Getting a visa for
We had to get a visa for Kazakhstan twice: once in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan)
and once in Ulaan Bataar (Mongolia).
The Kazakh embassy is a bit tricky to find, since it is hidden behind
a tall building. Here is the GPS point: N37 53.596 E58 21.257. If you
don't have GPS ask a cab driver.
The people at this embassy are extremely friendly and speak good English.
Get there early however, because they are usually very busy and showing
up late will make for a long wait!
You need to have the following:
- filled out visa application form
- 1 passport picture
- 1 copy of passport
- statement written in longhand stating who you are, why you want
to go Kazakhstan and where you will be going
There was no same day visa available, but we were able to pick up the
visas the next day. The visas cost us 45 US dollars each and they had
to be paid in US dollars.
Again very friendly embassy
with staff who speak very good English. The embassy is at the Diplomatic
site. Here is the GPS point: N47 55.495 E106 54.388. Again we had to
hand in the documents mentioned above. Same day visa service was possible
here, costing twice as much as a normal visa. So we paid 140 US dollars
each for the same day visa.
Coming into Kazakhstan:
You don't need any money coming into Kazakhstan as there is no fees
of any kind.
- Chernyaevka: there was only one guy changing money at this border.
We opted to drive on to Shymkent and changed money there with one
of the money money changers on the main road going into town.
- Pavlodar: as far as we could tell there was no money changers at
this border. We still had leftover currency from our last trip, so
we did not need to change money.
- To Russia at Semey: You need rubles at the border to pay for the
insurance and the vehicle permit. However there is nowhere at the
border to buy rubles. So change some money at a money changer or bank
- To Kyrgyzstan at Kegen: There is nowhere to change any money at
this border. As a matter of fact, the first chance you get is in Karakol
where there is money changing offices a plenty! However on the road
to Karakol you go through the Issyk-Kul Biosphere Reserve. Here
you have to pay an entrance fee of 500 Soms per vehicle!. So buy some
Kyrgyz SOM before arriving at this border for example at the moneychangers