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Shymkent city - East Kazakhstan region.

Shymkent is a large city in Kazakhstan. It is located in the south of the country at the foot of the Ugom Mountains, near the border with Uzbekistan, about 120 kilometers north of Tashkent. With 1,011,511 residents (as of January 1, 2019), it is the third largest city in Kazakhstan.

Shymkent was probably founded in the 12th century as a caravanserai to protect the neighboring trading city on the Silk Road. The city turned into a shopping center between nomads and a settled population and was destroyed several times over the centuries. At the beginning of the 19th century, the city passed into the possession of the Kokand Khan, who turned it into a military fortress. During the Russian conquest of Central Asia, Shymkent was conquered by imperial troops under the leadership of Mikhail Chernyaev in July 1864 and became part of the general government of Turkestan. Under Soviet rule, the city was turned into an important industrial and economic place. In independent Kazakhstan, the city was the administrative center of the South Kazakhstan region, but since June 2018, it has the status of a city of national importance.

Geography of Shymkent.

The city is located in the southern part of the Central Asian country near the border with Uzbekistan and is the capital of the South Kazakhstan region. It lies on the rivers Sairamsu and Badam. The Ugom Mountains extend further east, the Karatau Ridge - north of the city.
The climate of Shymkent.
Shymkent has a humid continental climate, which corresponds to the effective climate classification Dsa. Summer is hot and relatively dry with an average temperature of 26 ° C. Even temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius are not uncommon in Shymkent. Winters are cold, but far from characterized by such low temperatures as in most other parts of Kazakhstan. The average temperature in winter is only about -1 ° C; for comparison, in Astana it is on average −15 ° C. The annual rainfall is about 600 mm, with the largest amount of rainfall in winter and spring. The summer months, on the other hand, are very dry, in August the average rainfall is only four millimeters. The lowest temperature ever measured was -31.1 ° C (January 26, 1969), the highest temperature was 43.0 ° C and was measured on June 24, 1976.

Location of the city of Shymkent.

Shymkent was first divided into districts in 1945. At this time, three districts were founded: Central, Shchelesdorodoroshny and Savodsky. The districts of the city were later renamed, and three districts - Abaysky, Dzerzhinsky (Russian Dzerzhinsky) and Enbekshinsky existed from the late 1970s. Dzerzhinsky district was finally renamed El-Farabi (Kas. El-Farabi). Due to the integration of various regions around Shymkent, in 2014 the city was expanded due to the Karatau region to the fourth district.

History of Shymkent.

Shymkent was founded at the beginning of the 13th century as a trading city on the Silk Road and is now an important industrial and economic center in Kazakhstan.
Shymkent was first mentioned in connection with the conquests of Timur. From the 15th century, the city became the target of attacks by the Orats and Dzungars, later the Khans of Kokand and Bukhara fought for them. In 1810, Shymkent became part of and the main fortress of the Kokand Khanate. In July 1864, the city was captured by the Russian armed forces under the leadership of Colonel Mikhail Chernyaev. In the same year, Shymkent became a provincial city in the Syr Darya region as part of the Main Province of Turkestan. In 1921, Soviet troops finally entered the city. Initially, Shymkent was part of the Turkestan Autonomous Republic, since 1925 it was part of the Kazakh SSR.

Shymkent politics.

