Backpacking in Kyrgyzstan: Book in advance?

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violetc
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Backpacking in Kyrgyzstan: Book in advance?

Post by violetc »

Hi there,

Apologies if this topic is covered in another post - I couldn't see it.

I'm planning on backpacking in Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan in June/July 2017 for around 3 weeks. It's the very last leg of a 4-month trip through Asia (mostly by train), and I'm planning to enter via the Torugat Pass from Kashgar in China.

My main aim is to get out and do a bit of hiking & yurting in Kyrgyzstan, but I'd also like to see Uzbekistan's historic cities. I'm considering a trip to the Aral Sea, but I'm on the fence about whether I have time to do it. I would usually rather travel by train and bus than by plane.

What I'd most like to know is - do I need to book any of this in advance, and if so, how far in advance? I'd like to keep things as flexible as possible in case I meet with unexpected delays, but I'm worried that I might miss trains or be unable to book onto tours & homestays if I leave it until the last minute.

Does anyone have any advice for me?

Thanks in advance,

Violet
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bwv812
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Re: Backpacking in Kyrgyzstan: Book in advance?

Post by bwv812 »

Transportation in Kysyzstan is very ad hoc, with few scheduled departures. Marshrutkas and share taxis generally leave when full. Accommodation in smaller places is largely similar, and in general there is an oversupply of semi-formal and informal homestays whether through places like CBT or the random person in the street offering a room. For yurts in the mountains it is basically the same. Bookings in larger places like Bishkek and Osh might make sense, since they seemed to have proportionally fewer options.

I believe you can generally get a train ticket in Uzbekistan in summer on a couple days notice, but you might consider booking ahead if you have a schedule you can stick to. They have a lot more accommodation options in Bukhara, Samarkand, and Khiva, so I wouldn't be that worried.
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violetc
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Re: Backpacking in Kyrgyzstan: Book in advance?

Post by violetc »

This is really helpful to know! it sounds like I should probably just leave it all until I'm actually there, which is reassuring. Thanks so much for the help!
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Solsticio
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Re: Backpacking in Kyrgyzstan: Book in advance?

Post by Solsticio »

Unless you need any luxury, there is no need to book far in advance. In smaller towns, any local will help you finding a place, if you didn't find some addresses yourself. In some bigger, more popular places in Kyrgyzstan you could book a hostel a few days in advance to avoid having to find another place.
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