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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Thank you!
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by Chrisoc1984 »

We crossed the border from Shymkent, Kazakhstan to Tashkent, Uzbekistan yesterday. 4 of us (me, my wife and 2 children ages 15 and 12).

We paid 7000 Tenge (1750 Tenge each) from Kolos Taxi terminal in Shymkent to the border. I was quite surprised by the price. It was 0800 on a Sunday morning so maybe business was slow.

Journey took around an hour. We exchanged our left over Kazakh Tenge at one of the exchange counters on the Kazakh side of the border. 1 Kazakh Tenge was 25 Uzbek Som.
Crossing the border was really straightforward on the Kazakh side. We are UK passport holders and on the Uzbek side of the border the official was really intrigued by the new blue British passport (my 12 year sons new passport). He inspected for around 10 minutes, he used a magnifying glass to check it over. I guess this was because he'd either never seen one before or because it was different to the rest of our passports. After he finished his checks we left the terminal. Border officials on both sides of the border were really friendly.

Once outside, we took the 169 bus which was parked right outside the border office to Shariston metro station. The bus cost 1400 som each. We then hoped on the metro, again 1400 som each. We got the Metro to Ming O'rik Station. In total for the 4 of us it cost 11,200 som to get from the border to Tashkent. That is 74p (0.86€). Incredibly cheap.

Huge thank you to this forum for the information on the border crossing. I hope this update helps someone else in the future.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by nomad »

I am American, speak fluent Russian, and crossed alone from Shymkent to Tashkent today. Everything went rather smoothly.
I had intended to find a shared taxi for the Kazakhstan leg of the trip. However, the rainy weather and some health issues made me decide at the last minute to go to the border alone with a Yandex taxi. The taxi was ordered almost instantly for 11,440 tenge. In the taxi, the driver appeared to be surprised that I wanted to go to the border, so when I confirmed my plans, he told me that he would drop me off at a place where I could find another taxi to the border. A few minutes later, he spoke to his son by phone, then offered to drive me to the border after all - for an additional charge of 2,000 tenge. I agreed to pay him the additional charge in cash.
At the border, there was a brief delay at the Kazakh side...due to a power outage, the Kazakh officials were unable to complete the steps necessary to stamp people out. Once stamped out of Kazakhstan, some Uzbek officials asked me to declare any US dollars on my possession, so I showed the ˜US$300 I was carrying and they waved me through. After completing the border control procedures, I decided to hop on the local bus toward Tashkent, which 1) gave my Uzbek eSIM some time to connect, and 2) helped minimize interactions with the hustlers near the border.
About 20 minutes into the bus ride, my Uzbek eSIM successfully connected to local networks, so I hopped off and took a Yandex taxi to my destination in Tashkent.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by HugoL »

Crossed in the late afternoon a week ago.

The driver agreed to take me from Kolos Bus Station (more like an informal congregation of cars by the street) for only 1500 KZT!

More than that the car departed with only myself in the car. The ride was smooth and I eventually gave the driver 2000 as I was feeling kind of bad for him.

Border has quite a lot of people but things are always moving along, all the procedures were cleaned in less than 30 minutes. Once out in the Uzbek side I was swamped with drivers shouting Tashkent, but a public bus sits right behind these drivers. Ticker costs 1000UZS, can just pay with your visa/mastercard. The bus takes you to Turkiston Metro station.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by benzhamin »

Much the same as Hugo, crossed from Shymkent -> Tashkent mid-morning a couple of days ago.

Our hotel owner suggested using InDrive, but when we got some quotes they were requesting around 10,000 KZT to the border. I think you could get a more reasonable price providing you were willing to message more drivers and negotiate or find someone with a few seats filled already.

Instead, we got a taxi from the hotel to Kolos using the Yango app. The driver was kind enough to ask if we were going to Tashkent and dropped us right at the minibuses (rather than at the bus stop on the main road where we'd set our destination in the app - the buses are in a car park around the corner). As we exited the taxi, there were a few drivers hassling us for a fare to Chernayeva, but they lost interest when we said we were getting a marshrutka. We got a minibus at Kalos for 1,000 KZT each (2 people). We also had 2 large backpacks, but this was no problem. The bus filled up quickly (I would guess about 10 minutes for the final 5 seats) and the journey took about an hour and a half.

The border crossing itself was uneventful. We exchanged our tenge for Uzbek som and passed through the checks in 20 minutes or so. On the other side, we walked through the drivers and got on the bus (1,400 UZS using contactless card). After we set off conductor took payment/checked everyone's cards by tapping them against the payment device. We got dropped at Turkiston metro (the bus driver shouted loudly that the stop was for the metro, presumably for our benefit, and as we got off a passenger recommended we check out the Plov Center nearby, which was sweet).

