Itinerary in Kazakhstan

All about Kazakhstan. Experts: Julia, walkingalmaty
tonic
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby tonic » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:48 pm

And thanks for your helpful advices
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tonic
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby tonic » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:05 am

ok, so no problem with Duster at all to reach Assy plateau. First part can be quite intimidating, but we had no issue with grip or undercarriage.
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trabuccoitalia
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby trabuccoitalia » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:23 am

I have 17 days in KZ. I am landing in Almaty on a friday and will leave from same place 2weeks and a weekend later. I was thinking to spend the weekend in Almaty. Then rent a car and drive to Aralsk. It should be approx 3 days not going too fast.
Then I have 2 possibilities. Driving to Caspian lake and then taking the superlong drive back OR driving to Astana, possibly leaving the car there and then taking a flight to Aktau or Atyrau and visit the region for a couple of days.
What do you think? I like exploring, not very much into hiking alone in the middle of mountains. Would love to balance a little bit of city life with more remote regions...
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AreWeThereYet?
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby AreWeThereYet? » Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:10 pm

The one way drop-off charges for rental cars in Kazakhstan (e.g. rent in Almaty, drop in Astana) are really expensive; additionally, and apologies if I'm teaching you to suck eggs, you need an international drivers' licence. Finally, whilst I haven't done it personally, my guide in Aralsk said that the drive between Aralsk and Astana isn't that easy. Have you thought about the train?
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trabuccoitalia
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby trabuccoitalia » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:11 am

Vladex rental company told me that dropping the car in Astana instead of Almaty would cost 50.000 tenge extra. Basically it would be the same price as the 2 extra days of renting the car and drive it back to Almaty, and I would lose 2 days where I can fly to Aktau.
I know also about international driving license, it's not a big deal, I will need it this summer too when I am planning to drive around Russian Caucasus.

I am sure driving in KZ won't be easy (long drives, bad police, some very bad roads) but trains take TOO long for the days I have. I also speak 10 words of russian in total and having to deal with the typical vodka drunk guy on soviet train would be too much for me. Plus with car I can stop wherever I want.
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AreWeThereYet?
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby AreWeThereYet? » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:43 pm

Sorry, my experience was with AVIS/Hertz, should've pointed that one out. In fairness, the trains are ferociously non-drinking and non-smoking; I can't claim the experience that others, on this forum, have but in my journeys (always 3rd class on routes such as Aralsk-Aqtobe, Kyzylorda-Aralsk, Almaty-Astana) I never met anyone who was a nuisance. A few people wanted to chat with me and, even though my Russian vocabulary has 9 less words than yours, we even managed to arrange European cars in order of coolness with a bunch of squaddies on their way to the military academy/school/whatever in Aqtobe! But I do like the idea of a nice drive in the steppe. Put on Kyuss' discography and off you go in the desert...
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Milad
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby Milad » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:05 pm

You can still have weird co-passengers on migrant woker trains in 3rd class, but the train from Almaty to Astana (at least the fastest of them if there are multiple on a given day) is a modern spanish-bulit night-train where you can have a compartment to yourself (if you pay accordingly, should be around 60 EUR/70 USD). Not soviet at all, but a very "civilised experience"; there's even a good dining-car that resembles a good restaurant.
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trabuccoitalia
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby trabuccoitalia » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:18 pm

Thanks, Almaty to Astana probably the best thing is to fly, since price/time wise would be the best option.
If I had more time I would taken those long train rides, but I have to go back to the job that pays the trip... :(
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