Hi Dave and usl
Central Asia Visas were expensive some requiring a letter of invitation up to 50USD on top of the visa fee.
Kyrgystan ..they dont stamp your passport so you only need single entry, and embassy issues visas on the same day without invitation. I got it in London 80 pounds same day multiple entry..would have been heaps cheaper in Almaty. no need to register in the country.
Kazakstan ..need invitation Multiple etry I obtained in Berlin same day..no embassy Australia expensive 110 Euro or something.
Must register preferably done by those who invited you within 5 days of entering the country or you can face 160USD fine and hassles from the police when they check you documents.
Uzbekistan..50USD in Almaty issued on the same day, required Letter of invitation 50 USD. Have to get to embassy early as they stop taking applications after about 10 am even though they say they are open till 12.30pm I dont believe US citizens need invitation due to large airbase south of Tashkent.
Keeps reciepts from hotel stays as we had to show them when leaving Uzbekistan.
Turkmenistan..Obtained in Tashkent 31 USD took a week with some pressure no invitation, Transit visa only, Costs at the border approached 100USD in charges and bribes to speed up the slow tiresome process.
Leaving the country was not much faster.
Was told the border would close for a month from 10th October no reason given..I believe it may be constitution day..or end of cotton harvest celebrations..or Turkmenbashi felt indisposed to foreigners from that date?
Iran..Took about two and a half weeks in Almaty. Leave photcopy of passport and ring up or visit to find out when its ready, Vicki arrived with her vias and mine was given to me! 30 days 50USD. No invitation required, staff were polite and helpful. Border was quick and efficient as I had a carnet for the bike. No charges to enter Iran.
Vicki will be updating the web site in a few days so some more detailed info will be available then.
usl are you in Turkey now. I will be heading that way in a couple of weeks I could tell you about the trip in person if you like.
[This message has been edited by simmo (edited 02 January 2004).]