Photo itinerary: two weeks in Kazakhstan

A two week photo itinerary for travel in Kazakhstan. Perfect for those taking advantage of Kazakhstan’s two week visa-free travel allowance.

 

Ask someone about Kazakhstan, and 9 times out of 10 their response will be “Borat”. Images of a village with poor farmers, incestuous families, and no running water make Kazakhstan seem like the backwaters of the world.

Borat village Kazakhstan

Little do people know that this village wasn’t even in Kazakhstan (Romania, actually), and that Kazakhstan is the richest and most modern country in Central Asia. And there are many more interesting facts about Kazakhstan, too. Though far from topping the bucket lists of the masses, Kazakhstan is seeing an increase of tourism, especially thanks to their new one month visa-free travel program for many citizens of the EU and OECD countries.

One month visa-free countries: United Kingdom, United States, Ireland, Iceland, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, South Korea, United Arab Emirates

Two weeks is hardly enough for such a massive country, but the Almaty region of southern Kazakhstan has more than enough to see to keep you busy for two weeks.

 

Kazakhstan is a stunning country that's still far from the tourist radar. But that's changing! Many passport holders can travel to Kazakhstan for one month, visa-free. Here's a two week travel itinerary for Kazakhstan to help you plan your next adventure!

 

Two week photo itinerary for Kazakhstan

The Almaty skyline as seen from Kok Tobe at sunset - Lost With Purpose

Don’t miss the stunning panoramic views of Almaty from Kok Tobe, an attraction park accessible by bus or cable car.

Days 1-4: Almaty

Although not Kazakhstan’s capital, it has a cosmopolitan feel to it. Well-heeled urbanites live it up in swanky restaurants and nightclubs that put renowned European staples to shame, while remnants of Soviet-style heroics loom large in its many lush public parks.

Soviet statue in Almaty's Panfilov Park - Lost With Purpose

Soviet remnants in the war memorial at Panfilov Park.

The shiny new skyscrapers, modern metro system, and hip bars and restaurants give Almaty a chic, almost European ambiance. Walk around in the city center, and stop for lunch and a drink at one of the many cafes on the streets. Give your body some rest to digest, and spend an hour or two people watching while sipping coffee.

2 week Kazakhstan itinerary | Soaking up some delicious light fare at the Aroma cafe in Almaty - Lost With Purpose

Finally, a reprise from the greasiness of Central Asia and China! Bonding with some healthy food at the reasonably priced Aroma cafe.

Of course, Almaty still holds to old Silk Route traditions. There are several bazaars, of which the Green Bazaar is the biggest and most stimulating on the senses. Head over there for endless rows of fruits, salads, meats, and cheeses, and don’t forget to look up for small cafes with cheap and cheerful Kazakh cuisine. For those that have spent a lot of time traveling through strict Muslim countries, you can even find some good old fashioned bacon in the depths of the bazaar.

Also heading to Astana? Check out these 6 things to do in Astana!

The outside of the Green Bazaar in Almaty, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

Don’t forget to pay a visit to the technicolored wooden Zenkov or Ascension Cathedral in the heart of Paniflov park. Every single component of it is made of wood–even the nails! It’s free to enter, so long as you’re in somewhat modest clothes.

The wooden Zenkov Cathedral in Almaty, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

For the best lighting and colors, be sure to visit in the late afternoon.

Be sure take a cable car ride up to Kok Tobe, the highest point in Almaty, to watch the sunset. The cable car leaves from a building to the right of the Palace of the Republic, and costs 2,000 tenge for a two-way ticket.

A panoramic sunset view of Almaty, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

Sunsets never disappoint.

Once you’ve had your fill of the city life, take a day to head to the outskirts of the city and take in some of the nearby nature. To start, take a bus or taxi to Medeu, the highest ice skating rink in the world.

A panoramic view of the Medeu ice skating rink in Almaty, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

Don’t expect much ice at Medeu if you’re visiting in summer!

There are plenty of trails up, down, and around the surrounding mountains that start around Medeu. The Lonely Planet for Central Asia has a good description of a route through the mountains with hardly any people.

