as so many things seem to have changed, I just wanted to share our recent experiences entering Uzbekistan just two days ago- maybe somebody is interested...
-Entry: we took the direct Almaty-Tashkent train (booked the ticket online with tickets.kz; worked fine, just had to show the ticket on the phone, even if it said on the ticket to print out). At the Uzbek border (in fact the first station on the territory), they collected everybody's passports, while a few officials went through. A very friendly young officer had a little chat with us (where from, etc.)- a really friendly "interrogation". No searching, no customs declaration, nothing. After about 30 minutes somebody came back with a plastic bag and distributed the passports.
-Uzbek rail tickets: couldn't manage to book on the Uzbek site, after entering everything, they gave me the option to pay with "okuzbek" or something like this. The payment page then disappeared within seconds, and now, it's "pending order". So I booked at the hostel. At Art Hostel (very helpful place!) you can book for a really low fee, even in advance, then the tickets are awaiting you.
-Money: couldn't get money at atm, at least we just tried one, but there's not many. But got easily cash advance at the cashier at Ipotheka Bank at Mirabod Street. 300$ in som against German DKB Visa Card. Asked not for more.
-Sim card: very smooth at the UCell office two minutes from Arts Hostel. Paid about 16$ (in som) for two 30 day-sim cards, both with over 1GB, one with 20 minutes. Passport and registration slip needed (ask for it, if you just arrived, you normally get it at checkout). Works fine. The lady told us WhatsApp wouldn't work (forbidden in Uzbekistan), but it does.
-Security: never got asked for our passports at the metro stations(but have them with is, for sure); only once two bag checks at one station (at Amir Timur), apart from that, just friendly faces and short looks at our bags, if any.
-nearly no western tourists at the moment, one young guy asked us "where's your group?"- last time we were asked that in Iran. Very friendly people! And nice cafés...
All about Uzbekistan.
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