We got the metro to our hotel, also using contactless payment to get through the barriers.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by travelerthomas »

Rather smooth crossing today Sunday roughly around 14 on taxi-foot-taxi except we'd forgotten to save the paper registration slips... Some time wasted on working that out(mainly by documenting our itinerary via booking confirmations, train tickets and photos and videos)

Yandex from Tashkent train station to border ~55000 Som, less than an hour.
Taxi from border to our accommodation in Shymkent 4000 Tenge/person, although the other local guy paid 3000. The latter price was claimed to be only to certain spot in Shymkent, and not to a designated accommodation inside town. Not sure how legit that all is however. A little over an hour's ride.

But all rather hasslefree and straight forward without too long lines. But take the registration slips seriously.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by horatiuh »

Crossed on 25th of September 8am Tashkent->Shymkent.

Getting to the border from anywhere in Tashkent: Yandex, around 40k-50k UZS, anytime.

Border crossing time:
- 10 mts Uzbek side (no registration asked)
- 15 mts Kazakh side

On the Kazakh side there are hundreds of shared taxi options and money exchange options (including UZS, USD, EUR)

Took a shared taxi to Shymkent (1h10’) and paid 4000 KZT.

Everything smooth.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by txingu »

Crossed from Shymkent to Tashkent on Friday morning, an extremely smooth, even distressingly boring experience lol.

The van guys at the Kolos "stand" were waiting and yelling already, paid T2500 each and left 1 minute later. Very new car and they did over 150 on the motorway so got to the border in about 50 minutes.
Exiting KZ was smooth except they had never seen a Vietnamese passport so that needed to be thoroughly investigated (it's still old style so more fraud-sensitive, this was cause for minor delays at other ex-Soviet borders too).

On the UZ side not even a single question. The passport thing above was a 15 minute wait, apart from that we would have been through both borders in literally 10 minutes.

Just wave your way through the taxi ritual at the end (or not if you prefer), the bus is right in front, tap your credit card for the UZS1500 fare.
Uzbek sim cards can be bought there too, they will go change tenge for you - or you can do it yourself, rates are normal. But no ATMs at the border.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by RArmitage »

Bus 169 from Shariston metro to the border is running. Took it today. At the border it picks up people from the two bus stops by the exit of customs. It runs about every 10 minutes. The taxi guys tried to say it didn’t run! We ignored them.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by Forestlake12 »


We will cross border from Tashkent to Shymkent soon. Once we cross the border, are there any shop selling Kazakh SIM card? Or can we only buy SIM card at Shymkent? Thank you.
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Re: Tashkent to Shymkent border crossing Q&A

Post by yoann »


Crossed border on foot from UZ (Gʻishtkoʻprik/Cernyaevka) to KZ (Zhibek-Zholy) and, 1 hour later, back just the opposite way from KZ to UZ, Thursday 1st Feb. UZ->KZ around 10:20 am and KZ->UZ around 11:40 am.

No issue. Quite some people but small queues (I saw max ~15 persons waiting at a booth (each time there were 3-6 booths, sometimes 2 officers per booth) where officers seat to control passports) and very fast (20 min one way, 20 min the other way back). My passport control officer when re-entering UZ spoke a bit of English and confirmed I get 30 days visa free (again) from that date of re-entry in UZ. Will confirm when flying back to EU that no troubles but seems all good.

More details:
French passport. My stay in UZ will be 37 days but I did not organize any visa (i.e. 30 days max). So I planned to exit UZ to KZ and come back. Was not sure whether a night out of UZ is needed. Finally stayed symbolically only 1 hour in KZ at the border.

Getting to the border from Tashkent:
I stay in Tashkent. I could leave my luggage to colleagues and keep only a medium bagpack to make the hole trip easier. As described in this thread (thank you!) I used the public transport (https://uz.easyway.info/uz/cities/tashkent)
- ~25 min metro from Tinchlik (blue line) metro station to Shahriston station (green line).
- Then bus 169, ~40-45 min, from Shahriston to the last stop: “Post Gʻishtkoʻprik” also “Chernyaevka”. The bus left all passenger literally 10 m from the start of the (long) fenced corridor that leads to the baggage scan and passport control.

At the UZ side:
on foot everything was fast. However lots of cars queuing up (I guess for crossing border by car) and in a, subjective, messy way. It seemed to me like it should be a drag to cross here by car.

On the KZ side:
Numerous drivers directly at the exit asking you if you go to Shymkent.
Also lots of small booth for food, cigarettes, changing money and probably also simcards but I haven’t investigated.

while having lunch in a small somsa hutt, <100m from the custom fenced corridor exit, I could send 3 messages to UZ colleagues via internet (Telegram app.) but it took a while (I presume this is because it was at the edge of the network coverage). Not sure either how it goes if you are too far, nor how reproducible it is.

Re-entrance to UZ:
- On Kazak side, sniffing dog independently going through the border crossers queuing up for passport control, with his master close by.
- At the exit, UZ side, same as reported before: numerous drivers and in particular one guy and his colleague trying to convince you that the bus do not run today (while I took it in the morning to arrive…) to make you ride by taxi.
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