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Kazakhstan Travel Guide

Kazakhstan — Visas and Vaccinations

Citizens from most countries are required to obtain a visa before arriving in Kazakhstan, including those from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Travelers can apply for a single-entry visa, which is valid for 30 days, or a double-entry visa, which is valid for 60 days. All travelers are required to have a passport which is valid for at least six months after leaving the country.

Health and Safety

While there are several well-run private hospitals in the Kazakhstan, they are expensive, charging high rates for both medical services and prescriptions. The quality of the public hospitals are not as good, with many lacking necessary equipment and medication. It is thus essential to have either medical or travel insurance before departing. It is also advised that any specialized prescriptions be brought with you as the availability of such medications cannot be guaranteed.

Travelers should consider getting the following immunizations before arriving in the country: hepatitis A and B, meningococcal encephalitis (many cases of meningitis and encephalitis have been reported in Almaty) and typhoid diphtheria.

It is not safe to drink water straight from the tap. All water which is used for brushing teeth, making ice and drinking should be boiled or sterilized first. Alternately, travelers should purchase bottled water, which is available at many local stores. All dairy products are safe to consume, but vegetables should be peeled and cooked first. While most food is safe to eat, be wary of the cleanliness from street vendors.

Tourism-related crimes like pick pocketing and muggings are common, especially in the larger cities of Kazakhstan. The risk of violence is relatively low, but females in particular should use extra caution, especially when alone. It is best to travel in large groups and stay away from certain areas after dark like Tashkentsakaya Street in Almaty and small towns Temirtau, Stepnogorsk and Shar.

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