Crossing the Uzbek border—in either direction—requires a form stating how much money you have with you. When you leave, the amount needs to be less, (or the same) than when you came.
Border crossings for groups in any of the 5 "stans" is an adventure. Your bus or van and its driver can't cross, so you get out at the border control station for one country, do the paperwork, and then drag all your luggage across a "no man's land" area until you reach the station on the other side. It may be yards, or over a mile. Repeat paperwork at the new border station, and find your new van and driver.
Real or Fake?
Fake police cars are parked along Uzbek highways at intervals. They are realistic-looking painted cutouts that are only an inch thick. People do slow down for them, because now and then it is a real one. You can’t tell the difference until you pass it.Related to:
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Usbekistan by train
Inside Usbekistan there are not frequent trains.
Busses might be much better.
There are no trains to Turkmenistan and Kirgistan.
There are a few trains to Kazachstan and to Duschanbe in Tajikistan.
There is one train in the week to Moscow.
The flight might be cheaper. So it is only advisable if you want adventure
The trains all have russian standard with three classes.Related to:
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How to get TO and AROUND Uzbekistan
There are two train tickets I bought:
- From Moscow to Tashkent (I definetely wanted to use the train for this way and not to fly)
- From Samarkand to Tashkent.
I bought both at their countries: First in Russia and the second in UZ (Samarkand), just few hours before the train left. Except for the fact of the time I had to wait queueing (about 1 hour in Moscow and about 30 minutes in Samarkand), everything was OK. No problem at all. And I have not been cheated or whatsoever.
NOW ONLY ABOUT UZ:
However, within UZ I would suggest you to travel by taxi. The trains are very clean, punctual and fine. I was told at the ticket booth, that the only difference between 1st. and 2nd. class is that on 1st there is a TV running all the time. And as I suppose you are not keen of watching "Uzbekistan got talent", ;o)) so you better book 2nd class... Which is, obviously, cheaper than the 1st.
The taxis in UZ works in a very special way: There is ONE place in town, where you can find all taxis that connect different cities in the country. They are not the same, as those serving the city (These can be particulars (that's not mandatory: There are also official, regular taxis as well!) on their way home who take you to your destination for a price you have handled before you get into their cars). Once you get there, you will be asked where do you want to go to: "Kudá?". Then you will be shown the taxi that first leaves the place to your destination. Once there, you MUST handle the price with the driver (Hint: Before geting to the taxis, ask someone i.e. at the hotel you are in, what's the price to pay. By handling add some 10-20% and stay hard at this price). Now you leave your luggage in the car. And you will have to wait. What for? For other people willing to go to your destination too. But don't worry: For such cities as Buxara, Samarkand, Khiva or Tashkent, it does not take more than 10 minutes, even off the peak season. You definetely WILL NOT leave the place until your taxi is full. And then the driver use to run as he was at the World Motoracing!! ;o))): Michael Schuhmacher's greeting you! ;o)))
For me the way from Tashkent to Khiva was too long by train, as I just had spent 3 days on my way from Moscow. I didn't want to stay again so long in the train. So I bought (however in Moscow, at Domodedovo Airport) a plane ticket for this route. BUT: Be careful! I don't remeber well anymore, but I was told, within UZ it is not easy for foreigners to buy such a ticket!!!
OK It has been a very long answer: I think the way from Tashkent to Khiwa (or Khiwa to Tashkent) would be better to fly and the rest I would travel by taxi.
Enjoy a great country! Have fun,
To Urgench from Tashkent on Air
The Entrance of the empty in Khiva is URUGENCH. Although it is a small airport, it is an international airport once. It is about 30km from a URGENCHI airport to Khiva. market price $10 in a taxi.
I had make it $8 !!!
Tashkent to URUGENCH is abbreviation $80.
Since the section here is well crowded, it recommends early reservation.
Bukhara to Tashkent
The overnight train is the most relaxing way to travel. Try to get second class if you can.
If there are mixed sexes in your compartment the men will normally step out while th ewomen get changed etc. Unfortunately in our cabin we had a dad, his attractive young daughter, her younger brother who were off to prepare for the daughters move to Tashkent to study at University. A young boy she liked was also on the train and in the process changed her clothes 4 times to catch his eye. A lot of standing in the hallway. I wonder if Mari did that for me?Related to:
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well, lufthansa bailed out of...
well, lufthansa bailed out of uzbekistan in october of 2001 so you're only options now are tkaing uzbek air or turkish air. both flights are very basic though turkish air gives you socks and a cover for your eyes and a little toothbrush. the uzbek air flight from moscow is actually in partnership with aeroflot.
take taxis everywhere. they are super cheap, convenient, and easy. for instance, a taxi from tashkent to samarkand costs $20 for the car. it's the safest way to travel and if you get a good driver you can make the trip in two and a half hours flat. in the cities take a taxi wherever you want to go and just give them a dollar, it's the simplest and it's always enough.
