Wednesday, July 31, 2019

6 Days Solo Trip in Summer Turkmenistan - Kazakhstan

completing the 5 countries of Central Asia (Ashgabat, Almaty, Astana)
July 05 to 10, 2019 Friday to Wednesday

My 77th solo backpacking trip38th and 39th country to visit in Asian continent99th and 100th country visited on my journey #lakbay100, 5th continent on my list and of course and usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departure. I did not research that much for this country due also on limited time and laziness.

2019 Annual Leave 2nd set 1st leg; #lakbay100 level-up... towards #lakbay110
one of the hardest and expensive visa application I ever had, another new e-visa eligibility privilege for Philippine passport holders :) on my way to the largest landlocked country in the world :) #kazakhstan

Turkmenistan is a very unusual regime. The government is in firm control of nearly everything. Officially tourism is welcomed, but the requirement for expensive guided tours may discourage visitors. The presence of police and military personnel which will watch your every move and prohibit photographing of even mundane objects, make Turkmenistan the least friendly of the Stans. Kazakhstan is the world's ninth biggest country by size, also the largest landlocked country and it is more than twice the size of the other Central Asian states combined.

6 Days Solo Trip in Summer Turkmenistan - Kazakhstan (Nursultan / Astana)

6 Days Solo Trip in Summer Turkmenistan - Kazakhstan (Nursultan / Astana)

6 Days Solo Trip in Summer Turkmenistan - Kazakhstan (Nursultan / Astana)

6 Days Solo Trip in Summer Turkmenistan - Kazakhstan (Nursultan / Astana)

timezone - UTC +0500H    capital - Ashgabat   language - Turkmen   currency - Manat (TMT)
visa - need to apply first before travel.

1. Turkmenistan is one of the least-visited countries in the world due to a complicated visa regimen
2. Ashgabat, the capital city, unique “Las Vegas meets Pyongyang” look comes from its grand boulevards, fountains, grandiose statues, and glistening white buildings.
3. Turkmenistan is 70% desert


timezone - UTC +0600H    capital - Nursultan (Astana)  language - Kazakh   currency -  Tenge (KZT)
visa - Filipinos are eligible to apply for e-visa provided with LOI and at the Almaty / Astana airports only.

1. Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country by size and the largest landlocked country in the world
2. The Downtown in Astana has relatively new city with a fancy, over-the-top skyline!
3. Kazakhstan is home to the Baikonur Cosmodome, the world’s first and largest space launch facility. It is leased by the Russians until 2050.
4. Almaty has a brand-new Metro System all individually decorated and designed. Very fancy for a subway!

6 Days Solo Trip in Summer Turkmenistan - Kazakhstan (Nursultan / Astana)

6 Days Solo Trip in Summer Turkmenistan - Kazakhstan (Nursultan / Astana)

6 Days Solo Trip in Summer Turkmenistan - Kazakhstan (Nursultan / Astana)


Letter of Invitation (LOI) from Global Connect Agency 453 AED ($110)
Kazakhstan E-visa application 221 AED ($60)
Turkmenistan Visa Fee 150 AED ($35)
July 04 Dubai to Ashgabat 511 AED
July 06 Ashgabat to Almaty 586 AED
July 10 Nur Sultan to Abu Dhabi 425 AED
Subtotal: $618

$1 = 3.5 TMT (Manat) = 380 KZT (Tenge)

Day 0: July 04, 2019 Thursday
2030H ETA Dubai; Abu Hail Station; Bus #43
2120H ETA Dubai Airport Terminal 2; KFC 26 AED
2355H ETD Dubai GMT +0400H

Day 1: July 05, 2019 Friday
0320H ETA Ashgabat GMT +0500H
0500H Immigration and check-out; $14 airport fee; Money Exchange $36 = 150 TMT
Ashgabat day tour; walk to city center; Ashgabat Train Station, Ertugrul Gazi Mosque
Refreshments + Shawarma 27; Lenin Statue, Museum of Fine Arts
Olympic Village, Independence Square; car colorum to Russian Market (Gulustan) 10
Souvenir Shirt + Fridge Magnets 57; Chicken Meal lunch 22
2145H ETA Ashgabat Airport; Snacks 31
Subtotal: 147 TMT + $14

Day 2: July 06, 2019 Saturday
0230H ETA Ashgabat Airport
0420H ETD Ashgabat GMT +0500H; flight FZ732
0600H ETA Dubai GMT +0400H; 6hrs transit; bus to Dubai Youth Hostel; McDo 14 AED; stayed in the lobby for free
1335H ETD Dubai GMT +0400H
2050H ETA Almaty GMT +0600H; money exchange $200 = 76,000 KZT; Yandex Taxi (Uber) 1,000 KZT
2215H ETA Almaty Train Station 2; ticket to Nur Sultan 27,250 KZT; walk to Raiymbek batyr metro station 80
2315H ETA Abay metro station; walk to hostel; My Hostel Almaty 7,400; dinner 4,000
Subtotal: 39,730 KZT

Day 3: July 07, 2019 Sunday
0900H Almaty city day tour 1st part
Yandex Taxi + vehicle entrance 4,400; Big Almaty Lake (free admission)
1230H ETD Lake; trekked back and hitchhike to 1st President's Park
Alpine Rose sandwich meal (free wifi) 2,850
Bus #127 to Abay 300 (boarded random buses); Starbucks Tumbler 3,950
1730H Kok Tobe Park; cable car roundtrip 2,000
Souvenir shirt and fridge magnets 5,200; dinner + beer 4,000
Subtotal: 22,700 KZT

Day 4: July 08, 2019 Monday
Breakfast 1,050; 1100H ETD Hostel; money exchange $80 = 30,760 KZT
Almaty city day tour last part; Panfilov Park, Zenkov's Cathedral
Mcdo mix box meal 2,300; Arasan Wellness & Spa 15,600
Sultan Restaurant 2,500; snacks for train 650; Overnight Train to Nur Sultan
1852H ETD Alma-ata 2 station
Subtotal: 22,150 KZT

Day 5: July 09, 2019 Tuesday
0840H ETA Astana-nurly-zhol; bus #14 to city center 180; McDo meal 2,100
Makenty House Hostel 1,800; Astana city day tour 1st part
bus #10 to The Sphere 180; The Sphere, Arch of Triumph; KFC meal 1,500
Nur Astana Mosque, Lovers Park, Khan Shatyr,; Baiterek Tower, Presidential Palace, 
Palace of Peace, Monument Kazakh Eli; bus #50 to Presidential Palace 180; KFC dinner meal 2,000
2300H ETA Hostel (2145H sunset)
Subtotal: 7,760 KZT

Day 6: July 10, 2019 Wednesday
0800H ETD Hostel; Costa Coffee breskfast 2,050
Astana city day tour last part; Baiterek Tower viewing deck + souvenir 2,200; bus #50 to National Museum 180
1030H ETA National Museum 1,200
1200H ETD National Museum; bus $32 to AsiaPark Mall 180
Souvenir Fridge Magnets 3,000; AsiaPark Lunch 1,360; walk back to hostel
1500H ETD Hostel; bus #10 to Airport 180
1530H ETA Nur Sultan Airport; Frapuccino + Duty Free Chocolate 3,330
1805H ETD Nur Sultan GMT +0600H; flight EY295
2105H ETA Abu Dhabi
Subtotal: 13,680 KZT

TOTAL: 147 TMT +$14 + 39,730 KZT + 22,700 KZT + 22,150 + 7,760 KZT + 13,680 KZT = $618 + $50 + $278 = $946


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