Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan

Curious what backpackers do in Kazakhstan? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

41 travelers at this place:

  • Day141

    Nur-Sultan - "Dubai of the Steppe"

    July 29 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    I might be repeating myself, but still. Tom and I are not really city people. Yet, we find ourselves travelling through Nur-Sultan, previously Astana renamed this spring in order to honour the resigning president.
    Reason being: fellow travellers had repeated horrible road conditions on the eastern road through Kazakhstan and our by now dear friends from Australia, the Kudlik family, are here as well.
    Once we've made it through the traffic and into the yard of the hostel where we will park and sleep in Hans (Nomads 4x4, a perfect place for Overlanders), the city gains in popularity already. We quickly chat with other overlanders, take a shower (always welcome while travelling in a car) and head out to meet the Kudliks for dinner.
    Astana is quite modern and has some astonishing architecture to offer. We only see a small part of it, but as we walk through the city by night, everything is lit up and looks all the more impressive. Dinner is fabulous, too, and we really enjoy catching up with our friends.
    And even though we leave early on the next day to sort a car issue in a Toyota garage, I'm glad we stopped here in this very different part of Kazakhstan.
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  • Day147

    Hiking around Almaty

    August 4 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Today is Zuzka's birthday! We all (the Kudliks, Margit & Daniel and Tom & I) arrived in Almaty yesterday. As we wanted to celebrate together, Zuzka had booked us two nights at the Mika Hotel in the South of town. A mere 16km away from Medeo, a beautiful skiing destination in winter and a hiking paradise in summer, Tom and I can't resist. With the promise to be back for the birthday dinner, we head off to the mountains. As we haven't done much research, initially we intend to simply walk along a river into the valley as far as we want. But the Sunday crowds (yes, it seems the locals like hiking, too!) make us choose an alternative route, leading up to Mt. Furmanova. Our simple stroll turns into a beautiful hike up to the 3000m+ peak. Or at least almost. Shortly before we reach the pass on approx. 2800m we can hear thunder rolling in. Never underestimate the weather in high altitude mountains! While we were sweating massively down in the city, it has cooled down notably already and we're not too eager on getting caught in a snowstorm (which aren't unusual this high up, even in summer). For once, we make the responsible call and finish our tour at the pass. We quickly descend the mountain along the river and with a bit of jogging at the end, we even make it back without getting wet. Yayie! Being out and about again felt so great and the scenery was just amazing. I guess, we're hooked again!Read more

  • Day148

    Almaty city impressions

    August 5 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    While Nur-Sultan impresses by its modern look and notable architecture, Almaty wins you over due to its location. Don't get me wrong, the city features beautiful buildings and sights as well, but the snowcapped peaks in the background automatically draw all the attention to them.
    We we're lucky enough to be able to explore both a bit, but I'd happily return.
    The local food and drink scene seems to be thriving, too, and I'd like to delve into it again. I thoroughly enjoyed a place called "Chef" where we went to for Zuzka's birthday dinner. It featured lots of local and housemade products and everything I tasted was really delicious. Tom and I also discovered a tiny little bakery selling snacks out of a nook in an apartment block. And there were lots of fruit and veggie vendors around. Small and local food businesses, just the way I like it.
    Last but not least, I discovered that the city can be explored by bike nicely (if you don't mind a bit of incline). There are bike paths and traffic reduced roads, but it might require a bit of an effort to find them. Unfortunately I got lost while trying to do so and hence had to pass on the Beatles statue in the Kok Tobe park. But the ascension cathedral and the windig roads I took to make my way back made up for it. Almaty (meaning "Father of the Apple") won my heart.
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  • Day150

