Asia - Central Asia
Messages: 41,775 - Threads: 8,624
6 "Stans" in 6 weeks of backpacking was my aim in September 2013 and it would not have happened without help from David Berghoff at Stantours. This was especially the case after the clowns at the Uzbek embassy in Washington DC lost my passport necessitating an 11th hour scramble to have a new passport issued.
I approached a number of people for help and the only reliable source of information was Stantours with David responding to my emails typically within 24 hours. Eventually I abandoned all hope of getting visas before I went because, as an Australian none of these guys have embassies anywhere near me and the cost and the risks of sending my passport around the planet were too high. Armed with LOIs from Stantours I easily obtained a visa on arrival in Turkmenistan on the flight in to Ashgabat airport. In Ashgabat the Tajik embassy issued me with a visa on the spot (3-6pm Mon-Fri) ... more »
As part of a 6 week backpacking Stan trip in September 2013 I was keen to traverse the Pamir Hwy. All the advice suggested that local transport was thin on the ground and I decided that as I was only going to be here once I would book a jeep and a guide. My research revealed precious few outfits that offer the trip and, more disturbingly, even less information regarding the reliability and quality of operators. In the end I booked a tour. It was a leap of faith and there was a lot of anxiety on my part as to whether I would see anything in return for my substantial deposit. Hence this post as feedback for other travellers.
I booked online with Pamir Guides http://www.pamirguides.com/tours-treks and did the 11 day trip from Osh to Dushanbe (in reverse). I am happy to report that these guys are for real and the trip I did (with my son) was well worth the seemingly pricey $3000. The tri... more »
Since I just came back from Uzbekistan, thought I'd share some details which I hadn't found before, either in the LP guide or the forums.
First of all, money. It might be a lot better to bring dollars rather than euros. Let me explain the calculation. For dollars, the official rate is 2180 som/1 USD, while the black market rate is 2600 or sometimes more; for euros, the official rate is about 2800 som/ 1 EUR, while unofficially we got a rate of 3200 (and I've heard of people offered 3000 in Tashkent). Coming from Romania (as we have), if you calculate the exchange rate between 1 RON and som using the black market rates, exchanging RON to som through USD gets you a better exchange rate - e.g. 1 USD = 3.33 RON = 2600 som, thus 1 RON = 780 som (approx); 1 EUR = 4.52 RON = 3200 som, thus 1 RON = 707 som (approx).
Prices seem to have gone up since the LP guide came out - in ... more »
I am planning a trip to Uzbekistan next year(April- May), I am trying to build a rough estimate of how much things might actually cost.
1. Is it actually possible(and easy) to exchange dollars to som for something like 2800/$ ? Even in smaller places like Bukhara or Khiva?
2. Is 10-15$ a day a realistic budget for food? I wont be eating in expensive places, and am a vegetarian so, will there be any options in local/low cost eateries, like pilaf, fruits and cheese,pizzas and stuff?
3. I couldnt really find out the cost of admission for sites, like Registan or the towers in Khiva or the "photography pass" in various cities ? Or are they mostly not very significant? Mosques would be free, right? Is there a list with all costs available somehwere?
My girlfriend and I (both French) plan a travel in SE Asia and Central Asia from next Feb 2014. Ideally starting SE Asia (Feb to May) then heading towards Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan via China inlands (ideally June-July).
We need to apply for Uzbek visa with online application (no LOI for French) before we start the full trip, but so far we don't know the precise dates of entry in Uzbekistan. So can't fill up the online form.
Any alternative idea to suggest? Should I just try to estimate as precisely as possible the dates ?
Possible to get the Visa from Kyrgyzstan embassy?
Many thanks for your helps !
We are an English couple, 30 and 27, looking to leave the UK on 31st October to travel firstly to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, then on to Tajikistan. We'll be in Kyrgyzstan for the full 60 days, and were wondering if anyone would be there at this time to meet up with and experience Kyrgyzstan together. We're looking at flying from Bishkek into Khujand in Tajikistan, but if an overland journey into the Pamirs is more attractive, then we could also do that. We're a little bit worried about the weather in terms of crossing mountain passes, so the more the merrier to share our outdoors experience and make a bigger penguin huddle, the better :)
Hope to hear from you soon - if there's anyone who's currently living in Kyrgyzstan who wants to meet up as well, that would be lovely.
Does anyone know if it is possible to change Uzbek Som into Turkmen Manat in Dashgous and if it is possible what the rate might be.
Thanks in advance
Hi - currently in Dushanbe, in Tajikistan until Oct 23rd. Looking for someone to share car on a circular journey from Dushanbe to Khala-i-Khum - Khorog - Ishkashim - Langar - Jelandy - Dushanbe. Am currently staying at Hamsafar, then going to Istaravshan and Khojand for a few days. Was planning the car-share from Oct 14th but can change things around if a better option shows up.
I know this is a long shot but my husband's cousin is in some sort of trouble on a river in Tajikistan. He was on a kayaking trip with four others when they set off the Emergency signal on their SPOT beacon. As far as I know that was yesterday (9/30) and there was supposed to be some sort of helicopter search this morning that didn't happen for whatever reason. Its night again now and hoping for another heli attempt tomorrow morning.
One kayaker's mother was told by the State Department to try and post this info and get it to go viral so that hopefully some hiker, kayaker, mountain biker, or other tourist who might be in the area or have knowledge of the area would be able to lend a hand.
The paddlers involved are all expert paddlers and outdoors men and if they set off an emergency beacon, it cannot be good. The names of the paddlers are: Ben Luck, Cooper Lambla, Matt Klema, Na... more »
Due to lowfare airtickets I think to fly first to Bishkek on the way to Tajikistan.
Does anybody know any flights from Bishkek to Dushanbe or to Khojand?
which are the prices?/
thanks in advance.
I live in Kazakstan and would like to visit Kyrgystan for around 3 days, wheres good to visit? Im British and heard I dont need to apply for a visa beforehand is this true?
Thanks for your feedback :-)
Hi, does anyone currently in Almaty or Tashkent for obtain a Turkmenistan transit visa? Is that very difficult on October? Due to Turkmenistan National day / week. Please sharing your experiance for me. I will arrive Almaty on 4 October then gets the UZ visa first on next Monday and I already have Iran visa.
Thanks in advance!!
After reading through old TT posts, I contacted StanTours and AROSTR about getting an LOI to Uzbekistan for my Turkish friend who wants to join me on my upcoming trip. I'm leaving for Bishkek on the 10th, so time is of the essence.
StanTours replied that they won't offer expedited LOI service for a Turkish passport because usually they take 3 weeks to process. Direct quote, "chances for a delay are high".
AROSTR said that nationality doesn't make a difference according to the law. Because of that the government can't come out and officially say that a Turkish passport will take longer to process (even if it's usually the case). Thus, while they can't guarantee expedited service, they can process it at the usual speed of 7 days.
Obviously 1 vs. 3 weeks is a huge range... if it's the former, we'll book the trip for two people. If it's the latter, or if there's a strong chance t... more »
Hello, we are two german travellers and like to go to the Pamir Highway around 6th of October, starting in Osh. We are looking for some people to join us, share the costs for the car and have a good time. We are planing to have some stops for trekking, but not yet decided where exactly.
Looking for your answer.
Just wondering if it would be possible to live in ALL of Asia (minus Japan) for 6months-1year ?
Or would I need to split in up etc ? How much would I need to have even if i plan to stay in rented homes ?
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