CENTRAL ASIA FOR 4 WEEKS
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jan 10, 2013 8:18 AM Last Post By: anitayusof
Jan 7, 2013 10:24 PM
CENTRAL ASIA FOR 4 WEEKSHello,
I am planning to visit all the stans countries (minus Afghanistan) at the end of May, for 4 weeks. Honestly, I hvnt start my research yet and I hv no idea which place to visit and what to do (except the fact that I know Central Asia is beautiful). I might be shipping my motorbike there (if possible), or if not possible, I will make this a combination of ride (rent a motorbike there) + backpacking (local transport). I would like to start in Almaty, and end in Bishkek. To those who hv been there, I hope u can help me plan my route - make it into a loop starting fr Almaty, until Bishkek. My questions:
1. Can suggest me which route to do it on motorbike and which route to take local transport?
2. Is it troublesome and pricey to bring in own transport during land border crossing? I didnt speak any Russian, I'm afraid.
3. Approximately, how much is motorbike rental in the respective countries?
4. Approximately, how much is petrol per litre?
5. How is the road condition? (I hv experienced riding in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Borneo).
6. How about safety for lady bikers? I am doing this with another friend (also a lady biker).
7. Can I camp? If yes, plz suggest the location.
Thats all for now.
Jan 7, 2013 10:47 PM
Jan 8, 2013 3:19 AM
This is a travel forum, not a travel agency. You are asking for too much from people here.
Alos, four weeks is not enough time to emjoy all the Stans.
1. Scroll to the top of this page.
2. Click on 'destinations'.
3. Click on 'Asia'.
4. Click and read about each relevant country.
5. Develop a draft itinerary.
6. After that, and only after that, post specific questions about specific countries in the relevant country forums.
Jan 8, 2013 7:11 AM
3TQVM emmeff....u hv been veryyyyyyy helpfullll....
Read my statement carefully: "To those who hv been there, I hope u can help me plan my route - make it into a loop starting fr Almaty, until Bishkek."
I said, "help me"
BTW, I doubt if a travel agency can supply the answers for questions #1 - 6...
Jan 8, 2013 7:59 AM
4You've asked for general advice on what to see, road conditions, transport options and camping. Yet the answers will vary from country to country. You cannot reasonably expect all those answers in one post here.
You don't just want help, you want others to do all the work for you.
1. Do some research, find out what you'd like to see in each country.
2. Pick a route between these destinations.
3. Ask for specific advice in each relevant country forum on those parts of your route within that country.
Jan 8, 2013 8:30 AM
5not many options to hire a motor bike. as you are from malaysia I think you are used to ride automatic bikes and not a bike with a clutch and gear shift on the left foot. i may be wrong . . .
however, as there almost no place where you can rent, the one I know who do rent ask about 100$ per day for a YAMAHA XT 600E if you use it for more then 2 weeks. if you use it shorter it is even more . . .
Jan 8, 2013 8:36 AM
6i forgot to mention that i agree with emmeff. you need to have at least some sort of an idea what and where you want to go. buying a central asian guide book or hang out some where in a library for a view hour or visite the wealth of knowlage in the thorntree will give you more hunger to visite beatifull central asia ;-)
Jan 9, 2013 2:23 AM
Jan 9, 2013 6:46 AM
8Hi - well, it really dépends if you want to see deserts, mountains, whether you want to cross as many (or few) borders as possible due to visa constraints, etc... To do a circle from Almaty to Bishkek while visiting Uzbekistan and Turkménistan, entails going through Tajikistan and the Pamir region (crossing back in Kyrgyzstan in the Osh region). This will indeed be too much for 4 weeks. The better scenario would be to fly into Ashgabat or (at least) Tashkent. Otherwise, visit Kyrgyzstan on your way to or from Almaty, and fly out of either of those 2 cities.
This being said, if you're absolutely set on your plans, and riding or driving long distances and many hours doesn't scare you (on this topic, bear in mind that in fact, in many areas, driving is actually a very fun experience, as the landscape alongside the road is absolutely beautiful, so it's not that big of a problem), I would suggest something like this:
Fly into Almaty, drive south to Taraz, detour through the villages to the North-West, in the direction of Turkistan (beautiful landscape, great small shrines - all détails for this area in the Odyssey Guidebook by Dagmar Schreiber), and then end up in Shymkent. Road towards Uzbekistan (worthwhile detour alongisde this road to Kazygurt mountain, the site of the "Adam and Eve" rocks, an incredibly evocative place reminiscent of Siberian shamanism. Also, short detour to the village of Turbat, which has a beautiful shrine).
Cross into Uzbekistan. Tashkent is okay for a day or so, but not that much to see there, although it's certainly worth a quick stop. The highlights are Samarkand and Bukhara to the South. Between the two, you might want to check out some smaller places like the village of Tim with a great old mausoleum, or the desert village of Nurata. From Bukhara, if you're not crossing into Turkmenistan (which would entail flying out of Central Asia from Ashgabat of Baku), then head East towards the Tajik border, and cross in the direction of Dushanbe (great scenery in this region, colourful mountains, isolaged villages, etc...).
In Tajikistan, since you want to see Kyrgyzstan, either drive up through Istaravshan and Khojand, to cross back into UZ and reach Kyrgyzstan through Kokand and the Ferghana Valley, or head to the Pamir Valley, visit the area, and cross into Kyrgyzstan, driving to Osh. From there, the most efficient route will be to drive straight via Jalalabad, all the way to Bishkek, stopping for sites as time allows.
What I described is certainly doable in 4 weeks, keeping a very good pace, and also not spending multiple days at destinations along the way. You would need visas for 4 countries, but at least, they're all single-entry visas.
At this point, however, you really need to get your hands on a few good guidebooks, and start reading, to get a better idea of what you want to see. I posted some very detailed posts about some of my trips in the "Central Asia FAQ" thread at the beginning of this branch, being posts #34-37, 73-77 and 79. Hope this helps.
Also, given Central Asian border restrictions and general bureaucratic hassles, I'm not convinced that having your own motorbike it the greatest idea, but then you could get in touch with some local travel agencies like Stantours or others, and ask around for advice on this front.
All the best!
fly into Almaty
Jan 9, 2013 9:00 AM
cool that you ride a real bike. Sory for my wrong assumption!!
That means you may actually hire a motor bike some where on your tour. As far as I am informed, there is a motor bike hire option in Kazakhstan, Almaty and one in Kyrgyzstan, Osh.
Both are at about 100USD per day if you book them for a longer time.
I assume that you need to bring the bike back to where you got it from. So if you would want to ride the Pamir Highway which is quite famous for motor bikers you could rent in Osh and do a round trip from there, just as one of many possibilities . . .
Jan 9, 2013 1:28 PM
Jan 10, 2013 3:20 AM
Jan 10, 2013 8:18 AM
12ubik....that is soooooo sweet of u...Really appreciate. Thank u very much. This is what I really need. I will start checking the map now. If I hv doubts, I'll PM u okey. Thx again!!!
Peterna...no prblm bro :) I hv checked, and u r right. Its USD100 per day per bike, which is EXPENSIVE for my money!!! For 25 days rental, its going to burn a hole in my pocket. I'll hv to figure out a cheaper way, backpacking + ride to save cost.
Hi go_2....long time no news :) Thanks for yr reminder. I'll remember that. I hv checked Old-Lady's post, thanks...
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