Chimkent (also spelled Shimkent, Shymkent) is located in Southern part of Kazakhstan. It is the third largest city in the country and among top major stops of the Turkestan-Siberian Railroad. First signs of Chimkent as a settled place go back to the 12th century and directly connected to the Silk Route. The proximity of Tashkent city (~ 120km), which was a major trade center of the Silk Route, was a great benefit to Chimkent city. The town flourished, but the prosperity enjoyment was not long. Periodically, it was robbed and burned by the nomads until it fell under Kokand khanate of Mongolian Empire and later, under the Russian protectorates. Today's city image continues to be more of an industrial place with typical Soviet style apartment building, but it has few things that worth of stopping by such as Regional museum, Russian and Kazakh theaters, interesting collection of monuments erected during the Soviet epoch. But the surrounding nature is what really makes Chimkent the place you want to visit. When in the city, make sure to schedule a trip to see breathtaking mountains "Ak-mechet" and "Burgulyuk". The nearby nature reserve "Aksu-Dzhabagly" is an ideal place for hiking and camping. When traveling, keep in mind that summers in Chimkent are very hot and dry with average temperature +35-40C and the winters are mild in general, but can be cold also.