Hitchhiking in Uzbekistan
Are you thinking of hitchhiking while traveling in Uzbekistan? Then there’s a few things you should think of before heading out. You see, hitchhiking in Uzbekistan differs a bit from the rest of the world. In most countries, the locals are familiar with hitchhikers and know when someone’s standing in the middle of the road with their thumb up, it means they want a free ride. Here… it’s a bit different. Let’s take a look at how hitchhiking is in Uzbekistan.
First of all…
Plan your route. Don’t just go on the road with no idea where to go or what to do. Know exactly where you want to go, pin it on your offline maps and tell everyone at home and friends where you are! Make sure that you’re always connected so you can see where you’re going and that you can call someone if something would happen.
Go to the highway. Don’t expect anyone to pick you up in the middle of the city center for example. The best way for you is to catch a bus or taxi to the highway so that it’ll be easier to find someone who’s going your way and for drivers to stop and pick you up.
Have patience. Don’t give up after a few minutes. It can take a while, depending on where you are, for cars to come pick you up, but they usually do.
What to know about hitchhiking in Uzbekistan
It’s important to know that it’s not very common to see foreign hitchhikers in Uzbekistan. But it is common for locals to wave a car in to catch a ride to their destination. However, it’s expected of them to pay then. So when you’re standing there on the road and want to get a free ride, locals might mistake it for you just wanting them to give you a ride for a bit of money. If you really don’t want to pay anything, make sure you say so before you enter the car. Tell them you’re a student who’s traveling with very little money and say that you can’t pay for the ride. If they accept, you may enter. Otherwise, ask them what the price is and if it’s too high for you, wait for the next car to come. Uzbeks are very hospitable people and most of them will try to help you as much as they can. But there are people who’ll want money for it. It could also be really useful if you learn some Russian before you start hitchhiking. Otherwise, it might be too confusing for the locals and they’ll just drive away after trying to talk to you. At least learn basic Russian words— you’ll come a long way just with that. Perhaps even to your intended destination!