Aral Sea Ship Graveyard – Shipwrecks in Aralsk, Kazakhstan

After driving across the featureless desert of Kazakhstan for 4 days, and safely passing Kazakhstan’s “road of death”, we found ourselves in the small town of Aralsk on what used to be the coast of the Aral sea.

Aralsk is a small town, just 30,000 people live there. With the Aral sea coast having vanished decades ago, this former fishing village isn’t much to see. We heard there were a few slowly rusting ship carcases sitting on the old Aral seabed not too far from town. Since they were potentially the most interesting thing to see withing 750km in any direction, we decided to go check them out.

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Kazakhstan Road & Driving Conditions

I’m not entirely sure how it all started, but somehow this year we got the idea in our heads that driving across Kazakhstan would be a fun thing to do. At the very least, it would be an adventure.

We knew that most of Kazakhstan would be big, flat, empty, and hot. Some thorough planning for the drive seemed like a good idea.

Where to stay, which route to take, and what the roads would be like were all questions we wanted to answer before we started driving across the steppe. We drove across Kazakhstan in August and September 2016, and while there was plenty of outdated information available online, I’m hoping that sharing some of the practical information we gathered might make a few future road trips a little easier.

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