Itinerary advice - 6 weeks Central Asia: Khiva or Fann Mountains?

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Kkzf
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Itinerary advice - 6 weeks Central Asia: Khiva or Fann Mountains?

Post by Kkzf »

Hello all! I'll be travelling for 6 weeks in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. We are interested in trekking, as well as historical sites along the Silk Road. Unfortunately, 6 weeks is not enough to fit everything and we are having a tough time deciding which to omit between Khiva and the Fann Mountains, thus I would like to consult your opinions on our itinerary!

Our rough plan:
19-24 May: Kazakhstan - Almaty, Charyn Canyon, Kaindy + Kolsai lakes
24- 3 Jun: Uzbekistan - Tashkent-Khiva-Bukhara-Samarkand
4 Jun: Dushanbe
5-14 Jun: Pamir Highway
15-17 Jun: Heights of Alay hike
18-19 Jun: Osh
20-21 Jun: Bishkek
22- 1 Jul: Issyl Kul/Song Kul/Karakol (haven't decided, although plan is to do at least one hike/horse riding; suggestions are welcome!)
2 Jul: Fly back

Now, i'm considering squeezing in an acclimatisation hike in the Fann mountains on the way from Samarkand to Dushanbe, before our Pamir highway adventure, and I came across the Fann mountain Haft Kul/Lake Loop circuits which seem amazing. Problem is, to do that, we most likely have to remove Khiva from our itinerary. Our Pamir Highway itinerary has to start on 5 or 6 June

1. Considering that we are already going to Bukhara and Samarkand, is it less of a loss to not visit Khiva? For those who've visited both Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, would you say Khiva is "essential" or unique?
2. For those who have visited both the Fann and Pamirs (especially Bartang and Wakhan valley), would you say that the scenery are similar? If it is I would probably think its not worth giving up Khiva considering I will be doing hikes in Jizeu and Langar already
3. With 2 nights only, what hikes can be done in the Fann mountains? Is it possible to hike in the Fann mountains in early June?
4. How would the transport logistics work for the Fann mountains? Is it possible to arrive from Penjakent, complete the hike, and then take public transport to Dushanbe?

Thank you in advance for your assistance! Much appreciated :)
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willemspie
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Re: Itinerary advice - 6 weeks Central Asia: Khiva or Fann Mountains?

Post by willemspie »

The Fann mountains are more suitable for a 3 to 6 days mountain trek than the Pamirs. The Pamirs have several good shorter treks, longer treks become remote adventures.

If you go on a multi day trek in the Fann mountains, you can finish at different places. From Artuch, for instance, there a some public transport to Pendjikent, and then Dushanbe. From Iskanderkul, you may find some shared transport in the morning, otherwise taxi or fee hitch hiking to Sarvoda, where there are shared Taxis to Dushanbe. Alauddin lakes, difficult to find transport for the first kilometers.
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slapshocked
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Re: Itinerary advice - 6 weeks Central Asia: Khiva or Fann Mountains?

Post by slapshocked »

May i ask what is your plan to get to charyn canyon and the lakes from almaty? I will be in Almaty on 29 and 30 May. Still finding way to go there.
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Kkzf
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Re: Itinerary advice - 6 weeks Central Asia: Khiva or Fann Mountains?

Post by Kkzf »

willemspie wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2024 3:50 pm
The Fann mountains are more suitable for a 3 to 6 days mountain trek than the Pamirs. The Pamirs have several good shorter treks, longer treks become remote adventures.

If you go on a multi day trek in the Fann mountains, you can finish at different places. From Artuch, for instance, there a some public transport to Pendjikent, and then Dushanbe. From Iskanderkul, you may find some shared transport in the morning, otherwise taxi or fee hitch hiking to Sarvoda, where there are shared Taxis to Dushanbe. Alauddin lakes, difficult to find transport for the first kilometers.
Thank you Willem for your reply! Yes, you're right, I have a few day hikes planned for the Pamir Highway, namely the Jizeu trek and the trek to Pik Engels Meadows.

We have decided to remove the Kolsai and Kaindy lakes component to keep Khiva in while clearing up 2 days for the Fann mountains.

Regarding the Fann Mountains, unfortunately, as I am going in early June, it seems that mountain passes will most likely be closed, thus we could only do shorter treks. Currently considering the shortened Kulikalon lake day hike (or overnight hike) from Arduch Alplager. From Arduch, are there any direct transport to Dushanbe, or do I have to go Penjikent first and catch another transport to Dushanbe?

Thank you for your helpful replies so far! :)
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Kkzf
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Re: Itinerary advice - 6 weeks Central Asia: Khiva or Fann Mountains?

Post by Kkzf »

slapshocked wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2024 1:05 pm
May i ask what is your plan to get to charyn canyon and the lakes from almaty? I will be in Almaty on 29 and 30 May. Still finding way to go there.
As we are a group of 4, we were planning to perhaps rent a car and drive there ourselves. Alternatively, we have also found local tours that go there for a reasonable cost (around 12,000 tenge per person, or 25,000 tenge for 2 days), but keep in mind that the tour is in Russian (it isn't a deal breaker for us as we are just using it as a form of transport).
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willemspie
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Re: Itinerary advice - 6 weeks Central Asia: Khiva or Fann Mountains?

Post by willemspie »

From Artuch, you must return to Pendjikent for shared taxis to Dushanbe.
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