Ust-Kamenogorsk (Russian: Усть-Каменогорск, Kazakh: Өскемен, Oskemen) is a city in northeastern Kazakhstan, and is the capital of Eastern Kazakhstan Province, with a population of about 350,000 people.
Air Astana and also SCAT airways have several flights to Ust from Almaty every week. SCAT also flies to Semipalatinsk and Bayaan Olgi, Mongolia, once a week.
There are daily trains from Almaty and Astana to Ust-Kamenogorsk Zashita (защита) station every day. The trips take around 18-24 hr and tickets range from 1,500 tenge for 3rd class to 3,000-4,000 tenge for second class.
There are daily buses to Ust from both Astana and Almaty. Buses leave Almaty from the Sairan bus station and arrive at the main Ust bus station on Abai st. The trip is overnight to both Astana and Almaty.
Ust has an old but very pleasant tram system and buses move easily around the city.
Стрелка (Strelka) Strelka is the arrow of land where the Irtych and Ulba rivers meet. It is also the site of the Great Patriotic War Memorial. A nice place to stroll and have a "Limonad" on a warm evening, usually plenty of people hanging around.
Набережна (Naberezhna) This is simply the promenade along the Irtysch river leading up to Strelka. Grab a beer, find a spot or stroll, and hang out by the water as the sun goes down.
Go to a Hockey Game Ust-Kamenogorsk is home to Kazakhstan's most famous icehockey team: Kazzinc-Torpedo. This is where NHL-players Nik Antropov and Evgeny Nabokov started their careers. The team plays in the Russian 2nd league.
The eastern oblast of Kazakhstan is at the base of the Altai Mountains and known for its honey. If you are in Ust in September ask around for the local honey fair, where vendors from surrounding villages show off their wares.
Pizza Blues A chain of restaurants with good, reasonably priced pizza and beer. Great place to meet young people.
There are several hotels such as Irtysh and Tourist, but these usually provide poor value for the price. An old favorite is a small hotel in the large bright green "Nursat" building on Abai street, about a kilometer east of the bus station. A room there can cost as little as 1,200 tenge per night.