Oybek - Buston (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Re: Oybek - Buston (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by Caroline »

I crossed the border a couple of days ago - from TAJ to UZ and it was fine. I took one of those new air-conditioned Asian Express buses and it cost me just 10k somani (around $10) from Khujand to Tashkent direct. The station for the Asian Express bus is what google maps seems to think is a machine repair service (!) (https://goo.gl/maps/NFAMuubqWdGGN11v6) but it was relatively simple to just turn up, buy the ticket before getting onto the bus. I got there just after 7am and the bus left at 8am. We got to Tashkent just after 1pm, mostly because of the traffic in Tashkent, to be honest. The bus is pretty good - similar to what you would get in the West except no toilets. Each seat had an entertainment screens but not sure if they really worked so bring your own entertainment. It was only about a third full so plenty of space, but I went on a weekday. My hotel called the company just before I left to make sure that the bus was running that day as sometimes these buses could potentially be cancelled.

On the border, with a UK passport, I had no issues on the Tajik side - they didn't even look at my entry or registration documents, let alone ask anything COVID related questions. There was a bit of a wait on the Uzbek side when the passport official left with my passport for a good ten long minutes. No idea what he was doing but probably recording my details in some very slow database. But it was fine in the end if a bit nerve-wracking for me. We had to wait for another 30 mins or so on the Uzbek side for them to presumably finish checking the bus but there are relatively good toilets, a woman changing money with relatively good rates, and a grocery shop to keep us occupied. There was also a Ucell shop there but as I was heading to Tashkent, I got my SIM card there.

I was very fortunate to have been taken under the wing of other women on the bus, which made me feel a lot more secure and looked after. If you do take the bus, I would make an effect to engage with the other passengers - particularly if you don't speak the language. And make sure you keep in the same group as your fellow passengers as much as you can.
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Re: Oybek - Buston (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by Rufio »

December 5th 2022.

Called Asia Express the morning of departure asking if the bus to Tashkent will be operating. All I got was a "if there are enough people, by fate it will go".

Arrived at the station which is at the location Caroline linked above. It is however, labled as bus to Tashkent on Google Maps and a picture has been uploaded so you will know if you are in the correct place.

I got there for 7.30AM, nobody was there but me. No other single living soul, the cash desks were closed.

After five minutes a lady approaches me and we manage to communicate through Google translate, she tells me the bus will only go if there are enough people, she indicated 8 people mininum, she told me to wait and see if more people arrive, otherwise she said she will call a taxi for me in the event the bus does not go.

One more person arrives going to Tashkent but it isn't enough.

Me and this other man hop in his car and go to some place where marshrutkas congregate, we take a shared taxi ride to the Oybek border with six other passengers including me in the car.

The man (not the driver) told me it was 14 somoni, but there must have been a mis-communication somwhere as when we arrived at the border I gave him 14 somoni and the driver shouted at me. I got my phone calculator out and he typed 50, so I gave him 50.

Scammed? I don't know. The AsiaExpress direct from Khujand to Tashkent was listed as 100 Somoni, so a 50somoni ride shared with 5 other paying passengers just to the border seems not right. 14 x 6 would have been 84 somoni which I thought seemed right considering it was a one hour ride just to border and not direct to Tashkent. I doubt he got 50 x 6 which is 300 somoni just taking us to the border. Then again, 14 somoni does seem ridiculously low, so maybe I'm just crazy.

Then I paid 200,000 Uzbek som to a driver shared taxi from the border to Tashkent, I got the last seat so we departed immediately. I looked up prices on Yandex going from city center Tashkent to the Oybek border and it was showing 250-300k Uzbek Som, so once again paying 200,000 for a seat in a shared taxi with three other passengers didn't feel right. I tried to haggle but there was no movement. In the end I paid about £11 or $13 more to get from Khujand to Tashkent than I would have had the direct AsiaExpress bus went as planned.

No issues at the border.

Fun fact: Upon arriving in Tashkent I took the 6pm coach to Bishkek that same day, so within 24 hours I crossed the borders Tajikistan > Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan > Kazakhzstan, Kazakhzstan > Kyrgyzstan. It took 26 hours from checking out of my hotel in Khujand to arriving at my hotel in Bishkek.
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Re: Oybek - Buston (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by farreli80 »

Hello in few months I'm going to Mongolia and the Stans.
But I would like to know if is possible to cross the Oybek - Buston land border from Khujand (Tajikistan), to Tashkent (Uzbekistan), by road, with Spanish EU passport.

It is easy to cross the Oybek-Buston border with Spanish passport? Nowadays no visa required even for the land border?

