Farap - Alat (TM - UZ) border crossing updates

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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janbrand
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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:00 pm
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Re: Farap - Alat (TM - UZ) border crossing updates

Postby janbrand » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:58 pm

I crossed the border on 12.06.2019 from Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan. While writing this I realized how much I forgot about the crossing (was it the incredible impressions of Ashgabat? ;-))
My experiences:
The taxi drivers will tell you, that there is no other option than taking a taxi...
From the bus terminal in Bukhara near the bazaar ("shared taxis to turkmen border" on maps.me) I took a shared taxi to Alat. This was about 15.000 Sum. This involved a lot of discussions... But 2km from there away from Bukhara is the place, where marshutkas leave to Alat. Should be cheaper (on maps.me "Marshrutka and shared taxi to Alat").
In Alat I was dropped off in front of a shop. They told me I need to pay all 6 seats in the minibus to the border, because nobody wants to go there and there will be no one today. At the end I think i accepted at double the normal price (1/5th of the first offer) and then people came from all directions. After we stopped at another house the bus was full...

When leaving Uzbekistan I was told to skip the line. And then there was a 1,5km walk. But there was also a van, which can be used.
After crossing the border you need to take a lift in the old military van. If you have Manat it's just 1 Manat I think. If you just have $, play confused ;-)
In the building I had to to fill out a customs declaration (room on the left), but the guy there helped me.
The passport check, it gets a bit rough and crowded. But somebody yelled "tourist" and took my passport and gave it to the immigration officers. Then I had my priority lane. On the right there is a counter to pay the visa fees.

After crossing the border I was told, that nobody goes to Turkmenabad and I would have to pay 5$ for a taxi. After discussions again, someone took me in a shared taxi for 1$.

I think that was it. But: I'm not exactly sure about the way from Bukhara to Alat. But as I said: There are shared taxis and there are marshrutkas - I saw them, when passing by with the shared taxi.
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Rohan
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:58 pm
x 6

Re: Farap - Alat (TM - UZ) border crossing updates

Postby Rohan » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:19 pm

15 of us, a tour group from NL crossed the border from Farap (TM) to Alat (UZ) on 25 June 2019.

We left our hotel in Mary at 7am in a private bus with a local guide. The road was bumpy but the driver was fast. With one stop about 30 minutes, we reached the first military border control around 11:15am. Road was closed with a barrier for both sides. Small Soviet style old van was transporting people in and out from there to the real border which was about 500 meters away.
The gate was crowded with about 200 locals. The tiny van can take max 10 fax per time. After checking the passports by soldiers, people are allowed to proceed further in the van. Apparently walking is not allowed or nobody was walking. While we stayed inside the bus the local guide talked with the soldiers with our information list. After checking the document, they allowed us to proceed further in our own bus even without checking the passports. (Special privilege for tourists).

500 meters further was the main border control of TM. We had to walk about 150 meters to the building with our bags. Again the building was very crowded with locals. First the bags were scanned. It was disorganized and chaotic with many bags going through the scanner same time. Locals continue to push their bags before others. Your bags will never arrive in the other side of the scanner, unless you push it inside the scanner. Custom declaration forms already completed by our local guide for us. We were told to enter a modest amount of cash we are taking with us (like 500$) in the form to avoid unnecessary checks and delays.
I was asked if I have a camera in my backpack. I said no and showed them my headphones. All were good.

Next counter was the passport check by immigration. Two counters, overcrowded by locals, no line, no order. Our guide was shouting “Tourista”. And the officers agreed to check our passports before the locals in one counter. It was not easy to go near the counter because of many locals around it.

Next was to travel in a small van about 1 km in the No-mans land in the TM side, up-to the UZ border. First we were wondering how to take our big bags in that tiny van. About 50 locals were waiting for the van which was running up and down. Again the local guide came to save us and made a deal with the van driver to take our group first and separately from the locals. We were asked stay separated from the locals under the hot sun in a different spot for few minutes and van came directly to us. The driver knew how to pack the bags and without much problem many of our bags and 9 of us were in the van. Instead of the usual 1 manat we had to pay 1 $ per each. It was definitely worth than fighting with locals to get the ride.

Again after more passport checks by soldiers, the next 1 km was in another small van in OZ side of the no-mans land. Since we were the only one waiting there it was not difficult. Driver wanted 2000 sum per person and we had only 1000 with us. So he was not happy and refused money for the ride.

From the van stop we had to walk about 200 meters to the border control building in a cemented pavement. First the passports check by soldiers, then again by the immigration and finally bag screens. Then walk again to the car / bus park. UZ side was much easier than leaving TM side.

The whole process took about 2 hours before we finally in our next bus to Bukhara from the border.
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Haenslein1
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:11 pm
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Re: Farap - Alat (TM - UZ) border crossing updates

Postby Haenslein1 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:51 am

2 cyclists. Took about 2h, no fees. According to locals and truckers border closes at 6pm!!!!! Not at 8pm.
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wanderlust2
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:55 pm
x 14

Alat to Farap border crossing - prices and process

Postby wanderlust2 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:16 pm

This is current as of Aug 5, 2019 and requires some proficiency with haggling:

EXITING UZBEKISTAN
From Bukhara old city to the bus stop for shared taxis to Alat by taxi: 5000 UZS
From bus stop to Alat in shared taxi: 10,000 UZS
From Alat to the Uzbek border by shared taxi: 8000 UZS
In Alat they will strenuously insist there are no marshrutkas. I don't know if that is true; I found some locals to share the ride with and did not wait around.
After the Uzbek immigration, you can walk the 1.5 kms to the actual border with Turkmenistan or take a van. Cost of van: 1000 UZS

ENTERING TURKMENISTAN

From border to Turkmen immigration, again walk the 1.5 kms or take the van. Cost: 1 TMT
At immigration, stop at the office on left to fill out a declaration form.
Take the form to the banking window to pay the entry fee: 14 USD, payable in USD only
Then backtrack to the immigration window and get stamped in. I had a sticker visa so no idea re the approval letter.
Once done, have your bags scanned and answer questions from the customs nd walk out.
From immigration to the fence where taxis congregate: 1 TMT
Shared taxi to Turkmenabat: taxi drivers will insist on 5 USD but locals pay 10 TMT. Strenuous argument later, I paid 3 USD.
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nickszen
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:16 am
x 1

Re: Farap - Alat (TM - UZ) border crossing updates

Postby nickszen » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:56 am

2 Germans. Crossed the border from Turkmenistan to Uzbekistan on 04.10.2019.

Crossing the border went smooth and as described in previous posts. After arriving on the Uzbek side, the "Mafia man" said minimum to Bukhara would be 30$, we offered 10 for both of us, which he and all other drivers refused. After some waiting and watching on how the Uzbeks would be doing, we decided to take one of the minibuses that are going to Alat and check public transport from there. Once we joined a group of very friendly old ladies inside one of the minibusses the taxi drivers finally agreed to 10$. Obviously they got afraid of losing some Dollars!
In Alat we had to change the taxi (without paying the first one) and 2 more people would join us. The taxi driver drove us directly to our destination in Bukhara.
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