Denau-Tursunzade (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

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

Post by flo_sg »

Recently traveled Samarkand-Dushanbe via Denau/Tursunzade.

Hotel in Samarkand was not familiar with the route and suggested I go via Tashkent. I just went with the advice in this thread and all was fine.
  • - 5.45am: left hotel. 10'000 Som taxi to Grebnoy Kanal/Betonka stop
    - 6.00am: reached Grebnoy Kanal/Betonka. I was the only passenger looking to go Denau and mentally prepared myself to pay for the entire car. I was quoted USD35 for one seat. Luckily within 10mins a grandmother and her granddaughter showed up and would travel in the same car
    - 6.45am: no other passengers had shown up and I was told for additional USD15 (hence 50 in total for me) we'd leave right away. Probably too much but then again I was mentally prepared to pay for the entire car
    - 7.00am: we left. I asked the driver when we'd reach the border and he said 1pm. We got there at 12.55pm. The guy was an absolute pro and knew every pot hole of the way. Also a very responsible driver. I had the front seat and the others the back
    - 12.55pm: the driver dropped us right at the border. The grandmother asked what I had payed and I guess she noticed I overpayed. I would carry her luggage across the border and in turn she paid for the last portion of the trip to Dushanbe
    - 1.00pm: we enter the Uzbekistani side of the border, fill out an exit form and proceed to customs. This is where it got annyoing for me (was expected). One officer inspected my phone (incl photos taken way before Uzbekistan) while the other looked at my laptop. Backpack had to be unpacked, medicine was inspected. The whole process took close to 40mins. They did look at my registration slips but no questions were asked.
    - 1.45pm: we entered the Tajikistan. We were through within 15mins (I was using an e-visa). Friendly agents
    - 2.00pm: after some shouting, the grandmother wasn't willing to give in to the taxi mafia. She arranged for us to be driven what I assume was Tursunzade which cost me 21 TJS (in a car that looked like it had participated several times in the Mongol Rallye)
    - 2.15pm: we changed cars and were on our way to Dushanbe
    - 3.30pm: I reached central Dushanbe. Not exactly sure what Tursunzade-Dushanbe cost but I think she paid 50 TJS for three pax
While a long day of travel, I reached Dushanbe earlier than expected. Hope this helps other travelers.
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Re: Denau-Tursunzade (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by wombat »

crossed start of aug from UZ to Tajik at Denau.
Tajik entry a breeze.
Uzbeks checked rego slips at gate for quite a while and again at immigration.
Customs checked the usual stuff, camera, meds etc, but seemed the officer was new on job, so quite easy. Saw spare memory cards for eg, and trusted me when I said they were blank.
There is a hotel in Denau (Denau Hotel) 2min by car from station. If this is full about 3kms along same rd is Euro-Asia hotel but is pricey (S180,000) and comes with free bad attitude.
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Re: Denau-Tursunzade (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by aleckii »

I will be departing Bukhara to Denau for this border crossing. I wonder if there are any taxis or Buses that would cover this distance overnight? Arriving at the border in the early morning?

Another option was to depart Bukhara on a night train, switch train in Samarkand overnight and arriving in Sariasiya at 1155am. But I'm a little wary about the 15hour train ride :'(
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Re: Denau-Tursunzade (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by steven »

Have had a lot of Samarkand -Denau stories but no Bukhara - Denau stories yet. Please let us know what you did!
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Re: Denau-Tursunzade (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by Fred »

G'day folks, We travelled from Dushanbe to Samarkand on 22/9/2016 and here is our experience.
  • * 9am left guesthouse in Dushanbe and took bus #8 to Zarnisar Bazaar (1 TJS per person, 30 mins).
    * Hired a taxi at Zarnisar Bazaar for 42 TJS for whole car (we were 2) to the border. 1 hour. It was approx 10:30am when we were at the border.
    * Tajikistan border crossing took about 20 mins. Easy, but got asked for "Immigration Card".
    * Uzbekistan border crossing took much longer for about 1 hour. Everything got pulled out from our backpacks. Meds, photos etc. all got reviewed.
    * When we stood on the Uzbekistan side, it was about 12:10pm. We negotiated with a taxi driver and in the end got US$55 whole car to Samarkand.
    * Arrived in Samarkand at 7:30pm.
Please visit blog for photos and more details: ... r-crossing

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Re: Denau-Tursunzade (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by aleckii »

I did this crossing on the 19th of September. We initially wanted to take a night taxi from Bukhara, arriving just in time for the border crossing but decided it would be safer to take the ride in the morning. Our guesthouse owner at Zahra & Rustom was the one who found us the driver. There were those who quoted up to 200usd, but we managed to find one for 350,000 som to take us right to the border. The journey ended up taking 9hours due to the tedious and frequent road blocks. I wasn't sure was it due to the recent death of the president or if it was a regular thing. Every few KM we passed they requested for our passports and a few insisted on checking our backpacks.

