While researching the bus from Tashkent to Khujand I noticed that there was some confusion so I decided to clear the fog.
First you must buy your ticket from a ticket booth that is located in the car park to the left of the main Tashkent Bus station. I bought my ticket on a Friday morning and left on Sunday at 18:10. I arrived at the bus station at 17:00 on Sunday and noticed that all 4 ticket booths had disappeared. They must remove them to a safe place after hours and/or on weekends so make sure you get there on a working day and during working hours. Don’t forget to take your passport with you.
This is the walking route from Olmazor Metro station to the Ticket Booth or you can take a Yandex Taxi from your hotel for around $3.00, the Metro costs 15 cents hahaha.
This is the far end of the car park with 4 ticket booths, the one on the right is where you buy your Bus ticket to Khujand, cost 50,000 Som or US$6.00.
This is a close up of the Khujand Bus ticket booth.
This is the ticket, you have to show them your passport.
This is the entrance to the main bus station, it is new and air-conditioned and has a restaurant inside. Pass the security check and go to the left corner past the restaurant and out to the bus platforms. Turn right and walk to the end, the bus leaves from Platform 22, this could change but look for the bus itself, you can’t miss it “Asian Express”. Be there at 17:30 to load your luggage and have your ticket and passport checked. The bus is air-conditioned and the seats comfortable. There were only 11 passengers in my bus and it left at 18:10, scheduled departure is 18:00 and apparently they sometimes leave 10 minutes early as well.
Ticket Booths have disappeared
The Khujand Bus at Platform 22, right at the end
When you arrive at the Uzbekistan border you have to take ALL your luggage off the bus and put it through a scanner, next immigration to get your passport stamped and then back on the bus. As there were only 11 of us it was quick, with a full bus load of 50 passengers it would obviously take longer. At this point I asked the Immigration officer where I could change some money and he said ask your bus driver. So I did and he gave me 10 Somoni for the 9000 Som I had left and he also changed US$10 into Tajikistan Somoni. He cannot change large sums, just enough to pay for the taxi to your hotel. Next stop the Tajikistan border where you get off the bus but only take your passport with you. At immigration they take your photo, stamp your passport and your eVisa, don’t forget to print your eVisa, I don’t think a PDF on your phone can be stamped. Back on the bus, the road improves and the speed goes up from 60 to 80kph, through a modern Toll plaza but the road stays the same, no Autostrada. We arrived at a patch of dirt on the outskirts of Khujand at 21:30, early by 30 minutes due to the small number of passengers. Taxi drivers are waiting and the cost of a ride to your hotel should be between 20-30 Somoni or $2-3.
Khujand, a fairly big town with some astonishing monuments and a cable car. It is 2,500 years old but under the USSR all the historic buildings were destroyed and replaced with concrete structures.
For Accommodation in Khujand contact Anisa on WhatsApp +992 938044444. She speaks English and is very helpful, getting a SIM card for me and arranging a taxi to Dushanbe. The apartment I stayed in was air-conditioned, had 2 bedrooms, a big kitchen and living room, TV’s, fridge, washing machine and it was on the ground floor, all for $30. You can choose from a number of apartments.
To get a SIM card in Tajikistan you must first register with the Police and this costs 150 Somoni ($15) and then buy the card and plan for another 50-60 Somoni. So if you can find a local or someone at your hotel who can buy the SIM card for you it will save the time and cost of registering with the Police.