Chimgan National Park: Daytrip from Tashkent

We needed a break from Tashkent city (and some of the slightly uglier Soviet architecture) during our time in the capital. So we made Julie Andrews proud and fled to the mountains – Sound of Music: Uzbek style. Here’s all you need to know about getting to Chimgan National Park from Tashkent, and destinations that you should include in your route. You can thank us later.

Amisroy

The first stop was Amisroy, a 50 minute drive from Chirchik. Although the views were impressive, there’s not that much to do aside from taking the cable car to the top. Hiking is doable but you’ll be walking along a busy road. Given the limited time we had, this wasn’t an option for us. Prices for the cable car vary. Going to the top then is more expensive and the same goes if you’re travelling on the weekend. We took a ride to the first base which cost us 80,000 so’m (6,3 euro) return. We had a quick walk around too. Don’t expect mountain trails through forests. The area is commercialised with fancy hotels, obstacle courses and quad biking activities. It’s far from a nature retreat. 

Chimgan

Next stop was Chimgan. This was a 20 minute drive from Amisroy and an upgrade. No cable car, just a rickety chair lift that has you wondering if you’ll make it to the top or plummet to your death the entire time. We hiked to the top. My gosh, our calves were on fire by the end of it. The walk to the top is steep but only lasts around 30 minutes. We’d planned to hike down but knew that the walk would fast become a roll. It was way too steep. Instead, we took the chairlift down. Tickets cost 25000 so’m (1,9 euro) but we got it for half the price seeing as we only took the chairlift one way.

Charvak Lake

Charvak Lake was the final stop on our private drive. You won’t be disappointed by the views. A huge lake, with a colour not dissimilar to the mosque architecture and surrounded by mountains. Chef kiss. Annoyingly, parts of the lake are getting privatised. Essentially, some individual or group stick a figurative flag in the sand, claim it as their own, and charge for you to chill by the lake’s shore. The first spot we went to tried to charge us 150,000 so’m (11, 8 euro) per person, even though the sign stated that the cost was 50,000. We left and Sara muttered a string of indignant curse words. The next place we went to charged 10,000 so’m (0,7) for entrance. Walk past the commercialised area with speedboats alongside high rates for chilling on a tapchan and you’ll find some secluded spots to chill at a distance from the busy crowds. 

Getting to Chimgan National Park

To see this region, you’ll need to fork out some extra cash on private transport. We tried to lessen the cost by incorporating this with some public transport. If you want to do the same, you’ve come to the right place. 

Take the metro to Buyuk Ipak Yoli. Regardless of where your accommodation is in Tashkent, a ticket will cost you 1400 so’m (0,2). You’ll see dozens of marshrutka (shared taxis) at the station’s entrance and all heading to various destinations. Ask for Chirchik. This cost us 8000 so’m (0,6 euro) each and the drive lasted one hour. 

Now, you’ll have to start using private transport. To save yourself some money, make sure to haggle. The rate we were given for a shared taxi was 500,000 but we got it down to 300,000 for three people which works out at 100,000 (7,9 euro) each. This price included transport to  Chimgan, Amirsoy and Charvak Lake. We suggest doing a similar kind of route. Just stopping off at one of these destinations isn’t worth the travel time or your money. 

Chimgan National Park: Is it worth the visit?

Keep your expectations in check: this national park is very different from those in Kazakhstan. The area is far more commercialised and construction for dozens of hotels appears to be underway.

Would we recommend the trip? Yes. The mountain scenery is a different side to Uzbekistan and far more beautiful to look at compared to the endless desert. Plus, if you’re like us and not particularly wowed by Tashkent then this could be a nice little getaway.

Wrap Up

A trip to Chimgan was a needed change of pace for us. Make your trip a cheaper one and incorporate public and private transport. Only using public transport will mean that you’re limited to Chirchik, and only using private will cost you a lot more cash.

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