Hiking on the trails outside of Almaty, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

Not a soul in sight.

Watch out for curious critters along the way.

Curious horses on the hiking trails near Almaty, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

An epic view while hiking around Almaty, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

The views are pretty acceptable, we’d say.

Where to stay in Almaty:

Want to see more of Almaty? Check out this walking tour covering some if its absolute highlights!

 

The first lake at Kolsai, one of the highlights of southern Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

The lakes at Kolsai are undoubtedly one of the highlights of southern Kazakhstan.

Days 5-7: Kolsai National Park

If natural beauty is your thing, but time is short, look no further than the gorgeous alpine lakes of Kolsai National Park, where azure blue water reflects snow-capped mountain tops and dense pine forests. The park is famous for its three lakes, although the third lake can’t be visited without permission due to its close proximity to the Kyrgyz border.

Horses and herder at the second lake of Kolsai, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

It’s 712 tenge per person to enter Kolsai National Park–more if you’re setting up your own tent. There’s no way for the gatekeeper to verify that you’re camping, though, so just say you’ll be staying in a yurt.

A girl peeking out from the yurt camp at Kolsai, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

Kolsai park can be reached from Almaty in a day, and doesn’t require your own transport or overly expensive tour operators to get to. Saty (Саты), the closest town, offers several homestays, and is also a jumping-off point for Kaindy, another famous alpine lake.

Though the hike to the second lake can be done in one day, we recommend you take a bit more time for Kolsai. You can sleep in a yurt by the first lake or, for the die hards among us, trek to the second lake and camp in your own tent there.

A panorama of the second lake at Kolsai National Park, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

Everyone says that the second lake is the most spectacular of the three, and it’s easy to see why.

Classic yurt stays and jolly, vodka-shotting local tourists only add the the charm, even though their gifts of kumis, sour alcoholic horse milk, and kurt, equally sour salty cheese snacks, might be a bit of an acquired taste.

Sebastiaan does not enjoy the weird milk Kazakh snacks - Lost With Purpose

Not so sure about these salty snacks…

All in all, the park was our favorite stop during our Kazakh voyage.

The views while hiking up to the second lake in Kolsai, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

The hills are aliiiiiive…

Where to stay and how to get to Kolsai:

  • A yurt! Don’t worry about booking ahead – the yurts are large, and there are several camps near the first lake. A whole yurt is around 7,000 tenge per night, more with food.
  • Homestays in Saty. Look for signs that say “Гостиница”, hotel.
  • Check our our report on getting to Kolsai by public transport.

 

Kazakhstan is a stunning country that's still far from the tourist radar. But that's changing! Many passport holders can travel to Kazakhstan for one month, visa-free. Here's a two week travel itinerary for Kazakhstan to help you plan your next adventure!

 

Charyn Canyon in Kazakhstan by MrHicks46

Charyn Canyon by Mr Hicks46 on Flickr.

Day 8-9: Charyn Canyon

Alas! We didn’t have time to visit Charyn Canyon, as we had a bit of a delay in Almaty. But, that doesn’t mean you should skip it! The turn-off for Charyn is close to the turn-off for Kolsai, so it makes for a great stop on your trip back to Almaty from Kolsai.

You can easily hitch or take a taxi to the entrance, and spend a day and star-filled night amongst the rocks. Don’t forget to bring water–it can be quite hot during the day!

Caravanistan has more information about visiting Charyn Canyon.

 

Shymkent, Kazakhstan at sunset - Lost With Purpose

Day 10-11: Shykment

Return to Almaty from Kolsai, and then take the long westward train to Shymkent.

This bustling city, with some of the friendliest and jolliest bazaaris we’ve met so far, is a great stepping stone for exploring this region.

We walked through the bazaar’s maze, surrounded by throngs of shoppers and local shopkeepers. Some were bold and curious, coming over to investigate using a mixture of basic English and fluent Russian, while others were more subtle. America, you could hear floating through the alleyways. Gollandiya, the whispers said. We were clearly the attraction of the day.

A girl checking her phone in the Shymkent main bazaar - Lost With Purpose

Virtually anything can be found in the depths of the main Shymkent bazaar, as long as you’re willing to look.

