I'm currently studying Russian in Bishkek, but will be travelling around the region for 32 days with my girlfriend when she comes here. We both hold Canadian passports, but she also has an American passport. We'll be travelling from mid July to mid August. We're going to be trekking or hiking in the mountains as well as visiting silk road cities. I'd love to hear any advice, suggestions, or problems with our tentative itinerary.
1. Will everywhere on the itinerary have places to store luggage? I have a number of things I'd rather not take on a trek.
2. Is the itinerary too compressed? Are we spending too long anywhere?
3. Is there anywhere you think we can save time so we can visit Naryn region or have more time in Osh for trekking (or Jalal-abad or somewhere nearby)?
4. Is it worth visiting/driving through the Ferghana Valley? If not, is it possible to fly from Osh to Dushanbe/Panjakent/Khujand?
Day 1 - Bishkek - I have to finish my Russian classes and my gf needs to get used to the time distance so we will only be seeing the city today.
Day 2-4 - Almaty - We plan on taking a taxi to Almaty in the afternoon of day 2, so that we arrive in Almaty in the evening. We'll be crossing the border on a Friday afternoon. Should heavy traffic be expected? We'll hike in the mountains close to Almaty for 2 days and 1 night then return to the city where we'll stay the night. The next morning we'll take a taxi back to Bishkek.
Day 5-6 - Bishkek - We'll take day trips to Ala-Archa and another nearby mountainous areas to hike. We may also stay somewhere closer to Issyk kul so travel is easier the next day.
Day 7-10 - Karakol - Travel to Karakol from Bishkek (or maybe somewhere closeby to Konorchek canyon if we take a day trip there) by marshrutka. We'll be doing a 3 day/2 night trek in the mountains here. Probably to Ala kul, Peak Karakol, or Kyzyl Suu to Archa tor.
Day 11 - Kadji Sai - Travel here by taxi or marshrutka. Haven't planned much here but probably swimming in the lake and a shorter hike. I've heard fairy tale canyon is good.
Day 12-14 - Kochkor and Song Jul - We'll get here by taxi or marshrutka. We'll have another trek here for 2-3 days/1-2 nights or maybe do a horse trek and yurt stay.
Day 15-17 - Osh - We'd like to visit the city here as well as the mausoleum and minaret in Uzgen. It'd be nice to get in another 2 day 1 night trek somewhere within a couple hours of Osh, but I'm not sure if it's feasible with how much time we have. Is it feasible to take a taxi/marshrutka from Song Kul or should we go back to Bishkek and fly?
Day 18 - Ferghana valley - Cross the border and valley. We might stop in some of the cities here if there are any worthwhile attractions, but we could also try to speed through here and get to Khujand or even Panjakent if it's feasible in the same day.
Day 19 - Khujand - Again this day may be skippable. We want to spend more time trekking, so getting to Panjakent or Artuch is a priority. Should these days be skipped? Can we fly from Osh to Dushanbe or somewhere close to the Fann mountains?
Day 20-23 - Fann Mountains/Panjakent - We're going to do a 3-4 day/2-3 night trek in the mountains, but would also like to check out the ruins and museums in and around Panjakent.
Day 24-25 - Samarkand - We'll probably take a taxi from Panjakent.
Day 26-27 - Bukhara - Train from Samarkand.
Day 28-31 - Urgench, Khiva, Nukus and the desert fortresses - Is this too much time? I think it's probably a good idea to have a spare day at the end in case we fall behind schedule.
Day 32 - Fly to Tashkent - Our flights leave from Tashkent early the following day so we'll have the day here.
Thank you for any advice or info!
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