Zarafshan is a gold mining city in the remote Kyzyl Kum desert of northern Uzbekistan. Hardly anyone makes the grueling trip here, although rumors abound of an expat community as a result of the mining. There is little reason to go to Zarafshan other than a strong desire to go where no one has gone before. Beware! Local police forces may forbid you access to Zarafshan and it is highly unlikely that you will be able to get permission on your passport.

There are several flights to Zarafshan as well as the even more remote Uchkuduk, which is visible from the air on a Tashkent-Urgench flight. Just don’t try to go without the proper permission or you may not be coming back!

This article is completely wrong. Great town – no danger – no special need on your passport! I have traveled to this small city(70000 people) twice and it was great. Great food, great people. Not any tourists types of things. Just lots of parks almost all to yourself, many places to walk relax and enjoy life. Try dinner for 4 including couple bottles of Vodka for 25 dollars. There are some expats there because of the mining concern. Many Russian techies still live there from many years ago. So many beautiful women!!! There are many in Tashkent also but they are big city girls. Zarafshan’s women are the best potential wives in the world. Beautiful, hard working, low maintenance, and they know how to take care of their man!! Some people speak English here but it is not widespread. Unless you are looking for a wife, or want to just relax very inexpensively, not a lot of reason to go here!

Willy; I travelled to this city also twice and I must say that zarafshan is not a tourist attraction. People do live here under very poor (but clean!) conditions. That’s why a lot of women do try to get out by trying to get into a relationship. The small community of Zarafshan is surrounded by the desert an that’s what you feel. It is a community held under the hard hand of the biggest mining company of Usbekistan NGMK. It controls (and pays) everything. I remember that even my emails I sent out of an very small I-net cafe were hidden copied! This I found out after a longer time staying there. I know that the Karimov regime is not a joke for Usbekistan people and you should be always aware of that. Only advantage; you do not have to be afraid of criminals that much; but still be aware; it can be sometimes very sneaky. Always keep passport and money on the man. Zarafshan was for me a working place were I counted every week to the day I could fly home. The only thing I loved there was the dessert. Ever seen a dark night with absolutely no artificial light Go to Zarafshan!

Leave a Comment