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Introducing Atyrau

Atyrau, 30km up the Ural River from its mouth on the Caspian Sea, began as a Russian fort in the 16th century and today acts as command station for the huge Tenghiz oilfield 200km south. Tengizchevroil, the multibillion-dollar joint venture exploiting the field, has its headquarters in this predominantly Kazakh town.

With direct flights from Amsterdam and Istanbul, Atyrau is a possible entry point into Kazakhstan, but unless you’re here to work there’s not very much reason to linger.