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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, the dried bottom of the former sea.

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.


Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Ayimtour, Nukus. They can help to organize the Aral sea tour. They have jeeps which can get you from Nukus to the Aral Sea in about 8 hours. Each Jeep holds up to four people. You will camp at the yurt camp closer to the seashore. You can take your own camping gear or rent gear from the company. Meals are also provided and included into the price. The driver and guide will set up tents, helps with the fire and cook dinner. Sharing the food with them is traditional. Note: the drivers speak Russian.  edit
  • Mo'ynoq-Munjak, (Kungrad District). There's a beach on the Aral sea, the area is rather swampy and swimming's forbidden. The place is located in total wildness, there's a possibility of tent pitching or sleeping in own camper.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Jipek Joli Inn and Jipek Joli Hotel – The best option in Nukus. Jipek Joli Hotel, which is newer than Inn, is still the best option, although they've cleaned up the original to make the choices comparable. Quite nice breakfast is included. There's pretty decent Wi-Fi, nice showers and a small drink selection available on site. Much improved compared to what is written in some older guidebooks – although this means higher prices. Single room is $40. A double room is $45, but subject to change, depending on where you are staying: Jipek Joli Inn or Jipek Joli Hotel. They have a travel agency called "Ayimtour Travel Agency" which offers Aral sea tours, day tours to Muynak and Five Khorezm Fortresses. To book a room contact via [email protected] or by phone numbers + (99861)224-25-25 for Jipek Joli Hotel or + (99861)222-11-00 for Jipek Joli Inn. To book the Aral sea tour and other tours contact via [email protected] or go to the website:



"Ayimtour Travel Agency" offers Aral sea tours with camping at the yurt camp, day tours to Muynak and Five Khorezm Fortresses. To book the Aral sea tour and other tours contact via [email protected] or go to the website:


You can sleep on the beach in Mo'ynoq- Munjak.

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

Moynoq - what used to be a fisher town.

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