Traveling Central Asia with IBS

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Patiofurniture
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Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:09 pm

Traveling Central Asia with IBS

Post by Patiofurniture »

Hello,

Sorry I'm not sure which forum category this topic fits in to, just looking for some general insight / tips / advice for traveling around Central Asia with irritable bowel syndrome. Just so I know what to expect.

I am travelling from Istanbul across the Caspian sea to Kyrgyzstan and hitting up all the best spots along the way, travelling mainly using mainly trains and coaches (except the ferry).

Usually I can keep my bowels under control but every now and then I get quite sick, and I expect to probably get ill quite a bit on this trip. I just wondered if anyone else has experience travelling across Central Asia with IBS?

- did you get sick a lot?
- how did you prevent getting sick?
- what are the toilets like in these places? ranging from rural areas to big cities?
- what are the toilets like on the trains and coaches?

etc..

If you could just share any experiences / advice please

Thanks!!
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Milad
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Re: Traveling Central Asia with IBS

Post by Milad »

No idea about your particular disease, just about the toilet situation:

- Public toilets are usually of the squat type. Usually, they are not too clean, but neither disgusting.
- Toilets on trains are usually very clean when the train starts, but this may deteriorate during the journey. They are more likely to be cleaned regularly in higher classes of travel. Toilets are usually closed when the train is in a station.
- On buses, there is normally no toilet. The bus stops every 1,5 hours (can vary) at a gas station, which usually has a small restaurant with a toilet. Cleanliness varoes greatly here.
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bwv812
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Re: Traveling Central Asia with IBS

Post by bwv812 »

Also, most travel in Central Asia (outside Uzbekistan) is by share taxi or marshrutka, and they normally don't stop very much. Maybe once every 3 hours.
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My 2012 overland trip from Tokyo to Istanbul: https://silkroadwanderings.blogspot.com

Christian77
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Re: Traveling Central Asia with IBS

Post by Christian77 »

If your budget is not bottom-budget you can skip the bus/coach and just pay for a driver (when you don't have a train option). In Uzbekistan it's super cheap. As the solo passenger your driver will stop when you need to (there are toilets at every petrol station, and in the middle of nowhere you just run behind a hill). Kyrgyzstan is also cheap... These drivers are usually found at the inter-city bus/car stations (as opposed to the more expensive option that your hotel usually suggests).
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puska
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Re: Traveling Central Asia with IBS

Post by puska »

Hey there, IBD reporting in. Quite different situation as I've been having my own transport though, it will be more difficult without I imagine. Anyway, potential advice: I have come to know over the years which foods I can better digest/avoid, and to decrease sickness some of the first things I learn to say in new languages are related to asking about ingredients and mentioning I have allergies for this and that (easiest to understand). I've occasionally also made written notes in the other language with someone's help.In my case I strictly avoid gluten for example as it directly creates issues, a quite difficult thing to do sometimes in these parts of the world, but still managing to eat out at times and when staying with other people I often find them to be very accomodating. This situation also forces me to do a lot of own cooking as you know what goes in and the quality is generally better than when eating out, own transport helps with this of course. But also without, you can't take as many things, but if you're camping out it's easy to do as it's not difficult to carry some lightweight pot/pan and making open fires is generally fine, or if you're staying in hotels/hostels or something and they don't have a shared kitchen communicate with them as they often have their own kitchen and are fine with you using it. If you're unsure which foods you're sensitive to / are easier to digest (also generally/nutrition-wise), it might be nice for you make efforts to learn about this as it's a huge help in general. When getting more sick I prefer to stay in place and relax a little while, suppose it helps to have not much of a fixed itinerary. Don't know how you experience the dis-ease, my main immediately experienced issues are cramps/diarrhea, and I always carry a variety of herbs to help with cramps/bloating/general digestion/etc. On the toilets note... not quite what you asked for but one of the best recommendations I can make maybe is getting comfortable / used to taking dumps outside. :D
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