About Termiz (also known as Termez)
Termiz in Uzbekistan has been a settlement for at least 2,500 years and has been conquered by Alexander the Great, the Chinese, Arabs, Genghis Khan and the Russians. Termiz has been a significant centre for Buddhism and Islam as well as being an important stop on the Silk Road.
The town is also a frontier with a bit of a wild-west feel to it due to its connection to nearby Afghanistan. It was a staging post for Russian troops during the Afghanistan War (1979 to 1989) and now serves as the same for UN troops on operations across the Amu Darya.
Where is Termiz?
Termiz is the southernmost point in the Republic of Uzbekistan in Central Asia, close to the border with Afghanistan. The town is on the northern shore of the Amu Darya River (also known as the Oxus during Alexander the Great’s time).
Weather in Termiz
Termiz is the hottest place in Uzbekistan with summer temperatures soaring as high as 47c. In winter the temperature rarely drops below zero. Due to the intense heat of the summer, spring and autumn are the best times to visit with more comfortable temperatures around 20c.
What to see in Termiz
For those interested in history, archaeology and architecture Termiz has a few sites of interest, with the highlights beingthe archaeological museum and Hakim at Termizi Mausoleum. The town was an important centre of Buddhism during its time as the Chinese settlement of Ta-Li-Mi but little remains since Ghengis Khan’s sacking in 1220AD.
Termiz is also a destination for adventurous travellers to peer into Afghanistan!
Although emphatically not a tourist site, the border with nearby Afghanistan is definitely worth checking out. You can see across the border along the highway leading into town and also from the road that leads to the Al Hakim at Termizi Mausoleum (see below).
Al Hakim at Termizi Mausoleum
Hakim al Termizi (824 to 892AD) was a famous Muslim scholar, Sufi mystic and lawyer and it is from him that the town takes its name. The mausoleum of Hakim al Termizi is located 10km northeast of the town on the shores of the Amu Darya.
The site includes the state museum of Termiz, the mausoleum, gardens and small archaeological site (now covered with barbed wire).
The 2km road from the highway to the mausoleum offers uninterrupted views across the Amu Darya to Afghanistan. It goes without saying that taking photographs in such a sensitive border area is strictly forbidden, but if you’d like to see the pictures I took there, you can do so in my article about sneaking around at the Afghanistan Border.
Archaeological Museum of Termiz
The archaeological Museum contains artifacts from the town’s long history and includes pre-Islamic, Buddhist and Islamic displays.
Fayez Tepe is the ruins of an old Buddhist Monastery dating from the 1st to 3rd Centuries AD. There is not much to see here as most of the artifacts have been moved to the Termiz and Tashkent Museums.
The Friendship Bridge is not a tourist site, but interesting to see nevertheless as it connects Uzbekistan to Afghanistan. Do not even consider taking your camera out here unless you want to spend time in an Uzbek jail!
This 20 metre tall minaret was originally erected in 1109AD. The Minaret is 38km from Termiz and can only be reached by taxi (around 100,000 Som).
New Mechat Mosque
A relatively new addition to the town, the Mechet’ Mosque is worth a look for its impressive architecture.
State Museumof History and Heritage of Termiz
This small museum is located within the grounds of the Al Hakim at Termizi Mausoleum. There are three main displays; ancient, early medieval and medieval.
Another Buddhist Stupa located 10kmfromTermiz, there is not much to see apart from a mound of mud and bricks.
How to get to Termiz
Air: There are daily flights to and from Tashkent.
Train: There is an overnight train service connecting Tashkent (and Samarkand) to Termiz.
Trains depart Tashkent at 19:35 and Arrive at Termiz at 09:35 the next day.
Returning trains depart Termiz at 18:50 and arrive in Tashkent at 08:14 the next day.
The Uzbekistan Rail website has up to date timetable and fare information.
Taxi: It’s possible to travel long distances for relatively little in Uzbekistan. I took a taxi from Samarkand which cost 350,000 (roughly $40) and took around 7 hours.
Where to stay in Termiz:
There are only a handful of hotels in the town. I stayed at the Hotel Intourist which was basic but comfortable. Be aware that the advertised wifi does not exist (not only when I was there, but I have had reports from other travellers saying the same thing). See Booking.com for available accommodation:
Upon arrival you must register with the police as it is a sensitive border area. If coming by train then you will be escorted from the platform to register in the nearby police station.
Indy Guide offer day tours of Termiz from $100.