    Border crossing Kazakhstan to Kyrgistan

    August 7 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Wow. What a smooth border crossing.
    Tom and I decided yesterday to spend the afternoon at the beginning of the Charyn canyon instead of crossing the border in the heat. We simply loved the place at the river, that felt like a little oasis. And maybe, just maybe, we hadn't been ready to leave Kazakhstan just yet.
    But this morning, it is time to go. We pack up, drive for another 1.5hrs and are actually quite surprised when the border post in the Kargara valley shows up. After Kegen, there were no signs or stalls or gas stations at all, so the post feels a bit sudden. We're here by approx. 10.30am. During the summer months (May-October), the border is open ever day from 8-18 o'clock. There is only one car in front of us and everything happens rather quickly.
    1. Our passports and the car registration are checked.
    2. We're allowed in and proceed to the customs control.
    3. The guards send me to the passport officer, he stamps me out of Kazakhstan and then I'm immediately pointed through to the Kyrgis passport office. No chance to return to the car to help Tom. Within 10min I'm done and am waiting in Kyrgistan for Tom and Hans to join me.
    4. The Kazakh officers play some jokes on Tom (like "fishing rods are not allowed here"), but they're friendly and let Tom and Hans pass quickly. Tom's passport is checked again and he, too, is proceeding to our new destination.
    5. The Kyrgiz side is no problem either, and within another 10min, I rejoin Tom in the car and off we go.
    As I mentioned earlier: super smooth and easy. The only problem is: no ATM, nor car insurance seller, nor SIM card provider on either side of the border. And the next two villages don't look like they'd provide those services either. Hence we simply postpone all of it and drive to Jyrgalan, our first stop. As everything moved so quickly, we arrive at lunch time and have enough time to go on a mountain bike tour in this fabulous scenery. The steep ascend is (luckily) interrupted by an invitation to join a family party for a few snacks and horse milk (kyzmyz). What a lovely bunch of people. Afterwards we continue our way up, pushing our bikes through steep mountain sides, cursing ourselves for having brought them up here. But once we finally get the chance to ride down, the strenuous part is all forgotten.
    First impression of Kyrgistan: amazing landscapes, super friendly people and lots of signage guiding tourists. We can't wait to explore more of this country (and we already have the impression so can't lots of other tourists 😉).
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  • Day149

    Kazakhstan random facts

    August 6 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    In line with our previous country wrap ups here are our random facts about Kazakhstan:

    First of all: People are extreme friendly and welcoming. Some experiences we had:
    -> Right after the border we stopped at a river. We hadn’t even parked yet and a very excited man waved at us to stop. We met his whole family and got invited to a barbecue.
    -> People frequently waved at us friendly on the road, talked to us from their car and wished us best of luck on our journey.
    -> I was looking for a part for the car. The Toyota dealer in Astana didn’t have it but one of the staff asked for my phone number. An hour later I was contacted by someone in Almaty who could organise the part. Three days later the same guy delivered said part to our hotel and even only charged a reduced price!!
    -> We spent our last night in Kazakhstan in a beautiful canyon on the way to the Kyrgis border. In the evening a family of four parked next to us to have a picknick. They not only walked over to us to say hello, they also brought bread and apples and invited us to sit with them!
    => If only everybody was as welcoming towards foreigners as the people here are (yes, I’m also looking at you Germany. Including myself)

    Other things we noticed:

    Horse meat is a national dish.

    We saw a few graveyards next to the road. They're clearly depicting the Muslim heritage of this country with many graves looking like tiny mosques or at least carrying the moon symbol on top.

    There are a lot of trucks with German signage around.

    We met a lot of people that spoke great English and some even spoke German.

    Watermelon seems to be the national fruit. It was sold along the road almost everywhere.

    Around Almaty there are a few 3000m high mountains that can be climbed fairly easily.

    And last but not least: lots of supermarkets sell German products! Flour, pasta you name it.

    P.s.: nature especially in the South is much more beautiful than we expected!
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  • Day15

    Verlassene Stadt Sauran

    August 10 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    425 Kilometer, 9,25 Stunden, 45,7 Liter Diesel

    Unser Nachtlager wollten wir unbedingt in Sauran beziehen und das haben wir zum Glück auch geschafft.
    Sauran war früher auf der Seidenstraße eine großes Handelszentrum und ein bedeutender Knotenpunkt für die Karawanen. Heute wohnt niemand mehr in der Ruinenstadt und es wurde als archäologische Stätte aufgearbeitet.
    Wir haben uns einen Platz außerhalb der gut erhaltenen Stadtmauer gesucht. Diese ist über 2 Kilometer lang.
    Morgen wollen wir sehen was von dieser ehemaligen Metropole noch übrig ist.
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  • Day12

    Endlich in Kasachstan

    August 7 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    235 Kilometer, 10,25 Stunden

    Am freundlichsten war aber, wie bisher in fast jedem Land, der Beamte der die Schranke öffnet und uns aus dem Grenzbereich rauslässt. Er hat seine Deutschkenntnisse an uns getestet und wollte unbedingt wissen wo wir herkommen und wo es in Kasachstan hingeht.

