Budget and Shopping in Kazakhstan

New friends at a cafeKazakhstan is the richest and most expensive Central Asian country to travel in. This is particularly noticable in hotel prices. The recipe for a budget bicycle trip involves lots of camping.

The good news is that many of Kazakhstan’s highlights are in rural areas so your wallet should come away relatively undamaged if you make good use of your tent and cook seasonal food from markets.

Using these tactics, we managed to spend about 10 euros a day in Kazakhstan but this would easily have been much higher if we’d taken hotel rooms instead of staying with friends in the cities and eaten more than the odd meal in cafes. As well as mostly cooking for ourselves, we filtered our own water rather than buying bottled brands.

Some typical costs in May 2008 are listed below, when $1 U.S. bought around 120 Tenge:

Bottle of Kazakh beer – 100 Tenge
Bowl of Laghman – 200-350 Tenge
Budget hotel room – 4,000 Tenge
City bus in Almaty – 40 Tenge
Kilogram of apples – 200 Tenge
Kilogram of carrots – 100 Tenge
Kilogram of onions – 60 Tenge
Kilogram of peanuts – 300 Tenge
Kilogram of potatoes – 60-70 Tenge
Kilogram of tomatoes – 300 Tenge
Loaf of bread – 35-60 Tenge
Local draft beer – 150-200 Tenge
Mug of coffee – 50-75 Tenge
Mug of tea – 25 Tenge
One hour internet access – 150-300 Tenge
Telephone card – 240 Tenge


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