Here’s a short description of Turkestan and Shymkent:

Turkestan, located in the Turkestan Region of Kazakhstan, is one of the most historically significant cities in Central Asia. It is renowned for its architectural marvel, the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mausoleum is a significant holy place for Muslims and attracts pilgrims from all over the world. The city has a rich history as a major center along the Silk Road, and remnants of ancient settlements like Sauran and Otrar can still be explored in the region. Turkestan offers a glimpse into the cultural and historical heritage of the country.

The Karavan Saray, or Caravanserai, in Turkestan
The Karavan Saray, or Caravanserai, in Turkestan

Shymkent is the third-largest city in Kazakhstan and the capital of the Shymkent Region. With its vibrant atmosphere, modern infrastructure, and fascinating history, Shymkent is a hub of cultural diversity. It has been influenced by various civilizations throughout its history, including Persian, Turkish, and Russian. The city offers a mix of traditional and modern attractions, such as the Central Square, Regional History Museum, Memorial Complex of Uzbek Culture, and the bustling local markets. Shymkent also serves as a gateway to the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve, known for its stunning landscapes and biodiversity. The region is known for its warm hospitality and traditional Kazakh cuisine, making it a delightful destination for travelers.

Shymkent city
Shymkent city

Both Turkestan and Shymkent provide unique insights into Kazakhstan’s history, culture, and natural beauty, making them worthwhile destinations to explore during your visit to the country.

Here is a tour package that covers both Turkestan and Shymkent regions in Kazakhstan:

Destination: Turkestan and Shymkent Regions, Kazakhstan
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights

Day 1: Arrival in Turkestan

  • Arrive at Turkistan, either by air or by train.
  • Transfer to your hotel in Turkestan and check-in.
  • Visit the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Kazakhstan.
  • Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and overnight stay in Turkestan.

Day 2: Sauran and Otrar Excursion

  • After breakfast, embark on a day trip to Sauran and Otrar.
  • Visit the ancient city of Sauran, famous for its ruins and historical significance. Explore the ancient streets, citadel, and fortress.
  • Continue to Otrar, an ancient Silk Road city. Explore its archaeological site, including the mausoleum of Arystan Bab.
  • Return to Turkestan for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3: Turkestan City Tour and Transfer to Shymkent

  • After breakfast, take a guided city tour of Turkestan and visit the Turkestan Historical and Cultural Centre.
  • Explore the local bazaars and handicraft shops.
  • In the afternoon, transfer to Shymkent, the capital city of the Shymkent Region.
  • Check-in at your hotel, enjoy dinner, and overnight stay in Shymkent.

Day 4: Shymkent City Tour and Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve

  • After breakfast, embark on a city tour of Shymkent and visit the Central Square, Regional History Museum, and the Memorial Complex of Uzbek Culture.
  • In the afternoon, proceed to the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve, one of the oldest and most diverse nature reserves in Kazakhstan.
  • Explore the reserve, go for hikes or horseback riding, and enjoy the pristine nature.
  • Return to Shymkent for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 5: Shymkent to Shaulder Village Tour

  • After breakfast, take a trip to Shaulder Village, located about 70 kilometers from Shymkent.
  • Explore the village, known for its traditional Kazakh way of life, beautiful landscapes, and charming atmosphere.
  • Experience the hospitality of the local people, taste traditional Kazakh cuisine, and learn about their customs and traditions.
  • Return to Shymkent in the evening for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 6: Shymkent City and Shopping

  • After breakfast, spend the morning exploring more of Shymkent at your leisure.
  • Visit local markets and shopping centers to buy souvenirs and traditional handicrafts.
  • You can also choose to visit other points of interest in Shymkent, such as the Regional Ethnographic Museum or the Arboretum.
  • In the evening, enjoy a festive farewell dinner to celebrate the end of your tour.
  • Overnight stay in Shymkent.

Day 7: Departure

  • Have breakfast at the hotel and check-out.
  • Depending on your departure schedule, you may have some free time to explore Shymkent further.
  • Transfer to the airport or train station for your onward journey.

Please note that this is a sample tour package and can be customized to suit your preferences, budget, and time constraints. It’s advisable to contact a local travel agency or tour operator to get accurate and updated information regarding prices, availability, and any specific requests you may have.

This tour will cost: $1,870US

Price includes:
  • Hotel nights
  • Driver & van + Gasoline
  • Translator guide
  • All attraction tickets and fees
  • Restaurants & All meals
  • Horse riding
  • Staying in Ethno Yurts
Price excludes:
  • Souvenir shopping
  • Personal expanses
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips and other gratuities
  • Any plane tickets

This tour is available whole year as Almaty region stays warmer in the winter compare to other parts of Kazakhstan. Summer time gets much hot. Perfect time would be Autumn and Spring.

To get to Turkestan, you have several transportation options depending on your starting point. Here are the most common methods of reaching Turkestan:

  1. By Air:
  • The nearest airport to Turkestan is Turkestan International Airport (also known as Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport).
  • There are domestic flights available from major cities like Nur-Sultan (Astana) and Almaty to Turkestan.
  • Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi or arrange for a transfer to the city center of Turkestan.
  1. By Train:
  • Turkestan has a well-connected train station with regular train services from various cities in Kazakhstan.
  • You can take a train from cities like Nur-Sultan (Astana), Almaty, Shymkent, and Taraz to reach Turkestan.
  • It’s advisable to book your train tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
  1. By Road:
  • If you are already in Kazakhstan or in neighboring regions, you can opt to reach Turkestan by road.
  • Turkestan is connected by a network of highways, making it accessible by car or bus.
  • You can hire a taxi or rent a car to drive to Turkestan, or take a long-distance bus from major cities.

Turkestan is located in the southern part of Kazakhstan, and it’s important to plan your travel according to the distance and the mode of transportation that suits you best. Don’t forget to check the local travel regulations as well as visa requirements before planning your trip to Turkestan.

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