Blogs from Astana, Kazakhstan, Asia

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Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana August 30th 2017

Another early start to catch a flight up to Astana. With the train taking 20 hours and time being short as we draw near the end we'd opted for the 90 minute flight. From the taxi as we approached the airport we could see a bunch of aircraft that literally look parked in someone's backyard. We hoped none were ours. We'd arrived just over an hour before our flight which was earlier than most locals; we had checked in and through all the screening and checks within 10 minutes. We'd assumed our seats on row 2 were because we were comparatively early but it turned out the NZ$175 cost for both of us (the cheapest we could find to buy online) had bought us business class seats. The aircon still dumped cold water and lumps of ... read more
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Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana April 30th 2017

Almaty, Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan Traditional Restaurant 4 2017 Kazakhstan Mountain 4 2017 1 4-21-2017 Kazakhstan Toi cho den 10:10AM de bay hang Astana air hang may bay cua Kazakhstan de di den Baku thu do cua Azerbaijan, mot nuoc ma nam 2013 toi di Georgia va muon den day ma den khong duoc. Vi phai cho 6 tieng moi den chuyen bay sap toi nen toi muon taxi di den thanh pho Almaty xem thang pho nay mac dau troi hay con toi. Kazakhstan: 1 US Dollar equals 312.12 Kazakhstani Tenge Thu do nuoc nay la Astana. 63% la nguoi Kazath, 23% la nguoi Nga. Dan chung noi tieng Kazakh nhung ngon ngu chanh la Russian duoc dung trong hanh chanh. Rong 2.724km2 bang 8 lan Vietnam. La nuoc landlock co dien tich lon nhat. Co 17 ... read more
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Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana July 24th 2016

There are two sub-continents I have barely visited on this little planet up to today. I name West Africa and Central Asia. I only went to Ivory Coast and still have few places on the African continent to visit...as long as I can stay safe there. But when it comes to the "Stans", safety as a traveler is not an issue in most of them, so here I am back on the road...back-packing between decent beds. Over the coming month, I'll go across five countries finishing by few gorgeous days in Turkey. You will not see any pictures of Turkmenistan. The country is on my list, but getting a visa for the reclusive state is a little too challenging with my current traveling. I have no intention either to visit Afghanistan or Pakistan....sorry, not on my ... read more
Welcome to the diversity of Kazakhstan
Borsh and pelmeni...I'm happy!
Crazy center of this new city...

Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana May 17th 2015

Day 17 - Astana sights The morning after the night before. We had asked for breakfast at 8am, but sheepishly slunk into the Americana lounge at 1pm, still feeling the effects. After scoffing some sausage and eggs we walked a short way to the Hazrat Sultan mosque and the start of what John called The Zone of Awesomeness. Shortly after seeing the nation into a new era of independence from Russia, the Republic of Kazakhstan's first president - Nursultan Nazarbayev - decided to move the capital and administrative centre from Almaty in the south to the town of Akmola in the north central steppes. Renamed 'Astana' and funded by Kazakhstan's substantial natural resources, the city has been planned and built almost from scratch. It is home to some of the most extraordinary futuristic architecture to be ... read more
Mosque interior
Pyramid- The Palace of Peace and Accord
Kazakh Ely monument

Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana May 16th 2015

Day 16 - Kostanay to Astana Kazakhstan is big, around 12 times the size of the UK, or equivalent to the whole of western Europe. A country of huge contrasts, it's vast steppe landscapes have seen the passing of the nomadic Scythian people, the warring hoards of Genghis Khan, unparalleled cereal production, annexation by the Russian empire, horrific gulags and latterly the birth of a truly stunning new capital city. Nuclear weapons have been tested on these plains, whilst the Baikonur Cosmodrome is the worlds first and largest space launch site. The Sputnik satellite was launched from there, as are the current soyuz rockets that service the ISS. The snow-capped mountains in the south are intrinsically linked to the northern silk road route, and cradle the old capital Almaty in their green rolling foothills. Day 16 ... read more
......and to the right
ready for action
Kazakh cowboy

Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana August 21st 2014

After meeting Vitality in Astana, I was invited to stay at his sumer house. With Elena & Daniels his 13 year old son, also chickens & tomatoes etc. The summer house is a project, waiting for tarmack road completion, then will rebuild new brick house, the plot in on a spot adjacent to presidents place - so enjoys his highQ water. We started first night with a 'Beer & fish' session, in UK would have nibbles, but salty fish works too - makes U thirsty. Lots of beer & headache - U know story. Elena has green house with a passion for growing tomatoes,100 varieties. Also keeps 16 chickens, so has quite a few eggs. 3.6L Subaru, obviouly is cold winters a big engine is handy?? But fuel is cheap. Daniel's English is far in advance ... read more
Vitaliy & Elaina
beer & fish
yellow tomatoes.

Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana August 19th 2014

So Astana in the new capitol of Kazak, since only 1996, lots glitz. Journey 230km from Borovoe on pristine 3 lane fast motorway with light traffic, does have a toll - but not for bikes. City is friendly, especially local bikers, have invite stay in summer house tomorrow with Vitaley & family. But struggle to find a bike shop for new gloves etc. Route takes a turn south somewhere here, now 8500km East from Amsterdam, with approx 1500km to China border. Visit Almaty is possible for a few more km on bike, a beatiful old city in mountains, does have approx 50 earthquakes/month - a good reason to move capitol elsewhere.... read more
BBQ - all identical
skewar
Lunch

Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana August 18th 2014

Borovoe is holiday area 240km north of Astana, looks likey they all come up in autumn time to party. Hotel was OK, bit pricey £50, but check out by 9 !!, that is after 3km walk to see Zum.. and swim to it & back - thought 'was holiday!. Resort like any others, pumping loud music into night, perhaps Quad bikes are different - do wizz about with guest & 2 kiddies on, no helmets. Lakes were nice, cool refresh to swim in, but shore side was spoilt by endless fences to separate paying guests, so do mossies know which side fence too stay? Millage 500km to resort, more scruffy roads & tracks, got the idea now. About 8000km on bike.... read more
Loading hay
looks new cultivator
Zhumbaktas

Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana June 21st 2013

I doubt that there has been a more dramatic transformation of a city in modern times than Astana. In 1997, after a declaration from President Nursultan Nazarbaev three years earlier, Astana replaced Almaty as Kazakhstan’s capital, and since that time a building project of monumental proportions has been undertaken. Based on the grand design of Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, everything is planned – the symmetry of streets, parks, squares and even buildings all align in perfect harmony. The city’s architecture is extraordinary, something that easily matches other places with modern, futuristic architecture such as Dubai. There were also classical designs, like the opera house, whose facade could have been lifted from the streets of Europe. Astana’s desire to become a cultural centre was obvious, for there were many theatres and concert halls with more under construction. ... read more
Hazrat Sultan Mosque at dusk - Kazakhstan
Evening street scene of Astana - Kazakhstan
Khan Shatyr shopping mall - Astana, Kazakhstan

Asia » Kazakhstan » Astana September 20th 2010

Astana is everything you don't think of when you think of Kazakhstan. President Nazarbaev is doing his darndest to bring the country hurtling into the 21st century with a thirty year plan to build a diversified, high tech economy, part of which was to create a new capital. Skeptics said it couldn't be done, but he's achieved it- and how. Twenty years ago Astana was a small city with not much to it. Now it looks like something out of a batman film, it's so shiny & new & impressive, I pretty much just walked around with my mouth hanging open- starting with the Byterik monument, a 97 feet (it was built in 1997) white latticed tower with a golden orb at the top you can take a lift up to. From there you can see ... read more
Inside the Byterik Tower
Horseshoe Fountains
Byterik Tower




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