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I'm looking into how to get to Bukhara. I've been offered a shared taxi at USD 80 (200,000 soms). The Lonely Planet claims it should be about USD 15. I realise it's been a year since this was written, but still ...

I'm wondering about buses, but believe they go from Urgench. Anyone got any ideas as to what options I may have, other suggestions or moments of inspiration?

The biggest problem is being a traveller on my own, I've not been able to find people to combine with for a taxi - it'd make negotiating a lot easier!

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is very strange that LonelyPlanet says - between Khiva and Bukhara is 480km, and $15 - very small sum for such distance. According to this post in Livejournal, one year ago such prices were to transfer:

  • For the taxi - 25000 soms per person which is double less you were offered
  • Bus between two towns - 13000-15000 soms. It will visit each village on his route. Also there will be passport checks nearly each 100km.

PS: You should really start to bargain with drivers! This is the East, and if you don't bargain - you are completely alien! Try to push them, and save your money, and try to get pleasure from bargaining :)

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Hey, yeah I'm slowly getting into that. Result was me paying 3000 soms (US$1ish) to get to Urgench, then managing to get it to US$25 for the ride to Burkhara. So in the end I'm quite pleased with that result - US$26 all up, and dropped at my B&B :) –  Mark Mayo Jul 2 '11 at 14:01
    
Oh, I did check at the bus station in Urgench, but the only one running was at 4pm, getting to Urgench at 9am, not sure what it's doing during the night, but it was 35000 soms - a little cheaper than 50,000, but taxi was better option :) –  Mark Mayo Jul 2 '11 at 14:01
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For travellers who might want to take this route – the road is now in awful condition (worse than the Pamir Highway!), and takes around 8 hours. I travelled it in July 2012, and had a good, quick driver: we 'only' needed 7.5 hours of accelerating/decelerating/bumping/hitting the ground... We saw mini-buses and a few buses on the road; they took something like 14 hours, and were in very bad condition. We negotiated to around US$80 for 4 passengers at the bazaar in Bukhara. That's probably the lowest you could possibly get here. Check the cars and drivers as only the oldest and propane-powered cars make the trip – it's hard on the mechanics so they save by using already worn-out cars. And beware that there are no cities between Bukhara and Urgench, and very very few petrol stations, most of them empty. So pack food and water (it's the Kyzylkum desert after all!), leave early and check your gas level!

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Wow that brings back memories ;) Cheers for the road update! –  Mark Mayo Aug 27 '12 at 5:59
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