Once one of the Aral Sea's two major fishing ports, Moynaq now stands almost 150km (93mi) from the water. What remains of Moynaq's fishing fleet lies rusting on the sand, beside depressions marking the town's last futile efforts in the early 1980s to keep channels open to the shore.
Poignant reminders of Moynaq's tragedy are everywhere: the sign at the entrance to the town has a fish on it; a fishing boat stands as a kind of monument on a makeshift pedestal near the Government House. The beached ships are a five minute walk south of the hotel, across the main road and beyond the collection of homes.
Forget about reaching the current shore. It is a seven to eight hour drive across salty marshland that only a sturdy jeep and experienced drive could handle.