My flight to Kazakhstan was uneventful and I arrived unfortunately too late to actually see any of Almaty. It was a bummer but honestly I’m just going to keep blaming the flight schedule for Central Asia - it is so poorly set up it is almost comical. I took a taxi from the airport to Saraichik Hotel. It was a weird taxi ride as the driver stopped and picked up another rider along the way to make an extra fare, but I was not a fan of this because whenever you hear of a taxi robbery happening this is how it starts. However, the passenger was a young guy (probably fifteen) and he was dropped off about ten minutes later so it was never uncomfortable.
Thankfully there were no additional passengers the rest of the drive and my taxi driver was very nice even though he was unable to speak English. When I arrived at the hotel I checked into my room which I was very surprised to find had a loft in it. It was a different layout for sure and definitely not what I was expecting in Kazakhstan! I spent the rest of the day (it was about 7:00pm at this point) working on emails and blogs and just resting which was very nice. Amazingly enough I had really great wifi which I definitely wasn’t expecting. It was also pretty entertaining to flip through the TV channels - the only things in English were a few music video channels!
Of all of the Stans I think I am most disappointed to not be able to see more of Kazakhstan. But the good news is that, of all of them, it is the easiest to get to and the one I would be most likely to visit again in the future. I am very glad to be done with Central Asia for now and to be headed to a city that has been at the top of my bucket list for a long time tomorrow: Dubai!
47 countries down, 149 to go.