Penjikent Border Crossing Reports

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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halfmanhalffish
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Re: Penjikent Border Crossing Reports

Post by halfmanhalffish »

Hello Travellers,

I am planning on potentially crossing the Penjikent border in late September and had a question for recent travellers. Were negative PCR tests required to cross both ways at the border and if so were tests available at the border or nearby?

Thanks for any info you can provide!
Kallan
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Alliekje
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Re: Penjikent Border Crossing Reports

Post by Alliekje »

We (a Dutch couple) crossed the Panjakent border yesterday without any problems (only some waiting time). We had taken a PCR test in Bukhara, but were never asked to show it. However, I think that other travellers (Uzbeks and Tajiks) were asked to proof they didn’t have corona. Good luck!
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Christian77
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Panjakent to Samarkand border crossing

Post by Christian77 »

I just arrived in Samarkand from Panjakent, and the crossing went smoothly.

Details:

Direction: from Tajikistan to Uzbekistan
Visa: Canadian passport, 30-day visa-free entry
Costs: 100,000 Uzbek Som for 10-20 minute Covid test (throat/mouth swab) on the Uzbek side
Time at border: 90 minutes (1 hour waiting for Tajik side to fix a computer problem)

On the exit from Tajikistan I showed my passport and my one-page PDF Tajikistan e-visa. They didn't ask for the arrival card I filled out in the Dushanbe airport.

There is no requirement from the Uzbek side for a PCR test or for proof of vaccination. Some travellers from the Tajikistan side brought PCR test documents, but they were also required to do the quick antigen rapid test (and their PCR documents were ignored). The Uzbek side ask no questions about self-isolation or quarantine. Just the usual questions: "What is the purpose of your visit?" "Where do you plan to go?"

Tajik side: quick and professional, aside from the computer problem; Uzbek side: quick, professional and friendly.

Bring a mask, all the border/customs officers are wearing them on both sides. But half of the people crossing had no masks, and they had no problems.

Other helpful information:

In Dushanbe (at the Cement Factory / Tsement Zavod car station) they are asking 150 Somoni for one seat to Panjakent (I paid this as it was for a front seat in a nice car, otherwise negotiate down - maybe to 120-ish, or 100 for an Opel minivan). And they will definitely agree to go all the way to the border (for extra).

Get Uzbek Som at the currency exchange inside the Central Bazaar in Panjakent. Walk through the main gates of the bazaar and go to the right and straight back to Oriyon Bank (Ориёнбонк).

Get a shared taxi going to the border from Panjakent in front of the central bazaar (maybe 50-70 meters west on the main road from the main entrance). The asking price for one seat is 20 Somoni.

If you plan to stay the night in Panjakent, know that Salom Hostel is closed, even if they are still on Booking.com. The owner Zafar has moved to Dushanbe along with his family. Maybe the hostel will be back for 2022, but I don't know. I talked to Zafar on the phone and he told me to go to Umariyon Hotel and ask for a bed in a hostel room ($10). It's fine for sleeping, showering and the usual slow internet. And the manager was very helpful in giving advice on taxis, currency exchange, etc...

Going the other direction? I have no information on how that will go (or even if it will go, or if it's open to tourists), other than saying I saw Tajiks and Uzbeks going the opposite direction I was. So it's open from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan, but I'm not sure if it's open for you.

There are lots of taxi drivers on the Uzbekistan side. Very enthusiastic, but not aggressive. They are asking for 50,000 Som per seat to get into Samarkand. So they will happily leave immediately with just one solo traveller for 200,000 Som. But that's the initial asking price. How much lower they'll go, I don't know. I think I recall paying 50,000 Som for a whole car into Samarkand two years ago (but I have no idea about inflation and/or rising fuel prices). But $5 for 40km into a city is fine by me, even sharing with other passengers...

On the Tajikistan side there were taxi drivers yelling out "Dushanbe!" for those who want to skip Panjakent. I also saw an abandoned police and T-Cell phone office with a "TOURIST SIM CARD" banner outside. Nobody was there, and nothing is inside from what I could see through the window. But even if it is open or re-opens, I don't know why you would want a SIM card that gets shut off after 10 days.
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nickd
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Re: Panjakent to Samarkand border crossing

Post by nickd »

Crossed Penjikent to Samarkand yesterday, around 23-00.
Border seems to be open 24/7
Took taxi from Dushanbe Vodonasos to Penjikent bazar, 100 somoni. Exchanged 330 somoni for 300000 sum at the Penjikent bazar.
Tajik side didn't ask any covid papers, Uzbek side asked to do instant test for 100.000 sum before entering border post. I don't have vaccine cert, don't know if it can be enough.
From Panjakent I didn't see taxi to the border, so I walked all the way, but there are marshrutkas and shared taxis to villages near the border, so getting there anyway should be not hard.
There were taxies waiting even after midnight,nthey ask 50000 per person, but negotiable to 30000.
In the daytime there are marshrutkas. Better to walk half km from border to avoid taxi drivers pushing you to go with them, then you ll see small white minivan. It stopped for me, even going opposite direction, and asked 20000 to Samarkand. I didn't bargain cause it agreed to turn around rather than waiting passengers at the border and I had a huge backpack, but later I saw locals pay less than 10000.
From Samarkand to Tashkent bus is just 40000, from Ulugbek bus station, fast and comfortable
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Christian77
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:14 pm
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Re: Penjikent Border Crossing Reports

Post by Christian77 »

Here's a fun video report of a crossing from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan. Uploaded just now, but it seems to be from July or August: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX9KhXG ... aMarkarova

Always carry water, cash and toilet paper.
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