Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Itinerary

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mcsmoggle
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Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Itinerary

Post by mcsmoggle »

Hello,

Firstly - thankyou for the invaluable information provided by this website. It really is a fantastic resource for us budding Central Asian explorers!

Secondly - I have been tasked with arranging a trip for myself and 3 friends who are currently resident in Astana, Kazakhstan (with multi-entry Kz visas) plus one more from the UK (without Kz visa) - we are all UK nationals bar 1 Irish national. Between us we are reasonably to very well traveled (although not greatly in the former USSR), including Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan - so rudimentary Russian language and transport along major routes via train, mashrutka etc are not big issues.

I would like to know if the following itinerary is feasible, it may seem slightly rushed but we are limited in timescale due to end of Kz working period and having to be back in the UK by certain dates. I realise visas and permits will need sorting asap but I thought this would be the best place to check whether i'm being too ambitious or not first! The routes (bar flights to/from Tashkent) would involve some form of shared transport - taxi/minibus/train etc.

So, from approx 22/23 June to 9/10 July:

Day 1 - fly Astana to Tashkent - some time in Tashkent.
Day 2 - Tashkent to Samarkand - explore SK
Day 3 - Samarkand to Bukhara - explore SK in morning
Day 4 - Explore Bukhara
Day 5 - Bukhara to Khiva - explore Khiva
Day 6 - Explore Khiva
Day 7 - Khiva to Darvaza (door to hell) camp overnight
Day 8 - Darvaza to Ashgabat
Day 9 - Explore Ashgabat
Day 10 - Ashgabat to Mary (short time in Mary + Merv if possible)
Day 11 - Mary to Turkmenabat
Day 12 - Turkmenabat to Kugitang
Day 13 to Day 16 - Kugitang Nature Reserve (dino tracks, caves etc)
Day 17 - Kugitang back to Turkmenabat or if possible all the way to Tashkent
Day 18 - back to Tashkent and on to Astana.

We are most interested in natural features (i.e. Kugitang) but would like to see some of the Silk Road cities, but it's unlikely we'll be spending much time in museums, we're more likely to be finding our own way around to the main sights.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Rahkmet!
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steven
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Re: Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Itinerary

Post by steven »

Salem!

I think it's good, you can see all the Silk Road sights in Uzbekistan in 1 day per city if you're in a hurry, since they come early in your itinerary it will be good to go a bit faster.

The Turkmenistan part is also well scheduled, day 18 Turkmenabat - Tashkent sounds like a killer though.

Also get up early to drive to Merv, it's a long, hot way, and with a good guide, it's well worth your time. You might want to stop at some Sufi places along the way, and just outside old Merv the mausoleum of Hamadani is worthy of a visit as well. see http://www.doncronerblog.com/2013/10/tu ... adani.html

Many thanks for your compliments. If you see the opportunity to report back in an e-mail on your trip to Kugitang, I would love to hear that, I have yet to visit!
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mcsmoggle
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Re: Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Itinerary

Post by mcsmoggle »

Salem Steven!

Thanks for your reply and advice - if we can get it organised it will be a hectic but fantastic trip - we've all got the summer to relax after so it's well worth it!

My original itinerary involved starting with Tajikistan in Dushanbe and onto the Fan Mountains, with onward travel to Samarkand, but with the border crossing at Penjikent appearing closed and the preference to include Kugitang in the timescale meant something had to to be shelved for a later adventure. If we manage it I will certainly report back on Kugitang.

Thanks for the info re Merv, it's one place i'd love to spend time and i'll certainly try and get us all to the Hamadani mausoleum - it looks stunning.

Thanks again and best wishes,

Martin
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midnight
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Re: Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Itinerary

Post by midnight »

The only thing that I would change is the Tashkent part on Day one just head direct to Samarkand enjoy at least a full day at leasure there going to Markets ,Registan many highlights.It would be about 3 1/2 hours drive to Samarkand from Tashkent. There just isn't much of interest in Tashkent as it is a typically your subdued capital city with government buildings,embassies,business offices,parks,squares.Its not a bad place just Skip it if your pressed on a schedule.
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mcsmoggle
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Re: Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Itinerary

Post by mcsmoggle »

Hi midnight,

Thanks for your advice. As it turns out we had to remove Kugitang from the itinerary as it was getting really expensive and rushed, so we have gained more time in Samarkand and also some more stops on the route in Turkmenistan at a more leisurely pace.

I'm disappointed to not see Kugitang this time, but I may try for another trip there in the future as it looks worth the expense as a single trip.

Thanks again,

Martin
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