Muynak (Mo’ynoq) is the town in Karakalpakstan which used to be located at the very shore of the Aral Sea. But today this attraction at the distance of about 100 kilometers from the water. And only half a century ago, during the 1950s and the 1960s, it was a prosperous port town. Its embankment was washed by the waves of the Aral Sea, the fishermen boasted with their catches and the canning factory located in the city process the great part of all the caught fish of the former Soviet Union.
Ships used to sail the Aral Sea; people arrived on to visit the town to have a good swim, and the Aral Sea itself was on the fourth place among the lakes in the world. But by the 1980s, everything changed. Due to the large number of channels dug from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers supplying the Aral Sea the lake became catastrophically shallow. The water from the rivers was used to irrigate the fields and should have improved the harvesting, but in fact brought to its destruction. After the shallowing the whole environmental system of the Aral Sea region got spoiled. The concentration of salt in the sea rapidly increased and the sea shoes turned into salt marsh – or, to put it easy, into a salty muddy bog.
The climate also suffered strong changes. The temperature goes down to -40°C in winter and rises up to +40°C in summer. Weather elements are almost absent here, and the thing that happens and never lets anyone forget about it is constant and very unpleasant sand and salt storms.
The main and probably the only place of interest of Muynak is the ships abandoned among the sand that landed here forever. This is everything left of the Aral fleet, the history of which began in the middle of the 19th century. Now those are the literal and not metaphorical ships of the desert.
The town of Muynak itself today is very clean, with neat houses, welcoming residents and joyful kids. A quite large freshwater lake inhabited by fish, which solved the problem of drinking water for the town, appeared near it.
And the Aral Sea itself never stops surprising: a large gas field was found on its bottom. And now gas pipelines and ways to the flares are laid across the bottom of the former Aral Sea. Who knows, perhaps the time will come and the town which used to be prosperous will come to life again and turn into a large bustling center, as it was decades ago.
Nowadays, Muynak does not allow forgetting about the responsibility of human beings to nature. One can lose what good is available while chasing the best. Therefore, Canaan Travel is the active participant of the green tourism program designed to support the environment and preserve the world for us and our descendants. While going on a journey to Uzbekistan, allow us to create the bright and memorable tour for you, during which you will be able to make your contribution to preserving nature.