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> 19 hours in Kazakhstan, A potential layover opportunity in Astana
post Sep 28 2013, 02:57 AM
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An intriguing opportunity has popped up on my radar. We are currently finishing up in eastern europe and heading to Hong Kong. One of the best priced flights is on Almaty airlines connecting through Astana. One flavor of this flight comes with a 19 hour layover in Astana. Kazakhstan is not on the list for this trip, but I have to admit I'm curious. I'm assuming a few people have taken advantage of this before, so here are a couple of quick questions.

1. Visas.
It looks like we need to get our visas ahead of time. There are Kazak embassies in both Poland and Ukraine which we could visit. Does anyone know if getting your Kazak visa outside of your home country is a complicated process? Does it take long or cost a lot? We are Canadian.

2. Almaty airlines.
Does anyone have experience doing a long haul flight with these guys? Is it a half decent airline or do they pack people in like sardines?

3. Money
In a couple of thornthree posts people have mentioned that ATMs are easily accessible and can provide local currency as well as USD. If we choose the USD option, can they be used everywhere or do we need local currency for some places? Is Astana expensive? For example, how much does dinner for 2 in a mid range restaurant cost?

4. Language
Between the two of us we speak english, german, spanish, polish and croatian, however I'm not sure if any of these will be useful. Do many local people speak a specific foreign language or would we be in for a 19 hour sign language experience?

That's all I've got. I'm looking around for this info myself, but any responses would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
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