Taraz (or Taras) is in the Kazakh Desert.
There's a low speed train from Almaty onto Shymkent. The Almaty-Saratov. Many other trains on the same line from the station south of the city. Bus 47 from the center. You can book tickets on tutu in advance. Traveling third class be ready for a crowded but friendly train.
The collective taxi station is north of the city with taxi to Bishkek and Shymkent.
Aisha Bibi Mausoleumphone: +7 702 450 7717address: Aisha BibiIt was built in the 11th or 12th century as a homage to the noble woman Aisha Bibi. The Kazakh government restored the mausoleum to its former glory in 2002.
Dautbek Shamansur MausoleumA mausoleum created by Genghis Khan to honor the Mongol governor ruling over the area, who was killed in an uprising.
Prezidentskiy Parkphone: +7 707 135 1099address: Tole Bi St 95The park is clean and maintained well with beautiful gardens as well as wide open spaces. A good place for an evening walk.
- Main square for monumental and flashy Kazakh urban architecture.
Sunday Animal MarketHundreds of sheep, goats and cattle are bought are sold. This noisy and chaotic experience is worth it and you will come across the welcoming and hospitable nature of Kazakh culture firsthand.
GolPasDiverse dishes on offer. Pasta, pizza, seafood and steaks. Cozy atmosphere though a little expensive.
Malikakhonphone: +7 726 245 1025address: 133 Keshenei StFresh and juicy shish kebabs and salad. The waiters do not speak English and at times the music in the background can get quite loud.
SushiLoveaddress: Dinmukhamed Qonayev Street (Kunaeva/ Кунаева) 51 080000Incongruous but charming sushi restaurant, popular with locals apparently. Nice garden out the back. Serves sushi, pizza, a good selection of drinks and dessert. Vegetarian and vegan sushi available. Friendly staff, some speak good English. Free open Wi-Fi. Cash, Visa, MasterCard all accepted.
Churchill Pubphone: +7 726 234 9575address: Komratova St., 94English-style pub with a British-themed interior.
Hotel Zhambylphone: +7 726 245 5900address: Tole Bi St 42Most staff speak at least a little bit of English. Free Wi-fi.
Hotel Ark MSaddress: 1a, Al Farabi StFree shuttle service, onsite dining, has a garden, spacious terrace and minibar. There are 24 rooms altogether. The restaurant on the third floor serves European and Kazakh dishes.
Voyazhaddress: ul.Michurina 1BClean and comfortable rooms in a smallish hotel.
- Venture southwest to Shymkent.
- Cross the border with Kyrgyzstan and see the impressive dam at Toktogul.
- Almaty - Marshrutkas leave from the main Avtovokzal north-east of the city. A back seat in an 18-person marshrutka can cost as little as 2,500 tenge. Not likely less than this, but don't pay more than 3,000 tenge (Apr 2019). They take about 6 hours and arrive at Sayran station in Almaty. Buses stop once just past halfway, but only for a loo break, not food.