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Uzbekistan

 
 
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Author christravelblog
Partaker
#31 | Posted: 31 May 2022 03:44 
nfmungard:
with border crossings (multiple entry visa?) and covid restrictions

as far as I know from a Swedish traveller there was nothing needed. No PCR test no visa for either uzbek nor tajikistan (tajikistan has new visa regime from 1.1.2022; you only need for the easter automomous region an e-visa plus permit what i understand). rest is visa free for EU members for sure and 55 countries total.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#32 | Posted: 28 Aug 2022 07:17 
Thanks to Zoe's review and travel picking up, my plan of going to Usbekistan rekindled.

Fri - Tashkent
Travel to Tashkent

Sat - Tashkent/Night
* Western Tien-Shan (Chatkal)
* Night train to Bukhara

Sun - Bukhara
* Sites in and around city. Silk road etc.

Mon - Bukhara -> Samarkand
* Sites in and around city. Silk road etc.
* Train/Taxi to Samarkand

Tue - Samarkand
* Shakhrisyabz
* Samarkand

Wed - Samarkand
* Sarazm and sites along way.

Thu - Samarkand / Tashkent
* Sites around Samarkand

Fri - ?

Sat - ?

Sun - ? Return

Questions:
* Thoughts?
* Western parts of Uzbekistan seem really far off. They contain a WHS and a scheduled tentative site. Looking at my planning I could probably spent 2 days on it (taxi Sunday afternoon to Urganch, return Tuesday afternoon). Still, the cold deserts seem too far off to include in my itinerary.
* The tentative list is pretty long. What are the best sites?

Author elsslots
Admin
#33 | Posted: 28 Aug 2022 08:40 
nfmungard:
Western parts of Uzbekistan seem really far off. They contain a WHS and a scheduled tentative site. Looking at my planning I could probably spent 2 days on it (taxi Sunday afternoon to Urganch, return Tuesday afternoon).

You can't just skip a WHS! Especially a highly rated one. So, yes, off to Khiva it is.

If your time is limited to about 10 days including international flights, this is about all you can do. And it includes Uzbekistan's Greatest Hits, which are outstanding compared to other sites in Central Asia.

Regarding the T List: there are a lot of double entries because of the Silk Road nomination. Pick some near Bukhara.

Author jeanbon
Partaker
#34 | Posted: 28 Aug 2022 18:13 
The aral sea and its ex-port Moynaq is far but interesting anyway. The route on the Oust-Ourt plateau is actually boring.
The old fortresses near Khiva (Ayaz qala, toprak qala) are nice too.

Author Zoe
Partaker
#35 | Posted: 28 Aug 2022 23:59 
For getting to Shakhrisyabz there are shared taxis just near the Sarakant Registan. I recommend you stay in one of the many guest houses there and they can help you bargain with the drivers.

I had the same thought about Khiva first too, especially as the Turkmenistan landborder is closed now, however it was totally worth it. Took the night train to Urgench, cheap taxi to the old town area and it costs $10+ for a 2 day pass that includes all museum entries too. I then flew back to Tashkent from Urgench. Would do a nighttrain back to Tashkent in retrospective as they are quite good.

On another note, is it a silly statement to say that a lot of the Uzbek sites (and the one mausoleum in Kazakhstan) could easily be grouped into one collection?

Author clyde
Partaker
#36 | Posted: 29 Aug 2022 03:51 
Zoe
Yes, but with that reasoning we could group Gothic Cathedrals in Europe and end up with around 800 whs instead of the current list!

Author mrayers
Partaker
#37 | Posted: 29 Aug 2022 09:28 
Zoe:
Took the night train to Urgench, cheap taxi to the old town area and it costs $10+ for a 2 day pass that includes all museum entries too

Just a quick note here. Some of the trains actually go all the way to a station in Khiva, just after Urgench, which is only a 10-minute walk along a touristy-but-uncrowded promenade to the gate to Itchan Kala. I actually did that Site visit as a by-train day trip from Bukhara, departing on a 5AM train, and returning the same evening. There are no high speed trains on that route yet, but there was just enough time to cover the Site reasonably well. It was a very tiring day, however, so not particularly recommended.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#38 | Posted: 29 Aug 2022 11:16 
Thanks for all the feedback so far. Thanks Els for making me go the extra mile for an additional tick :)

Revised:
Day 0 (Fri) Arrival Tashkent.

