On the Syr-Darya river, 280km northwest of Turkistan, Kyzylorda (meaning Red Capital) was the capital of Soviet Kazakhstan from 1925 to 1929 but was dropped in favour of cooler Almaty when the Turksib railway reached there. Evidence of this former glory can be seen in the ornate train station. Today nearby oil and gas operations are restoring some prosperity to the city, which is enjoying a colourful facelift. Mosquitoes are apest here.
The Historical Museum (7 61 52; Auezova 20; admission 80T; 9am-5pm), spreading over 14 halls on archaeology, natural history and ethnography, has an English-language interpreter and is translating all explanatory material into English. The Syr-Darya Promenade is a popular evening hang-out (and make-out point) from late spring to early autumn. The Old Bazaar (Ayteke Bi; 9am-7pm) still has a hectic Central Asian atmosphere.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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10 November 2009
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