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Tour to Aksu-Zhabagly reserve.

Tours over a silk way of Southern Kazakhstan.

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home” 

Anna Quindlen,

The brief description of a route from Almaty to Aksu-Zhabagly reserve and to Khorgos Check-point:

Almaty - Shymkent – Shaulder village – ruins Otrar – mausoleum Arstanbab – Turkestan - Sauran fortress – Turkestan – Shymkent - Aksu village – Tylkubas village – Jabagly village (Aksu-Djabagly preserve) - Topshak cordon – Ulken-Kayndy gorge – Ulken-Kaindy pass - Kasbulak river – Kasbulak   tract - valley Kaskabulak of petrogliphs - Stalactitic Cave near Ak-Beik village. Transfer by auto: Dzhabagly village – Ak-Beit village - Dzhabagly village – Taldybulak tract –Aksu canyon - Chuuldak tract – Darbaza tract - Shymkent – Almaty - Chilik village – Charyn canyon – Temerlik canyon Chundzha village - Koktal village - Kieli-Agash village - Zharkant village - Khorgos Check-point.

Distance of route: 1286 km.
Season: from April till September.
The Best time for travel: April, May,  - September.
The size of group: no more than 8 person.
Duration of the tour: 14 days, 13 nights.

The detailed program to Turkestan and Southern Kazakhstan:

Tours in Aksu-Zhabagly reserve and Central Asia.

Day 1. Almaty - Shymkent – Shaulder village – ruins Otrar – mausoleum Arstanbab – Turkestan (300 km).
Arrival in Almaty. Meeting client in the airport. At 07.35 departure to Shymkent by flight KC 971, at 09.00 arrival in Shymkent. Meeting the client at the airport. Transfer to Turkestan. On the way visiting museum “Otrar” in Shaulder village, excursion to Arstan-Baba Mausoleum (XIX c), Otrar ruins (XI - XII c.c). Arrival in Turkestan. Accommodation at the hotel, overnight.
Day 2. Turkestan - Sauran fortress – Turkestan – Shymkent (350 km).
Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer: Turkestan – Sauran (45 km), In 45 km from Turkestan to the left, the remains of ancient fortress Sauran (XII-XVI cc.) are seen. Sauran was one of the strategic and trade places on Syrdarya river.
In XII c. Sauran was a capital of White Orda. By XIV century Timur turned Sauran into a military fortress (diameter 550 – 800 m) and its location on a Great Silk Road lead to prosperity. The most amazing thing in the city was a net of water canals made by hands. By XVII c. Sauran was already abandoned.
Transfer: Sauran – Turkestan – Shymkent (210 km). On the way visit to museum of sport in Temirlanovka and visit to old Red bridge in Ekpindy village.  Arrival in Shymkent. Accommodation in the hotel, overnight.
Day 3. Shymkent – Aksu village – Tylkubas village – Jabagly village (Aksu-Djabagly preserve) (100 km).
Breakfast in the hotel. Accommodation in the guest house. Afternoon start to horse riding in Aksu-Dzhabagly preserve. Horse riding start in Aksu Dzhabagly Preserve. Horse riding: Topshak cordon – Ulken-Kaindy gorge 1800 meters above sea level (8 km). It is our first day of trip in Preserve, our way lies via mountain meadows along mountains with archa bushes.
We cross small stream, which takes its source from gorge. Soon we see Ulken-Kaindy valley (in Russian – Big birches), opposite – big mountain with bare top. Then our way lies to Topshak – saz tract and further - along the valley of Dzhabagly river. Return to Topshak cordon. Overnight in the tents.
Day 4. Horse riding:  Topshak cordon – Ulken-Kayndy gorge – Ulken-Kaindy pass 2900 meters sea above level (9 km).
Breakfast.  Back to the camp of the reserve. Overnight in the tents.
Day 5. Horse riding: Topshak cordon – Kasbulak river – Kasbulak   tract - valley Kaskabulak of petrogliphs (12 km). 
Breakfast. Black stones in which are carved pictures, concentrated in the square more 1 sq. km. Mainly in the pictures are the figures of mountain goats. Back to the camp of the Preserve. Overnight in the tents.
Day 6. Horse riding: Kazbulak – Kayndy gorge – Kyshy – Kayndy gorge 1800 meters sea above level – Dzhabagly village (14 km).
Breakfast. After Ulken – Kayndy gorge we raise to the small plateau with meadows. Visit to waterfall in the Kyshy – Kayndy river and go down and go out from the gorge to plain. Accommodation and overnight in private hotel.
Day 7. Trip to the Stalactitic Cave near Ak-Beik village. Transfer: Dzhabagly village – Ak-Beit village (35 km).
Breakfast. Excursion to the cave. Return to the hotel in Dzhabagly.  Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8. Horse riding:  Dzhabagly village – Taldybulak tract –Aksu canyon 1620 meters above sea level (9 km).
Breakfast. Today trip begins from Dzhabagly village.  We pass village and the road raises to the mountains. Than pass Irsu plateau and again raise to the Aksu canyon. Overnight in the tents.
Day 9. Horse riding: Aksu canyon – Chuuldak tract – Darbaza tract (12 km).
Breakfast. From the place of our camp, some time we go along automobile road, which later bifurcates and old neglected road go down to Aksu canyon. Soon we see narrow passage between high and plumbs rocks – it is Darbaza (gate in Kazakh). This river made a crevice, which is nearly 100 m, width only 6 – 8 m. We pass the bridge over Baldarbek river.  Overnight in the tents.
Day 10. Zhabagly village - Shymkent – Almaty.
Breakfast. Transfer to train station Tylkubas (12 km). Departure from Tylkubas to Almaty by train ‘’Otrar’’ at 17.35. Overnight in train.
Day 11. Almaty.
Arrival in Almaty. Meeting in railway station in Almaty II. Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation in the hotel. Almaty sightseeing:  visit to the 28 Panfilov’s guardsmen park, the Cathedral church, Museum of national musical instruments, National museum, Republic square, back to hotel. Overnight in the hotel
.Day 12. Almaty – Chilik village – Charyn canyon – Temerlik canyon Chundzha village (300 km).
Breakfast. At 09.00 transfer to Charyn canyon (200 km). On the way to Chundzha village visit to Temerlik Canyon, walking environs. Arrival in Chundzha village. Accommodation in the guest house. Overnight in the guest house.
Day 13. Chundzha village – Koktal village - Kieli-Agash village - Zharkant village (140 km).
Breakfast. At 09.00. transfer to Kieli-Agash and Zharkant village. On the way visit to 700 years tree Aulie-Agash in settlement Kieli-Agash. Excursion in Zharken, visit to mosque, Church, city park.  Accommodation at the hotel “Atlantik”. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 14. Zharkent – Khorgos Check-point (45 km).
Breakfast. At 09.00 transfer: Zharkent village – Khorgos Check-point (Kazakh-China border), departure from Kazakhstan.

Mausoleum Arstanbab.Road to Zharkent settlement.

Sauran fortress. Mausoleum in Turkestan.Sauran fortress. Jabagly village (Aksu-Djabagly preserve). Mausoleum Akhmed Yasavi in Turkestan.

The note:
Author program is Alexander Petrov. Copying and use - from the sanction of the author  petrovsra@mail.ru

Alexander Petrov
photos.