From China to Kazahkstan on My way to Iran
Almaty Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
From Beijing I flew across China, changed planes in Urumqi and then continued on to Almaty. I arrived quite late so was glad I had pre-arranged a hotel and transfer to meet me at the airport. I was taken to Hotel Kazoo which was about what I expected, in a more residential area but within walking distance to the main downtown area.
The next day I met with my travel agent , David (StanTours) who was still working on getting me a Tajikistan visa from which I then hoped to fly into Iran. David was a very friendly and helpful fellow who had been living in Almaty for quite some time. Since I needed to get a Krygzstan visa, he also provided me with directions to the embassy and I eventually headed off on foot.
Anyway, after wandering around in a fairly residential area and asking locals for some help (to no avail), I proceeded to a large nearby hotel. I figured they should definitely be able to help me .... but that would have been too easy. Instead, they put me back in contact with my travel agent who again tried to give me directions over the phone. The problem was that the embassy had recently moved so he did not really know exactly where it was.
From there it was a relatively simple process and after having a nice chat with the offical, paying the requisite fee, I had a new visa in my passport.
The next day, I wandered around the downtown area and got a good image as to how Almaty looks in the winter. Clearly, there were not loads of people on the streets and yet, seeing a busker and families wandering in Panfilov Park served to demonstrate that Kazahk people are used to wintertime temperatures.
The following morning I headed to the nearby bus station and then hopped a minivan to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. And so ended my initial visit to Kazahkstan but I hope to return again someday to see much more of this beautiful land.