Welcome to Kyzylorda
On the Syr-Darya 290km northwest of Turkestan, Kyzylorda (Қызылорда) became capital of Soviet Kazakhstan in 1925 but was replaced by cooler Almaty when the Turksib railway reached there in 1929. Oil and gas operations in the South Turgay Basin, mainly Chinese-owned, underpin its economy today. The most ethnically Kazakh of Kazakhstan's regional capitals, Kyzylorda is a charmless town that's brutally hot in summer; its most attractive feature are the heroic Soviet-era mosaics on the side of the train-station building. Kyzylorda’s chief role for most travellers is as a staging post for Aral or Baykonur.