Does this Trip to Uzbekistan sound like a good idea ?

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ArtsyVandelay
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Does this Trip to Uzbekistan sound like a good idea ?

Post by ArtsyVandelay »

I am a guy in early 30's. Originally from Pakistan, I spent a good 12 years living in the States. After leaving the States two years ago I spent a year backpacking around SE Asia. Moved back to Pakistan right before the shit hit the fan in terms of this pandemic and borders across the globe started closing. So apart from spending a few weeks in Turkey a couple of months ago, I haven't traveled at all in the last year and being an avid traveler, I want to get back on the road again very soon.

I've wanted to visit Central Asia for a while now. I spent a few weeks in Baku a couple of years ago and had a very nice time. The idea of visiting former USSR countries has always fascinated me from a cultural standpoint and the diversity has always amazed me. All the travelers I've met in my years of traveling have always had very good things to say about Central Asia.

A return air ticket from Pakistan to Tashkent is rather expensive at the moment ($700) and understandably so. Also, since I'm not eligible for an electronic visa, a sticker visa will end up costing me around $300 as I'll need to fly to different city to have it stamped. So just getting to Tashkent will cost me $1,000 and if I'm spending that much money I might as well splurge a bit more for a 3 month long multiple entry business visa and spend more time there to get my money's worth.

I'm thinking of renting a nice apartment in Tashkent for a couple of months starting early April and setting up base there. This way I can ease my way in to Central Asia and familiarize myself a bit. And then the plan is to do short trips across the country without having to carry all my stuff with me. My backpacking days are somewhat behind me and I do prefer a bit of comfort over saving money these days. Perhaps, I can also visit Bishkek for a few days. Also, I know there's some Aral Sea festival taking place in May and I would love to make it out there as well. I would've loved to visit Kazakstan as well but it seems like it not be possible in the near future and I can live with that.

Since, I have already traveled internationally under this " new normal" way of travel, I am not very anxious about traveling in the midst of this pandemic. I take all the necessary precautions while traveling and that's good enough for me.

I have a budget of around $5,000 - $6,000 for this trip. Would you recommend I go through with this trip considering I'm itching to travel and don't really have many hang ups about traveling in the present scenario or would I be robbing myself of potentially much more exciting trip and better value for my money if I just wait until things are better. The alternative I have at the moment is getting out to Sri Lanka, undergo a 14 day quarantine and then chill on the beaches there for a couple of months. I have already spent a good amount of time in Sri Lanka and even though I loved it out there and wouldn't mind going back, Central Asia is still my first choice.

I am a bit conflicted and since I have never really seen foot in this part of the world before,I figured this forum was a good place to ask for advice since there are many experienced travelers on here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Jealgu
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Re: Does this Trip to Uzbekistan sound like a good idea ?

Post by Jealgu »

For three minths with Tashkent as a base I probably would want t o be able to do trips into other central Asian countries as well. I am not sure crossing landborders is currently crossing. If my understanding is correct Kazakhstan is still closed, Turkmenistn as well, Tajikistan only accesible through selected airports, Kyrgyzstan I am not sure about. If your options are limited I am not sure if three months in Uzbekistan are really worth it. That is if travelling and visiting places is your main priority and you do not have other activities to do. I am inclined to think that the amount of internal short trips in Uzbekistan are somewhat limited, to fill the larger part of three months with trips. You will meed to get creative ( which might be a good thing). I think I would only go if the trip allows for a visit to kyrgyzstan (which should include some mountain trips besides Bishkek I would say).
Last edited by Jealgu on Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ArtsyVandelay
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Re: Does this Trip to Uzbekistan sound like a good idea ?

Post by ArtsyVandelay »

Jealgu wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:29 pm
For three minths with Tashkent as a base I probably would want t o be able to do trips into other central Asian countries as well. I am not sure crossing landborders is currently crossing. If my understanding is correct Kazakhstan is still closed, Turkmenistn as well, Tajikistan only accesible through selected airports, Kyrgyzstan I am not sure about. If your options are limited I am not sure if three months in Uzbekistan are really worth it. That is if travelling and visiting places is your main priority and you do not have other activities to do. I am inclined to think that the amount of internal short trips in Uzbekistan are somewhat limited, to fill the larger part of three months with trips. You will meed to get creative ( which might not be a good thing). I think I would only go if the trip allows for a visit to kyrgyzstan (which should include some mountain trips besides Bishkek I would say).
Thank you for your response and a useful insight. I don’t think I’ll stay for longer than 45-50 days if I were to visit but yeah you do make some good points. I’ll have to look more in to Kyrgyzstan and see if it’s possible to fly out there from Tashkent. Last I checked, I couldn’t really find any flights.
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steven
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Re: Does this Trip to Uzbekistan sound like a good idea ?

Post by steven »

Seeing the current restrictions on cross-country travel in Central Asia, and seeing you have a lot of time and money and are not anxious about covid, I would aim for a country that is big and open to travel, like Mexico, Tanzania, ...

Keep Central Asia for when things get back to normal, whenever that is. I think it is a great idea, have Tashkent as a base, then roam around Central Asia. But you want to be able to go to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan if you are there anyway. So you would be missing out.
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ArtsyVandelay
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Re: Does this Trip to Uzbekistan sound like a good idea ?

Post by ArtsyVandelay »

steven wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:05 am
Seeing the current restrictions on cross-country travel in Central Asia, and seeing you have a lot of time and money and are not anxious about covid, I would aim for a country that is big and open to travel, like Mexico, Tanzania, ...

Keep Central Asia for when things get back to normal, whenever that is. I think it is a great idea, have Tashkent as a base, then roam around Central Asia. But you want to be able to go to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan if you are there anyway. So you would be missing out.
Thank you for your insight. You make a good point and I'll definitely consider it.
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