Blogs from Shymkent , Southern Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan, Asia

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Asia » Kazakhstan » Southern Kazakhstan » Shymkent August 27th 2017

Our original idea was to take a night train from Almaty to Astana, but just before we left NZ we read more about Turkistan and changed our plans. From the 16th to 18th centuries Turkistan was the capital of the Kazakh khans. It is home to the mausoleum of Turkic Muslim holy man, Kozha Akhmed Yasaui, and was built by Timur in the late 14th century. It is Kazakhstan’s greatest architectural monument and most important pilgrimage site. The guidebook claims that it rivals Timor's creations in Uzbekistan such as the Registran in Samarkand, and says it has no rivals in Kazakhstan for man-made beauty. We figured that it would likely be the last chance (and only time on this trip) that we get to see the stunning blue tile work so quintessentially Central Asia. At only ... read more
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Asia » Kazakhstan » Southern Kazakhstan » Shymkent August 26th 2017

Our night train to Shymkent left at just gone 10pm. The people at the hostel told us to get there 2 hours before and that had been the drill in Uzbekistan, but after collecting our bags from the hostel and getting a taxi there it turned out we could have arrived 30 minutes before and been in plenty of time. We were a bit disappointed to be leaving on a Friday night as the nightlife in Almaty was just beginning to stir (though not that anywhere remotely decent would have let us in with the outfits we have anyway). For the first time we were travelling first class. It was a big modern train, we couldn't see either end from our carriage and a sign on the side suggested it had a top speed of 200kmh. ... read more
First class luxury
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Asia » Kazakhstan » Southern Kazakhstan » Shymkent August 16th 2016

Au passage de la frontière sino-kazakh, une page s'est de nouveau tournée. Finis le désert et les champs d'éoliennes, place aux steppes infinies et aux princes de ces terres chevauchant leurs pur sang. Au carrefour entre l'Europe, la Chine, la Russie et le Moyen Orient, nous découvrons les marques du passé à travers une population qui nous transporte depuis Alexandre le Grand jusqu'à Joseph Staline en passant par Tamerlan et Gengis Kan. Nous retrouvons nos amis Maëlys et Adrien pour un mois, avec un objectif: rejoindre la mer d'Aral en Ouzbekistan, en partant de Almaty au Kazakhstan. Nous avons suivi la route de la soie en traversant les montagnes puis les déserts, puis les déserts, et enfin les déserts! Impressionnant, il y a plus de 2000ans, des caravanes entières traversaient ces contrées, été comme hiver... Après ... read more
Kogershin Family
Aral Sea
Minaret in Bukhara

Asia » Kazakhstan » Southern Kazakhstan » Shymkent September 17th 2014

Sept 16-18th Turkestan. We were scheduled to drive from Zhabagvly village thru to Shymkent this morning, but things didn't quite go to plan. The first car reportedly had a dodgy front wheel, so we only made it to the next village where we changed cars and driver, and headed off to Shymkent. Just 10kms along the road this car experienced fairly serious engine failure ie it jerked to a halt with the smell of petrol. The empty looking petrol indicator didn't seem to be the trouble according to the driver as he peered under the bonnet with a lighted cigarette in his mouth ! Eventually they called up a replacement vehicle and we were finally on our way - this time successfully arriving in Shymkent about noon. Shmykent is perhaps best known for Khazackhstan's best local ... read more
Yasaui Mausoleum
Yasaui Mausoleum
Yasaui Mausoleum

Asia » Kazakhstan » Southern Kazakhstan » Shymkent December 31st 2013

Kazakhstan..Lovely Kazakhstan... FIRST and foremost..The blogs I have read and maybe you as well if you planned to go to Uzbekistan were not my experience at all...it was quite pleasant actually. There were no babushkas shoving and throwing elbows at all leaving Uzbekistan. The immigration process at the border is pretty straight forward as you must fill out the immigration paper again ( the one you arrived with) and stand in line where a drug sniffing cocker spaniel will lay down and want to play lol. Then you get to 2 gentleman on computers you give them you documents and they look through your stamps, fascinated almost and they give you your passport then go around the barrier and put your bags, jacket etc etc on a scanner and walk through getting wanded in the process. ... read more

Asia » Kazakhstan » Southern Kazakhstan » Shymkent December 20th 2013

Cycling from Taraz – Shymkent – Saryagash (Tashkent border) I expected Southern Kazakhstan to be flat and easy but it turned to be pretty hilly and windy… Surprise! The first thing I noticed after entering Kazakhstan from Kyrgyzstan was the gas stations. They were to be found every 2 or 3km. They all looked very new and flashy, with great colorful billboards announcing them. The second thing that caught my eye was that there was always a pipeline along any road I took until I entered the city of Taraz. If you’ve looked at my last blog (from Bishkek to Taraz) on the mountains of Western Kyrgyzstan, you may have seen a picture of smog hanging above Taraz. Well, the city was surrounded by power plants and all kinds of industries. Coming from the quiet and ... read more
by the road in Southern Kazakhstan
Big new mosque in Taraz, Kazakhstan
Salam Muhammed!

Asia » Kazakhstan » Southern Kazakhstan » Shymkent June 29th 2012

When you look at the map it feels like we're just riding straight through Kazakhstan to get to Uzbekistan – almost like we wouldn't be going there if we didn't have to. But that's so not true – there are some really exciting places to see, well they're exciting to me! There's a brief stop to register our visas in Aktobe, a big city with a modern, clean, European feel to it – partly due to the influx of Europeans to service the extensive oil & mining industries. Then its onto the 1st exciting stop – Aralsk, though exciting is not quite the right word. Once a booming town, with a prosperous fishing industry, on the shores of the Aral Sea. Now its a desolate, dusty, little village with abandoned fishing boats lying in what used ... read more
instructions on the back of our hotel room door
Aktobe War Memorial & Aliya Moldagulova
Aktobe War Memorial




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