How to maximize 2 month itinerary in Central Asia?

Post your itinerary questions and trip reports here
Post Reply
easystyle
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:54 pm
x 3

How to maximize 2 month itinerary in Central Asia?

Post by easystyle »

I have been dreaming of traveling Central Asia for 2 years now and finally have an opportunity to go in 2022. I have about 8 weeks to complete this trip and I'm thinking of starting in late spring or early summer but I am flexible. I've decided to skip trying to go to Turkmenistan so that leaves 8 weeks to visit potentially 4 countries.

Herein lies my conundrum, do I:
(A) limit myself primarily to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan with maybe a week in Uzbekistan and a few days in Kazakhstan (Almaty) when flying in or out? or
(B) split time between Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan with a few days in Almaty when flying in or out?

I definitely want to do the Pamir Highway and several guided overnight treks as well so Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan seem like the best places to spend most of my time. I do enjoy historical sites as well so I do want to add Uzbekistan but I know I'll get temple fatigue if that's all I'm seeing for days on end. I know Uzbekistan isn't JUST temples. For example, the Ferghana Valley looks awesome. I know the distances and roads can be grueling so I don't want spend most of my time in a 4x4 rushing to tick points of interest off a list. I want to make sure I'm leaving myself enough time for general exploring and to tack on spontaneous trips.

My tentative itinerary for option (B) would be 18 days in Uzbekistan, 22 days in Tajikistan, 14 days in Kyrgyzstan, and 7 days in Almaty.

Is 8 weeks enough to see Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan? Should I limit myself mostly to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan?

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.
0 x

bwv812
China expert
China expert
Posts: 793
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:02 pm
x 3700
x 190

Re: How to maximize 2 month itinerary in Central Asia?

Post by bwv812 »

Uzbekistan is easy to get around (you can now use trains for most places) and doesn't need a lot of time if you only want to see the cultural highlights. 18 days is way more than you need to visit the main attractions, especially if your key interests are mainly in nature. 10 days is realistic if you only see the Ferghana Valley, Tashkent, Bukhara, and Samarkand (also, this isn't SE Asia or India: there are virtually no "temples"). 7 days is also way too much time for Almaty itself.

You could leave Uzbekistan until the end of your trip and then cut it out entirely if you don't have enough time, or you could put it in the early/middle of your trip for possibly better efficiency if you want to take the Kazarman pass during your time in Kyrgyzstan.

For the first option you would likely want to enter Uzbekistan from Tajikistan/Panjikent, and then possibly taking the train to Almaty when you exit.

For the second option, enter from Uzbekistan from Osh, see the Ferghana Valley on way to Tashkent, then Bukhara and Samarkand and on to Panjikent in Tajikistan. This second option would involve backtracking through Kyrgyzstan, but it can still be efficient if you use the Kazarman pass and see different parts of Kyrgyzstan going down and then going back up. On one leg you can Use the Kazarman pass from Osh/Jalalabad to the eastern part of the country and see Tash Rabat, Song Kol, Issyk Kul, Karakol, etc. and connect to Almaty via the Kegen border crossing. And then on the other leg you can see Arslanbob, Bishkek, etc.
1 x
My 2012 overland trip from Tokyo to Istanbul: https://silkroadwanderings.blogspot.com

roadsilk
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:31 pm
x 3
x 12

Re: How to maximize 2 month itinerary in Central Asia?

Post by roadsilk »

That is plenty of time to see everything. I am more of an architecture and cities traveller, so I couldn't speak about nature that much, but 8 weeks is definitely plenty. My first tour around CA was a mere 3 weeks and it gave me a decent enough idea.

Greetings from Tashkent.
2 x

Jealgu
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:55 pm
x 10
x 35

Re: How to maximize 2 month itinerary in Central Asia?

Post by Jealgu »

@roadsilk eight months is not even enough to see everything, and I wonder if 8 years will do.

8 weeks is enough for a meaningful trip with some different experiences. Weatherwise an Uzbekistan to Almaty trip would work best. For a historic cities highlights trip in Uzbekistan one week is enough. Time could be added to almaty if you want to explore the area around. 5 to 7 weeks is easy to sepnd in tajikistand and kyrgyzstan. Going around takes time, and you will need rest days if you do much hiking. Plenty of options to go into the mountains, more than you can chew off in that time. You will habe to find out which options interest you most.
1 x

easystyle
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:54 pm
x 3

Re: How to maximize 2 month itinerary in Central Asia?

Post by easystyle »

@bwv812 @roadsilk @Jealgu

Thank you very much all for your replies!
0 x

mazeno
Driving expert
Driving expert
Posts: 325
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:04 pm
x 122

Re: How to maximize 2 month itinerary in Central Asia?

Post by mazeno »

excuse me,
where is this mysterious "kazarman pass"?
i spend in kgz a lot of time driving thousands kms across but never heard of it.

but if you mean the pass in the NE part of the sary kyr ridge where urum bashi stream has its sources and where the sign "have a nice trip" (in kyrgyz, literally "may your paths be smooth") and "toguz toro rayon" (rayon=district) can be found - it is called kaldama (колдомо).

but also mistakenly as real kaldama is some 8 km to the SE and some 4 km NW of the kokart pass (where the new tunnel is built), and it divides ak eshek and sary zhon ridges.
but anyway - in international, geographical (on some popular maps) and (lately) even local identification it is kaldama, not kazarman pass.
and the name of toguz toro pass (by google) is also an error as it is sary kyr (yellow field) indeed (e.g. on gizi maps it is correct).

so, please don't put the mess into geography.
0 x
rgds -
mazeno

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post