04 days (only
Kazakhstan), Dec '06
Kind of travel:
a wholly independent travel
23rd- 28th Dec 2006 (days only in Kazakhstan)
Do I need a visa:
Yes, and you (if EU) have to require in advance by the Kazakh
Embassy. It costs 50€ but at least it's a nice coloruful
How many km:
1120 km (only Kazakhstan)
How I moved:
trains are the best way to cover the Kazaki huge distances;
the standard is the Russian one, although a little worn out,
but still a pleasure at least when you are the only one on the
train as it happened to me.
Freezing or baking:
freezing of course! In Kazakhstan the climate is continental,
hence hot summers and bitter winters. In particular in Dostyk
a militar was proud of their world largest temperature range:
+ 40 in summer and - 40 in winter!
I spent two nights in a Soviet dull hotel (40€ per night)
and two nights on the 2nd class couchette (kupe) of the warm
I'm fond of the Central Asian atmosphere, characterized by the
cultural mix of Asians and Russians. Alma-ty, even if not ufficialy,
is still the capital of Kazakhstan being a very lively city.
Crossing Kazakhstan by the warm and empty train is an adventure
and the border town of Dostyk
is one of the most remote places I've ever been.
What I disliked:
Food won't be the remarkable memory of your trip.
Almaty is not so cheap; sleeping : 40€ for a double, budget:
50€/ day pp.
you do need:
Take a book for the looong train trip and try to have some basic
Russian, at least being able to read cirillyc alphabet (it's