Kazakhstan doesn’t get as many tourists as neighboring Kyrgyzstan, and it shows in the people. Jolly and curious, language barriers mean nothing to them, and the strict social norms adhered to in other Muslim majority regions do not apply here. Sebastiaan was offered two daughters in marriage, while Alex, the American celebrity, was peppered with questions despite being half naked in a changing room.

Where to stay in Shymkent:

The glacial waters of the Aksu river threading through a canyon at sunset - Lost With Purpose

The glacial waters of the Aksu river threading through a canyon at sunset.

Day 12: Day trip from Shymkent to Aksu river

Unfortunately you need a car to reach the natural attractions near Shymkent… which we didn’t have. Taxis were also out of our budget, so we did something very uncharacteristic: we joined a tour!

Soviet bus and the rushing Aksu river in Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

Can you spot our decrepit Soviet tour bus over the river?

Comprised of cackling local women and tour guides who must have been part of the Gestapo in a previous life, the tour took us to the ice cold (but stunning) Aksu river and park.

Looking over the landscape at Aksu park in Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

Checking out the landscape of Aksu park.

Aksu means “white water” in Kazakh, named for the glacial water that fuels the river. The park is a beautiful area of golden fields, steep gorges, and some water-worn rock formations.

A cave along the Aksu river in Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

Yes, it really was that blue.

(Alternative) Day 12-13: Sayram-Ugam National Park

If it fits in your budget, Sayram-Ugam National Park is (relatively) close to Shymkent. Less frequented than neighboring Aksu-Zhabagyly National Park, it has a community-based tourism program and several village homestays to make your stay more comfortable.

The Central Asia Lonely Planet has more details on how to get there and where to stay, and you can try your hand at contacting the Ecotourism office for more information. Beware, many of the workers only speak Russian and Kazakh.

 

The entrance to the Khoja Ahmed Yasawi mausoleum in Turkestan, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

The entrance to the mausoleum in Turkestan.

Day 13: Day trip from Shymkent to Turkestan

Finally we’ll take you to Kazakhstan’s spiritual heartland: Turkestan, home to Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, a Turkic Sufi poet and saint. No visit to Kazakhstan is complete without seeing this epitome of Islamic architecture, and the most beautiful manmade structure in the country.

The mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi - Lost With Purpose

The mausoleum is as grand as the holy man was humble, and the intricate blue tile design and gorgeous dome are juxtaposed with a shiny new mosque in the back.

It’s 500 tenge for foreigners to enter the site, which contains the mausoleum, a library, and an underground mosque. Ladies, don’t forget to dress modestly and to bring a headscarf–it’s an Islamic site.

Flowers at the Khoja Ahmed Yasawi mosque in Turkestan, Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

Getting to Turkestan takes about 2 hours by marshrutka from Shymkent. You can easily spend a day wandering around the city, but there’s not much to keep you there overnight.

 

Hitchhiking in Kazakhstan - Lost With Purpose

Day 14: Back to ???

Where you head on your last day depends on where you’re off to next.

Heading home via the airport? Use this day to meander back to Almaty–it’s a long train ride from Shymkent.

If you’re crossing into a neighboring country over land, see the section below.

Inspired enough to visit Kazakhstan? Check out our Kazakhstan backpacker budget report!

 

Leaving Kazakhstan by marshrutka - Lost With Purpose

Leaving Kazakhstan over land?

 

Don’t forget: Kazakhstan is a safe country, but outdoor activities are always risky! Be smart, and get travel insurance before heading to Kazakhstan. We use and recommend World Nomads.

 

Kazakhstan is a stunning country that's still far from the tourist radar. But that's changing! Many passport holders can travel to Kazakhstan for one month, visa-free. Here's a two week travel itinerary for Kazakhstan to help you plan your next adventure!

 

Yay transparency! This post contains affiliate links. This means if you purchase something using our links, we’ll make a small amount of money from it, at no extra cost to you. It helps us to cover the costs of running the blog, plus it funds our coffee addiction. Never fear, we’d never be heinous enough to recommend anything we didn’t like.