Watch out for the Uzbek border patrols. I do speak Russian so maybe the guards were being "overly" friendly. They checked my laptop and searched the words "porn" "sex" and ".mp4" on my search bar in my laptop. I mean, who saves their porn stash in a folder labeled "porn" though, right? My lady friends' phones were also searched through by the lady patrols.

On the Tajik side, border guard immediately asked if we needed transport to Dushanbe, which we felt like we were kind of forced to take based on his tone. We paid 20usd for this. His friend, another border guard, came and picked us up right from the passport check point, and helped us get to our hostel in good time, so at the end we were quite satisfied with it.

Oh, and apparently this border opens 24 hours.
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Re: Denau-Tursunzade (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by Abdoe »

I traveled from Dushanbe to Samarkand on October 6th. In the morning I had to pick up my Turkmenistan visa, which took a long time (of course, nothing is ever easy at that dretched embassy), so it was already around 1 PM when I left the hostel, I half expected not to make it the entire way to Samarkand, but I just went for it.

- First, took one of those shared taxis with a fixed route opposite the Sheraton hotel, I think it was number 8 that goes to Zarnisar bazaar. 3 TJS

- Negotiated for a seat in a taxi to the border, I was told at the hostel 10 TJS is a normal price. The first guy asked 100 TJS and I just ignored him and walked on, then a few guys who insisted that 30 was a very good price, and after about 5 minutes a guy showed up who was fine with 10. I ended up with 3 local people that went to Tursunzade and after that he brought me to the border. No worries at all, but he did have some 'friend' there who wanted to exchange money with me, dollars for Uzbek som at the bank rate of course... So 'no thank you' and I just walked up to the border.

- I did not have an "Immigration card" or whatever the scam is the Tajik border guards are doing now, I forgot to ask for one when I entered the country and I was a bit worried I would get hassled for money or something now. But apparently the guard I got was an honest one, or I was just lucky, because he didn't even ask for it. So no problems at all leaving the country.

- Entering Uzbekistan, also a friendly guy. He did check my phone thoroughly, and all the pictures that had a woman on it he enlarged (even the ones with like a big winter coat on). He asked me if it was porn, or if I have had sex with them, or something, I didn't really understand what he meant but it didn't matter, I just smiled politely everytime and told him 'no' and then it was okay. But that was mostly it, he checked my bag and medication but halfheartedly, he REALLY liked my Dostoyevski book and also suddenly complimented me about my blonde hair. All in all not much trouble at all, it all did take a while though.

- At the Uzbek side of the border, it was already starting to get a bit late, 4:30 PM I think, not many people there. Had to pay for the whole car for some guy to take me to Denau, I can't remember what I payed for that but it wasn't that much, it's not that far anyway. He dropped me off at the bus station though, which apparently was not the right place for shared taxis to Samarkand. So I just walked around a bit, some bored people were bothering me and wanted me to get in a bus they claimed was going to Samarkand, even though there are no buses going there at all... They were just messing with me I think, but then suddenly this older Uzbek guy came up to me, we talked a bit and then he started calling some people, he took me with him in a taxi to the right place for a ride to Samarkand (only a few minutes), and when we got there I realized he had arranged a seat for me in a car to Samarkand for only 60,000 som! I was expecting to pay a lot more, especially because it was so late already. Really nice guy, he didn't want anything for his help, I just shook his hand and he left. Then I had to wait for one more person to fill up the car and around 7 PM we finally left Denau. In the meantime I had also exchanged some dollars for som, I think I got 6400 IIRC.

