Tourists and locals wishing to see the sights of Shymkent this summer can tour the urban area aboard one of two new double-decker busses. Purchased by Zhibek Zholy, the two-storey vehicles take guests and locals past some of the city’s most important points and attractions.
“We need to develop domestic tourism and these buses are a step towards the goal. We have a lot of beautiful places that remain unknown for many visitors, as they don’t have enough time or just cannot get there. The tourist bus project will allow visiting everything worth seeing at once,” said head of the South Kazakhstan region Department of Business and Tourism Bauyrzhan Omarbekov.
According to Zhibek Zholy owner Assel Ibokhodzhayeva, the buses have already become a favourite attraction for the people. Each bus has 66 seats, and tickets are typically sold out every day.
“This is not a commercial, but a patriotic project. The idea was born in our family after having visited several countries. We thought Shymkent deserves to be presented to visitors, as the city is developing and growing every year. We are glad to see that buses are much in demand among the population,” said Ibokhodzhayeva.
The two-hour trips are available every evening except Monday. The route starts next to the city’s techno park, where passengers can also buy tickets. A standard ticket is 500 tenge (US$2.68); children under 14, 400 tenge (US$2.14) and youngsters under six ride free.
The bus takes passengers past Fantasy World Park, Shamshi Avenue, the Zher Ana and Baidibek bi monuments, park of independence, arboretum and new administrative and business centre, as well as the city circus and Abai Park. During the trip, guests are offered an audio guide available in five different languages. They learn about the history of Shymkent, which is a regional centre and one of the oldest cities in the country, and hear interesting facts mixed with old myths and local legends.
At the opening ceremony of the tour route, Deputy Mayor Kairat Nurtai noted the project will promote the development of domestic and social tourism while also stressing the importance of education among the younger generation and stimulating their desire to learn more about the history of their country.