Shavat-Dashoguz border crossing report

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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Belteral
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Re: Shavat-Dashoguz border crossing report

Postby Belteral » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:16 pm

So I went through the border on September 17th and it was a breeze.
In the parking lot on the Uzbek side some guy exchanged my remaining sums into manats. He gave me roughly 1 USD / 8 manats which isn't great but I did not make a fuss as I wasn't exchanging a lot of money and was mostly happy to get rid of my last sums.
Uzbek side was super quick, they took a quick look at my passport and e-visa and I was waived through, with not even a glance at the registration slips that I had dutyfully collected and ordered chronologically.
No problem with soldiers from either side in the no man's land. The taxi for crossing was waiting and departed almost as soon as I got in even though it was nearly empty (2$ charge).
Everything went smoothly on the Turkmen side as well, they did not do a thorough search of my luggage but did pay special attention to medecines (the stuff I had was super standard, some paracetamol, antihistaminics and imodium, and they had no problems recognising them even though it was european packagings) and cigarettes (had three packs, they kept one).
No medical examination.
I arrived at the Uzbek side at 9am and was out in the Turkmen side by 10am.
Staff on both sides really nice and helpful, and speaking enough English to avoid misunderstandings in the process.
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EdmundUlanara
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Re: Shavat-Dashoguz border crossing report

Postby EdmundUlanara » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:00 am

I crossed this border check point on September 05 from Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan to go to Darvaza Gas Crater and crossed it back again on September 07. Both times only took me 30 mins. It was super quick. The checkpoint opens at 9am and closes at 6pm. I have heard that if you came when there's a tour group/bus, it'll take you an hour or two.

My hotel in Khiva organized a taxi for $14 to get me to the checkpoint at 9:15 am. There were only me and another Uzbek guy trying to cross the border.On the Uzbek side, it was so quick. Didn't even take my registration slips. The guards were super chatty and friendly tho as I speak some Russian. On the Turkmen side, there was no issue at all as the guards also pretty friendly and chatted with me. I paid the $14 USD for entry fee to Turkmenistan at the counter. They did asked me what medicines/drugs I have, so I pull out a small zip-lock bag of vitamin pills. I told them they were vitamins and they don't ask anymore question. Though I have prior packed all of my medications into a bigger zip-lock bag and stuffed it all the way down of my luggage and they didn't search my bag or anything. They also asked if I have camera, laptop, or a drone. I showed them my laptop and my crappy old iphone (the main iPhone i used to take photos I've also hid it way under my luggage). They just wanted to look at my laptop and asked me to turn it on. So I did and they asked if there were photos. It is the Microsoft Surface tablet/laptop and the guard played with it for a couple minutes but I guess she doesn't know how to navigate or figure out how it works so she just gave up. I think she was trying to find where I would store my photos in the laptop. Regardless, the process was really quick and without any problem. I got on the van at the no man's land quickly and it cost $1 USD. The entire crossing is half hour for me.

On the way back crossing this border checkpoint (Sept 7), I went through at 5pm. There were a little bit more people but no problem or slow down at all. On the Turkmen side, it was the same guards who were working and they recognized me and ushered me through and also chatted with me again to see if I had enjoyed my trip there. I bought 2 mini Turkmen carpets and the guards just took the registration slips off the carpets and filed them as their standard protocol. They didn't ask for my phone or laptop or anything this time and I just breezed through and went to the van and crossed it back to Uzbek side. There's also really quick on Uzbek side with very friendly guards and no questions asked. The entire process took me 30 mins as well.

I was expecting to walk a distance to find a taxi or some locals who would drive me back to Khiva without getting rip-off as I don't trust the taxis right outside the checkpoint. At first a guy asked if I need a taxi and said $20 and I responded in Russian for 40,000 Sums (~$8 USD) and he said $10, which I figure its a fair price and I was tired so I just took it.

Also, DO NOT change money at a bank in Turkmenistan, which was pegged to $1 USD to 3.50 Manat. My guide made a few calls and changed it for me for 14 Manat as that was the daily rate for the day. He said the best rate was in April where its USD 1 to 21 Manat but it has been fluctuating between 13 - 18 Manat.
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SHappe
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Re: Shavat-Dashoguz border crossing report

Postby SHappe » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:43 am

We (two Australians) crossed from TM -> UZ on the 18th March. Took us around 30min total, and was really simple.

We left our hotel in Dashoguz and caught a 'cab' to the border for 15manat (we agreed to 10 but the driver changed his mind and kept demanding 10 for each). We arrived at the border at around 09h30. There were probably a hundred Turkmen people gathered around the outside, but when they saw us, they all waved us through. We were given some kind of declaration to fill out, but as it was in Turkmen, we were confused and asked for one in English. The guard disappeared for a minute and reappeared with another guard who spoke English. He sat down with us and talked us through the form, helping us to fill it all out.

Then it was through the metal detector, bag scanner (each time we were waved through to the front of the line by the locals), and to the person who took our form and asked about our cameras. I showed him my camera but he didn't look at any of the photos, and didn't care about my laptop or phone. Passport control took another 5 minutes or so - fingerprints, photo, and stamp.

Once we were out, we got onto the old UAZ minibus thing. We gave the driver 10manat each, but he decided it was 20 manat each. I told him that the other locals on the bus weren't paying that (I had watched them give 10manat to the driver), but he said something in Turkmen and everyone laughed. Then he demanded 20 manat and got angry at us. I gave him 5 manat and said that was all I had.

On the Uzbek side it was really quick. There was noone there (the locals were queuing up for insurance). Passports were stamped, bags scanned, and a lovely woman asked if we had any medications. We told her we had some vitamins and something for my husband's stomach, and she said that was okay.

We walked through the gates and the drivers started falling over each other to ask us if we wanted a taxi. We were heading to Khiva. One guy said $20, I said no. He said $10, and I said okay. Then two of them started shouting over each other and getting into a bidding war with each other - one started shouting $7, $7. So I don't think you have to bargain that hard at the moment - they were pretty desperate.
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Mobydick
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 1:30 pm
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Re: Shavat-Dashoguz border crossing report

Postby Mobydick » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:07 am

we crossed this border last summer 2018,

For further information, we updated our full report on our web site; http://mobydickaroundtheworld.com/uzbekistan-border/
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