Osh to Khujand by marshrutka via Batken

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Christian77
Tajikistan expert
Tajikistan expert
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:14 pm
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Osh to Khujand by marshrutka via Batken

Postby Christian77 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:21 am

If you are going from Khujand to Osh, follow the instructions on this blog: https://frugaltravellers.com/khujand-os ... -crossing/

For Osh to Batken to the Kyrgyz-Tajik border to Isfara to Khujand, follow the instructions below:

In Osh you need to start at the "Noviy avtovokzal". On MAPS.ME it is listed in English as "New Central Bus Station." In Google Maps it is not translated, but is rather listed in transliteration as "Oshskiy Mezhgorodnyy Avtovokzal" (Ошский межгородный Автовокзал). The sign at the vokzal/station is in Kyrgyz: "Osh Avtobeket." Google Maps location here: https://goo.gl/maps/Snf79ub95bEbZMPY6 Ask your hostel which marshrutka you need to take to get here (if you don't just take a taxi).

There are "kassa" (cashier) ticket windows here, but not for the Batken marshrutka that you need to catch. For the Batken marshrutka you need to go directly to the marshrutka. It is #537 and reads "OSH BATKEN" in the window. Walk up to the marshrutka and a driver will come over to you and you buy the ticket directly from him. As of June 2019 it was 307 Som. It is rounded up to 310 Som. He will give you a little piece of paper that will show your seat number. There are assigned seats.

As for baggage, there is not very much space in the back. So if you are a group of 4 with huge trekking bags and extra backpacks, there may not be enough room. But it's Kyrgyzstan, so they may figure out something.

My marshrutka left when it was full, at 8:30am. I don't know if it will leave on a schedule if it is not full. But I suppose it would have to, as there was another #537 waiting empty for his turn.

Warning: on MAPS.ME and OpenStreet Maps there is a bus stop listed near the centre of the city that claims to be a stop for the Batken marshrutka. This is old info. The marshrutka won't even go by this stop on the way out of the city, and even if it did the marshrutka is full. I erased the closed bus stop on MAPS.ME and OpenStreetMaps, but the edit may not be applied immediately.

As for shared taxis, I suppose they are in the avtovokzal area, probably parked on the main street by the intersection, but I didn't search for them. That would be your option if you have lots of baggage or you want a faster and more comfortable journey. As for how much they would charge, I'm not sure.

We got one toilet stop, but if it's an emergency just start yelling "toilet!"

Along the way we picked up a few more people, and the driver pulled out detachable seats that went in the central aisle. I lost my extra leg and elbow room when a guy sat next to me in the aisle.

By 1pm (13:00) we arrived in Batken. That's 4.5 hours.

At the car station in Batken there was a guy yelling "granitsa!" (border!) at people getting off the marshrutka. I paid him either 50 or 100 Kyrgyz som for a seat in his minivan (sorry, I forget) to the border. It took maybe 20 minutes. You get dropped off by Kyrgyz exit customs and start the walk through the various stages (Kyrgyz exit controls, and then two Tajik checks: passport/visa, and customs with a bag x-ray). Note: the Tajik customs officer asked how much American cash I was carrying. I said 500 and she just wrote that down in her book with my other info. She didn't ask to see it. She glanced quickly at the bag x-ray and and I was through with no problems.

The border took me 45 minutes, but I was waiting for some Tajik guys I had met (we were going to share a taxi). One of them had a very thorough customs inspection, so it took 45 minutes total including the wait for him. Otherwise it would have been 15 minutes.

After getting through the final gate there were a few cars and a marshrutka waiting to go to Isfara. The marshrutka seemed to be on a schedule and was leaving regularly (while I waited for my new friend) even if it was not full. We took a shared car, and it was 10 Tajik Somoni per seat, but the driver accepted 100 Kyrgyz Som. The marshrutka is the only marshrutka (#247), and it costs 2 or 3 Tajik Somoni.

I didn't see any place to exchange money at the border, nor in Isfara (but I didn't search too far). I still have my Kyrgyz money.

By 2:30pm I was at the car station in Isfara. Next to the road by the car station there is a tall building. Use the front entrance for the 2-Somoni pay toilets on the 2nd floor (they even had hot showers for 12 Somoni). On the street front there is an exchange office in an "Orien" bank where I exchanged my USD (but they didn't take Kyrgyz som). I left in a #301 marshrutka to Khujand at 2:45 when the marshrutka was full. It costs 13 Tajik Somoni.

at 4:20pm I arrived at the car station in the southern outskirts of Khujand. Here: https://goo.gl/maps/VdqWniqc8aVyp9127 Just go out onto the main street to the bus stop right on the main street. Buses stop regularly. Ask "tsenter?" (centre) before you get on. I got on and paid 1 Somoni (to a ticket girl who walked up and down the bus, not the driver). The locals were very aggressive in giving up their seats and demanding I sit, as I'm a foreign guest (the usual treatment). The bus then goes directly to the center. There was a major stop where almost everybody got off, but it does continue directly further into the centre after a short wait there.

So, from my hostel in Osh to my hostel in Khujand it was 8:00am to 5:00pm.
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Laureen
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:46 am

Re: Osh to Khujand by marshrutka via Batken

Postby Laureen » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:50 am

Hi
Is this border open to foreigners in october 2019
I would like to use it
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