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Central Asian plan, Advice?

sonch

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  • Added on: June 2nd, 2011
Hi,

So I will be leaving for Bishkek on July 15, and spending 1 month in Kochkor then 1 month Karakol when I am done I would like to Visit Kazazkh stan and Uzbeckistan. I plan to do travel these 2 countries for a month, Kazakhstan by bus and Uzbeckistan by train the whole trips. here is my itinerary is it realistic? I would begin the trip by taking a bus into Almaty from Bishkek?

Kazakhstan
Almaty
Astana
Turkistan
Shymkent
taraz
(bus Tashkent)

Uzbekistan
Khiva
Bukahara
Shakkhirisabz
Samarkand

From what it seems I can save 1000$ if I fly in and out of Bishkek when I leave via Bufflo NY state. I was thinking that I might extend my trip by 3 weeks and take a train from Bishkek to Moscow ->St. Petersburg and back to Biskek cause it would make more sense. Is that a crazy idea? I was also hoping to stay with couch surfers in most of the major cities? Any feed back would be greatly appreciated!
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ACBungalow

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  • Added on: June 5th, 2011
There is a member on this forum called Joe's Trippin', he'd probably have some good feedback on this. He actually wrote a guest post on my blog which will probably help you: Top 10 Best Places To Couch Surf, a couple of these places are in that region.

I'd love to do a trip to central asia, jealous!
I also write about my travels and post photos in my Off The Beaten Path Travel Blog, come by and say hi!

elAdi

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  • Added on: June 6th, 2011
Getting around Kazakhstan is easy. Still, I recommend train over bus. The former Soviet rail system still works great in Kzakhstan and you'll have a grand old time sharing food, vodka and stories with the locals on the train.
Why do you want to go to Astana? It's really not that interesting and it's relatively expensive - especially accommodation. It's sort of cool to stroll around that artificial city, but at the same time it's rather boring (like most of the artificial cities on the planet). I'd suggest you take more time around Almaty - there's some great hiking there.

Of course, if you do take the train to and from Moscow, then Astana will be on the way. In that case, I also suggest getting out Shuchinsk and head up to Lake Burabay.

There are some pics from Kazakhstan here.

Take care.
a.
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Fluffy_bunny

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Location: Erbil, Iraq

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  • Added on: June 6th, 2011
The train is the way to go in Kazakhstan. But with only a month for 2 countries, you might want to trim your plan.

Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country on Earth, and as such, getting from A to B takes time. The train to Astana is 10 hours, plus the return trip is 1 day just in travel. Shymkent and Taraz are not worth the time. I'd opt for Aralsk (old Aral sea port city). Or you could head all the way to the west for underground cities and petroglyphs. Either is more rewarding than Astana.

To save time, you might need to fly 1 direction in Uzbekistan. Either fly to Urgench (Khiva) and come back over land or vice versa.

As for Russia, you must get the visa in your home country. Sadly, the visas are only valid for 3 months. If you're 2 months in Kyrgyzstan and 1 month in the other 'Stans, it will expire. You'll have to leave Russia for another trip.
For tips and storied on Central Asia, the Middle East and Central America, check out my blog
http://joestrippin.blogspot.com

sonch

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Posts: 26
Joined: December 2nd, 2008

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  • Added on: June 6th, 2011
Hey,

To answer your question from the lonely planet Astana just sounded like this crazy City, I thought it would be a great brake from travel and stuff just to Veg in the city. Every trip u need a couple days not to be a tourist and just relax Big cities usually have what you need to facilitate that. I was planning to just wonder around a couple days and take in the city. But it sounds like a bad plan and I will re-adjust

just to clarify I realized 1 month would be too short so I have essentially 2 months for this trip! So I think I have enough time. I need to reconsider allot of things and will post a new Itinerary in a week or so? The port city sounds great? ill look into it! And the trains also sound like a great place to connect with locals. Thanks!!!!!!1
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elAdi

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  • Added on: June 7th, 2011
Aralsk...it's really just interesting if you're interested to see how f*ç% up humankind can be. It's quite far out there distance-wise.

Generally, I found Kazakhstan more interesting people-wise than sights-wise.

If you really want to chill for a while, then I suggest Lake Issykul in Kyrgystan. There's even an organized homestay program all along the lake towns. I loved it.
My personal travel website
Cycling from Indonesia to India (09-11) Fabebook Page
----------------------------------------------
"Nationalism is an infantile disease, the measles of mankind." Albert Einstein



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