Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Where to go?

So, half the fun in moving is the chance to explore a new corner of the world.  Kazakhstan is so far from anywhere we know or have been... the closest either Kevin or I have been to Kazakhstan is a 5-6 hour flight away (New Delhi, Abu Dhabi, Beijing).  Admittedly Astana is far from anything else (hello, 600 miles to the next big city and former Kazakh capital, Almaty), and with a new job vacation time is scarcer than we've become accustomed to...so it is time to revive the long weekend.  There are a handful of driveable destinations from Astana, but for the most part we will be flying places.

For safety reasons, we are only supposed to fly on international carriers (British Airways, KLM and Lufthansa are the only ones that fly to Kazakhstan) or Air Astana.  And the domestic airline is the only one with regional flights...so we have signed up for their frequent flyer program, and let's see where they may take us. Air Astana has direct flights from the capital to

Baku, Azerbaijan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Urumqi, China
Novosibirsk, Russia

as well as a few cities you might have actually heard of:  Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Kiev, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Frankfurt.

It does seem like Americans need a visa to visit most of the countries in this part of the world (Azerbaijan, China, Russia, Uzbekistan).  But not Kyrgyzstan. So maybe that will be our first destination.  Kyrgyzstan is supposed to be a good place to buy carpets and felt crafts.  But we don't need visas to go to Ukraine, either. And my sister, Amy, is living in Oman...

Where should we go first?


  1. I've heard of Baku, Tashkent and Bishkek before :-P But then, I'm a mapaholic. . . . .

    If it's easier without need for a visa, I'd say definitely go for Bishkek 1st.

  2. I have two families here at school from Kyrgyzstan. Want me to ask for good vacation spots?

  3. Ukraine for Kevin's motherland . . .

  4. didn't you read a book about that crazy guy from Baku? or did you give *me* that book? anyway, go there!