I had planned to get the train from Urumqi to Almaty but as a friend is going to be living in Astana when I get to Kazakhstan, I now plan to do Urumqi - Astana to visit her and then head down to Almaty.
I'm a bit thrown by the difference in prices i find in my research - When I travelled from Helsinki to HK on trains along Trans Mongolian route, in platskart I thought it was really cheap, so was hoping for similar! A China trains website suggests about U.S. $ 200 from Urumqi to Astana, hard sleeper, yet the Kazakhstan trains page on this site gives as an idea 3000 tenge in plazkart from Astana to Almaty, which according to XE is about US $ 16??? I know the first of these two journeys is a good bit longer but that still seems a huge difference... Does anyone know if this seems accurate? Or am I just getting numbers muddled when I calculate...??
Also, given that it seems trains book out in advance, I wonder if it's possible to book the Urumqi - Astana train in Astana rather than Urumqi? Anyone know if this is doable? Thinking I could get my friend to book it for me in advance!
Thankyou for any assistance - this site is a goldmine of info so lots of my questions have found answers but i may be posting quite a few more
The Silk Road by train. Experts: Milad, Provodnik
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I would take a bus from Urumqi to Almaty, it's about 6 hours quicker. All Options are listed here:
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Thanks for that, Steven. Time is not an issue , but cost is! And if the train goes to Astana without going via Almaty, that is a bonus as it means not backtracking all the way. I'd rather spend an extra 8 hrs in hard sleeper as I can sleep, rather than a still lengthy 22 hours in a bus seat... Money wise, if I get the bus to Almaty, I still need to then pay for a train up to Astana... So i don't know what's my best option financially?
Straight Astana by bus, you mean? Any idea how many hours? Still think train would be more comfortable for a long one, if the price is not too high... Have to see if I can manage to find some accurate price info somewhere.
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