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Price to buy whole shared taxi: Dushanbe to Penjikent

Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:35 pm
by northinsouth1
Hi all--

A simple question: my wife and I may want to reserve an entire shared taxi to get from Dushanbe to Penjikent (from there, we need to cross the border into Samarkand). What's a reasonable price to do this?

Thanks, in advance, for your help.

Re: Price to buy whole shared taxi: Dushanbe to Penjikent

Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:22 pm
by Christian77
If you go to the starting point for Panjakent trips -- the Cement Factory on the north side of Dushanbe -- then it is about 100 per seat to the border. So you could get a whole car for 400. But many cars already have a passenger or two waiting in them, and some have 6 passenger seats. People will come up to you and yell "Khujand" or "Panjakent." To the ones who yell Panjakent, reply 'granitsa' (that's border in Russian). It's a very common destination for them. Be warned that there has been at times confusion between tourists trying to book a whole car and drivers trying to add extra passengers...

But if you book through a hotel for a front door pick-up, then the price will be much, much higher. But I couldn't say for sure. And many hotels and guesthouses wouldn't have Panjakent drivers on-call.

Re: Price to buy whole shared taxi: Dushanbe to Penjikent

Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:12 pm
by ET_
Was $50 / 500 TJS in September with a bloke named Rohan inc hotel pick up

He seemingly doesn’t have whatsapp or telegram so you’ll need to text or call him on 931950008

He called 15 mins before our agreed meeting time and advised that it was in fact his brother who would take us and that he was waiting outside. Brother speaks no English but drives in an efficient Tajik manner and we had arrived in Panjakent after a mere 3:15 hrs. Can recommend, Rohan called during the trip to make sure everything was ok!

Re: Price to buy whole shared taxi: Dushanbe to Penjikent

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:35 am
by northinsouth1
Christian77 wrote:If you go to the starting point for Panjakent trips -- the Cement Factory on the north side of Dushanbe -- then it is about 100 per seat to the border. So you could get a whole car for 400. But many cars already have a passenger or two waiting in them, and some have 6 passenger seats. People will come up to you and yell "Khujand" or "Panjakent." To the ones who yell Panjakent, reply 'granitsa' (that's border in Russian). It's a very common destination for them. Be warned that there has been at times confusion between tourists trying to book a whole car and drivers trying to add extra passengers...

But if you book through a hotel for a front door pick-up, then the price will be much, much higher. But I couldn't say for sure. And many hotels and guesthouses wouldn't have Panjakent drivers on-call.
Thanks for this, Christian. I had a couple quick logistical follow-ups, if you have the time:

1. How early would you recommend getting to the cement factory to be sure to get a car without passengers?
2. I have basic to intermediate level Russian. Will most of the folks there speak it (I'm assuming yes since you mentioned the Russian for border)?
3. I'm staying at the Meridian Gostinista. Is it easy to get from the hotel to the factory, or should I get a taxi/take bus there?

Re: Price to buy whole shared taxi: Dushanbe to Penjikent

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:37 am
by northinsouth1
ET_ wrote:Was $50 / 500 TJS in September with a bloke named Rohan inc hotel pick up

He seemingly doesn’t have whatsapp or telegram so you’ll need to text or call him on 931950008

He called 15 mins before our agreed meeting time and advised that it was in fact his brother who would take us and that he was waiting outside. Brother speaks no English but drives in an efficient Tajik manner and we had arrived in Panjakent after a mere 3:15 hrs. Can recommend, Rohan called during the trip to make sure everything was ok!
Thanks, ET. From Penjikent, how did you get to the border? How long it take you to get across?

Finally, how did you find out about Rohan? Would he be ok with someone calling him out of the blue?

Re: Price to buy whole shared taxi: Dushanbe to Penjikent

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:52 pm
by Christian77
northinsouth1 wrote:
Christian77 wrote:If you go to the starting point for Panjakent trips -- the Cement Factory on the north side of Dushanbe -- then it is about 100 per seat to the border. So you could get a whole car for 400. But many cars already have a passenger or two waiting in them, and some have 6 passenger seats. People will come up to you and yell "Khujand" or "Panjakent." To the ones who yell Panjakent, reply 'granitsa' (that's border in Russian). It's a very common destination for them. Be warned that there has been at times confusion between tourists trying to book a whole car and drivers trying to add extra passengers...

But if you book through a hotel for a front door pick-up, then the price will be much, much higher. But I couldn't say for sure. And many hotels and guesthouses wouldn't have Panjakent drivers on-call.
Thanks for this, Christian. I had a couple quick logistical follow-ups, if you have the time:

1. How early would you recommend getting to the cement factory to be sure to get a car without passengers?
2. I have basic to intermediate level Russian. Will most of the folks there speak it (I'm assuming yes since you mentioned the Russian for border)?
3. I'm staying at the Meridian Gostinista. Is it easy to get from the hotel to the factory, or should I get a taxi/take bus there?
1. Time of arrival makes no difference, in my experience. There are way too many drivers, and not enough passengers. You should be able to find an empty car, or a car who will kick out his passenger(s). It's not a comfy situation, but I see people getting bumped all the time.
2. Yes. All the drivers will have basic to decent Russian. They are usually middle-age city guys.
3. Get the hotel to call a taxi. Trust me on this. It would be like 3 marshrutka transfers as you can't use a bus without a bus card which you can't get without a Tajik phone number which you can't get without... etc.

I suggest asking to go all the way to the border, but be aware that sometimes these drivers say they will take you to the border, but then they "sell you" to a local Panjakent-Border driver closer to the destination. You pay no extra, but you may end up waiting again while your onward drivers waits for more passengers.

Re: Price to buy whole shared taxi: Dushanbe to Penjikent

Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:30 am
by ET_
I got Rohan’s number off TripAdvisor, he’d be delighted with a call. He will probably take you to the border, however we spent the night in town. If not stand outside the bazaar looking foreign for 5 seconds and somebody will offer you a lift to the border for 10 som pp. We walked to the wrong part of the street and friendly locals happily redirected us.

It’s maybe 30 mins to the border and the crossing was one of the simplest we did in Central Asia (you will get mobbed by taxi drivers the second you walk out the Uzbek side, we paid $10 for a car for the two of us into town which is double what we could have got if we bargained harder)