Iskanderkul / Sarytag transport Q&A

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Re: Iskanderkul / Sarytag transport Q&A

Post by steven »

Please leave all your questions and updates about getting to Iskanderkul and Sarytag below.

We summarize everything in our Iskanderkul travel guide.
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Iskanderkul / Sarytag transport Q&A

Post by aknight »

Hello- I just came from visiting Iskanderkul and before going couldn't find much recent info out there on transport and accommodation so thought I'd add my experience here.

I visited for 1 night on the way from Dushanbe to Penjikent. Shared taxi from Dushanbe to Sarvoda- 80 Somoni (heard other people got it for 50). In Sarvoda all taxi drivers insist on 200 Somoni to Iskanderkul, maybe OK for a group but not so a solo traveller, and apparently no one else going that way. I walked down to the turn off (this is far, about 30mins walking, ask your shared taxi to drop you off there instead of Sarvoda) and waited for a car there and got a ride pretty quick for 50 Somoni, although going rate for locals seems to be 20.

I stayed at Shezok guesthouse- above the shop by the bridge (marked on, right next to the lake. Lovely women running guesthouse, very simple but clean. No heating though so potentially could be cold, outside toilet. No English spoken but we managed. She made me lunch, dinner and breakfast and I paid 105 Somoni for everything (another guy paid 60 just for the room). Don't think there is any other food options around. Some nice areas next to the lake to sit and drink tea. Next day guesthouse women was going back to Sarvoda and got a car for me + 2 other tourists staying, we paid 20 Somoni each (+10 for luggage). Sarvoda-Ayny-Penjikent via shared taxis- all reasonably straightforward (70 Somoni in total)

Other tourists I met all managed to get from Sarvoda to Iskanderkul for 50 or less, so ignore the taxi drivers and be prepared to wait, or better yet, go to the turn off and wait there. Lake is nice but not much to do, for longer trips may be better to stay in Sarytag as looks like a few more walks etc you can do from there.
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Re: Iskanderkul / Sarytag transport Q&A

Post by cesargzurita »

Feedback on Iskander-Kul

Date: Early September 2021

Transport: Dushanbe to Iskander-Kul. We went to a "local transport hub" in the north of Dushanbe and negotiated a driver with his 4WD for 90 USD round trip + his accommodation (5 USD). Left at 1pm on a Tuesday, came back to Dushanbe at 4pm next day. Driver was willing to stay 1 extra night for 30 USD + accommodation. For 30 USD extra he was also willing to drive us around the region for 1 day (we preferred to just walk around. These prices were negotiated with the help of a local Tajik friend. We also asked for a local taxi and their price was 40 USD one way (although when we tried to call him, he never picked up the phone)

Accommodation: We stayed at the Zumrad. Which is literally sharing facilities with the Tumbaza. Rooms in Zumrad are 30-40-50 USD (3 options). They are all very clean, with hot water and a heater. The place is of course very simple. We also checked the rooms at the Tumbaza, the rooms are 6-12 USD per person. Rooms were too basic for us, with shared bathroom/shower. The rooms were quite cold (ie: 5 degrees colder than outside). No WiFi. Internet (3/4G) works only from time to time and extremely slow (eg: sending a WhatsApp picture might not work)

Weather: great weather from 8 am to 9 pm, started to get coldish before/after. A light jacket was enough for early September.

Food/services: the staff at Zumrad is just trying to rip you off and is not very service-oriented. The staff at Tumbaza is great and always trying to serve. So we ended up taking the room at Zumrad, but eating/consuming only at Tumbaza. At Tumbaza, you can pay 10 USD for 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, including tea/coffee). Bonfire can be prepared on-demand for 10 USD. They also sell beer and drinks.

Communication: no-one speaks English. I was there with a russian-speaker.
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