Uzbekistan Itinerary timing and Early flight

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nopaneemayoo
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Uzbekistan Itinerary timing and Early flight

Postby nopaneemayoo » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:58 pm

I am looking to spend 13 nights in Uzbekistan in November. I have tickets but no visa yet as it is too early. I have traveled through Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan on previous trips but had skipped Uzbekistan because of the visa. With the simpler process I am excited to be able to add this into a longer trip. I will be traveling for a couple of months before and after Uzbekistan. I have looked through a guide book, read a lot of blogs and derived the following.

1. Tashkent- arrive 9pm so nothing that day
2. Tashkent
3. Tashkent
4. Train to Samarkand
5. Samarkand
6. Samarkand
7. Train to Bukhara
8. Bukhara
9. Bukhara
10. Bukhara
11. Khiva- By train/taxi or taxi
12. Khiva
13. Khiva
14. Early international flight from Urgench at 5am! Will I be able to get transport from Khiva? Should I switch to a hotel in Urgench? How early will I need to show up?

I am happy to relax and enjoy a place and do not need to be at a cultural site for every bit of the day but is this itinerary too slow? Should I add in Nukus? Any changes you would suggest? If I only keep these cities does the distribution look right? I cannot decide between extra time in Samarkand or Bukhara.

Do people really not use ATMs? I will have been traveling for months in places I cannot easily obtain dollars or euros and am not looking to carry a lot of cash anyway. Can I just obtain SOM from an ATM? Even with no more black market everyone is talking exchange not withdrawal.

Thanks in advance for any help/guidance!
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Re: Uzbekistan Itinerary timing and Early flight

Postby bwv812 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:49 pm

It's a little slow, IMO, and there's really not much to see/do in Khiva. Most people like Bukhara the most, as it has the most traditional feel without being as touristic as Khiva.

The airport in Urgench is currently closed, but who knows if it will be open again by November. Regardless, you could probably see Nukus (where many flights are currently diverted to) comfortably, as well as the desert fortresses near Khiva.

The problem with ATMs in Uzbekistan is that ones stocked with dollars are difficult to find and sometimes empty. And nobody wants to be stuck with som when they leave Uzbekistan.
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nopaneemayoo
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Re: Uzbekistan Itinerary timing and Early flight

Postby nopaneemayoo » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:34 pm

Thanks!

So I have a ticket on S7 from Urgench to Germany via Moscow, you are saying it might not even be possible?! Yikes! I would like to know that soon. Although it may be easier to fly from Nukus and stay there I need to make sure the flight is going or get another ticket.

I was planning one day in Khiva for touring the desert fortresses. Is no additional time needed in Khiva? Just do the tour during the day and walk around a bit at night? The arrival day is pretty much a travel day?

Why would I want dollars? Don't I need SOM to pay for transport and restaurants, etc? I usually just take out the money I need so I don't have any left I would rather not have to take out dollars then exchange them somewhere else. So if I do not care about dollars can I get SOM out of the ATMs easily?
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Re: Uzbekistan Itinerary timing and Early flight

Postby steven » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:16 am

Urgench airport has reopened on 10th of August.

For money questions see https://caravanistan.com/money/uzbekistan I'd agree it's probably one day too much in Khiva, the ride to Khiva doesn't take all day. The train to Samarkand only takes 2 hours so that's another day extra you have. Same for the train to Bukhara.

I'd use those 2 train days to visit a homestay or a desert yurt camp in the Nurata mountains. It's a nice change from the cities and a very different Uzbekistan.

https://caravanistan.com/uzbekistan/nuratau-mountains/
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Re: Uzbekistan Itinerary timing and Early flight

Postby nopaneemayoo » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:20 pm

Has anyone traveled to the airport early early morning in Urgench? From Khiva?

Thanks I will look into adding some time outside of cities. I have had similar experiences in Kyrgystan and Mongolia and enjoyed them. I was worried about November being too cold but I will be well prepared as I am hiking in very cold weather on this trip.

I read the money section my problem is the bring most of the money with you part. I was hoping someone would say no it's okay now you can get to ATMs in Tashkent and take out what you need. I really don't travel with much cash. In addition to worrying about being robbed (has happened twice) it is hard to slog a pile of cash for several months, hiking, etc safely without it getting wet/crumpled, torn, unusable. It is just stressful. Buying dollars in other countries where they don't shoot out of the ATM is very expensive and time consuming.I will probably just risk not having enough. It sounds like a cash advance is possible in an emergency, I will sort everything in Tashkent before leaving.
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Re: Uzbekistan Itinerary timing and Early flight

Postby steven » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:18 am

You can take out money in Tashkent, it's ok. You can always find an ATM that works, it just might take a while. I updated the money article.

Ps: In the 7 years I have been running this website I have never heard of a tourist being robbed in Uzbekistan.
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Re: Uzbekistan Itinerary timing and Early flight

Postby nopaneemayoo » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:35 pm

Thank you! This is a relief! I am not as worried about being robbed in Uzbekistan it is more the months in central Asia prior that I would have to carry dollars through. I was robbed in Norway though so I tend to have bad luck in places that are usually considered pretty safe! Hopefully I will not be the person from the site to have such luck in Uzbekistan!
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