    Nach 5 Stunden und 45 Minuten haben wir es endlich geschafft und sind in Kasachstan!
    Wir können nur immer wieder betonen wie froh wir über das Schengener Abkommen sind.
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  • Day17

    Abstieg im Sayram-Ugam Nationalpark

    August 12 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    25 Kilometer im Kfz, 18 Kilometer zu Fuß

    Den höchste Berg des Nationalparks ist der Sayram Peak mit 4238m. Bei dem schönen Wetter betrachteten wir die Schneefelder nach der langen Wüstenfahrt mit Freude.

    Am Abend mussten wir uns auf kältere Temperaturen einstellen. Unser Schlafplatz am Gletscherfluss war in der Hinsicht nicht gerade hilfreich.Read more

  • Day20

    Vergnügungsberg Kok Tobe

    August 15 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Auf dem Weg zum Hotel fielen uns unglaublich viele Offroader auf. Fast alle davon sind Toyota Land Cruiser und gleichartige Lexus Modelle. Also die größten Geräte. 😅

    Wir erkundeten die Stadt und schauten uns das bunte Treiben an. Almaty ist nämlich die Stadt der Farben und natürlich auch die Herkunft des Apfels.

    Mit einer Seilbahn fuhren wir fast aus dem Stadtzentrum auf einen kleinen Berg. Auf dem ist ein kleiner Vergnügungspark und ein toller Ausblick über die Stadt. Der Sonnenuntergang machte alles atmosphärischer.
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  • Day14

    Unser Stranderlebnis

    August 9 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Auf unserer Fahrt kreuzen wir immer wieder Strecke der Trans-Aral-Eisenbahn. Diese Fahrt von Orenburg (Russland) bis nach Taschkent (Usbekistan) führt quer durch ganz Kasachstan.

    Durch die Wüste hielten wir bei jeder guten Tankstelle, da es auch mal 300 km am Stück keine davon gibt.

    Auf der Hauptstraße war eine "Recreational Area" ausgeschrieben. Da es sogar auf Englisch war, mussten wir schauen, was man sich darunter vorstellen kann. Zuerst fuhren wir vor eine Schranke, an der Jugendliche Wache standen und einen kleinen Eintritt verlangten. Danach gab es viele mietbare Strandhäuser. Da wir uns nur etwas erfrischen wollten, gingen wir an den Strand. Dort angekommen, kamen zwei Menschen mit einer Kamera zu uns. Anni musste ein paar Fragen für das kasachische Fernsehen beantworten. Es ging um den Zustand des Strandes und des Sees. Nach kurzer Zeit kam die Journalistin zurück und wir sollten mit zum Auto kommen. Der Kameramann hätte ein Geschenk für uns. Dabei sprang als Belohnung ein Sonnenschirm für uns raus, über den wir uns sehr freuten.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Kazakhstan, Kasachstan, Kazakhstan, Kasakstan, Kazakstan, ካዛኪስታን, Kasajstán, Casacstan, كازاخستان, Kazakhistán, Kazaxstan, Казахстан, Kazakistaŋ, কাজাখাস্তান, ཁ་ཛཱག་སྟཱན།, Kazahstan, Kazachstán, Kasakhstan, Kazakstan nutome, Καζακστάν, Kazaĥio, Kazajstán, Kasahstan, قزاقستان, Kasakstaan, Kazacstan, An Chasacstáin, કઝાકિસ્તાન, Kazakistan, קזחסטאן, कज़ाकस्तान, Kazachstan, Kazahsztán, Ղազախստան, カザフスタン共和国, ყაზახეთი, Kazakistani, Қазақстан Республикасы, Kasakhstani, កាហ្សាក់ស្តាង់់, ಕಝಾಕಿಸ್ಥಾನ್, 카자흐스탄, کازاخستان, Pow Kasagh, Казакстан Республикасы, Casachia, Kazakisitaani, Kazakisitá, ຄາຊັດສະຖານ, Kazachija, Kazakusita, Kazahstāna, Казаџстан, കസാഖിസ്ഥാന്‍, कझाकस्तान, Każakstan, ကာဇက်စတန်, काजाकस्थान, Cazacstan, କାଜାକାସ୍ଥାନ୍, Хъазахстан, Cazaquistão, Kazakisitani, कजाकस्थान, Kazakisitäan, Kasaakhistaan, கஸகஸ்தான், కజాఖస్తాన్, Қазоқистон, คาซัคสถาน, Gazagystan, Kasakiteni, Qazaqstan, قازاقسىتان, قزاخستان, Qozogʻiston, Ka-dắc-xtan (Kazakhstan), Kasakistän, Kasahistan, קאַזאַקסטאַן, Orílẹ́ède Kaṣaṣatani, 哈萨克斯坦, i-Kazakhstan

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