Kazakhstan

The Kazakh Dream

I decide to travel to Kazakhstan mainly because I am nearby.  Just across the border from Urumqi, China; and my Chinese visa running worryingly low on days.  I have to choose between trekking all the way back across the Middle Kingdom or taking the conveniently timed bus to Almaty. On the bus to Almaty, my … Continue reading »

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Couchsurfing: Almaty

Though introduced to the idea of Couchsurfing by Matt when he came to HK for New Years our first year in Asia, my first experience to surf with somebody was actually quite recently in Almaty, Kazakhstan.  Dan from UK and his girlfriend Alyah  from Almaty welcomed me into Dan’s apartment for over a week while … Continue reading »

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Budget: Kazakhstan

This budget is a bit lower than might be expected, because I Couchsurfed for the 11 days I spent in Almaty waiting for an Uzbekistan visa. An expensive city, having had to pay for a hotel there would have significantly increased the overall cost of Kazakhstan. Also note that the visa is included in the … Continue reading »

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Stuck in Shymkent

My last two days in Kazakhstan were spent wandering around Shymkent, waiting for my Uzbekistan visa to become active on Nov 1st.  While the time may have been better spent elsewhere, Shymkent is the closest major Kazakh city to Uzbekistan and so by default was my waiting ground.

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Fortress Sauran

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Turkistan

The city of Turkistan and its Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi are one of the few relics of Timur left in Kazakhstan.  The Mausoleum, which was completed in 1405, is one of the first examples of the architectural styles that Timur later perfected in his capital of Samarkand (in present-day Uzbekistan). Though the city of … Continue reading »

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The Aral Sea Tragedy, in nine Acts.

Aral Sea The city of Aralsk was historically a major fishing port in the Soviet Union.  This artwork, in the town’s train station, depicts the citizens of Aralsk shipping off fish to feed the rest of the USSR.

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Aksai Gorge

 

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