- Encounters with locals
The city is a ghost town, quite unlike Uzbekistan's tourist destinations, in a dry landscape where virtually nothing grows. It's impossible to find the museum. The rusty hulks of old boats are gathered below a monument that very briefly described the recent history of the Aral Sea.
For all these reasons, I don't think that the city is worth seeing unless pressing on toward the Aral Sea (which is still more than 200 km away).
On the other hand, after crossing the cotton fields of the Ferghana Valley, it is interesting to see and contemplate more clearly the consequences of this intensive monoculture.
Once I had arrived I tried, together with a Swiss traveler who had picked me up in her 4×4 while I was hitch-hiking, to find a guide who could take us on toward what remains of the Aral Sea. Two hours later, having attempted unsuccessfully to negotiate, we returned to Kungrad. Make your arrangemetns at Nukus if you want to have a chance of seeing the Aral Sea.
Without any hesitation Mo'ynoq could qualify to compete for the title of the most depressing town in the world. Formerly a thriving port along the Aral Sea, today the town is located more than 200 km from the sea. Accordingly, the city of Mo'ynoq looks like a ghost town now. Most residents have long since left the place, populated with elderly and young nomads, the boats rust under the blazing sun and the desert sands cover the city during the numerous storms...
Therefore, it's both a fascinating and depressing place. It's fascinating in that it tells the absurdity and the ecological, human disaster of the Aral Sea's recession. It's depressing, because only despair seems to survive today at Mo'ynoq, which in my opinion remains a must see in Uzbekistan.