During the Soviet Union, Central Kazakhstan became a place for testing various types of weapons. There was a decision to use the vastness of the Betpak-Dala desert, spread west of Lake Balkhash, due to its sparse population, for testing new anti-aircraft missile systems and anti-ballistic missile defense systems. Since 1956, it was here that the State Research and Testing Ground No. 10 of the
USSR Ministry of Defense worked. In common parlance — Saryshagan. Currently, most of the sites are abandoned and dilapidated, while several sites are still used by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Balkhash lakeside also became one of the industrial centers of Soviet Kazakhstan — here, in 1928, one of the largest copper ore deposits was discovered. And ten years later, the Balkhash Mining and
Metallurgical Combine began to operate on the lake, which is still functioning today.
Transfer Karaganda — Bektau-Ata (325 km, 6 hours), with lunch on the way in a roadside cafe near Akshatau. Walking tour of the Bektau-Ata mountain range (5 km, 3 hours). Transfer Bektau-Ata — the city of Balkhash (75 km, 1.5 hours). Hotel accommodation, dinner.
Breakfast. A visit to the Museum of Local History, a walking tour of the old part of the city (Palace of Culture of Metallurgists, the House of Stakhanovists, Zhastar Park), visits to the facilities of the Balkhash Mining and Metallurgical Combine (steam locomotive-monument Em-4880 and the building of the plant’s management). Early lunch. Transfer Balkhash — Priozersk (162 km, 2.5 hours). Upon arrival in Priozersk: excursion to the Museum of the Range History in the House of Officers, a city tour (monument to the first builders, a monument to the dead pilots, the 40th anniversary of the Range square), optionally swimming in Lake Balkhash. Accommodation at the hotel, dinner.
Early breakfast. Transfer from Priozersk to the First site of the Saryshagan testing ground (135 km, 3.5 hours) with a visit to the hangars for S-75 anti-aircraft missile systems along the way. Tour of the ruins of the administrative part and the starting positions of the First site, including the observation post. Lunch in the field (lunch boxes). Transfer First site — Site 35 (115 km, 3 hours). A tour of the ruins of the administrative part, where the monument to Lenin still rises, and the starting positions of the S-200 anti-aircraft missile systems. Transfer from Site 35 to Priozersk (89 km, 2 hours). Dinner, overnight at the hotel. *
Breakfast. If the client continues his journey to another region of the country, his/her transfer to the Saryshagan railway station (19 km, 20 min.), I.e. end of the tour, or return to Karaganda through Balkhash (562 km, 10 hours) with lunch along the way.
* The tour can also be completed in the late evening of the third day if the client intends to continue his/her journey on one of the trains passing through Saryshagan train station at that time.