Itinerary in Kazakhstan

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

Postby guido » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:28 pm

I'm not a fan of organized tours to be honest... and not (only) for the price. :\

I'll be in Issyk Kul (precisely in Cholpon-Ata) for the World Nomad Games (or at least that's the plan), after that I'd go to Karakol and probably around the lake on the south road (would it be possible to reach the waterfall somehow without the tour? hitchhiking or so?).

I booked planes to go to central asia before knwoing much about it... it doesn't sound like independent solo traveller's paradise... it would be better with a small group, renting a car, I guess.

I'll see if it's worth to rent a car on my own, or if I meet other travellers there to share one...
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Julia
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby Julia » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:54 pm

You can get to Barscoon waterfall just hiring a driver. That's what we did.
Just found a random driver in Karakol who drove us to the waterfall and after to the salty lake.
There is another waterfall nearby and little hike.
I saw there many cars mostly full of local families. So I think hitchhiking is possible but can be time consuming. Cars are full, not everyone stops.
But I don't know for sure as I never hitch hiked in Kyrgyzstan. We travelled a few people together. Just shared taxis there.
There is Kyrgyzstan forum here. Better to ask there.

I'm not a fan of orginized tours too. But here they are ok. It's not like following a guide in a museum))
I never use orginized tours in cities. But going to natural spots with a group can be fun.
You'll have plenty of your own time in Kolsay if you go with a tour. It's just convienent in terms of transport. Plus you'll meet locals. Can be interesting experience.
But of course it's up to you.
If you decide to go to Kolsay by yourself let me know. I'll explain how to get there without a tour.
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guido
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby guido » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:14 pm

Julia wrote:If you decide to go to Kolsay by yourself let me know. I'll explain how to get there without a tour.


well, it would be nice to read your suggestions anyway, to weight the alternatives, (and they could be useful for somebody reading this topic in the future), so if you have some time and don't mind, i'd really appreciate! :)

Also, do you know if there's night trains between shymkent/turkistan and aralsk?
I'm not 100% sure I'll go to Aralsk, but it could be a good way to save time if I do... :)
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Julia
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby Julia » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:31 pm

There are a few different trains from Shymkent to Aralsk every day.
It takes 16-19 hours by train. Some trains are faster, others slowly as do more stops.
So they are not only night trains. It's a night and half of a next day trains.

https://www.tutu.ru/poezda/rasp_d.php?n ... 17.09.2018

https://epay.railways.kz

To get to Kolsay lakes.

Take a shared taxi from Sayakhat bus statuin in Almaty. The taxis leave once a day early morning at 7 am. Taxis arrive to Saty village.
From the village it's still 14 km to the lakes. You'll have to hitch hike that distance. Usually trafic is better during the weekends as locals go to the lakes. During the week the traffic is quite low. But some people eventually managed to hitch hike to the lakes. So better to start earl morning and try to get back to the village by the evening. As there is no accomodation next to the lakes (unless you bring your own tent). You can buy a bed&breakfast in houses in Saty village.
Next day you can hitch hike from the village to Kaindy lake. Same distance about 14 km. But different direction. Same situation with the traffic.
Some people who used to hike just walked those distances. But better to stop cars if you see them. It's quite long distance for walking, considering that you don't have a tent and need to get back to the village the same day.
Early morning from Saty there are shared taxis back to Almaty.
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tonic
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby tonic » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:16 am

Hello all,
Do you think it is manageable to leave Almaty by car on Friday noon, visit Charyn canyon, sleep there and then on Saturday morning go back, visit Turgenev area and Assy plateau? Is observatory these days accessible by 4x4 car like Duster? Not some expedition type with big tyres and higher clearance.
Are there more options to sleep in Turgenev/Esik area?
We need to be back by Sunday noon.
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Julia
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby Julia » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:30 am

Hi.
It looks manageable but too fast.
The trip from Almaty to Caryn Canyon takes about 4 hours. It's dark soon after 7 pm. So if you get to the Canyon by 5 pm than you have couple of hours to see it before it gets dark.
The walk along the Castle valley directly to the river bank takes only 40 mins without stops (if I remember correctly). But there are lots of nice spots and usually we spend at least 2-3 hours there (climb some rocks nearby for great views, walk on little valleys from main path, etc.)

As for Assy plateau, there are two ways to get there from Charyn: through Bartogai lake (reservoir) or through the same road you got to Charyn.
I don't know much about Duster car. Maybe it's not enough for the road through Bartogai reservoir. Really high clearance is necessary there. Need to cross the river and there are big rocks on the way.

If you go through the main road than it's a paved road all the way along Turgen valley until Batan.
From Batan up to the plateau the road is unpaved but mainly ok. There is one short part of the road where high clearance is necessary.
Subaru Forester could drive there. If you can check info about your car and if its clearance is not lower than Forester than you should be able to do that. People on Nissan Juke could go there too. But it was risky for their car.
Hopefully, this can help you to figure out if your car can go there. Or you can ask people at the check point in Turgen. They should know. Even if you don't get to the top part of Assy plateau there are lots of interesting sports along Turgen valley (including two waterfalls).

Btw, not sure if you have enought time to visit those waterfalls if you get to the plateau. As your time is very limited. Depends on how fast you can hike you could try to visit the waterfalls too.
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tonic
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby tonic » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:26 pm

yes, we don't have too much time, that's why we rather visit Charyn and Assy than Charyn and Saty.
I presume we will go first to Charyn and stay there overnight. In the morning we will go back and go to Assy via Turgen, so it should be better road. Duster is SUV, so cleareance should be same or even higher than Forester or city SUV Juke.
Thanks a lot!
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Julia
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby Julia » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:25 pm

tonic wrote:yes, we don't have too much time, that's why we rather visit Charyn and Assy than Charyn and Saty.
I presume we will go first to Charyn and stay there overnight. In the morning we will go back and go to Assy via Turgen, so it should be better road. Duster is SUV, so cleareance should be same or even higher than Forester or city SUV Juke.
Thanks a lot!


I looked at the pictures of Duster on the Internet. It looks like good off-road car.
What company have you rented it from? If I got you right you rented it?

Anyway, enjoy your trip!
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tonic
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby tonic » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:52 pm

Vladex in Almaty
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Julia
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Re: Itinerary in Kazakhstan

Postby Julia » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:55 pm

Thank you for the info!
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