The current mayor of Shymkent is Jerlan Aytachanov since July 30, 2019. In the Soviet period, the city administration was headed by the executive committee.
On September 21, 2016, the city council approved the new city logo. It depicts a red tulip, which is represented by typical Kazakh ornaments. Below is the name of the city in a special calligraphic font. The city administration hopes to introduce a new logo and a positive image of the city among foreign tourists.
As early as 1939, the Russian population represented the largest ethnic group in Shymkent. Half of the approximately 75,000 inhabitants were Russians (36,675). The second largest population group was Uzbeks (12,438), which made up 16.7% of the population. Kazakhstanis (9 738) took the third place, making up 13.1% of the country's population. In addition, 10.4% of the population were Ukrainians (7,729 people), and another 4.3% were Tatars (3,179 people).
The last census of Kazakhs in 2009 showed the following ethnic composition of the city: Kazakhs (385,296 people) were by far the largest population group with 63.8%, followed by Russians (92,059 or 15.3%). Uzbeks (82,772) were the third largest group in Shymkent with a share of 13.2%. In addition, 1.8% of the population were Azerbaijanis (11,103), 1.6% were Tatars (9,706), and about 1% were Koreans (6,237).
A change in the ethnic composition of the city led to the inclusion of numerous surrounding cities in 2014. The number of Uzbeks in Shymkent doubled, reaching just under 160,000, making them the second largest ethnic group since then. In 2018, the five largest ethnic groups in the city were as follows: Kazakhs (627944), Uzbeks (173,117), Russians (92,626), Azerbaijanis (16,736) and Tatars (10,296).

Population of Shymkent.

Today, about one million people live in Shymkent, which makes it the third largest city in Kazakhstan. According to the census of 1897, about 11,000 inhabitants lived in the city, and therefore it was much smaller than Tashkent, nearby. In subsequent years, the population continued to increase, and in 1939 it reached the mark of 70,000 people. Even after the Second World War, there was an increase in population in Shymkent, and as a result, it became a large city. After Kazakhstan gained independence, growth initially slowed down before the population increased dramatically in the 21st century. The population grew by about 40 percent between 2000 and 2010. The rapid population growth in recent years is mainly due to the expansion of urban boundaries, which included many surrounding cities in urban areas and increased the population in 2014 by almost 175,000 people. May 17, 2018 Shymkent became a city with a population of more than a million people. As of January 1, 2019, 1 011 511 people lived in the city.

Religions of Shymkent.

The dominant religion in Shymkent is Islam, to which most Kazakhs and Uzbeks belong. At the last census in 2009, about 82 percent of the population said they belonged to Islam. The city’s large central mosque was opened in 2013 and was funded by the United Arab Emirates.
In 2009, about 100,000 Christians resided in the city. Most of them belong to the Russian Orthodox Church. Shymkent is the center of the diocese of Shymkent and Taras. Other beliefs are Buddhism with approximately 800 believers; about 150 Jews also live in Shymkent.

Culture and attractions of Shymkent.

In Shymkent there are 16 national cultural centers, including a German school. There are numerous museums, historical sites and cultural monuments. Archaeological excavations are underway. Shymkent also has two theaters (one Kazakh and one Russian), a philharmonic society, three cultural palaces, two cinemas, an art gallery and a Mega Center Shymkent shopping center with a skating rink, designer shops and four other cinemas.
The city has eight parks, three of which were founded before the October Revolution. Especially popular are “Abay Culture and Leisure Park”, Technopark, Ethnic Park, Water Park, Zoo and Flora. There is also an amusement park for children, including a miniature train.
With 21 hospitals, a sanatorium named after Karlygasha and a number of “Healthy Lifestyle Centers”, Shymkent is very well equipped.
It is important to note that Shymkent is called Texas within the country, including due to the growth of crime in the region (proximity to the rich hemp region of Chu and the role of the city as the largest transshipment point for transporting hemp to the west).

Sports of Shymkent.

The local football club "Ordabasy Shymkent" plays in the top Kazakhstan football league. The annual Shymkent Challenger tennis tournament has been held in Shymkent since 2017.

Economics and infrastructure of Shymkent.

