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World Borders: How to Get From Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan (Tashkent to Shymkent)

Posted By Jonny Blair on 4 Comments

I breathed a sigh of relief and release on this one, as I finally escaped the realm of Uzbekistan and into the fresh evening air of democratic Kazakhstan. Having crossed in and out of Uzbek borders 4 times, and Kazak …

Friday's Featured Food: Wild Boar Roast at Orbita Boutique Hotel in Shymkent, Kazakhstan

Friday’s Featured Food: Wild Boar Roast at Orbita Boutique Hotel in Shymkent, Kazakhstan

Posted By Jonny Blair on 4 Comments

For whatever reason life dealt me, I ended up in the city of Shymkent in southern Kazakhstan recently and after negotiating my way across the Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan border despite not having a Kazak visa on the same passport, I …

Backpacking in Kazakhstan: Top 7 Shy Sights in Shymkent

Posted By Jonny Blair on 3 Comments

I simply loved the pronunciation of this city. SHYMKENT! Wee shimmy. Ess Hym Kent. Shy m Kent. Shimkent. Chimkent. Spelt Shymkent, once called Chernayaev, currently housing 850,000 people, it’s a somewhat inspiring city with low promotion. Is it shy? Why …

Staying at the Orbita Boutique Hotel in Shymkent, Kazakhstan

Posted By Jonny Blair on 1 Comment

I meandered my way back into the republic of Kazakhstan thanks to a clever visa free passport switch at the border (Irish for Uzbek visa, British for Kazak visa free entry). The toughest part of my Central Asian adventure was …

Friday's Featured Food: Lagman in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Friday’s Featured Food: Lagman in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Posted By Jonny Blair on 2 Comments

I had heard about a food called Lagman and never tried it until 2015, strangely I’ve now eaten it about 10 times! At the Almaty Backpackers in Almaty Kazakhstan, my hosts here Ginara and Rahat cooked it for us on the …

Thirsty Thursdays: Top 5 Bars in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Posted By Jonny Blair on 3 Comments

Almaty is a massive city, spreading far and wide in its elevation beneath the mountains of southern Kazakhstan. At first, finding a bar seemed like a difficult task for the walking backpacker. So I used my maps and advice from …

Backpacking in Kazakhstan: Day Trip to Ile Alatau National Park from Almaty

Posted By Jonny Blair on 6 Comments

When I was based in Almaty Backpackers in Kazakhstan, I was keen to organise a trip out to the mountains. Almaty itself is a city on a high elevation and only 40 kilometres outside the city is the stunning Ile …

Backpacking in Kazakhstan: Top 13 Sights in Almaty

Backpacking in Kazakhstan: Top 14 Sights in Almaty

Posted By Jonny Blair on 6 Comments

On Christmas Eve 2015, I arrived in the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan. This city is huge, the biggest in Kazakhstan in fact, despite modern Astana being the capital city. I had flirted with Central Asia and “the Stans” a few …

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