Contrary to the monotony that its name may suggest, the Southern Desert hides a treasure trove of Silk Road cities and the biggest voyage ever attempted by mankind - Space Travel.
The largest city in Kazakhstan's southern desert, Shymkent dates back to at least the 12th century and forms part of the caravan route from Central Asia to China. As such, it provides a great base for ventures into Silk Road settlements such as Turkestan, Otrar and Sairam.
For those looking for a different kind of thrill, just three and a half hours outside of Kyzylorda lies the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where space history flourishes and you can even witness a real-life rocket launch.
Rixos Khadisha Shymkent
Decorated in a neoclassical style, Rixos Khadisha Shymkent combines comfort and elegance in the heart of the city, offering fantastic views of the Shymkent cityscape.
Sputnik Hotel is an Italian-run 4 star hotel that is one of the best available hotels in the city of Baikonur, known for its large space launch facility.