Kazakhstan is a relatively safe country, but it’s good to have some precautions to avoid unpleasant situations. In a survival guide for first-comers to Almaty are described three main obstacles that people face in Almaty, but it’s also valid for some other cities in Kazakhstan. This story will additionally help you to be prepared for some situations, that are widespread all over the country. So, this is what you need to know before coming to Kazakhstan.
Sometimes, on arrival, the tourists face a problem with a migration card. The registration laws have changed recently, and the citizens of some countries now can stay in Kazakhstan for 30 days without any registration, but the text on the back of the card given to tourists on arrival hasn’t changed. It says that every tourist must be registered at the migration police within five days. It creates a lot of mess and misunderstanding when the first-comers visit the country. If you are sure that you can stay legally in Kazakhstan for a certain time, don’t listen to suspicious people who’ll be trying to prove you the opposite. If you're not sure, please contact your embassy, but never leave your data to third parties. Those people most likely will offer you help you with the registration at the migration office for a ‘good price’. The best way is to ignore such people and go without worrying about the migration office.
Despite the fact that Kazakhs are famous for their hospitality, locals may show a negative attitude towards the LGBT community in all the parts of Kazakhstan. The suggestion is not to show your orientation publicly because you may be in danger. Such situations may cause unwanted attention of the police and create more problems. Although homosexuality is not illegal, and there are organizations that defend the rights of the members of the LGBT community, it's still better to stay discreet.
Sadly, pickpocketing is still very common in Kazakhstan. Public transport and markets, also known as bazaars, are one of the first places where you have to be more attentive than usual. Bazaars are more dangerous since the thieves may try to attack you if you try to defend your belongings. In such cases, don't hesitate to call the police.
Another important thing is not to buy any meat products at bazaars for a simple reason - it’s difficult to know the quality, and it also can result in some health issues since you are not used to local products. As most of the medical services don’t have English speaking employees, tourists may face some very unpleasant situations in this case.
Following these tips on what you need to know before coming to Kazakhstan, you will avoid some worries and focus on enjoyable activities. Have a safe staying in Kazakhstan!
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