(September 27, 2017) Almaty
We have a complicated night as a start for this
day before reaching Uzbekistan, with two flights and a large stopover
Our plan is taking advantage of this stopover to
visit Almaty’s city center. We’ve chosen the area in the image below.
Arrival at Tashkent is scheduled for 12:30 PM, but
there is no specific plan for the rest of the day as we're presuming a
needing to rest after such night.
We arrive at Almaty with two hours delay and a
cold temperature outside. The snowed mountains we could see when
landing have probably something to do with it. Besides, we couldn’t
sleep in any of the two flights we’ve got overnight of one and three
hours respectively. With this, we finally decide to stay in the airport
and get some rest in the sofas of a self-service restaurant. We get
some pizza and omelets to justify sleeping there. Before getting our
next flight, we’ll buy some souvenirs to spend the 9000 KZN I exchanged
by 20 € yesterday to a man in Aktau’s airport.
Flight to Tashkent is short, just one hour and a
half, and we’re crazy about getting our bed when we’re landing. After
Uzbek immigration tasks and leaving the airport I agree with the first
offer we get for a taxi ride to our hotel: 10$. I know that’s a lot
here, but thinking that I’m bringing a 10$ note and I won’t have to
look for exchanging money before going to bed makes me take the offer.
It’s a few minutes past 1 PM when we’re finally sleeping in our room.
When we leave the hotel is 6 PM and we can feel
the sunset approaching. We take some time looking and asking to get to
a bus to Chorsu area and I ask in the bus to a man who points me what
stop should we take. It’s almost dark when we reach the market and
there I find out everything I read about the money in Uzbekistan is not
valid now: In order to be able to move I’ve just exchanged 50€ in the
bank in front of the hotel by 9500 soms per euro but now, in the black
market, only one person is giving me more than 9000 soms, but 9100 is
the maximum, so I’ve came for nothing and I’ll exchange money in the
bank again tomorrow morning. We’ll buy train tickets in Bukhara, then.
We get some problems in our way back to the hotel
as we want to try the metro, which has same price than bus: 1200 soms.
We leave metro in Navoy station, but cannot find Navoy Square in the
darkness of these streets. We must ask several times until finding a
suitable bus for us.
The last thing we do before going to bed again is
take some dinner in the only opened place around the hotel: a burguer
one. We eat a sort of potato and beef pie for Eva and a pide for me, a
sort of pizza shaped like a boat. We pay 40000 soms for everything.
How do Tashkent's buses work?
It took a while for us to be familiar with the way of going to
places with buses in Tashkent but, once we got it, it’s useful and the
cheapest way of going anywhere in the city, including the airport.
There are two kinds of buses: the big and green ones like in the
picture and the white vans.
We need two reference
points: one is the area where our hotel is and the other one must be a
place where several bus lines meet. In our case, the airport was making
the perfect reference to go to our hotel as everybody knows where it
is. The hub we’re using is the market (Chorsu): a place where we went
today and will go next time. Besides, everybody knows where it is too,
a lot of lines pass by there and buses that are stopping by there have
it indicated in the sign, just between the source and final
destination. We need to know the name in Cyrillic for it as sometimes
it is written this way. In our case, as P is our “r”, C is our “s”, Y
is our “u” and for our “ch” they use a sort of square Y. With this,
Chorsu written in Cyrillic will be something like this “Yopcy”.
This way, you can go everywhere in the city using two buses by
linking buses in our chosen hub. There is a map in the bus stop showing
where are going the bus lines that are stopping there using a color
code. The one in the picture belongs to the bus stop of our hotel,
marked by a yellow circle. You can see there how close is the airport
below. Airport 2 is the international terminal and 3 the one for
In the picture, we can see how the color lines are going up together
big part of the way, and the most of them reach the point at the top
marked by “Xadra” maydoni, where the route turns to the left. It’s just
after this turn where Chorsu is, so the good lines for us are light
green, light orange and brown, which correspond to lines 92, 11 and 67