There are few air companies...
There are few air companies fly in. Turkish airlines and probably best option is Uzbek airlines.
Upon arrival to TAshkent airport be aware of checky and greedy taxi drivers that would take every chance to rip as much money as they can. Airport pick up can be arranged with hotel or B&B for around 5 - 10 USD.
The best way to travel in the country is to hire a driver with a car. Road shape is relatively good.
The whole trip from Tashkent to Khiva should be around 300 USD total including expenses on petrol.
Covered distance is over 1000 km.
The driver will be at your service all the time.
Consider you are lucky if you get enlish speaking driver.
Uzbekistan Airways has a round...
Uzbekistan Airways has a round trip from Tashkent via Amsterdam and Paris back to Tashkent.
Public transportation from city to city is available and cheap. In Tashkent you must use the metro (subway) at least one time.
To UZ. OK, within UZ: adventurous
Flight to Tashkent, mostly via Istanbul or Moscow. International flights tend to arrive/depart around midnight or later. From neighbouring countries also bus or train.
The internal traffic system is deteriorating. If you have limited time you can go by plane but all connections go via Tashkent. Tickets are not expensive, often rather good Western planes, the flying staff was trained by Lufthansa.
Surface travel offers lots of fascinating surprises. You need an adventurous spirit, good humour plenty of time and some knowledge of Russian or Uzbek/Turkish. Schedules are not worth the paper on which they are printed, if they are. But many locals can give you useful hints how to find your means of transport. For long distances you will be directed to some sorts of 'travel bazaars' in or near most of the towns where different sorts of transport are offered. With some good humour and patience you will find almost every thinkable ride. If you do not find transport to your desired destination try to get something to an other place on the way, the driver will be happy to organize there for you the connecting ride - they all seem to know each other and after some discussions you will get your ride for really cheap rates. But it is a good idea to get some information on reasonable rates beforehand from other locals. The travel is safe - apart from the sometimes hair rising Central Asian driving style. Expect some breakdowns on the way. But it is a nice experience at the end.
For shorter distances (up to about 50 - 100 km) virtually every car is a 'free lance taxi' and most drivers are happy to make some additional money that way. The rates: see above.
Within the bigger towns: if you are able to decipher the local system you can ride on buses for almost nothing, very cheap are also the 'marchrutkas', taxis on fixed routes, starting as soon as they are 'dolmus' (full). ('dolmus' is Turkish). In Tashkent there is an excellent fast and clean Metro with stations with fantastic decorations.
With Uzbekistan Airways. You...
With Uzbekistan Airways. You have flights to Tashkent from a lot of big cities like New York, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Bangkok, and many more.
You get a good service on board.
We did travel from Tashkent to Buchara via Samarkand by Bus. And we returned by night train. The beds in the train were very comfortable but diner was very poor, so I would like to advice buy something to eat before you get on the train.
Should you need transportation in Uzbekistan and you do not have enough time to wait, bus is not a good (fast) mean of transportation. Approx. 300km distance between Bukhara and Samarkand may need even 9 hours by bus... the main problem is that there is no schedules - bus is waiting for passengers... and it happens that once they finally start, they often break down
Train is cool
If you are budget, please consider trains - they are cheap and fast! For instance, Samarkand - Tashkent train costed in October 2008 7500S (approx. 6$) per person.
The only problem is that you may need to book a train a few days earlier.
I went by plane from Thailand,...
I went by plane from Thailand, which was not to bad. Though the custom officials are very strict.
I only travelled to Samarkand, I went there by plane. The plane was pretty old with plastic seats, it didn't inspire much confidence. Though I've heard that the planes have been improved and are now upto standard.
I only travelled by car within Tashkent the capital, but if that is an example of the roads in Uzbekistan I wouldn't recommend travelling any long distances. There where some potholes the size of cars, and thats the capital.
We took a couple of internal flights with Uzbekistan Airways (well, one was technically an international one from Bishkek), and were surprised to note that the planes had a parcel shelf rather than an enclosed overhead locker.
On the internal flight someone was sitting in my seat, and the flight crew didn't seem too bothered about getting him to move.
However, both flights were on time, and got us to our destination.Related to:
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