Aral Sea

Aral Sea, located at the boundary of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. As far back as half a century it was a closed salt-water lake, the Aral Sea was in 4th place on the area among the lakes of the world. Nearly 60,000 tons of fish were harvested annually in the Aral Sea. The region’s life was flourishing. In 1960s "Cotton race" required a large amount of water. From feeding the Aral Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers a huge number of channels were dug for cotton fields irrigation. As a result, from 1961 to 1995, the sea level has dropped by 17 meters and the shoreline has receded by 100-150 km. Now the area became a desert, covered with alkali soils and dried seaweeds, abandoned fishing settlements.

 

Aral sea, Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan

 

Everything that was once built around the Aral Sea is now deserted and left behind in the middle of Moynaq.
It once became a popular holiday destination in the old Soviet; with its beaches, seaside restaurants with fresh seafood, and hotels. But these days, you will only see the ruins of the former glory.
Moynaq is truly a depressing place, but still worth a visit if you are in Central Asia.

 

Sudochie Lake

 

Ships graveyard, Muynak

 

Ships graveyard, Muynak

 

It is not so easy to get to the Aral Sea itself; it is a long and tough way through the desert, and your best bet is to arrange jeep tours.

Aral Sea trip provides a unique opportunity to discover the region with contrasting landscapes of extinct sea and miracles of nature, as well as to become victims of the human madness and breathtaking scenery of new Aral Kum desert.Tour to Aral begins from Nukus city which is particularly famous for the Savitsky Art Museum. This museum that is located in the capital of Karakapakstan, the Nukus city, possesses the second largest and most valuable Russian avant-garde collection in the world. 

Expedition to Aral could become one of the most inconceivable experiences in your life that gives a mixture of delight from the incredible beauty of desert landscapes and Aral Kum desert with involuntary sadness from participation in the tragedy of the dying sea.