While we were planning our trip to Turkmenistan (where you need to either be with a tour company or limit your stay to a transit visa), our tour company offered us an option that combined both Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It was a great itinerary and a pretty good deal, so we decided to take the package for both countries and really travel down the Silk Road in style.
We started working on planning our Turkmenistan trip back in December, knowing that we’d need a Letter of Invite from a tour company, a package tour, and a visa before arrival- all of which takes time. After receiving our LOI by email, we took it to the Turkmenistan embassy in Tbilisi, where for $55 they issued us a visa (you can also get it done at Ashgabat airport for $87). We let Travel Notoria plan our tour, and we just showed up with a load of cash (no ATMs in Turkmenistan!) after catching a flight on AirDubai.
We arrived in Azerbaijan via the overnight train from Tbilisi, which was cheap ($20) and easy. It left Tbilisi’s Station Square at 8:40 pm, arrived at the border just before midnight, and made it to Baku by 9 am. We had already applied for an e-visa for Azerbaijan ($55), which we printed out in Tbilisi, and they do the immigration stuff on the train. We had a 4-person sleeper berth which was fairly comfortable, aside from being super hot for a couple of hours before they turned off the heater.