket.

Shakhrisyabz has no rail service so you'd need your own transportation there, or hire a taxi for the day like I did, which was the only expensive thing I had in Uzb at $100. It's a little longer than 1.5 hours each way, I'd say. We left Samarkand at about 8:30 AM, and were back at, I think, 2:30-3:00 PM. The Site is quite spread out, located at both ends of the rebuilt promenade, though there is a little electric shuttle that lets you skip the return walk.

I did Itchan Kala as a long day trip from Bukhara, which was the only rushed/tiring visit I made, you're wise to make section that longer.

Plenty of acceptable accommodations in, or adjacent to, the core zones, you shouldn't have any trouble finding a good place to stay just meters from the best sights.

If you wanted to add an extra day someplace, Bukhara would be the choice. And, personally, I'd keep the day in Tashkent for post-flight rest.

Have fun!

Author christravelblog
Partaker
#28 | Posted: 30 May 2022 04:01 
mrayers:
m not sure if you would consider the new high-speed rail service "Afrosiyob" to be Public Transport, but you might consider it for the Tashkent/Samarkand/Bukhara section

I would take this, for example in China I prefer that way. BUT, as I have planned some stuff on the way, small sights, I think by car is "easier". For sure Uzbek is safe for a selfdrive as well. My Russian friend only said to be prepared for possible bribes.
regarding money: I plan to exchange in Tashkent some cash, plus on such trips i always carry enough in case needed.

elsslots:
Shakhrisyabz only takes an hour or 2 not a full day

Agree but from Samarkand it's also a 1.5 hour drive up and down.... still half a day but gives me also half a day to work in the middle of my trip.

elsslots:
maybe skip the day in Tashkent

i collect capitals as well

elsslots:
add Western Tien-Shan

agree, but, I think I can do the 1 day trip as mentioned in the review. There is a small town with road pretty close to the start of the core zone. Then I plan to hike in along the river somewhere. there is a trail. Honestly, these mountains etc aren't my favorite and for the wildlife........ you need weeks.

elsslots:
places in the west as well (Karakalpakstan, Cold Winter Desert upcoming WHS)

This, yes, I have thought about this multiple times and long. It's just I have no more time for this trip. The only way I could fit this in would be to fly to Urganch and see to get a car from there to the winter desert. Then make my way back indeed by train and only visit the cities with Shakhrisyabz taxi. This would work; but, then I miss all the "real" Uzbekistan driving around. It will be also transborder, like the western tien-shan.

always, time time time, and money money money :-)

Author christravelblog
Partaker
#29 | Posted: 30 May 2022 04:05 
I just came up with an idea :-)
Did anyone drive (maybe not with rental but private taxi) from Uzbek to Tajikistan for a day.
Samarkand to the WHS in Tajikistan: Sarazm

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#30 | Posted: 30 May 2022 10:31 
christravelblog:
Samarkand to the WHS in Tajikistan: Sarazm

had the same idea when planning my trip (and then covid happened). problem could be with border crossings (multiple entry visa?) and covid restrictions. otherwise this should be feasible.

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