- Some roadblocks and passport checks on the way, but nothing disturbing. We had dinner somewhere for 10,000 som, it wasn't that great but I was hungry so it was fine. Before we were in Samarkand, one of the passengers wanted the driver to drop him off in a village, which meant a bit of a detour of about 10 km, the driver didn't really like it but he brought him there anyway. Then, finally back on the main road, a few kilometers further on one of the other passengers had the same request for another village. This REALLY pissed the driver off now, he stopped and wanted to throw the guy's luggage out of the car and it nearly erupted in a fist fight. After about 10 minutes he decided it wasn't worth the trouble and we went off the road again, I think he brought him halfway or something, then teamed up with the other remaining passenger to throw the guy and his stuff out, and we raced back towards the main road. I just decided to not get involved, neither of them spoke English anyway and my Russian is terrible. And I just wanted to get to Samarkand. That last passenger also needed to get to the city center, and when we were near the Registan I asked the driver to stop, payed him the 60,000 and everything was fine. It was 1 AM now, but I made it!

All in all, everything went better than expected. In total it cost me about 10 euro I think? And no bribes along the way. :)
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Re: Denau-Tursunzade (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by Jibe »

From dushanbe to samarkand.
Easy for me as well.
Number 8 to zarnissar, 3 som (in front of sheraton hostel, other side of the road)
To turzunsade 10 som, full car no wait. To the border 7 som full car no wait.
Friendly guys at the border, no tadjik immigration card asked.
A bit busy, fifteen people waiting at the same time, so my luggage was checked but not in detail (as well for money, pictures and porn), the guy was profesionnal, nothing more nothing less, just did his job.
Full of drivers at the border, we could arrange a car to samarkand (25000 three people to denau and change of car in denau, one more people, 60000, right to my guesthouse)
Maybee it was a friday or before nuruz.
Bad rate to change money, 7000 and 7600 in samarkand
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Re: Denau-Tursunzade (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by ftardim »

Hey folks!
I crossed this one a week ago and it was very straight forward.
- Once I got to the border in Tajikistan, I exchanged my somanis (really bad exchange rate but I only had a few left anyway)
- It took about 15 mins for the Tajik guards to type all the information (no questions asked, all in good mood)

- Then, Uzbekistan
- All the usual stuff (passport control, filling up the forms) done pretty quickly (no queues, it was Sunday morning)
- Then one guard went through all my stuff, but not in details really. Pretty much as other travellers reported. He asked if I had any medicine (NO!), and checked my pictures and videos for a couple of minutes (in the mobile, camera and computer).
- All in all, it took about 30 minutes or perhaps a little bit more

Once outside it was quite difficult to find a taxi to go Samarkand and drivers were charging about US$80-100. There were no many options and it was a bloody miserable morning (raining). I ended up paying $70 for the car and the driver also exchanged some dollars for a very good exchange rate.

I will leave his details here as he seemed very honest, a good driver (doesn't take unnecessary risks on the road and drives well), and speaks basic English - however his sister and brother could speak it fluently.

Ilyos - +998 91 585 74 06

He lives in a village not far from the border, speaks Uzbek, Tajik and Russian fluently. He took me to his house before hitting the road and it was a very nice experience over a cup of tea with his family. In retrospect I think it'd be great if I had his details back in Dushanbe.

Anyway, I hope it helps.

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Re: Denau-Tursunzade (UZ-TAJ) border crossing

Post by foudag »


I just crossed this border on Friday morning, Dushanbe to Termez.

Bus 8 to Zarnisor Bazaar. 40 som full taxi to the border (Granitsa) , very friendly and would have payed only 20som per person if there were 1 or 2 other passengers. But I didn't care for 40som... 20min ride.

Very bad exchange rate at the Tajik side of the border: 6500 but in 10,000 bills.

All along the crossing & no man's land you will find people trying to exchange for increasingly good rates haha. Until you get on the uzbek side where you can get 7800 ! And all of them will give you the new 10,000 some bills if you show you really want those ! Which is extremely convenient.

Btw, current rate at black market is 8000som for $1

Back to the crossing:
TAJIK passeport check took 10 min, only 2 people in front of me.

UZBEK passport check took 10min. Customs took 30min. You fill in the customs declaration slip in English twice, and then the guard checks in detail the content of your bags. He does his job, no excess. If you are friendly and speak a minimum of Russian it is painless. He did not check my camera and phone pictures at all ! Which I am very grateful for.
He did check all of my medicine though. What they really are looking for is drugs you would try to import/ local valuables you would try to export.

Managed to get a ride from the border to Termez for 30,000som. We were 4 passengers, the other 3 going to Tashkent. Changed taxis twice along the way but same final price and the drivers arrange your next ride.

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