Enclaves and exclaves in the Ferghana Valley divided between Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are volatile. Violent border clashes are common, and navigating around them is essential to avoid visa worries and border guard trouble.
Where are the enclaves?
Central Asia has nine exclaves. Tajikistan has three exclaves within Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan: Sarvan, Vorukh and Kaigarach. Uzbekistan has five exclaves within Kyrgyzstan: Sokh, Shakhimardan, Qalacha, Dzhangail, and Tayan. Kyrgyzstan has one exclave in Uzbekistan: Barak.
The two largest exclaves are the Tajik exclave of Vorukh and the Uzbekistani exclave of Sokh. Both are within Kyrgyzstan.
How to avoid the enclaves?
Cycling or driving from Osh and to Tajikistan is not an issue at all. Locals in the area are generally known as friendly and will usually point you in the right direction, but not everyone is fully aware of where the border is drawn.
In general, there is nothing to worry about. The situation has gotten a lot clearer in recent years. You won’t suddenly stumble into Uzbekistan or Tajikistan if you stay on the main road.