 

Sebastiaan

Just another Dutchie. Extrovert with introverted tendencies. Some say I'm lazy, I say I'm masterfully inactive.

More about Sebastiaan

69 thoughts on “Photo itinerary: two weeks in Kazakhstan

    Journal of Nomads says:

    Great post (again) and fantastic photos (again)!!! Thanks for the itinerary! Although we will stay longer than 15 days (Niko as Canadian is obliged to apply for a visa of minimum 30 days) – and you already know how easily we get stuck in countries – this gives us a nice idea for where to go and what to discover in Kazakhstan! We will probably need those extra two weeks to hitchhike across this massive country 🙂

    You guys are too kind! How’s Georgia treating you? Read you’re staying for a while, that’s exciting. Yeah if you’re hitchhiking through Kazakhstan you might need a while. Luckily Kazakhs are really nice when it comes to giving rides so you guys will be fine. It’s a shame you travel so slowly (or maybe we travel too quickly?). This way we’ll never meet up 😉

    Enjoy your travels.

    Journal of Nomads says:

    Georgia has been really good so far (the same for the Georgian wine 😉 ). It’s good to hear that hitchhiking in Kazakhstan isn’t very hard.
    We’re planning to stay in Georgia for a while to work and save up so that we don’t have to travel so slow anymore in Central Asia 🙂 Well, who knows, we might catch up with you. Depending on how long you’ll stay on that side of the world and what your plans are for 2017. It surely would be awesome to cross paths with you!!!!

    Indy Guide says:

    Do you plan to visit Astana too?

    Journal of Nomads says:

    We haven’t made a solid plan yet of what we will visit in Kazachstan. We just looked Astana up and it looks like a very interesting city! Would you suggest us to go there?

    Indy Guide says:

    If you’re into architecture, definitely! There’s a overnight train from Almaty to Astana (approx. 17hrs). You don’t need more than 2-3 days there, as the city is not as vivid as Almaty.

    There is also a nice national park north of Astana (approx. 2hrs), it’s called Burabay, they call it ‘little Switzerland’ too.

    Journal of Nomads says:

    Thank you for the tips Indy Guide!

    Super post and pictures! Kazakhstan is on our bucket list! And sleeping in a yurt sounds like a great experience! Once we will try it! Who knows, maybe there 🙂

    Yurts are so cozy and comfortable… quite possibly the greatest form of home to date 😉

    Indy Guide says:

    and watching the millions of stars… #makeyourdreamcometrue

    Laia says:

    The more I read about central Asia, the more I want to go. I didn’t know that Kazakhstan had a two-week visa free… that is good news! I love mountains and natural landscapes and sleeping in a yurt might be a great experience!

    Yep, Kazakhstan has the two-week program, and neighboring Kyrgyzstan has a two-month program for many more countries. It makes visiting much more plausible 🙂

    Indy Guide says:

    Then it is the perfect place for you! 😉

    Anisa Alhilali says:

    Wow I had no idea that Kazakhstan was so beautiful and had so much to see and it is great to know that I can visit without a visa!

    Kazakhstan has soooo much to see, and we only saw a part of it. It’s actually still quite an “undiscovered” land. No one except locals really know what’s in the north and west of the country…

    I’m convinced I gotta go! I def need to stay in a yurt!

    For sure! They’re so cozy and comfortable, all of the warm fuzzies 😀

    Holy shit. I knew I wanted to visit central Asia really bad, but this just makes my hands search for tickets towards the regions. Kazakhstan looks absolutely gorgeous!

    It’s calling to you… give in to the wanderlust 😉

    So I’m in the small group that knows about Kazakhstan but not because of Borat… I’m a big fan of cycling and Astana, one of the teams that run Tour the France is from Kazakhstan.
    Your pictures are absolutely stunning! We still haven’t put central asia on our travel itinerary but I belive we are wasting time.

    Big fan of cycling? A cyclist yourself, presumably? Kazakhstan would be a brilliant place to go cycling… perhaps it’s time to modify your itinerary 😉

    Janna C. says:

    Fantastic photos of Kazakhstan! That photo of Borat made me laugh haha! I never knew this place existed if it wasnt for that movie (sad to say). Beautiful place for sure!

