Moynoq is a city in Karakalpakstan. This town used to be a prosperous fishing town, but since the Aral Sea disaster, it has become a poor town with lots of problems, not least health risks caused by pollution and unemployment, as fishery was the only resource.
You can get there from Nukus. Taxis charge about US$60 for a day-trip from Nukus, which can be shared among up to 3 passengers in comfort. In summer, be sure to hire a car with aircon. And always bargain politely over the price, which must be agreed before departure.
There are two buses a day from Nukus, leaving at 09:00 and 11:00. The bus stop is called Gone Kale in Old Town (web link). Arrive early as they get filled up quickly. The price is 18,000 som (August 2021).
On foot or by taxi — it is not a big town.
A tour from Nukus will take you to all the interesting places.
- 1 Aral Sea Memorial (ship graveyard). Monument near what used to be a bank of the Aral Sea with a board telling the history of Aral Sea. Al Gore visited this monument. There is also a fleet of rusted trawlers there, still lined up in the desert where once the quay stood. You can walk down to the old sea bed and explore the boats. A better-preserved trawler is nostalgically displayed at the bus station. The Aral Sea is over a hundred kilometres away, and still shrinking, the level dropping about a metre per year. The man who maintains the memorial might talk to you. He used to be the captain of a fishing boat - he last went to sea in 1978, which was the last time Moynaq had access to the sea. He will refuse donations, preferring that you spread the word about the sea.
- 2 The Regional History and Aral Sea Museum. intermittent. Interesting exhibits on the history of the sea and the problems caused by its destruction. nominal.
- The fish factory, which used to provide work and now is abandoned, the equipment left there to rust.
Avoid drinking tap water. The water supply is heavily polluted with defoliants, pesticides and fertiliser.
There is at least one bus everyday which leaves Moynoq at 15:00 and cost 13,000 som. Ask around in the bus station in Nukus to comfirm this as it seems to change quickly.