21 days in UZB
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Aug 1, 2012 6:58 PM Last Post By: chuihua
Jul 30, 2012 3:37 AM
21 days in UZBHi,
I will be travelling to UZB in about two weeks. Considering than I have approximately 21 days to visit the country, which places would you recommend to visit, apart from Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva? Is the Ferghana Valley a must (and what is the current situation there, regarding security issues?). How many days do you think I should spend in Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva? Are there any highlights or musts that are outside the typical places to visit that you would strongly recommend?
Besides, when going to Samarkand, is it worth visiting Shahrisabz and Termez? If so, how many days would you spend there and what is the best way to get around? Train or car? Would it be a good idea to make Samarkand - Shahrisabz - (Boysun?) - Termez - Qarsi - Bukhara?
Finally, I will be visiting the country with my girlfriend. Any "dress code" we should bear in mind, specially in the South, Aral Sea area or Ferghana Valley?
Thank you in advance!
Jul 30, 2012 9:38 AM
1Samarkand - 2-3 days, Bukhara's my favourite though it's rather touristy. The cultural legacy feels a lot closer in Bukhara than in the other cities. I would put 3-4 days in Bukhara. Khiva - 2-3 days' enough, I feel. Aral sea and the Savitsky museum in Nukus are a must. Factor half a day to get from one city to another.
Shahrisabz is a pleasant place for half a day if you have time. didn't get to termez.
Depending on your need for speed, train or bus would be better than shared taxis. Accidents involving speeding cars take place now and then, and drivers do easily 150-200km per hour.
Dress code - at least one set of long sleeved/ long pants for visiting mosques. Weather will be hot so light, loose cotton caftans can work better than t shirts and berms.
Jul 30, 2012 4:33 PM
2Having been to Uzbekistan 2 weeks ago, dress code is not strict at all. In fact laws in Uzbekistan prevent any strict religious rules, like beards and any kind of veil covering the face.
Still for mosques you need to be respectful, although In the medressas in Samarkand, they didn't mind you wearing shorts, but covering shoulders was needed.
Jul 31, 2012 12:17 AM
Jul 31, 2012 10:24 AM
I just spent 17 days in UZ and I agree to the above posts in their recommendations. We stayed the two first days up in Charvak, to have a "softer " transition from Northern Europe weather wise. Besides we like mountains - even if they are not too impressive up there compared to what some of neighbours can offer. The Fergana valley was also worth the trip (3 days), not for monuments but for the greenness, and the Kuntepa bazar outside Margilan (busiest on Thursdays and Sundays) was fantastic for us. And I didn't really sense any regional differences in the dress code. And no worries about safety - others than in the traffic.
If you stay too many days in Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, you might get an overdose on mosques and medrasas. Tashkent is part of the picture as well. It was of the trips I have done, and I really recommend spending time in UZ where I think the friendliness of the people is great bonus to the visit. All the best!
Jul 31, 2012 1:12 PM
5For the ladies
No shorts or pants
No tank tops
wear a bra
Women do not go out in public alone
Chemkent has interesting rock art and a good lake
Check out Kokand
Jul 31, 2012 3:59 PM
6In general just ask if everything is ok. but they are far from strict muslims. Fridays probably the only day likely to enforce strict dress rules. In general though, women walk around alone, they mix with men. Fergana valley is probably the most muslim area, but Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent are not. Khiva did enforce long pants, Bukhara and Samarkand less so.
Still as a general rule, covering shoulders and knees is what the locals generally do. But plenty of young people wear what their western counterparts do.
Aug 1, 2012 9:36 AM
7Many thanks for your replies.
Anyone around who has visited the Boysun - Termez - Qarsi area thinks is definitely not worth going?
I guess I will be going to the Aral Sea for sure. How many days do you recommend to spend there? Would you visit the area with a guide/driver/agency or would you do it on your own? Any special recommendations of places or areas around that shouldn't be missed?
Also, are there any agencies or local people in Nukus or Moynaq who may arrange an excursion for a couple of days at a reasonable price?
Aug 1, 2012 4:12 PM
8There are travel agencies even in Khiva arranging a trip to Aral. But don't expect it to be cheap. A fellow traveller worked out it was cheaper to train/bus to Aralsk From Nukus than to visit the Uzbek side on a tour.
Aug 1, 2012 6:58 PM
9Just get to Nukus and arrange for a driver. You don't need a tour agency to bring you. If you can meet up with travellers doing the same trip, it'll be cheaper to share the costs.
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