You are here
Equipment, Hygiene, Photography, Film and Video in Kazakhstan.
Equipment and Luggage.
Tents, foam mattresses, boats, skis and other leisure and sports equipment can be hired on the spot. On the grounds of hygiene, comfort, practicality and safety it is better to bring your own sleeping bag, climbing boots, fishing rods and climbing equipment.
The risk of lost luggage is no higher than anywhere else. Important documents, cameras and laptops belong in your hand luggage. Baggage insurance is recommended. On domestic flights in particular, staff do not handle suitcases, bags and (in particular) rucksacks with much care. For a fee, luggage can be wrapped in polythene for protection at the airport before checking in.
Tap water must always be boiled and/or purified. Water pipes are porous, so sewage water tends to leak into them, and storage facilities are badly cleaned. Everything packed and properly labelled can be trusted. Fresh fruit and vegetables should be carefully washed, since fertilizers in the country can still include manure. Hands must be washed before eating.
Almost all shops are open daily, many till late in the evening. In big cities and increasingly in the country as well, shopping can be done between 8am and 10pm. Smaller shops and "kiosks" are open around the clock. At night, the door is closed for security, but a knock on the small window opening will do the trick. In Almaty and Astana some businesses stay open 24 hours a day.
Photography, Film and Video.
For the most part people are happy t.o have their pictures taken almost anywhere, to the extent that they tend to push themselves in front of your camera. It is illegal to photograph or video people wearing state uniforms (although few of them care), as well as facilities of state security such as radio stations, military installations, border posts and checkpoints. As a rule, taking photos or video of infrastructure at airports or railway stations is also banned.
Penalties for violations of these regulations can be pretty severe, and even include expulsion from the country. To stay on the safe side, it is wise to ask a uniformed official "Mozhno fotografirovats?" before raising your camera. People who live in visibly poor circumstances should be asked for permission too.
Clocks tick at a different rhythm in Kazakhstan, particularly in the countryside. Things get done, but exactly when they get done is not considered of great importance. However, discipline is steadily improving in the cities as global business connections begin to exert influence on the working population. Public transport, including buses, trains and planes, usually departs on time (depending on the weather).
Embassies and Diplomatic Missions.
A full list of Kazakhstan's consulates and diplomatic missions abroad can be found at the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan: www.mfa.kz. A full list of foreign embassies and consulates within Kazakhstan can be found at the Almaty Expat Site's web page.
The guidebook across Kazakhstan . Authors Dagmar Schreiber and Jeremy Tredinnick. Publishing house "Odyssey". 2010.