Uzbekistan – Practical Information
After 18 days spent in Uzbekistan, here is the Best Of in pictures from this trip:
But here are also some useful tips to help you preparing your journey over there. The country is amazing not only for its sites from the old Silk Road but for sure for its people, a true surprise.
In May 2008, 1 EUR = 2,050 sums, 1 USD = 1,315 sums (or around 1,370 sums on black market in Bukhara)
Below sums are shortened to S
1 bottle of water: usually 500 S but in some remote areas could go up to 600 - 700 S.
1 coke or like (glass bottle of 300ml) : 300 S
Ice Cream: between 200 and 400 S depending on the quality of the cone ;-)
Shashlik: 500 S one piece at bazaar and local restaurants
City Bus ticket: 200 S
Metro ticket in Tashkent: 300 S
Uzbekistan Airways. I did the flight from Tashkent to Nukus on a brave old Antonov from the early 60s. Strange experience but I survive the flight. It's time in such a Muslim country to say "Inch’ Allah".
For flights, just check their website: http://www.uzairways.com/services.aspx . There are flights from Tashkent to nearly every airport in Uzbekistan but also a twice weekly flight between Samarkand and Fergana.
The easiest way to travel throughout the country is with shared taxi. They are much faster than buses and journeys are quite short (usually 4 to 5 hours rides between the main cities).
Shared Taxis (4 seats)
Urgench – Bukhara : 15,000 S per seat (FYI, 3 local guys paid more than me with 20,000 S per seat, the driver was really in a hurry to take me at a bargain ;-)
Samarkand – Tashkent: 50,000 S for the whole taxi. Duration: 4h
Tashkent – Fergana: 60,000 S for the whole taxi. Duration: 4-5h pause included
Kokand – Fergana: 3,000 S per seat
Taxi in cities
Use regular cars (any car in town is a potential taxi)
Short ride in town: 1,000 S
Long ride (like Orzu hotel to TV Tower): 2,000 S
From train station to Registan area: 4 to 5,000 S for the whole taxi
In towns, they roughly cost between 200 and 300 S regardless of the distance. Having a look to what the other riders are paying help.
For sites near the cities, the fare is usually 300 S
Some useful minibuses numbers not mentioned in the LP:
Kokand: N°2 links the bazaar to downtown (Khan Palace) for 200 S
Andijon: N°33 between Yaangi Bazaar and Kolkhozny Bazaar for 200 S or n°222 between Yaangii Bazaar and Jahon Bazaar
Other means (buses or minibuses)
Nukus – Kongrad: 3,500 S by minibus
Kongrad – Moynaq: 1,500 S by bus (in Moynaq, add 200 S to continue to Oybek hotel)
Moynaq – Nukus: 3,500 S by bus (departure at 9am, duration 3h30)
Nukus – Urgench: 4,000 S by bus (duration 3h, departure in front of Tashkent Hotel in Nukus)
Urgench – Khiva: 300 S by trolleybus (duration 1h)
Khiva – Urgench: 1,000 S by car (duration 20-30 minutes, departure from the North Gate, the drivers will spot you!!)
Fergana – Rishtan: 600 S by minibus
Fergana – Andijon: 1,500 S by minibus
Fergana – Margilan: 400 to 600 S depending on the vehicle (car or minibus)
Bukhara – Samarkand
3 classes on The Sharq: 8,000 S, 13,000 S or 45,000 S. Duration 3h. The train leaves just after 8am and arrives just before 11am
If you take your ticket in town you have to add 5,000 S of commission otherwise arrive at the train station quite early as it fills up quickly. I had to buy a middle class ticket.
Jipek Joli Hotel – 15 USD + breakfast
200m from Savitsky museum. There is a big Yurt in the yard. If they are full you will maybe ask to sleep in the little museum, next door. Limited information from the staff.
Oybek Hotel – 10,000 S + 2,000 S for the dinner.
The owner is really nice and speak some english otherwise it will be Russian and Kazakh. The dinner is a bargain considering the lack of other option over there.
Islambek – 20 USD + breakfast
Clean and calm but it lacks charm. Would have stayed at Ganijon Afandi for a 10 USD single with shared bathroom. great location, right next to Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum.
Nazira & Azizbek – 10 to 15 USD + a great breakfast
50m from Lyabi Hauz square. The staff is really friendly with a nice guy really helpful throughout the day. They keep on offering tea at any time in the day. One of my best hotels in Uzbekistan.
Bahodir B&B – 10 USD + a pretty nice breakfast
500m from Registan. It is a (THE) backpacker place. The staff is helpful and the gatekeeper does not mind if you come back after midnight ;-)
Golden Valley Homestay – 10 USD + a very poor breakfast (2 eggs, tea and bread from the day before)
Hard to find if I was not helped. The lady is really close to her money so she kept on asking me for the previous night dollars even if I was leaving all my stuff in the flat. It was like I would disappear without my bags. Not so far from bazaar and an experience to live in a soviet style building
Orzu Hotel – 32 USD single + buffet breakfast. http://www.orzu-hotels.com/
A great staff, nice location. 500m from a fast internet cafe by the Uzbekistan airways office and a metro station a little further up the street. My best finding in Tashkent.
Tashkent: A ticket at Alisher Navoi Opera & Ballet Theater now costs 8,000 S. the shows are scheduled nearly everyday except Mondays. It is a must do in Tashkent. Booking starts at 10am.
Gas. Prices I have seen during my trip:
Diesel: 825 S / liter
Gasoline 91: 915 S / liter
If you have some unanswered questions, feel free to PM or email me.
Last update: May 2008
Your comments or questions are welcomed: email@example.com