Distance : 557
Duration : 4 days
I have read various stories relating to experiences at the boarder with Uzbekistan, unfortunately it will always be the case that someone has a different experience to others.
However, the Kazak guards let us straight through and apart from going through the motions of the admin side of things, the Uzbeks didn’t hold us up too much either.
Worth noting, that you should be mindful of medicine, foreign currency and custom forms.
Many common painkillers in the UK are illegal in Uzbekistan and can carry heavy fines or worse. You can read about the issue here on Caravanistan
For a full list of the drugs visit here. (Thanks to Caravanistan)
I stopped at the back of a long que of lorries and had a look through my bags. In the end I decided to keep hold of my ibuprofen, Imodium and chlorine tablets.
We had an extremely lax boarder guard. After the bags went through an airport style X-ray machine, they were placed on a table. The guard simply asked if we had medicines in our bags. Answering no, meant you could take your belongs there and then, there were no more checks.
I answered yes, and showed them. This still did not result in my bags being checked and I was told I could move on.
WARNING: It is still advisable to check the list of medicines. Do not assume that the guards will be as laid back on your journey through.
Two issues to note here, foreign currency and Uzbekistan Som. Firstly, after having your passport and visa checked, you have to fill in TWO customs forms. You need to highlight all of the foreign currency you have on you. You CANNOT leave Uzbekistan with more foreign currency than you arrived with. So best to be thorough.
Secondly, the legal rate to convert $1 into UZS is around 3,500-4000. However the Black Market rate is double this if not more. Around $1 to 8000 UZS on average.
Should highlight here, as I did with the Aktau to Beyneu post, you NEED DOLLARS for Uzbekistan. Don’t make the same mistake as me by not taking enough out in Kazakhstan. Very difficult to get them in the West of Uzbekistan. But I did find a small bank in Bukhara to withdraw some.
There are persons selling currency, as soon as you have passed out of Kazakhstan and are yet to enter Uzbekistan. At a low rate of course. Passing through and again they are selling it, but still low. Although when you ask for higher, they generally settled on 7800 ( So I heard, as buying it is illegal)
Throughout your time in Uzbekistan, locals will approach you in villages and towns, asking if you need to change money. Certainly for me, a white, blonde haired, blue eyed westerner. Later rates went as high as 8400 UZS.
Do BECAREFUL, as it is illegal.
As mentioned above, you fill TWO forms in. One they keep and the other you provide on your departure that shows what you entered with. It is signed so you cannot alter it. There is a section for personal items. For safety, and In case of any dodgy guards looking for bribes, I included the number of bags I had and expensive electrical items, ie GoPro.
When you leave the country, you hand the second completed form and they have you complete a third.
Registration is a confusing topic. Basically you have to register and receive slips of paper that have been validated by the place you have stayed at. Presumably, this is so they can keep tabs on where you have been.
This can only be done by authorised persons. Normally hotels. But some hostels, guest houses and a tea house, could register. CHECK BEFORE YOU STAY.
As a general rule, I registered every three days… or as close too. Between Khiva and Bukhara I was unable to maintain the three day routine. But this was not a porblem when I left the country. I handed my registrstion slips over and they gave them straight back.
Im sure most of the time they just want to see thst you have registered. I have also been told they are lenient – to a degree; if you explain you are traveling by bike.
Straightforward, can’t have porn or images of such on your phone/computers etc. This includes images of yourself that maybe comprimising. So cloud it, and delete it off the device.
But again was not searched, just asked the question. May be different for others. Leaving the country, a fellow cyclist had his ipad photo dolder searched.
The route was straight forward, as there is only one road from Beyneu through to Nukus.
Read the post by pedalling prescots their journey in 2015. The road conditions were slightly better when I passed through
Beyneu – before Karapakiya 106km
Leaving Beyneu the road surface wasnt great at all. One of the worst potholled roads of the route, for several Km out of the city. After which the road improves but not masisvely
Little shade on this stretch to the boarder. However there is a railway track running along side the road, which provided a perfect escape from the sun. Cooked lunch and had a sleep.
We reached the boarder, entered and spent out first night, wild camping around a 10 km from the boarder.
Karapakiya – Jasliq 130km
20 km from boarder through checkpoint was tea house open early. Very basic but had drinks bread snd chocolate. Was around 5 to 10 Km from were we had camped.
For a signifcant part of this stretch, there was no shade. So around 1pm, I made shelter. Had lunch and spent and hour or so out of the sun before heading on.
5km past the town of Jasliq, around 160Km from the boarder, is a tea house where you sleep and register. This was my first point of registration.
Around $6 to stay if you have used the black market exchange rate.
Jasliq – below Kungirot 180km
Managed to cover 130 km by 1pm as the conditions were good, with very little wind. Arrived at a resturant called Bon Voyage. They have a “tourist room” inside and very good wifi. There is a hotel attached to the resturant that provides registration.
Food is cheap and supplies like choclate, drinks and bread are avaliable.
Left the resturant and headed on towards Kungirot. Irrigation channels began to spring up, with it the land turnes green. It became difficult to find places to camp, as the fields were surrounded by these channels.
Camped in a locals back garden, under a band stand.
Kungirot – Nukus 111km
Arrived hotel for $10 down from $20. A lot of hotels only accept dollars ans have a different rate for locals and tourists. Check around before you stay