Thank you for the information.
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Re: Oybek - Buston (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by Cplatt »

farreli80 wrote:
Sun Jan 15, 2023 7:29 am

It is easy to cross the Oybek-Buston border with Spanish passport? Nowadays no visa required even for the land border?
Correct, visa-free for you, and almost all of Europe for that matter. I crossed here twice, once each way, on a weekend earlier this month. It was quick and easy even for me as an American with a printed electronic visa. My only advice is, if possible, avoid the border at night. I haven't experienced this personally, but I hear it can much slower during this time. Enjoy your trip! It sounds like an epic adventure!
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Re: Oybek - Buston (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by rainest »

Crossed from Tashkent to Khujand about a week ago. The scheduled AsianExpress bus is apparently still inconsistent. The info desk at the Tashkent station said it was cancelled that day, and I didn't see it pass us on the way down, so I assume they were correct.

I hired a taxi from the bazaar given that bus signage and timetable info is nonexistent. We did pass the orange transit bus on the way down, so AFAIK it is an option if you don't mind waiting. It does look like there's only the one bus stop at the bazaar, but I didn't want to chance it.

Border itself was painless. Uzbek side has informal brokers who will exchange sum for somoni. The Tajik side asked if I had currency but waved me along after asking if it was under the USD $3k or whatever limit.

Khujand appears to have an extreme paucity of functioning ATMs that accepting US cards. It was ironically easier to get cash in the GBAO. Visa's map indicating state bank ATMs led me to ATMs that apparently didn't actually exist or that were broken. I eventually found a Bonki Eskhata ATM that did work outside a supermarket: https://goo.gl/maps/6vA1M1AreiP1zcw96?c ... 3&entry=tt

Although not really specific to the border, Google Fi's international service seems quite limited in Tajikistan--it works in Dushanbe, but not anywhere else, really. Online eSIM providers (Airalo and something else I found that appears to be an Airalo reseller) offer options that ostensibly work but won't actually connect to mobile data. Obtaining an actual local SIM appears to remain a necessity (eSIMs should now be available from most of the providers, but the TCell office I found still gave me a physical one anyway). There's apparently a limitation that they can't sell more than 10 days of access if you're visa-free without registration, even though the limit on that isn't quite the same because of the working/non-working day distinction. My SIM also stopped working after only 7 days instead!

Airalo is also apparently hot garbage, and while I assume part of the blame rests on Tajik telecoms saying "yeah sure we'll make sure your clients can connect, give us money" while not actually doing anything to make that work, IDK what idiot thought they could reasonably operate a service that you want to work immediately with 3-4 day turnaround for support cases at best. Their reddit suggests they're pretty iffy even in less obscure markets, which isn't a great sign.
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Re: Oybek - Buston (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by Christian77 »

I wrote a very long and detailed post, but it disappeared on me. So… the import part was that when going Uzbekistan to Tajikistan you leave the Tajik immigration control office and make your way to a bag scanner room on the opposite side. But in between you will be intercepted by the scammer drivers who have paid to be here to intercept you. They are thieves, cheats, scammers and drivers of appallingly crappy cars.

Where are the good drivers to get you to Dushanbe? At the Stary Avtovokzal (“Dushanbe avtovokzal”) in the city of Khujand. So find a short distance driver going in to Khujand (50 Somoni) and find a driver there. They are generally decent people who keep their word.

To get to the short distance shared taxis from the border to Dushanbe, just keep walking, maybe even past the final gate (with the final document check) and look for a car that actually has passengers in it.
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Tashkent to Khujand Buses

Post by FRT15 »

Hi all, would you know what time buses go from Tashkent to Khujand? Also is it possible to buy tickets the same day you want to travel? Thanks
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Tashkent to Dushanbe

Post by vbnmoig »

Hi all – anyone have any recommendations on how to get from Tashkent to Dushanbe without rail?

Sorry if this has already been asked but I couldn't find any recent responses – thanks very much!
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Re: Tashkent to Dushanbe

Post by willemspie »

I think the shortest route is to go through Samarkand then Pendjikent. But of course you may want to visit the Fann mountains near Pendjikent.
Or also through Khujand.
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Re: Oybek - Buston (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by Ausmax »

RIGHT HAND DRIVE CARS NOT ALLOWED IN TAJIKISTAN - Hi - we entered Tajikistan from Uzbekistan at Oybek border last week, driving our Australian Toyota Landcruiser. Took about 1+ hrs to exit UZ side. then through a short no-mans land to Tajikistan side. At the gate the guard asked us to leave our car outside and go to Immigration about 50m inside. We completed immigration and went to collect our car. At that point they were adamant that the car could not come in due to it being RIGHT HAND DRIVE. We couldn't get around the objection so went back through TJ immigration to get stamped out and then re-entered UZ. At UZ they did the whole entry again for the car which was time consuming and then charged US $30 for tinted windows tax! All in all about 4 hours wasted. We can find anything about RH drive cars being restricted but they would not let us cross and said it was a new rule. Has anyone else had this experience recently.
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Two Australians in our Toyota Troopy camper travelling overland from Melbourne 🇦🇺 to London 🇬🇧 In 2023. ausmaxoverland.com

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