Asia - Central Asia
Messages: 10,299 - Threads: 1,830
Welcome to the Thorn Tree's Central Asia branch.
We hope you find plenty of useful information about travelling to Central Asia here. It is highly recommended that new users check out the Central Asia FAQ thread before posting a new thread as you may find many of the answers you seek there. It also contains helpful information about how to search the forum, advice for how to post your questions, and obsolete information was deleted as recently as July 2008! If you are a returning user or know the 'stans like the back of your hand, please help us keep the FAQ thread up-to-date by adding important information which is absent, or pointing out information which is no longer being represented accurately.
Choosing a country to post to:
When you make a post and choose a country from the drop down menu, your pos... more »
The countries covered by this FAQ are: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
It also de facto covers Xinjiang (China), Pakistan (being that it is a 'stan), and Northern Iran which are historically and technically part of Central Asia. In addition there are often questions asked here about Mongolia and Russia and occasionally the three Caucasus countries, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
For Pakistan consider cross posting on the Indian subcontinent branch; for Xinjiang (China) and Mongolia, the North East Asia branch; for Iran, the Middle East branch; and for the others, the Eastern Europe & the Caucasus branch.
Here's some tips to make life easier:
1. Do your homework
The web is filled with basic information on Central Asia. Google is your best friend. Get your basic info first, then you can ask intelligent questions on the Thorn... more »
Since the demise of the old security thread, and the number of frequently asked I thought it might be a good idea to start a new 'Afghan FAQ' thread attempting to cover the most frequently asked questions and provide up to date information in one thread on not only security, but the most frequently asked questions about flights, travelling the Khyber pass and the classic 'is it safe?', since so many gems of information get lost in individual threads.
Hopefully everyone here, both our regulars and recently present tourists and workers will contribute here with areas they know best, experience, and handy tips and we'll try compile a great resource on the amazing country that is Afghanistan.
Can we try and keep politics and personal issues out of this thread too, as much as possible.
Intro: Afghanistan is Awesome. There, you heard it here first folks. It is a truly amazing desti... more »
My wife and I have an opportunity to live and work in Shymkent (for a year or 2). What's it like to live in? We've been to Kazakhstan and know the score to an extent, but how about being in Shymkent long term?
We like cultures and exploring and particularly like the outdoors. We hear it doesn't get so cold there as in Almaty or Astana.
Thanks in advance
Hello, i arrive in bishkek on the 1st of july, and was wondering if anyone else was keen to get a trek together. I have emailed a few companies but most wanted a group. i was interested in around 11 days.
I travel with a 35L backpack, and I am starting to realize that a trip to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (Pamir/Wakhan area only) in June will present some packing challenges, given the variation in temperatures. Would love some advice:
1) I plan on bringing a hard shell (waterproof jacket) to handle rain, particularly for hiking. How many other layers do I need? Base layer only (or, two together, where necessary)? Base layer + fleece? Trying to pack as little as sensibly possible.
2) Do I need a sleeping bag? In my 12+ years of world travel, I have never traveled with a sleeping bag. I have occasionally rented one (with varying quality) for hikes. Can I reasonably count on being able to rent one from CBT or similar? Will yurts have adequate blankets? If it matters, the only other alternative is to bring a 45F sleeping bag, which is all I have.
3) What constitutes "... more »
I am looking for a team member to discover the Silk Road together - from Osh (Kyrgyzstan) to Dushanbe (Tajikistan).
I have planned everything with my friend however, she just informed me that she can no longer come due to her work schedule.
The entire itinerary is planned and i would be happy to send it to you via email. It is a 17 day trip by jeep with 5 days of pure hiking; pretty basic conditions (guesthouse and yurt stays) but with a great car and an English speaking guide (though i am fluent in Russian). It is $4080 for two people, if there are more, i guess i can negotiate a better price.
Because it is a tailored trip, we can depart any day, however, i would like to leave sometimes in early August.
About myself: I am a Belarusian born New Yorker and Oxonian, very easy going, professional and fun. I have been to over 50 countries and lived in 5, trekked Ti... more »
Hi dear travellers,
I would like to share you with my some delight of travelling in Kyrgyzstan. Here are some photos from last summer:
You could find photos from Sary-Chelek, Son-Kol, Issyk-Kol, Naryn province, Glaciers on East of Kyrgyzstan. If you have any questions or you need some tips please let me know.
