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After I traveled to Uzbekistan in 2021 I didn’t really want to travel back. Just because I had to travel out of Turkmenistan at the Uzbek border. So let’s give Uzbekistan a 2nd chance.

Border crossing

The border to Uzbekistan is very easy for people from Germany and many others. Just saying hello and receiving an entry stamp for the country. 

I was happy to leave Turkmenistan, even though my excitement for Uzbekistan wasn’t high.

Felix and I took a bus to Uganch, a border town. First we were ripped off a bit by changing the money on the border. The exchange rate was bad, but nothing we could have done. Cash was necessary.

I tried receiving a sim card from a guy out of a car, the weird thing was that it wasn’t working. We tried it a lot, but my phone just didn’t want to function. Such a start.

The bus took like forever to reach the city, because it was stopping everywhere. The landscape did not look good, but I still liked seeing it, in between sleeping time.

Uganch

In Uganch Felix had a hotel booking, so we went on our way there. We were trying to get a sim card on the way, but nobody was helping out with it. Such a new thing for me, because usually it isn’t that hard to get a sim card and at my last time in the country I didn’t have an issue as well.

The hotel was very fancy. I was paying half for the room, to sleep one night there as well. My plan for the next few days wasn’t clear. In Turkmenistan there was no planning possible, due to the shitty internet. 

I had to get to the capital Tashkent somehow. Option one was to do hitchhiking, the other one to fly, or taking a train/bus. I honestly didn’t want to do any of them. My mental mood wasn’t the greatest.

The city was quite small, but somehow nice to walk around. I didn’t feel spied on. Everything was quite chill and the prices were also decent I would say. Felix and I went eating in a restaurant which I would call kind of fancy, but probably it was just a normal place. I don’t really like to go out to eat, so for me it starts early for something to be fancy.

Sightseeing

Near Uganch there is something very special to find. 

We visited the historical region of Khwarazm. 

To be more specific, we went to see the historical region of Khwarazm, which is located within the autonomous region of Karakalpakstan.

Toprak-Qala

Toprak-Qala is an ancient city and fortress that served as the residence of the Khwarezmian kings during the 1st-6th centuries AD. 


It was our first stop and we went there with food and went over land. There was a street about which we didn’t have a clue. We walked over dry and wet land to finally reach it. There is usually a little entrance fee which we saved, to which cost is another topic.

The place is very old and quite cool. There were not many tourists and we basically had it for some time for ourselves. 


Topraq-Qala is not big, but has a big history to tell and is worth visiting.

On the way back to the car, I went another way and fell into a little source of water and made my pants super dirty, good that I had only the one with me. 

Kyzyl Qala

This place is also an ancient fortress. The name “Kyzyl Qala” translates to “Red Fortress” in the local language, a reference to the reddish color of the fort’s walls.

The best thing about this place is that it looks similar to Timbuktu in Mali. How amazing! It is something I really wanted to see, but due to the problems in the country it’s not really easy. 

After it we went to Ayaz-Kala, but we only saw it from a distance and enjoyed the desert for a moment, before I had to go back to Uganch in order to get maybe a train ticket.

Train ticket

Before going for the little trip, we went to the train stop. There they didn’t have a ticket for the train to Tashkent. It would have been a sleeping train.

I exchanged the whatsapp number with the cashier so that she could text me when she has more information. 

At the end I was lucky and received the last ticket for the train, she bought it for me, so I paid her back of course. 

I was sharing the room in the train with three other people who were liking me at the beginning, but seemed to be pissed at the end. No idea why, I was just sleeping the whole time and didn’t have any conversation. 

I said bye to Felix, who was going to take a flight back home to his family. 

What’s up next?

Next week you will be reading about my time in Tashkent, so stay tuned!

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Nico Koch

I am Nico Koch from Hamburg in Germany and happy that you are interested in seeing the world through my eyes and want to join me on my journey.