    Thanks! And no worries, it was the same with us in the beginning. We still made a million and one bad Borat jokes while there! It’s okay to make wildly ignorant jokes as long as you know the truth… right?

    Megan Claire says:

    The whole country looks stunning, thankyou for sharing your photos, advice, and smashing the Borat myths about Kazakhstan!! I would love to have the chance to travel here, hopefully before word gets out that it’s a hidden gem and it gets overrun with mass tourism 😀

    Thanks Megan! Just doing our part to educate, can’t believe everything you see on TV 😉 Hope you can head over to Kazakhstan soon! You probably have a good bit of time before it gets too touristy.

    Indy Guide says:

    Don’t worry, Kazakhstan is big enough (8x larger than Germany).

    Girl Unspotted says:

    How do places like this even exist? It’s so beautiful and definitely nothing like they portrayed in Borat. i never had Central Asia in my priority list to see by lately as I read more and more blogs like this, I know this lesser known destination is a must visit ASAP!

    We wonder that so often—how do these places exist, and why do we not live in places like this all the time?!

    Central Asia is definitely a must-see, especially in a time when so many other regions of the world are becoming overrun with tourism, thanks to the increasing affordability of travel. Don’t miss it!

    Indy Guide says:

    so much to discover there!

    Jen Ryder says:

    You photos are absolutely stunning!! I loved reading this as I had no idea that Kazakhstan had so much to offer, especially in the way of such gorgeous nature. Kolsai National Park and those lakes look incredible! Thank you for sharing about the two week visa, I didn’t realize we could get that as Americans!

    Clearly Kazakhstan is calling to you, Jen! It’s a fan-freaking-tastic place to go for gorgeous nature—massive parks with hardly any people. What more could you need?

    etsy says:

    Wow wow wow! Your photos of Kazakhstan are absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to visit Kolsai Park now! Did you face any challenges in terms of food or communication there?

    Communication wasn’t as big a deal as we thought it would be in the cities—a surprising number of people spoke a doable amount of English. It’s still handy to know a bit of Russian here and there, though.

    As for food… well, the challenge is in finding something that isn’t just meat and bread 😉 There’s all kinds of delicious fruits and vegetables growing in the country, but they never seem to make it to the table… the food is just okay, but it could be difficult for vegetarians or people that can’t eat gluten.

    Claire says:

    Well you’ve just added Kazakhstan to my bucket list! It looks so beautiful – I want to stay in a yurt and see that blue Mausoleum! I’m always keen to explore a country deeper, and this is the perfect guide to see Kazakhstan like this!

    Yurt life the best life! Glad you enjoyed the guide, hope you can make it to Kazakhstan to see its beauty for yourself one day.

    Oh wow, what a beautiful part of the world! Kazakhstan is up on my list now. Great post and beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing and happy travels 🙂

    No problem Carmen. Thanks for taking the time to read it!

    Wow! I never knew how beautiful this place could be. You have really opened my eyes!

    Indy Guide says:

    Thank you for showing Kazakhstan’s beauty! Great post!

    Merei Adai says:

    Omg Sebastian, thank you for sharing such a cool pictures of my land! I’m really happy that you have enjoyed your trip here, and thats really cool that Kazakhstan started to offer free visa entrance! I agree two weeks not enough as its too big;) cheers!

    You must be proud to come from such a beautiful country. We definitely enjoyed our trip there, and really hope that we can come back sometime soon… with a car next time!

    Oh wow, didn’t know how absolutely amazing Kazakhstan is! It was never on my radar, but definitely putting it into the bucket list now. Your photos are amazing!

    You’re too kind Liz! Kazakhstan is a pretty damned gorgeous country, so taking good photos wasn’t too difficult. Hope you can get there soon!