Probably those photos will inspire or encourage you to visit this country. Nature of Kyrgyzstan is the most precious wealth of Kyrgyzstan people.
I have a passport from India and I plan to fly Delhi - Kabul and then onwards to Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif
and overland across the border to Uzbekistan.
I plan to start late in June or early July. I have read the latest trip reports and they are of great help. So, this should be doable you think? I am still deciding on the number of days to spend in each city. Any advice / suggestions would be much appreciated!
I was wondering if anyone has had experience applying for a Turkmenistan visa in Dubai. I'll be there in late August and was told that I should apply there since travel in Turkmenistan during October is limited and I'd be going to other countries with a consulate too late. I'll have the LOI already but couldn't find anyone's experiences with the consulate in Dubai. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Hey, i am an Indian citizen travelling from London to Beijing and have a 14 hours connection time at Almatu airport in Kazakhstan. I wanted to ask if i do not leave the transit area of the airport, do i still need to apply for the Visa ?
Can anyone tell me where I might find the closest internet cafe to the United State Embassy in Almaty?
The embassy is at 97 Zholdasbekov Street
I’d like to ask for suggestions about places & estimated time to do part of the Silk Road overland (buses-trains) between Tashkent and Dunhuang (China).
The plan is to start in Tashkent to get visa on arrival and end up in Dunhuang before flying back from Beijing or somewhere else in China. Do you reckon about 30 to 35 days is reasonable for the journey?
So far, the idea is to:
1. Arrive in Tashkent
2. Visit Samarkand, Bukhara and eventually Khiva (is it worthy to do the 3 cities or too much of the same?)
3. Backtrack to Tashkent and move to Bishek
6. Move to Urumqui and quickly continue to Turpan
8.Train or flight to Beijing and then home
Any suggestion will be much appreciated!
Thanks a lot!
I'm trying to decide a rough itinerary around north Kyrgyzstan and southern Kazakhstan. We arrive and depart from Bishkek, and I want to see Turkestan as a must do. Now I'm trying to figure where else is worth seeing. I've heard that Taraz is worth a visit but can't find much about what to do there. Interested in hiking (with a 7yo) and architecture and culture.
Edited by: loopydog
To get a visa we need the LOI. Therefore we need a travel company, and it seems that they want a fixed itinerary, for each night. We would like to be freer than that and also to camp where we can. Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you.
We are 2 adults traveling from Turkey through Iran then through the Stans ( about September )to Kashgar.We have been told 3 things:
1. we need a guide with us in the car in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan 2. Also that we need to make bookings for places foe every night in advance and we cannot just drive and then decide when we arrive in the town or city 3. We need signed slips from each place when we get to the border.
Please can some one help who would know if this is correct, all 3 facts? Thank you to all .
I have just two weeks and I like to travel slowly.
I will be travelling solo ( lone female) but happy to join on small tours.
Whilst very interested in architecture, history etc, I want to see the culture of how people live outside of the cities now..
I would like to do some activities such as trekking, cycling, horse riding as a means of seeing the country (although not too hardcore)
Having looked at the various 'stans I am still unsure about the best place to go and would appreciate any advice.
Could really do with some help on things such as safety, tour guides, lone travel, places to stay, but ultimately which 'stan to go to!
I am leaning towards Kyrgyzstan at the moment. Not sure why.
I have been to Mongolia and had the most amazing adventure and I suppose I am looking to match it.
I'm about to leave Uzbekistan tomorrow after staying here 2 weeks.
I am now in Tashkent for a day and will miss the registration slip for the day because I'm staying with a friend here.
I have registration slips for all other 12 days.
Does anyone knows if there might be a problem leaving the country if I'm missing just 1 registration slip for my last night here?
I will go to tajikistan from here from the border that everyone says is generly hassel free (khujand).
I need your urgent advise to know if to go sleep in an hotel or if it's ok to just miss one registration slip.
Thanks a lot!!!!
dana -and i dont have internet to much so if u can writ to my maill it will be great
tenx a lot
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