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Ship cemetary Moynaq Phot: Mark & MichelleMoynaq - The Aral Sea

Moynaq encapsulates more visibly than anywhere else the absurd tragedy of the receding Aral Sea. Once one of the sea's two major fishing ports, it now stands some 40km (25mi) from the water. What remains of Moynaq's redundant fishing fleet lies rusting on the sand, beside depressions marking the town's futile efforts to keep channels open to the receding water. The town's shrunken population of 2000 souls now suffers the full force of the Aral Sea disaster, with hotter summers, colder winters, debilitating sand, salt and dust storms, and a gamut of health problems. The town remains a tragic monument to the conscious environmental havoc wreaked by the Soviet Union's policies in Central Asia.

Moynaq is 210km (130mi) north of Nukus - take a taxi or a bus between the two towns. To get to Nukus, take a daily train or bus from Tashkent.
© 2001-2010 STANtours last modified April 23, 2002