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Big Silk Road trips: Weather planning Q&A

Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:53 pm
by labandajuan
Hello! Nice to meet you all.

Together with my girlfriend we are planning to start a trip on the Silk Road starting next May.
We hope to arrive in Istanbul around 15 May. The truth is that we have no fixed plans, but we will adjust our itinerary as the days go by, with money as the only "barrier" to stop us.
The idea is to start in Istanbul and from there go to Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran and the rest of the stans (as long as we get the visas).
Our questions right now are many .. But we would like you to be able to help me with the first ones that have appeared, fundamentally related to the climate.
We read that summer can be very hard in some regions, so the consultation would be: what would be the best way to cope with the weather? Where should we go during the months of June, July and August, which seem to be the hottest?
I had the following travel plan: Turkey -> Armenia (via Georgia) -> Georgia -> Azerbaijan -> Iran -> Stans. Do you think that path can be viable?

Thank you very much!!!!

Re: Starting to plan the Silk Road trip

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:23 am
by steven
Hi Juan,

You are starting too late to avoid the heat. Ideal would be to be in Iran and other desert countries in May-June, then mountain countries Kyrg and Taj in July-August, then go to China once the heat dies down.

Seeing how you have a lot of time and you prefer to avoid heat rather than cold, if you are not the type to get bored, I would spend the summer in the mountains of the Caucasus and autumn in Iran. In that case, it will be cold in the Stans.

Re: Starting to plan the Silk Road trip

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:24 pm
by labandajuan
Thanks for your answer!
As we do not have fixed times, the idea is to travel around 6 months, more or less. According to your answer, I wanted to make some extra queries ...
Is the following itinerary possible?
Starting in Iran (entering May 15 and staying there -more or less - for a month), then go to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia (we would spend from mid june to the first days of august in these 3 countries); then, go to Turkey (the rest of August till early September), Then fly to one of the stans (and go as far as we can until late October / mid-November).
How do you see that possibility?

Re: Starting to plan the Silk Road trip

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:56 am
by dessenior
These are all hot countries. Consider starting earlier. The weather in Iran should be nice in March/April, which would mean you were doing the more northerly Stans during the hotter months, and you wouldn't be running past October when things start to get very cold. However, even they will have temperatures in the 30s in Summer.

Re: Starting to plan the Silk Road trip

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:12 am
by steven
September is still a good month for Pamir and Kyrgyz mountains. October is cold already in mountains, but good for Uzbekistan/Turkmenistan.

Re: Starting to plan the Silk Road trip

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 2:19 pm
by seysearles
I'm actually starting to get a little worried about our itinerary that has us going through Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in mid-July.

Can anyone advise if this is going to be cripplingly hot? I am concerned about melting away on over night trains and in hotel rooms that don't have AC.

I am actually now considering changing our dates. Is this an over reaction?

I live in a hot climate but I don't really particularly like hot weather.

I attach our itinerary for reference.

Itinerary.jpg (234.53 KiB) Viewed 4934 times

Re: Starting to plan the Silk Road trip

Posted: Mon May 15, 2017 6:34 am
by steven
It is going to be cripplingly hot, but trains have A/C and normal hotels too. I personally wouldn't do it, I prefer colder weather. Then again, it is the perfect time for Pamir Highway and Kyrgyz mountains. Make sure you have a decent ride to Darwaza with A/C or you will be melting (actually, melting asphalt/car tires are an issue in summer in Turkmenistan.)

If you want to change your dates, don't make them too late, Song Kul will be devoid of people by mid-September.

In short, there is no perfect time to do a 5-stan tour, it will always be too hot or too cold somewhere.

Re: Starting to plan the Silk Road trip

Posted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:03 am
by seysearles
Hi Steven, thanks for this feedback.

I am trying to balance my dislike of the heat with my girlfriends dislike of the cold. A fairly common dilemma I have encountered with couples that travel together.

We have 2 over night trains in Turkmenistan (Ashgabat --> Mary --> Ashgabat) and 2 in Uzbekistan (Urgench --> Samarkand, Bukhara --> Tashkent). If these are AC'd and comfortable it allays some of my fear of being stuck overnight sweating it up in a sealed canister.

We have a tour booked in Turkmenistan so I presume that their vehicles will be AC'd I will follow this up with them.

I think that the crisis days are the following:

1 day wandering Merv (12th July)
1 day wandering Ashgabat (13th July)
1 day wandering Konye Urgench (15th July)
1 day wandering Khiva (16th July)
2 days wandering Bukhara (17-18th July)
2 days wandering Samarkand (19-20th July)
1 day wandering Tashkent (21st July)

Perhaps I will cut a day from Bukhara and give Tashkent a miss in order to make it a bit more manageable. I am hoping that once we reach Osh it will be pleasant thereafter. Anything under 30°c I can live with (although under 25°c is preferable). :roll:

Edit: Would it be wise to make this a separate thread so that people can properly find it when searching for weather conditions? Your call.

Re: Starting to plan the Silk Road trip

Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:35 am
by lissie45
This site is good for weather research ... Uzbekistan - you may be over-estimating the effect of the heat - 35C and no humidity - is way more pleasant than 25C with 99% humidity . It's dry in these locations - so use an umbrella and have a siesta in the afternoon (or find something inside).

Re: Big Silk Road trips: Weather planning Q&A

Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:08 am
by dessenior
If you have the visa for Turkmenistan it might be worth looking into a trip to the Door to Hell. The visa can be hard to get but it'd probably be a more memorable visit than Ashgabat.

Steven - you say Song Kul will be empty by September. Is this because it's mostly a 'seaside' destination that only gets visitors in the holiday season or will it be unpleasantly cold?