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Central Asia and Lake Issyk kul(4 Posts)
Anyone been to Uzbekistan and/or Lake Issyk kul? I've a vague idea about me and DP going to Tashkent to see the amazing Soviet metro stations, but it's a long way to go for a few days and a metro system
So I'm thinking of a longer trip taking in Samarkand, Khiva, maybe Bukhara. Then I have this notion of getting the overnight train to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, staying a couple of days and ending the trip with a relaxing few days somewhere at the lake.
Is that feasible/easy enough to do? It's just me and DP, 40s, fit and healthy pretty much, fairly competent travellers but minimal language skills and definitely no Russian! I'm thinking September-ish, although I think the Tashkent–Bishkek train only runs until early September so may have to be open-minded about that part. If there's any similar lake resort type places in Uzbekistan then I'd be happy to do that instead if Kyrgyzstan is not feasible.
Reassure and inspire me please!
I have been to Kyrgyzstan and managed okay with English and hand gestures. I was there in September and weather was lovely. However, Bishkek is not that interesting - pretty grim Soviet architecture and not that much to do. Almaty in Kazakhstan is much nicer - wide avenues, great restaurants, orthodox churches, mosques and interesting markets.
I’m heading to Uzbekistan in a few weeks, so will be able to comment properly then.
I’ve done Kazahkstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan though, and the lakes are amazing. I love all the old Soviet places though, and the people are generally friendly and welcoming. Never had an issue with language - in Almaty one guy realized I wasn’t Russian and ran off. We thought we would have to find somewhere else for lunch but he’d gone to fetch another customer, a uni student, who could speak English to help us.
I agree with ShanghaiDiva - Almaty is lovely. I also loved Dushanbe in Tajikistan though as a really small, quiet, chilled out city.
September time will be cold in the mountains near the lake.
Thanks both –and, MardAsSnails, have a great time!
I don't really want to go to Kazakhstan as well; that's a lot of travelling and possibly visa issues etc. I thought of Bishkek mainly because I think it's quick and easy to get between there and Lake Issyk kul.
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