    Aldiyar Issenov says:

    Hey Everyone!!! Haha, Borat, he is just so funny))

    Welcome to Kazakhstan and great Thank to Sebastiaan and his friends for such a precise picture of (yes, you mentioned that) our some regions (Almaty and Shymkent regions in particular), but not of a whole country which is 9 largest country in the world! For this reason Kazakhstan has a plenty of beautiful and undiscovered by international tourists places. Even we have not been in all of them. For example, there is an absolutely outstanding nature (a few national parks) in Eastern Kazakhstan (Oskemen region), or Bayan-Auyl Park in Northern Kazakhstan (Pavlodar region), or Mangystau in Western Kazakhstan (Mangystau region). Unfortunately, there is no a good source in Internet to give you all necessary information in English (it is a shame for our Gov((((), but you can find some. For instance, I found recently quite good information about Kazakhstan and Astana in particular, just click on: http://www.luxurylondon.co.uk/article/kazakhstan-astana-capital-city

    Besides, it can be interesting as well that Astana will arrange EXPO-2017, so, You are all welcome and hope our country will fulfill your expectations. If you have any questions about visiting Kazakhstan and probably Central Asian region feel free to contact me and I will do all my best!!

    My profile in Facebook is Aldiyar Issenov
    Hope to meet and see You in Kazakhstan, take care!

    Hello Aldiyar,

    Thank you for all the useful additions. We really want to visit again and see more for the country, two weeks isn’t enough. Definitely will keep this in mind.

    Cheers!

    Aldiyar Issenov says:

    You are welcome, Sebastian!

    Wow, what a beautiful photo tour! We were just discussing visitng here, this has certainly increased our want to visit!

    Glad you liked it. Kazakhstan is a great country, definitely worth a visit.

    Maya says:

    Such a beautiful country! Thanks for inspiration, I hope to visit next year.

    It really is. We’re sure you’ll have fun. Cheers!

    Rawiya says:

    Hi guys! I just want to say how amazing and inspiring your blog is! Thank you for what you do because it really helps other people to see a bigger picture apart from their ordinary life and inspires them to follow their dreams.
    Anyway, it’s inspired me to write about something I know and consider to be interesting. Visit my blog if you want to discover something new and very different from what you’ve known before about Russia. Maybe you’ll list it as your following destination.
    http://thaqafaroussiya.blogspot.com

    Sebastiaan says:

    Hi there, and thanks for all the compliments. We really want to visit Russia one day, so thanks for letting us know!

    Chloe says:

    hello. about the Aksu river and park, what tour did you join? and where can i join it, too? is it expensive?

    Sebastiaan says:

    Honestly, we have no idea what the company is called. We were invited by someone who was going on the tour, and got the other info from ShymCity, the hostel we mention. I think it cost us around $20 a person, which is a bit expensive, but we weren’t sure how to get there otherwise, and there was no public transport as far as we could figure out. My advice, as ShymCity when you’re there.

    Chloe says:

    thanks. would you please give me the email or number of ShymCity? I need to contact them in advance cuz i live in other hotel.

    Sebastiaan says:

    According to Google their number is +7 778 251 3805.

    Tracy says:

    Loved your blog post. I’m flying into Almaty in 2 weeks for the start of a one month tour of Central Asia. Can’t wait!

    Sebastiaan says:

    That’s great to hear. We’re sure you’ll have a grand time. Enjoy!

    I have only been to Uzbekistan to trace the Silk Route and it was beautiful. All pre conceived notions just died. This land is no different. I hope I can take your help when I finally decide to go there

    Sebastiaan says:

    Both countries are great in their own way. We’re sure you’ll have a great time when you go.

    Your pictures are georgeous!!!!!! I really enjoyed reading your blog. I am from the United States and recently signed a contract to play futbal in Kazakhstan so I am always looking up interesting and fun things to do. While I am here, I would love it if you checked my work out at AlongtheWay.today and let me know what you think. Thanks 🙂

    nidhi malik says:

    wonderful blog! simple description and beautiful pictures

    Sebastiaan says:

    Great to hear. Glad you liked it!

    Pete says:

    Amazing blog thank you 🙂 We are heading to Kazakhstan very soon. Where is the photo taken near the river in the cave entrance? Happy travels, Pete

    Alex says:

    Glad you enjoyed it! The river photo was taken at the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve. You can find more on the reserve on Caravanistan here: https://caravanistan.com/places/aksu-zhabagly/

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