Shymkent is one of the industrial and economic centers of Kazakhstan. The development of industry in the city began in the 1930s in the Soviet Union. Today, the city is widely represented by oil refining, the chemical industry (including rubber), the pharmaceutical industry, mechanical engineering, as well as food and textile production. In June 2015, 348 industrial companies were registered, which produced goods worth about 129 billion tenge from January to June 2015.
In 2005, the Ongtüstik Special Economic Zone was created. The purpose of creating such a zone is to promote the economic development of the South Kazakhstan region and, above all, the location of light industry enterprises in Shymkent.
One of the three Kazakhstani refineries is located in Shymkent. Built in 1985, it is also the youngest refinery in the country, producing about 30 percent of all petroleum products in the country. After the country became independent, Shymkentnefteorgsintez (Rus. Shymkentnefteorgsintez), as the company was known at that time, was privatized and sold to a Canadian investor in 2000. The complex, with a production capacity of 40.65 million barrels per year, is operated by PetroKazakhstan, a joint venture between the China National Petroleum Corporation and KazMunaiGas.

Transport Shymkent.

Shymkent International Airport is located about ten kilometers west of the city center. It opened in 1933 and has about half a million passengers annually. The airport is the home airport of SCAT, which from here, along with several other airlines, offers national and several international flights.
In 2005, urban trolleybus services were discontinued, and since then, local urban transport has been provided by a bus network consisting of more than 70 lines. It is run by several different private companies. In July 2016, the Schymkent Bus transport company was founded as part of the Schymkent 2020 urban development concept to modernize and improve local transport. This is a public-private partnership between the city of Shymkent, which owns 49 percent, and Green Bus, which owns 51 percent. As part of this partnership, the bus fleet will also be modernized and modern buses using natural gas will be purchased.

Shymkent is located on the Turkestan-Siberian railway line. The Transaral Railway, connecting Orenburg in Russia with Tashkent in Uzbekistan, also passes through the city. The city's railway station is located southeast of the city center. From here, Kazakhstan Temir Shcholy offers regional and national ties. High-speed trains run on the route from Astana to Shymkent since June 2014. Since the opening of the Almaty-Tashkent connection in March 2017, there has also been international communication with neighboring Uzbekistan.
The M32 motorway ends in the city and connects the west of the country with the south. A2, which leads east to the border with China at Chorgos, passes through Shymkent.

Education Shymkent.

Shymkent has about 130 schools and almost 400 preschool institutions, most of which are privately owned. In addition, the city is also an important university with 11 universities and 37 secondary schools, with more than 100,000 students.
The largest and most important university is the State University of Southern Kazakhstan, which is named after the Kazakh writer Mukhtar Yauzov. It was founded in 1943 as the Kazakh Institute of Chemical Technology, later transformed into a technical university. Today it is one of the best universities in Kazakhstan and has 13 faculties in which more than 15,000 students study. The Pedagogical University of Southern Kazakhstan was founded in 1992 as one of the first private universities in independent Kazakhstan. Today it is divided into four faculties with more than 5,000 students. There is also the Medical Academy of Southern Kazakhstan, which was founded in 1979 and has nearly 2,000 students and is one of the smallest universities in the country.
Other universities in Shymkent include the Mardan Saparbayev Humanitarian Institute in the South Kazakhstan Region, the Kazakh University of International Friendship, the Äbilchan Qastejew Kazakh University of Art and Design, the University of New Technologies and other medical and polytechnic schools.

Media of Shymkent.

One of the most famous and major newspapers in Shymkent is South Kazakhstan. The first edition of the regional newspaper, which appeared throughout Turkey, was printed on May 1, 1925. His main task was to strengthen the economic, cultural and political ties between the city and the village. The circulation of the publication is about 18,000 copies. This is one of the largest regional newspapers in Kazakhstan. Another important newspaper is the Panorama of Shymkent (Russian. Panorama of Shymkent). There is also a series of small weekly newspapers, of which Russian-speaking Rabat (Rus. Rabat) should be mentioned.
Most of the country's television and radio programs can be obtained in Shymkent. Kazakh State Broadcasting "Kazakhstan" has been broadcasting "Ontusik" (kas. Ontustik) since October 5, 1990, a regional program with news from the region. There are also several other regional channels, including Otyrar TV.