Kazakhstan – Almaty 25 May 2019

Bishkek to Almaty – a fairly straight forward drive which involved a very simple, uncomplicated and quick border crossing.

I ordered a Yandex taxi using the app on my phone, cost US$7 and we left at 0710, the reason for the early departure is to avoid the queues and chaos that ensues later in the day, arrived at the border gate at 0835. Exit the taxi and walk 50m along a covered pathway from the Gate to immigration, no queue, stamp passport and carry on. Another 50m walk along a pathway and Kazakh immigration, there are forms and a counter to fill them in on the left as you enter, you will need to bring your own pen. The forms are bilingual and you only have to enter your name, address and purpose of visit. One guy ahead of me, photo taken, stamp immigration form twice on both the left and right and go. Keep this form inside your passport and do not lose it, you need it to exit the country, take a photo of it just in case. There are taxi’s waiting outside and I got a  four seater old Merc (1995) for 13,000 tenge (US$34). The single fare is 3000 tenge but then you have to wait for the other 3 seats to fill up. Left at 0800, 50min from the hotel to the other side of the border, has to be a record. First stop was to fill up with a litre of oil hahaha and the next stop was for petrol. Still we managed speeds of 110 – 130 kph, the electric windows and seat still worked, we arrived in Almaty at 1030 after a bit of a slow down at the end due to road works. Total trip time 3:20 hrs.

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