Aral Sea

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The Aral Sea is in the Qaraqalpakistan region of Uzbekistan.


The Aral Sea is not a place for sunbathing or swimming. It is a disaster zone, a scar on the Earth, showing what the human hand can do.


A ship on the former Aral seabed.

The Aral Sea has two rivers that flow into it—Amu Darya and Sir Darya. The Soviet Union dug channels from both rivers for the cotton fields. This was the start of the disaster—starting around 1960, the Aral Sea started shrinking. Now it is far away from its former banks and still receding.


The landscape is interesting, especially bearing in mind that you are walking on what used to be the bottom of the sea. There are sea shells all over the ground and dry sea plants. The places around are hilly and plain, as it is a deserty place. But it is beautiful to see.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Just some flora, just desert plants.


In summer it is very hot and in winter very cold, so advisable to go there from March-May, September-November.

Get in[edit]

It is not so easy to get to the Aral Sea itself; it is a long and tough way through the desert. One company organizes these trips—Bes Qala Nukus Ltd [1]. The lowest price is $300. They have 3 types of jeeps which get you from Nukus to the Aral Sea in about 8 hours. Each Jeep holds four people. You will camp there for one day. You can take your own camping gear or rent gear from the company. Travelers are responsible for cooking their own food; the driver will help with the fire and he has pots. Sharing the food with the driver is traditional. Note: the drivers speak Russian.

Note: trying to get there without any guidance would not be a wise thing to do, because there is no actual road and no road signs.


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Get out[edit]

Moynoq - what used to be a fisher town.

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