Travel Report first Tesla in Uzbekistan: Enter at Farab, Exit from Tashkent to Shymkent (Kazakhstan)

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Travel Report first Tesla in Uzbekistan: Enter at Farab, Exit from Tashkent to Shymkent (Kazakhstan)

Post by eexplorer »

Intro: in May-July 2017, we drove the first Tesla/electric car in Central Asia, see Outright adventure in some regards, but no emergencies. Our rear-wheel drive safely carried us between 0-3000m asl, in sand at the beach, rough terrain on mountain tops, or through the heat. No desert driving, though. Charging time: 3h (strong three-phase connections) up to 1.5 days (weak one-phase), then driving for 400km possible.

Uzbekistan, entry on road to Bukhara, exit in road from Tashkent to Shymkent

Entry process to Uzbekistan (from Turkmenistan at Farab border)

Very friendly people everywhere (we think mainly due to unusual car), ridiculous customs control, all in all easier than expected.

  1. First soldiers after Turkmenistan simply check passport (and take picture with the car).
  2. Second comes the health check: IR thermometer takes your temperature. Continue after 5 minutes.
  3. Third comes the real border and customs terminal. Fill out customs paper with all money declared (wasn't counted, all in all we only had equivalent of 1500 EUR). The ice cold customs lady warmed up over time. At one point she requested to see our medicine. We carried our medicine box to her. She looks at everything for illegal substances. After 60 minutes with the lady comes the car search. We were lucky enough to distract them with a lot of our electric car gear. No unpacking of boxes, no scanning, no search of pictures on hard disks. At some point they got bored eventually and let us go. We were inside Uzbekistan.
  4. At not point special fee or bribery or anything. A bit more than 2 hours in total on Uzbek site.
In Uzbekistan

  • Border to Bukhara: partly very bad. 30-40 km/h with normal car.
  • Bukhara to Samarkand: bad, the closer to Samarkand the better it became. In the beginning 40-50 km/h, later faster.
  • Samarkand to Tashkent: getting better. around 80 km/h.
  • Tashkent to border: excellent
  • Police checkpoints notorious. We got stopped basically everywhere. Often unfriendly, but only checking passport (or copies thereof). Basically, they have no protocol or procedure for us, they most often understood not a thing of our documents it seemed. No attempt of bribery.
  • No insurance needed, and we were never asked for it (quite the opposite of Kazakhstan!). Directly after entering, scammers at the border try to sell you one (don't think of accepting it!). They also change money at really bad rates (and try to scam you even more in the process).
  • Bukhara was beautiful (and hotel prices and quality is fantastic!), Samarkand even more beautiful, hotels not as good anymore. We didn't see much of Tashkent. Don't expect any good hotel in the mountain area north-east of Tashkent. They're not used to westerners and we didn't like our night there (the mountains are a big waste dump for Uzbeks).
Exit from Uzbekistan (to Kazakhstan)

The usual approach: first post sees passport, continue to main post for customs and stamps, then endure a really thorough car search, then continue to Kazakhstan. 2h on Uzbek side.
  1. The worst car search of the entire trip. Everything had to get out. Most boxes were scanned. Everything was looked upon, even things wrapped in paper. They wanted to take off some plastic covers of the car, but I insisted that only official service can take them off (or they'd be electrocuted if they did).
  2. One border guard acted as good cop, maintaining friendly small talk and even distracting his bad cop colleagues with nonsense stories about us. We were glad he was there, because the rest of the people were really quite unfriendly. No electric car bonus here. Surprising that they make such a show for someone that wants to leave. Poor last impression.
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