This new, thoroughly updated third edition of Bradt Travel Guide: Kazakhstan remains the only guide available dedicated solely to the world's ninth largest country. This new edition covers all the most recent developments, including an updated history section, additional cultural coverage, more practical information to make independent travel easier, and the most up-to-date and relevant maps. Kazakhstan is more accessible than ever: tourist visas are no longer required and there are now numerous direct flights and connections from Europe. Tourist infrastructure has also significantly improved over the past few years and there are faster trains connecting east to west and north to south, as well as many options for internal flights.
Kazakhstan is a modern country with a profound appreciation of its roots; numerous petroglyph sites with ancient rock art as well as the remains of Silk Road settlements testify to its varied history. The country offers a curious mix of Soviet nostalgia and architecture combined with the latest technology: Kazakhstan has better 4G coverage than Germany, France or Italy. For visitors, there are excellent opportunities for active tourism such as skiing, hiking, rafting, horse riding or simply gazing into the endless steppe.
Bradt Travel Guide: Kazakhstan is indispensable for discovering this extraordinary country, a place that is as geographically diverse as its cultural mix: around 130 different ethnic groups calls Kazakhstan home. From snow-covered peaks with excellent skiing opportunities and hiking trails through river valleys to the secluded lakes of the Tian Shan Mountains, to endless semi-desert steppes and then on to the blue waters of the Caspian, Bradt Travel Guide: Kazakhstan is a perfect companion for all travellers, from nature lovers to cultural explorers, teenage backpackers to family groups.
"Bradt reaches the parts other travel publishers don't reach"
– The Independent
"Utterly essential [...] particularly the dos and don'ts and basic phrases."
– James Willsher, Times of Central Asia
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography and climate, Natural history and conservation, History, Government and politics, Economy, People and culture, Language, Religion, Education
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Red tape, Embassies, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, What to take, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays and festivals, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Photography, Media and communications, Business, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively
PART TWO THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Astana and Akmola Region
Astana, Around Astana, Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve, Kokshetau, Borovoye, Kokshetau National Park
Chapter 4 Almaty
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, tour operators and tour guides, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment and nightlife, Shopping, Other practicalities, What to see and do, Ile Alatau National Park
Chapter 5 The Southeast
West of Almaty, East of Almaty, The far southeast, Around Lake Kapchagai , Altyn Emel National Park, Zharkent, Taldykorgan, The Dzhungarsky Alatau Mountains, Taraz
Chapter 6 Central Kazakhstan
Karaganda, Temirtau, KARLAG, Karkaraly , Zhezkazgan , Ulytau , Lake Balkhash
Chapter 7 The East
Semey, Chingistau, Kurchatov, Oskemen, The Altai Mountains
Chapter 8 The North
Pavlodar, Around Pavlodar, Ekibastuz, Bayanaul, Petropavl, Kokshetau National Park, Kostanai, Along the Tobol
Chapter 9 The Northwest
Aktobe, Oral, Around Oral
Chapter 10 The West
Atyrau, Aktau, Fort Shevchenko, East of Fort Shevchenko, Southeast of Aktau
Chapter 11 The South
Aralsk, Baikonur, Korkut Ata Monument, Kyzylorda, Turkestan, Shymkent, Aksu Zhabagly Nature Reserve, Zhabagly, Turar Ryskulov
Appendix 1 language
Appendix 2 Glossary
Appendix 3 Further Information
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Paul Brummell is a career diplomat who joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1987. He has served in Islamabad and Rome, and as British Ambassador to Turkmenistan from 2002 to 2005. He was British Ambassador to Kazakhstan, and concurrently non-resident Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from 2005 to 2009. He was shortlisted for the 1999 Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for an article on the San Remo Song Festival. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs.
The third edition has been updated by Maria Oleynik (MLitt), a freelance translator fluent in ten languages, including Russian, her mother tongue, and Persian. She is an expert in the Middle East and Central Asia, as well as an avid and endlessly curious traveller.