Day 1 (Sat) Tashkent / Flight to Urgench (Probably in the morning).
Visit Khiva and Surroundings.
Question: Stay in Urgench or Khiva?
Question: It seems impossible to visit the site across the border. Is it?

Day 2 (Sun) Urgench to Bukhara
Shared Cab or Train. There dont seem to be flights.

Day 3 (Mon) Bukhara

Day 4 (Tue) Bukhara to Samarkand
Train

Day 5 (Wed) Samarkand

Day 6 (Thu) Samarkand to Tashkent
Train.

Day 7 (Fri) Western Tien Shan.
Day trip.

Day 8 (Sat) Buffer

Day 9 (Sun) Return.

Question:
Ice deserts yes/no? And if yes, how?

Author mrayers
Partaker
#39 | Posted: 30 Aug 2022 02:08 
nfmungard:
Thanks for all the feedback

Seems a little rushed to me, but if that's your style/time limitations then so be it.

Are you still planning on doing Samarkand and Shakhrisyabz in the same day? That would really short change Samarkand, in my opinion.

You will have no problem finding good places to stay very close to the core zones, presumably still with lots of availability. In Bukhara, I can recommend the Atlas Hotel, which is a reasonable value and literally attached to one of the trading domes.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#40 | Posted: 30 Aug 2022 02:41 
@mrayers agreed. My initial plans are mostly feasibility studies. I will break them down and adjust when i book and on the ground. However, overall it will be max 10-11 days fri/sat to sun/ mon.

Author Zoe
Partaker
#41 | Posted: 30 Aug 2022 05:55 
mrayers:
Are you still planning on doing Samarkand and Shakhrisyabz in the same day? That would really short change Samarkand, in my opinion.

Disagree because some places in Samarkand are closed for renovation and you can do it bit by bit over 3 days.
On Day 4 you only spend a couple hours on a train max, you can do a lot on that day already.

As for your border question, the embassy told me they only allow foreigners to enter via airports unless you are Uzbeki citizen. I'd be surprised if they issue anyone a visa as well. Also remember that a transit visa means you can't return to Uzbekistan after visiting the nearby site, very annoying setup.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#42 | Posted: 30 Aug 2022 06:28 
Zoe:
As for your border question, the embassy told me they only allow foreigners to enter via airports unless you are Uzbeki citizen. I'd be surprised if they issue anyone a visa as well. Also remember that a transit visa means you can't return to Uzbekistan after visiting the nearby site, very annoying setup.

For me the country is off limits. Will do your Sarazm excursion and that is that. Still need to investigate the ice deserts, though.

Author mrayers
Partaker
#43 | Posted: 30 Aug 2022 08:34 
Zoe:
Disagree because some places in Samarkand are closed for renovation and you can do it bit by bit over 3 days.
On Day 4 you only spend a couple hours on a train max, you can do a lot on that day already.

Hmm.. That's interesting. When were you there? In April when I visited, everything was open. This would represent a pleasant exception to my tradition of visiting WHSs when everything is hidden behind scaffolding (Westminster, for example)

Author Zoe
Partaker
#44 | Posted: 31 Aug 2022 02:15 
I was there a couple of weeks ago and many are with scaffolding even the inner court of Samarkand Registan but that could be temporary and didn't block any tourism. It's best to ask at the hotel they should know what's closed.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#45 | Posted: 4 Sep 2022 15:15 
Okay, I think figured out how to do cold deserts. Easiest option is the Aral Lake option from Nukus. Moʻynoq can be done as day trip and one component is along the route, so should not be an issue. There is also an airport in Moʻynoq with daily flights to Tashkent. I would probably return from here.

For the eastern most component, it's unclear how large it is. I could not find any boundary information. The normal 2 day desert tours from Bukhara/Samarkand only go to Lake Aydarkoʻl and that seems way off our coordinate. But: The nomination lists two components for the eastern most point, a Northern one (shown) and a Southern one (not shown). In addition, the desert itself is super large. Safest option would be to go to Uchquduq and arrange a tour from there.

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