South Kazakhstan is the real oasis of ancient cities. There is no other place in the republic with so many historical monuments. Thousand of pilgrims and tourists flock to the region. Which is literally dotted with sacred places.
If you. Same as me. Are fond of history. Legends and riddles. This is a place for you! Everyone finds something different for themselves among boundless steppes and mountain mass. I have came here to discover ruins of Otrar. To admire the architectural heritage of Turkestan.
I have chosen Shymkent as my base for it’s central location in the region. The city didn’t disappoint me. It is an atmospheric. Buzzing. Vibrant and laud city. With real Kazakh feel about it.
There are not many sights to see in Shymkent. So I could indulge in my favorite activity which is wandering around streets and lively bazaars. Drinking ‘czaj‘ bought from babushkas on their street stands. Watching people and hearing their stories.
Here in Kazakhstan being a tourist is still so rare that you are being treated with great kindness. Everyone chat you up. Trying to help. And inviting you home for a meal and stories from times of Soviet Army.
Even with my poor Russian skills I managed to have a great time here. Eat well. Definitely best meal I had on my whole trip was here in Shymkent. Which to my surprise was Uzbek. I’m sure that after my return to Europe I will be dreaming about tashkentsky plov and delicious samsas.
Do not miss Symkent. All my friends from Almaty told me its not worth it. Just a trade city. Booming with oil exploration and unbearable heat.
They couldn’t be more mistaken. It is all that and so much more. The city and the region met all my expectations I have had about Kazakhstan. Everything what I have came to see in this country. Authentic Kazakh culture, people and landscape, Shymkent has.