south kazakhstan itinerary

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south kazakhstan itinerary

Post by perito »

hello everyone,
having travelled in Kirgizstan, Mongolia and Tajikistan some other time, I'd like to visit south Kazakstan on September, this time in family with a 9 year old kid. We have around 3 weeks and plan starts in Almaaty, Charyn canyon, Kolsai lakes, Altyn and Karkara valley for around 7 days. Later turning west to Shymkent and Turkestan and later on...? I'd appreciate some advice on different aspects:
- Is there some place to look for other travellers to share car to Charyn and Altyn? (guest house or tourist office)
Are there real yurts and jailoos anywhere in the south east valleys? I enjoyed a lot staying in them in other countries and love to share it with the family but it seems there're no nomads anymore as I read.
- Is Aralsk worth? Must we hire a tour to visit Baikonur or is possible to do on our own?
- We intend to visit Mangistau desert but prices for a tour there seem to be really high. is there any chance to visit at least part of the desert hiring a car or is it too remote area?
- Finally, how long would it take getting from AlmaAty or Shymkent to Samarcand? in that short time does it make sense (changing it instead of Aralsk and Baikonur) or is it definitively a different journey?

Would you recommend some other place I didn't mentione or comment on these, I'd highly acknowledge.
just comment I don't speak russian at all but I guess I can manage as I did before in other countries, except, maybe for train schedules.
anyway, thanks a lot everyone and have nice travels
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Re: south kazakhstan itinerary

Post by steven »

1. No
2. No
3a. Depends - ... da/aralsk/
4. You must hire a tour. Cost is 1200$ per person for 3 days.
5. No, you can rent a car yourself, not sure about prices or where to find, good 4WD is necessary
6. Almaty - Tashkent is 16h by train, then 4h Tashkent - Samarkand. Shymkent - Tashkent is about 3h.
7. Aksu-Zhabagly, Sairam-Ugam NPs are nice. Turkestan is little alternative for Samarkand, there are lots of holy places out in the desert in this area. Just follow the pilgrims. Beket-Ata is doable on public transport if you do not fancy renting a car in Aqtau.
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