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

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 borders 3 times, this one was surprisingly easy and as a result, I recommend this Read more about World Borders: How to Get From Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan (Tashkent to Shymkent)[…]

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

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 finally arrived in this backpacker’s gem – Shymkent. You might have read how I found Read more about Friday’s Featured Food: Wild Boar Roast at Orbita Boutique Hotel in Shymkent, Kazakhstan[…]

Backpacking in Kazakhstan: Top 7 Shy Sights in Shymkent

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 are the first three letters spelling the word shy? I headed to find the answers. Read more about Backpacking in Kazakhstan: Top 7 Shy Sights in Shymkent[…]

Staying at the Orbita Boutique Hotel in Shymkent, Kazakhstan

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 over and I’d escaped Uzbekistan. The countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgzstan were up next, both Read more about Staying at the Orbita Boutique Hotel in Shymkent, Kazakhstan[…]

Friday's Featured Food: Lagman in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Friday’s Featured Food: Lagman in Almaty, Kazakhstan

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 last night before I crossed the border into Kyrgyzstan. There was myself and Oliver from England Read more about Friday’s Featured Food: Lagman in Almaty, Kazakhstan[…]

Thirsty Thursdays: Top 5 Bars in Almaty, Kazakhstan

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 the staff at the Almaty Backpackers hostel and soon I knew I was able to Read more about Thirsty Thursdays: Top 5 Bars in Almaty, Kazakhstan[…]

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

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 Alatau National Park. Getting to Ile Alatau National Park Getting here by Marshrutka or normal Read more about Backpacking in Kazakhstan: Day Trip to Ile Alatau National Park from Almaty[…]

Backpacking in Kazakhstan: Top 13 Sights in Almaty

Backpacking in Kazakhstan: Top 14 Sights in Almaty

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 times before, visiting Iraqi KurdiSTAN and PodjiSTAN as well as backpacking through Iran, Azerbaijan and Read more about Backpacking in Kazakhstan: Top 14 Sights in Almaty[…]