Extensive guides about getting around Kazakhstan by car, bus, taxi, train, bicycle, motorbike and airplane have been written, see the links below. This page serves up some general recommendations.
Getting around in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is very big. It is developing its rail network, and several high-speed trains now connect Shymkent and Almaty with the capital Astana in 12 hours. Other trains are still slow, their speed reflected by their low prices.
Flights are more expensive. For travelers who have the time, the train is a comfortable and budget-friendly alternative to the airplane. For those who don’t, the airplane is the quickest way to get around Kazakhstan with airfields in all corners of the country.
Buses and shared taxis are usually the only way to get to smaller destinations. Less comfortable, we do not recommend taking them for long distances.
Although Kazakhstan is less mountainous than some of its neighbours, winters do disturb the transport system. Snow storms can block roads and airports, or delay trains. Between May and October all parts of the country are usually easily accessible.
Getting to neighbouring countries
Getting to Mongolia on public transport is a long and arduous journey overland. To China, there are 3 options for overlanders: a bus to Yining, a bus to Urumqi and a train to Urumqi. Neither of these is comfortable. The train stops for 6 hours at the border, taking 32 hours in total. The bus is cheaper and quicker, but it is a sleeper bus sized for Chinese format people. The choice is yours.
Transport links with other neighbouring countries are generally obvious and well-developed, you should have little trouble figuring those out.