Itinerary

All about Uzbekistan.
Rolof Stolk
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Itinerary

Postby Rolof Stolk » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:30 pm

Hello everyone,

I am visiting Kyrgyzstan in the beginning of August for 31 days. I will end my trip in Almaty and fly back home from there. I was thinking visiting only Kyrgyzstan and Almaty in these 4 weeks but now i believe this is not enough and maybe it would be nice to add Uzbekistan to my list. Yet now I have a few questions which I find difficult to answer. If I visit Uzbekistan I really would like to see the country thoroughly, mainly because I have to pay 145 euro for a visa so I don't think I will be visiting Uzbekistan anytime soon after. It would be great if some people could look at my Itinerary and tell me if its good and whether its wise to add Uzbekistan to my list.

Do you believe 4 weeks is enough for:
Kyrgyzstan : Hiking + Horse riding + Bishkek + See all main attractions in Kyrgyzstan
Almaty (Maximum 5 days?): Sightseeing + Big Almaty Lake
Uzbekistan: Mainly visiting cities: Tashkent + Samarkand + Bukhara

So my Itinerary:

4 August

Bishkek (2 Days)
Issyk Kul Lake (4)
Karakol (3)
Osh (3)

-- Border Crossing to Uzbekistan

Andizhan (1)
Tashkent (2)
Samarkland (3)
Bukhara (4)
Tashkent (2)


-- Border Corssing to Kazakhstan

Shimkent (1)
Almaty
(5)

4 of September



Thanks a lot for your time!
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bwv812
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Re: Itinerary

Postby bwv812 » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:25 am

Kyrgyzstan:
If I had limited time in Kyrgyzstan, I probably wouldn't prioritize Issyk Kul. It's a big lake, with a few resort towns that cater to locals and Russians. I assume Karakol will be used as a hiking/trekking base. For the classic Kyrgyz horse-trekking/yurt-stay experience most people go to Song-kul, and there are other popular horse-trekking places near Kochkor. If you have the money, the jeep ride between Song-kul/Kazarman and Jalal-abad/Osh should be interesting. Osh itself isn't that exciting, to be honest. The Suleiman-too mountain is interesting, but the market isn't the greatest (that's my opinon; others seem to like it, but I think it's just a long narrow path full of ramshackle shops).

Uzbekistan:
4 days in Tashkent in total may be a bit much, and you don't need 4 days in Bukhara, either. If you wanted to squeeze things you could probably do 2 days in each of Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara. That could allow you to squeeze Khiva in, if you so desire.
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steven
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Re: Itinerary

Postby steven » Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:48 pm

There is good hiking around issyk kul beyonf karakol:, chong kemin, behind tamga and jeti oguz for example.

5 days in almaty probably a bit much as it is a good base to see things around but not so interesting in itself outside for leisurely strolls. Same for osh. Tashkent i do find more interesting than other towns in uzbekistan. Otherwise agree with bwv.

4weeks is a good time to get a feel for these 2 countries.
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Rolof Stolk
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Re: Itinerary

Postby Rolof Stolk » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:06 pm

Thanks a lot both for your opinions!

Small questions: Is Khiva really worth it to travel that far? Is it much different than Bukhara and Samarkand?
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bwv812
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Re: Itinerary

Postby bwv812 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:38 pm

The three cities are, to me, quite different: Samarkand is a modern city with restored monuments right next to late-20th century buildings and parks; Bukhara is largely monochrome with the more modern city outside the more traditional old town; and Khiva is a walled city with traditional buildings, but a lot of the minarets are relatively recent (and thus more colourful, like Samarkand) and it feels very touristic.

It's true that Khiva is quite far, but you can take the night train to/from Samarkand and Tashkent which can save some time. Since the train to Khiva does not go through Bukhara, if you incorporate Khiva the best use of your time is to do night trains along a Tashkent-Bukhara-Samarkand-Khiva-Tashkent route.
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Meljon2016
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Re: Itinerary

Postby Meljon2016 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:54 pm

I guess it also depends on how you're traveling around. Factor in plenty of time because distances are far, and if you're taking public transport or even shared taxis you may have to wait awhile before they fill up.

My boyfriend and I are doing a trip similar to what you're planning and in my opinion the capital cities--Almaty, Tashkent and Bishkek--are not that interesting and you don't need too much time in them, unless you prefer cities to the countryside I guess.

Also, even though everything we've read says to stay in Samarkand and Bukhara 3 or 4 days each, I really don't think you need that much time. They felt a bit staged to me. The buildings are pretty, and the places are very touristy which can be ok if you're looking for that type of atmosphere, but in Bukhara for example I was shocked by how many hotels there were. Felt like a movie set more than a historical city, but that's just my opinion. I liked Samarkand best and would probably have spent more time there.

5 days for Almaty is a lot! I guess you'll do some day trips but I think a day in Almaty is enough to get an idea of it, two at the most. I would spend more time doing treks and stuff in Kyrgyzstan. There are many lovely ones to do around Karakol and north of issy Kol lake, as well as near Bishkek, son Kol, etc....
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Rolof Stolk
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Re: Itinerary

Postby Rolof Stolk » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:27 pm

Thanks a lot for your insights, so in the end you didn't find Uzbekistan that interesting?

I am studying about the area so I am also really interested in the people and culture of the area,thats why I although first planned to only visit Kyrgyzstan, I added Uzbekistan to my list because I thought it would be a bit more cultural sightseeing over there than only nature in Kyrgyzstan.

Can I ask you what did you like most in Uzbekistan? and which cities you visited except Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand. Also did you visited the area around Almaty? If yes, is it that much different than Kyrgyzstan? Otherwise I might stay longer in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and only spend 1 or 2 days in Almaty.

Thanks a lot!
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steven
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Re: Itinerary

Postby steven » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:54 pm

Hi rolof,

I think culturally a place like khiva might actually be interesting, if you stay long enough to get to know the people. Read christopher alexanders book carpet ride to khiva for a great insight into uzbek culture. Otherwise, i think ferghana valley, especially smaller towns or namangan, have more typically uzbek culture to offer. But in general, realise that you have to dive into the village.

The nuratau mountains, or the range above termez, are both nice places to find a village homestay.
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karenandmike
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Re: Itinerary

Postby karenandmike » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:04 pm

may i ask if the homestays can do registration and if not how does one get around the issue? we will be 16 days in uzbekistan, self-driving, and would love to use homestays some of the time.
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Rolof Stolk
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Re: Itinerary

Postby Rolof Stolk » Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:16 pm

I read if you have a registration every three days it is ok. So 1 day at a hotel/hostel with registration and 2 days at a homestay should be possible. You can also just buy a registration at hotels or hostels I believe. Or just book a room and do check-in but actually not staying there, yet you have to pay.
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