Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by mirileu »


Just another update on the Shymkent-Tashkent route.

Three days ago we took the new busline that opened in March. It was pleasant, quick and we had no issues whatsoever.

The bus is not well know about by locals it seems to asking taxi drivers, cafe waiters or hotel staff can be frustrating. It leaves from Sahayat Avtovoksali and costs 1500 tenge per person. We took the bus at 20.00 and arrived in Tashkent at 1.00 am (12.00 Uzbek time). From what I understand it runs 5 times daily at around 3 hours interval. We got there at 17.00 and were told we had just missed the last one.

The crossing was straight forward and the bus seemed to be given priority over the lines of cars outside. We got off with our bags at the Kazakh side, stamped out, got back in, drove to the Uzbek side, same thing only this time they also scanned the bags. No questions asked, no declarations filled, no medicals checked (we had made a list of medication in preparation for any issues) and no interest in foreign currency.

Would highly recommend as a smooth and comfortable option (If I remember right the bus had aircon)!

I took pictures of the bus but can't attach them here sadly.

safe travels!
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by bhorn »

Travelled from Shymkent to Tashkent today via minibus.

Was planning on taking the actual bus, but apparently no tickets were available today. That goes from the "old bus station", next to what's called Staryi avtovaskal on maps.me. It's quite far from Kolos though. I found the details on the bus route on the Facebook page for the bus company and had a local guide confirm the station: https://m.facebook.com/Kaznetworkbus-59 ... 1431/?_rdr

Anyway, got the minibus from the station near Kolos (bus 27 takes you here from throughout town and up to Aina). Beware of the taxi drivers trying to sell you the journey to the border for 5000KZT and saying the minibuses don't exist. Station is a little bit down the road, down a side street. Shows as Avtostantsiya Kolos on Google maps. Cost me 800KZT to get to the border, journey was about an hour.

Kazakh side of the border was a bit hectic, with people pushing and shoving to get ahead. Took about an hour to clear this bit. Did see a few Uzbek citizens giving the immigration officer 500KZT....

Uzbek side was really pleasant though. Some border guards saw I was a tourist and were curious about my experience getting the visa, my home country, etc. Got to skip the queue.
Got asked my favourite football team a few times :)

Used the new evisa with no problems.

Didn't have to fill in any customs form but they were giving them out to everyone else.

Had to change some money in the border town but the rate was pretty bad (5000KZT got me 100000UZS). Got to the outskirts of Tashkent (5 mins from Bodomzor) for 15000 Som via the minibuses in the town, and got the metro to my hostel. Guys were originally asking for $10/80000 Som to whatever hotel you are staying at.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by Gareth »

I passed through here in August 2018. I arrived at about 10 am, which was too late in the day I think. It was pretty hectic on Kazakhstan side. Before going into the building, there were money changers everywhere competing for business. I changed my remaining Tenge, but received less than they'd said. I was a bit flustered, needlessly, and didn't check carefully enough. I lost about $10. I think they saw me coming! Getting into the building was chaos with people pushing and shouting. I went around the side of the mob, and squeezed through. I was allowed into the building after about 20 minutes. The queues to leave Kazakhstan were long and, as described on this thread, not much fun. Pushing and shoving, and I saw a couple of fights. There were professional levels of pushing in. I stood my ground as well as I could, and got through in about 80 minutes. Getting into Uzbekistan once through didn't take long. About 15 minutes. Then, I found a private taxi to Tashkent for $10 easily enough. I walked through the first mob of taxi drivers to where it got a bit quieter before finding someone.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by leecaplin »

I live in Shymkent and decided to make use of the new Uzbekistan e-visa.

To Uzbekistan:

I drove from my home in Shymkent to the Zhibek Zholy border arriving at about 9:30 am. I left my car in a 'secure' car park for just 800 tenge, which let me park there till the next evening. I then proceeded to cross the border by foot. Getting out of Kazakhstan was straightforward. The queue was short and simple enough. After leaving the Kazakh side, you enter the Uzbek side, which has a problem. To get into the building there is a bottle neck and as a result there is a lot of pushing and is very chaotic. On this occasion, despite the chaos it only took about 15 minutes or so to get in to the building. Once in the building, the process was quite quick. When one of the border guards saw my evisa and passport he told me to come forward and after a few minutes of messing about with my passport, let me in to the country. In summary, the whole process was quite quick but the middle part was very chaotic with lots of pushing and shouting. I then took a bus (I think number 475) to Yunusabad in Tashkent for 1200 Som.

To Kazakhstan:

From Yunusabad in Tashkent I managed to negotiate a taxi for just 15000 Som to the border. This was not a shared taxi. A very good price. Leaving Uzbekistan was not a problem. The process was quick. The big problem was about to come. Entering Kazakhstan was hell. The queue was huge and the border guards were extremely slow. They said their computers weren't working. The queue was hardly moving. Then to make matters worse, we were told the queue we were standing in was going to close in an hour. We were left in a sticky predicament. If we stay in the queue and risk it, we may not make it and it will close. The other option was to leave the queue (that we had already been standing in for 30-45 mins) and join the back of another huge queue. Having a British passport, I decided to try my luck to see if I could get special treatment. So, I left the queue and went up to one of the border guards standing about and told him that I'm a British citizen and you are treating us like animals and that I would be making a complaint to the embassy. He told me to speak to his boss, who was nearby, so, I told him the same thing. At the time, it didn't seem to make much difference so I got back in the queue. After about 15 minutes, I got a tap on the shoulder and was ushered out of the queue and sent out of the building and the border guard sent me outisde to passport control for car drivers and passengers which was much shorter. I thanked the border guard and got let in to Kazakhstan after a short wait. In summary, this border crossing (the main crossing between Tashkent and Kazakhstan) is not recommended by me at the present moment due to lots of Uzbek citizens crossing into Kazakhstan and thus creating huge queues. You will need nerves of steel to cross this border. Good luck! I then got back to my car and drove back to Shymkent in a nervous wreck!
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by David_Ra »

