Friday, January 13, 2017

How to travel from Astana to Borovoe (Бурабай көлі) in Kazakhstan

On the first week of January this year, I was in Borovoe (Бурабай көлі) in Kazakhstan. I was in Borovoe (Бурабай көлі) in Kazakhstan for three days and soon, I will be coming with a travel blog on it. For those of you who have not heard about Borovoe (Бурабай көлі) in Kazakhstan, Wikipedia has this to say: "Borovoe (Бурабай көлі) in Kazakhstan is one of the Burabay lakes in the north of Kazakhstan, in the Burabay District of Akmola Region, in the eastern foothills of Kokshe Mountain."

You can read more on Borovoe (Бурабай көлі) in Kazakhstan From HERE

I will be back with more information soon.

So, how did we plan?

We had many days for holiday at the end of 2016 and on the first week of January this year. WE were roaming around Astana for few days and then, decided to head to Borovoe. We celebrated New Year on 31st December Night-morning of 1st January and left to Borovoe on early morning of January 01. We took the electric train from Astana. It was 3.5 hours journey and reached Kurort-Borovoe  Railway station around 10.30 am. So, if you are going to Borovoe by train, the station where you should get off is Kurort-Borovoe.

Regarding Railway tickets, we bought them online from Kazakhstan Railways Website (From the website of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy). We had tried to book ticket online few months ago from Kazakhstan Temir Zholy website but we were not successful but this time, the process was easy. We booked the tickets on Second Class of Electric Train (электропоезд) and got comfortable sitting chairs. The train was full but there were no people standing. Everyone had their seat. The ticket per person was around 1200 Tenge which is quite cheap/reasonable.

When we reached the Kurort-Borovoe Railway Station

It was our first trip and we didn't know how to reach our hotel. Our hotel was booked in Advance in Borovoe. It was Park Hotel, Kokshetau in Shchuchīnsk, Borovoe.

The hotel had informed us that there will be shuttle buses, generally from Kurort-Borovoe Railway Station to a place near to our hotel but they had also cautioned us that the buses might not be plying on the day of January 01. So, we had to take a taxi. When we came out from the Kurort-Borovoe Railway Station, we did not see anything like Shuttle Bus. So, we decided to bargain for a taxi. We caught a taxi driver, and started our bargain. He started from 3000 Tenge but we agreed for 2000. He took us to the hotel but the taxi driver (His name is Talgat/Талгат) cheated us and charged extra 500 Tenge.

On the way, there was a barrier on a road and a guard came to let our taxi enter. The driver told us that there would be a camera and each taxi entering this area should pay 500 Tenge. They will not charge immediately but when he returns, he needs to pay. So, we had to pay him 2,500 KZT and later, we found out that it was all bullshit ! bullshit !! bullshit !!! Anyway, we were in a holiday mood and did not make the fuss of that extra 500 tenge. (While returning back to Railway Station from the hotel after three days, we ordered the taxi through hotel reception and it was 1500 tenge. We talked with the taxi driver on the way back about 500 tenge and he laughed. He said us that only the taxis registered outside the region will have to pay around 200 tenge per passenger but it is not at all imposed.)

So, we found out the standard price from Kurort-Borovoe Railway Station to any hotel in Borovoe/Shchuchīnsk should be 1,500 KZT.

Borovoe, Kazakhstan - a holiday spot which is located almost 200 Kms from Capital of Kazakhstan, from Astana
When we reached Hotel

Park Hotel, Kokshetau in Shchuchīnsk, Borovoe is a good hotel but I have mixed reviews/views about it. The location is good and the hotel rooms were nice but I think the Restaurant and its service was disappointing to say the least. Food was not tasty at all and the service was quite slow. But, I must credit to their breakfast which was a buffet one and was surprisingly a good one. I will write more about Park Hotel, Kokshetau in Shchuchīnsk, Borovoe and its reviews in my other blog posts.

I have posted few photos in this blogpost and you can see that there is snow, snow and snow around Park Hotel, Kokshetau in Shchuchīnsk, Borovoe. We can not find fault with Park Hotel, Kokshetau in Shchuchīnsk, Borovoe at least for this. Most of the time, we walked around little bit. There was a lake nearby and we walked to see the frozen lake. We did sliding on ice seating on Round Tube/Balloon. We saw people skiing and skating but we did not do it by ourselves. We are little bit scared of winter sports. At the end of three days, we came back to Astana by train from Kurort-Borovoe Railway Station. As I already mentioned, we took taxi through hotel reception from Park Hotel, Kokshetau in Shchuchīnsk, Borovoe to Kurort-Borovoe Railway Station.

The journey from Kurort-Borovoe Railway Station to Astana Railway Station on 3rd January, 2017 at around 15.00 Hours was not so great and pleasant. Why? I will come with another blogpost on it.

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