Itinerary 22 days - May 2018 (NOW)

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Itinerary 22 days - May 2018 (NOW)

Post by martinpaga »

Hi. I am planning my trip through Central Asia and I am having some problems with the itinerary so I write to see if you can help me. Based on what I was reading I made 2 different itineraries. I'll explain how I did it so they can help me decide which is the best and obviously bring changes, suggestions, etc.
The idea of ​​the trip is to make part of the cultural route and another part of the natural route. Clarification: I know that there are many things that can be a mixture of both as you go through small towns where you know locals surrounded by a great landscape.

Cultural: The idea is to visit some cities according to the recommendations I read. Pre-selection list: Khiva, Samarkand, Bukhara, Turkestan, Shymkent, Teraz, Kashgar. None of the itineraries contains all the places where I want to go so I would like them to help me choose.
I clarify that I had to eliminate many places from the list due to lack of time: Tashkent, Almaty, cities of Fergana Valley, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Osh.

Natural: My idea is to be able to go through the mountain ranges of Pamir and Tian Shan. Also, I intend to do a mountain trek at some point during the trip.
List of natural places: Pamir (through Pamir Highway), Fan Mountains, Hindu Kush in Wakhan Valley, Song Kol Lake, Sary Tash & Sary Mogul, Karakol.

Trek: Trek options (2 or 3 maximum days):
 Fan Mountains: Artuch to Dushaka Lake and / or Alaudin Lakes & Iskander-Kul.
 Karakol (Kyrgyzstan): Ala Kol & Altyn Arashan (the one I most want to do)
 Song Kol: Two-day trek. No definition of where to go.
 Kol Suu (Ak Sai Valley): South of Naryn, near the border with China.
Of these obviously I will choose one or two as much, if the days reach me. The main problem (apart from the choice between these) is that by the time of year some (or all of them) can be difficult (or impossible to do) given the climatic conditions. The season of some treks begins in mid-May and others at the beginning of June. I'm a bit complicated with the dates in some cases.

Pamir Highway: I really do not know how many days to dedicate and how is it that the days between Dushanbe and Osh are divided (where I will not stop). In the itineraries I calculated 5/6 days according to each one. I would also like you to tell me if you can go through the Wakhan Valley with that many days.

I would like you to help me to see if:

1) The number of days per place is logical.
2) If there is something I am not taking into account that could impede my itinerary.
3) That they give me recommendations to add or remove places to visit.
4) That help me to decide and see if it is feasible to do the treks that I mention at that time of the year.

Itinerary 1

Itinerary 2

Can you give me your impression of this? Thank you very much in advance.

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Re: Itinerary 22 days - May 2018 (NOW)

Post by bwv812 »

I'm not sure that Turkestan/Shymkent/Taraz are worth your time. I would also spend maybe less time in Khiva/Bukhara/Samarkand, and seriously look into the train routes between them (depending on whether or not the new Urgench-Bukhara line is convenient, it may be best to do the old-school train trip from Khiva to Samarkand, then back to Bukhara, then back again to Samarkand).

I think the Fann mountains route makes the most sense after Samarkand. You can trek there even if it is not your preferred destination. You can also trek in the GBAO area, perhaps in the Bartang valley.

I would consider going from Murghab to Tashkurgan via the Qolma Pass, and then going down to Kashgar and Hotan. From a cultural perspective, Xinjiang is extremely interesting and much more traditional than the heavily-Russified former Soviet CIS nations. The police state in Xinjiang is probably something worth seeing, too.

Finally, I think you need more buffer time. Travel by share taxi/marshrutka is slower than you are probably expecting, and unless you have everything arranged before you show up, you won't be able to just jump into a trek the day you arrive somewhere.
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