Kaydak Bay is a 15 km wide salt marsh extending for over 100 km along the Buzachi Peninsula’s east coast. A 1–2 metre high depositional bar separates the bay from the Caspian Sea, both of which lie 30 m below sea level. From time to time the sea breaches the bar and floods the bay as far south as the Mangystau Mountains.
Depending on salinity, organisms, and water temperature, the marsh’s colours vary from grey and brown to pink and light green. Running along the bay’s east side, from Kizyl-Bas / Say-Utes settlement to southern Beyneu is the 200 km long Western Chink Ustyurt. Some sections of the cliff line rise more than 200m above Kaydak offering stunning views—New Alexander Fort is located here too. By comparison, the west side rises only 10m above the bay and marks the beginning of the Buzachi Peninsula’s deserts too.
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