Plan for trip in Almaty region

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jagielcm
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Plan for trip in Almaty region

Post by jagielcm »

Hello,

I'm from Poland and I will be going to Kazakhstan on May 27 (flying from Warsaw to Astana and then immediately to Almaty) and coming back on June 4th .

I will be going there alone and I wonder how to best plan my trip so I would be really grateful if someone could help me with this.

What I would like to see most (in the priority order but not necessary all of them - maybe even 1 or 2) are:
  • Charyn Canyon
    Kolsai Lakes
    Altyn Emel national park
    Ile-Alatau National Park
    any other place with great nature / landscapes where I could trek with my tent
In general I love to hike / trek alone and admire great landscapes

Here are the options I consider (in the most preferable order):

1) Renting a car in Almaty and drive myself with a tent (or in the guesthouses / hotels)
  • any car rental company you could recommend ?
    any issue I can encounter and any hints for self-drive ?
    is it possible to drive the road with normal 2WD car for the places I listed above ?
    any special risks with a police (especially if I don't speak Russian at all) ?
    any issue to have a night in a tent in the above locations (or close to them) ?
    any other hints / recommendations / issues for this option ?
2) Hire professionals in Almaty who can help me with to realize my plans
  • I'm not a fan of traveling with guides or groups (it's not about the cost but a style of travelling I prefer with as much freedom as I can) but maybe there is a company / a person (communicating in English) offering a service to drive me to the desired location, leave me there and then take me back ?
    I could strongly consider this option but again - I would need someone with English and someone who will not be my permanent guide all the time with me but rather helping me to realize my plans to visit and explore some places alone (of course with the advises how to do that)
3) Go to Charyn Canyon and/or Kolsai lakes with public transport and with my tent (or in the guesthouses / hotels)
  • is it possible at all (I found some information about buses from Almaty close to Kolsai Lakes and bus I could use to get out close to the Charyn Canyon) ?
    Any bus schedule I could find somewhere ?
    any hints / recommendations / issues for this option ?
4) Any other option someone could recommend to me ?

I know it's a lot I ask but I find this travel a little bit challenging comparing to all my previous travels where finding something on internet and then using English language in such places was not a big issue :)
Anyway - tickets already bought, I'm rather a person that never gives up so whatever option I will take and whatever I will learn before this trip Im pretty sure I will success with this trip anyway :)

Thank you in advance for anyone who can help me!

Cheers,
Marcin
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steven
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Re: Plan for trip in Almaty region

Post by steven »

1) Main issue is that you probably do not want to pay the price it costs to rent a car by yourself. I heard they paved the road to Kolsai, I am not sure, otherwise, you need high ground clearance for that one. Main issue if you decide to go with another provider than Marat is that they have limits on the places you can drive to. So look out for that.

Even Marat is now very careful with renting out his cars since self-drivers tend to wreck the car prematurely.

http://caravanistan.com/car-rental/

Renting a car from Kyrgyzstan is cheaper, maybe renting with Azamat is the way to go for you.

2. I recommend nr 3.

3. Yes, you can get a shared taxi to Saty from Almaty Sayakhat bus station. There is no schedule, shared taxis go early in the morning, you need to negotiate yourself. For Charyn you need to get dropped off before Saty or take a taxi in the direction of Bayankol / Kegen
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jagielcm
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Re: Plan for trip in Almaty region

Post by jagielcm »

Thank you Steven for very useful information.

After some more research and digging Carvanistan website much more I think I will decide on option 3 with public transport and my plan is:

1) Go to Saty from Sayakhat Bus Station - question here: is the shared taxi the only option or can I try with the bus running at 7am which is mentioned on the website and which I think should be quite cheap option ?
2) Hike to Kaindy and Kolsai lakes and spend nights in a tent - question here: do you know how much cold it may be at the end of May there ?

3)Take bus from Saty to Almaty (can I try with the bus running at 5am which is mentioned on the website. Any other options?) and drop off at the road cross P-16 / A-351, walk to Charyn Canyon and spend night there in a tent

4) Go back from Charyn Canyon to Almaty - question here: how can I do that ? can I stop a bus running from Kegen to Almaty ? Or will there be a transport (e.g. shared taxi) available in Charyn canyon

5) City buses from Almaty to Ile-Alatau National Park and do some hiking there and spend a night in a tent

6) Come back home from Almaty

Many thanks in advance for additional help with this! My only concern now (not very big anyway) is with that point 4 and transport from Charyn Canyon to Almaty
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steven
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Re: Plan for trip in Almaty region

Post by steven »

1-4. About public transport, I don't know the details, you will have to find out yourself, I am afraid. Please let us know what happened! Most people take a car there so an update would be very useful.

2. It is turning out to be a long winter. At the moment it is still very snowy. At night it is always cold at this altitude. Close to freezing, I imagine.

4. Hitchhiking is quickest. How quick is of course an open question.
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