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“Recommended for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan”
Review of Anur Tour

Anur Tour
Ranked #1 of 18 Tours in Tashkent
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Sunny Uzbekistan! Adventure, budget, excursion tours, attractions and things to do all over Uzbekistan.
Reviewed December 11, 2017

AnurTour – top notch, highly recommended

Travelled with them 28 Sept to 9 Oct 2017

Desktop due diligence stage - 5
Not a fan of organized travel myself, but having decided to take my parents and my aunt (all >60) to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan for my mom’s 70th birthday, realized I’d have to be realistic about the logistics thus I decided on a private tour. Did some research online and chose AnurTour due to excellent reviews and prompt response. I tried to call a few other tour operators, and AnurTour was the only one that had a salesperson who answered my call immediately, and in fluent English as well.

Planning stage - 5
Excellent reviews and prompt response go a long way, yet it’s their flexibility that earned them five stars. I always travelled independently in the last twenty years (except once with another organized group in Kamchatka but that’s a totally different story as it only offered fixed itineraries so you’ll see why). I’ve already had a list of places in mind for ages before this trip coz I’ve been planning a trip there for over a decade. So I asked them to include all the cities/towns/sights I named, they came up with an itinerary in no time, along with all the estimated journey time re car rides and the domestic flights, which was priceless, because info from the few online sources regarding the domestic flights and the actual journey time by car was often wrong as I found out later. They also arranged the drivers and vehicles, hotels and visa application etc. As I previously planned to travel independently, logistics in the stans was one of the key risk areas I identified after years of planning. AnurTour came up with a viable plan very quickly and all the planning, booking and visa application went smoothly.

Costing - 5
We were only required to wire them a small % of the total amount due before arrival. Couldn’t be bothered to check hotel prices since hotels they booked were reasonably nice it didn’t feel like a rip-off at all.
AnurTour also suggested us to use different local guides in different regions to help cut costs, probably one of the main reasons why I found the price reasonable.
Prices are very reasonable everywhere if you haggle well for souvenirs but that’s up to you not the company.

Staffing – 5
Most of the guides arranged were friendly and knowledgeable, all of them spoke fluent English. Most drivers seemed reliable too. Main problem was that the guides didn’t usually travel with us inter-city, and the drivers didn’t speak very good English. So, the inter-city logistics was confusing at times. Although Elina, our organizer, was very responsive, we couldn’t reasonably expect her to pick up our calls 24-7, bad reception didn’t help either. I was going to deduct one star but added 1.0 back because a) the arrangement helped save so the confusion in logistics was kinda inevitable $; b) confusion provided an added sense of adventure coz we did get some alone time; and c) our guide in Bukhara happened to be the sister of the chef of Doston House, a famous restaurant, which we wouldn’t have found if not for her (booking recommended).

Itinerary – 5
Their itinerary included all the places I wanted to visit, seemed hectic in the beginning, but our group of four aged 70, 69, 62 and 34 coped comfortably.

28 Sep Arrival in Tashkent – connection flight to Nukus – 6 hr to and fro Muynak, overnight in Nukus

29 Sep 3hr drive to Khiva in the morning, overnight in Khiva

30 Sep Morning transfer to Turkmen border, lunch near Kunya Urgench, 2hr tour there then drive to Darvaza gas crater (bumpy long ride watch out), overnight there in tents

1 Oct morning drive to Ashgabat, arrive for lunch then half day tour, overnight in Ashgabat

2 Oct Ashgabat, overnight in Ashgabat

3 Oct early morning flight to Mary, tour the ancient city of Merv, lunch at Uzbek border, drive to Bukhara, overnight in Bukhara

4 Oct Bukhara, overnight in Bukhara

5 Oct Bukhara, overnight in Bukhara

6 Oct early morning departure for Shahrisabz, 1hr tour, 0.5hr free time + 1hr lunch then drive to Samarkand, overnight in Samarkand

7 Oct Samarkand, overnight in Samarkand

8 Oct Samarkand until mid-afternoon, train to Tashkent, overnight in Tashkent

9 Oct Full day in Tashkent

10 Oct departed on 0105 flight

Before you go
- The campsite at Darvaza seemed to be run by the Turkmen government or even if not, collectively by some ministry. AnurTour didn’t seem to have much control over the quality of the camping equipment . Tents and sleeping bags could be faulty or dirty or both. If not constrained by luggage allowance please consider bring your own sleeping bags for Darvaza

- Most of the hotels were nice and centrally located, but the one they booked me in Samarkand was a bit far from the centre, do ask for a central location if you wanted to do morning strolls with your tripod

- For Khiva, they booked me into the Orient Star hotel. It was absolutely stunning and it occupied a former madrasa and was right next to the famous half minaret. Do your own research, if it’s your cup of tea, do insist on staying there. I’d travelled Iran before in 2011, they did have some nice caravanserai hotels but not madrasa, neither in Morocco in 2009 (it could be because I was on a very tight budget on that trip though, only tried one decent riad)

- Keep everything piece of paper they give you at the customs, every certificate re carpets or special items you bought esp. in Trukmenistan, and every receipt/cert they give you when you change money. You will need them at some point.

- Turkmen currency highly illiquid outside the country, no exchange/bank would take it not even in Uzbekistan

If AnurTour could have pointed these out before our trip, I would have raised their rating from a well- deserved five star to a, I don’t know, a perfect five? Anyway, thank you very much AnurTour and Elina, the elders were very happy with the trip.

2  Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"like clockwork"
in 4 reviews
"unforgettable trip"
in 3 reviews
"train tickets"
in 5 reviews
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"central asia"
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"local places to eat"
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"arranged everything"
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Reviewed November 24, 2017 via mobile

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Anur Tour. Everything ran perfectly. They even helped me celebrate my birthday while I was travelling here. For the rest of my travels in Central Asia I will be using their services again. Thanks to everyone involved. If I could leave a ten star rating I would!

1  Thank AllisonRI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2017

I booked my trip to the Central Asia with Anur tour for a 2.5 weeks trip across the Central Asia. I am glad that I used Anur Tours t plan my trip. I went to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. I was planning to travel to Turkmenistan but they are notoriously famous for rejecting visas with no explanation. While on the tour I found out that my visa for Turkmenistan has been refused. The Managing Director of Anur Mr. Mumin came personally himself to my hotel along with Zarina, my tour coordinator to explain the situation and offer alternatives which was very kind of them.
Anur helped organize the day trips and the hotel reservations.

From the time I landed to the time I departed there was flawless coordination at each travel destination. Most of the tour guides were excellent, the others were very good. What I liked about the guides were they didn’t want to take me to shops to buy things and that was a Big plus. While in Tajikistan, I got a Kidney stone pain and I was so humbled by the care provided by the guide Shahboz who took me to the hospital and spoke to the doctors.

I would high recommend anyone planning a trip to Central Asia or Uzbekistan or any country in the region to work with Anur tours. They made it a worthwhile experience!

4  Thank Imran C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2017

Anur Tours and the guide Umid made my visit to Uzbekistan a truly remarkable experience! Unforgettable memories of this amazing and breathtaking country. Great service, very well organized, flawless and the guide Umid was very knowledgeable. The tour was indeed educational. Definitely will be coming back and truly recommend it.

2  Thank Greggy2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 19, 2017

Elina is a wonderful person who made our trip really a great experience. She helped us change details and was always available for all our little extras. As I am working in tourism I know what service means and Anur tour was just an excellent tour operator. If you ever intend to go to Uzbekistan - they are the right agent to plan your trip. We were six of us and got a tailor made itinerary. Thanks again for everything. The country and its people are just fascinating

3  Thank Olaf K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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