We crossed the border from Tashkent to shymkent today.
Got a taxi for 50.000 som from the bus station to the border (bus was going for 40.000 at 7am, 12 am, but don’t remember the time table after 12). We were there at 8 so that’s why we decided to take the taxi and not wait 4h.
Border crossing was very smooth, we were leased to the front at the Uzbek side which was quite busy.
At the Kazakh side we filled the form, got 2 stamps on the card and were totally done in maybe 30 min. Really fast, no fights, nothing, on of the smoothest crossings I had. Bargained a taxi for 1250 tenge per person to our guesthouse.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by golandy »

We took the Kaplanbek-border, from uz to kz with our own vehicle.

Uzbekistan did a thorough check of the car, which was a first for us - usually leaving is quite painless.

Uz guard checked photo’s on one camera and spend a lot of time looking at Rubens-type paintings of naked women. Also zoomed in on me and kept giving ‘compliments’. Felt a bit sexist. Same happened at uz-passport control. And then the same happened AGAIN at kazakh car control (boyfriend was in another office to get car documents sorted). So, not the most pleasant border as a women by herself. But no touching, just standing way too close by and lots of comments. ‘I’ll show you how to make a baby’, ‘you’re so pretty’, getting young border guards and ordening me to give them my number, etc.

Border took quite long, 3 hours, mainly because they refused to help with the car documents - we don’t understand enough Russian to fill everything in on the customs form, but enough to get by with some help, even if its just help in Russian. So quite frustrating. Passportchecks were crowded but everyone was patient. The kz-border guard didn’t know Dutch can get visa on arrival, so he first refused me because I didn’t have a visa.

Check of the car was 5 minutes, since I’d ‘befriended’ the guards, guess that’s a plus..
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by kunibald »

Crossed in November 2018 Uz - KZ. Yandex taxi from Tashkent was 40000 UZS. Lots of annoying people on both sides of the border, but process was smooth. No big crowds, no fights. Officers tried to let me skip line. No baggage check on Uzbek side, got two stamps on Kazakh side. Could change UZS to Tenge to nearly the same rate as it would have been in Shymkent (in an office, not on the street). Marschrutka is 700 Tenge to Shymkent, guy tried to charge me 2000, then tried to keep my 1000, after insisting gave me back my change.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by SHappe »

Crossed 12th April on the Tashkent -> Bishkek overnight bus. We arrived at the border at around 19h45 (bus left Tashkent at 18h15). There was a huge bottleneck as our bus arrived at the same time as two that were going to Almaty (and another to Shymkent that arrived about 20min after). There was a bit of pushing and shoving to leave Uzbekistan, and the passport control people opened and closed desks everywhere causing a lot of confusion. It took us 1hr to get through the queue and leave Uzbekistan.

On the entry to Kazakhstan, it was a little better. The guards were unsure about Australians getting a visa on arrival, but after 10min of dithering, we were through. They were checking all of the locals bags, but waved us through after they looked at our passports - they didn't even open the passport, just wanted to see a Kangaroo.

All up, around 2hrs. Make sure you avoid that time if you're not on one of the busses - it was stupidly busy with 150 people trying to get through as fast as possible.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by vistetequenosvamos »

22/04/19: Border Navoiy Uzbekistan - Kaplanbek Kazakhstan:

Our idea was to arrive on the same day from Tashkent to Shymkent. We alternate public transport with hitchhiking.

From Tashkent we went to the Shaxristom metro stop for 1200 soms/person. It is the last stop of this metro line in Tashkent. In the future they will extend it to Yunusobob. From here we walk 1.5 km approx to Yunusobob Bazar.

We cross the street and in front of the Universam Shopping Center the buses with the number 477 leave for the Uzbek border towards KULTEPA (MAPS.ME). It leaves you in the custom for 1000soms/person.

Another option is to take bus number 91 that leaves from Chosu Bazar and get off at Yunusobob Bazar. Here make the change to bus 477.

We were a little to the expectations that they asked us for the check receipts of the hostels. We only had one night, the rest of the nights we did couchsurfing.

Upon arriving at the Uzbek control, the process of leaving was simple and fast. They did not ask us for hostel records, they did not check backpacks or declare any money - or at the entrance - when leaving the country.

We know recently that at the border control of Nukus-Beynue, a European citizen handed over the accommodation receipts and they looked at them without asking him or for the nights not registered. But an American citizen was asked for housing receipts.

It will depend on your origin and border control. We believe that it is still necessary to register every 3 nights, which we would recommend.

The arrival at the border control of Kazakhstan was simple and fast. Fill in the small entry form. They put 2 stamps on us, that indicated that we were not required to register with the immigration police and another stamp in the passport. This piece of paper is very important to keep until you leave the country.

When leaving there are many taxis that go to Shymkent although we do not know the price. We walk about 3 km to the main road that goes to Shymkent and near the gas station on the road it is very easy to hitchhike to Shymkent. Many cars pass!

We hope our experience helps travelers,


Alberto and Sonia
Last edited by vistetequenosvamos on Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by unborderedlife »

With regards to the cross-border bus that started last year, does anyone know which bus station it departs from in Tashkent? Is it the bus station near Sobir Rhaminov metro station? Also, where can tickets be bought in Tashkent?
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