The ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan is an intriguing Central Asian country that shares a border with China and Russia. Thanks to its abundant reserves of minerals and oil, Kazakhstan is much wealthier than many of its neighbours, which means that development has occurred at a steady pace. However, much of Kazakhstan remains relatively unexplored, promising its visitors some unforgettable travel adventures.
For the history buffs out there, Kazakhstan is home to several well-preserved archaeological and ethnographic, with everything from Bronze Age settlements to New Stone Age sites in the Karkarala Oasis, as well as rock drawings and stone sculptures at the Bayan-Aul National Park. Those that are more science-inclined will enjoy a visit to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where visitors can tour the facility and watch space launches.
In addition to its rich history and culture, Kazakhstan is also a country of incredible natural beauty, with everything from vast deserts to soaring mountains to green valleys. Naurzum is one of the best places to witness the country’s diverse landscapes, as well as some of its rare native animals, while Aksu-Zhabagly is a UNESCO biosphere reserve that is home to an abundance of wildlife and plants, and is also the oldest nature reserve in the country. Kurgaldjino is in the north of Kazakhstan, and is home to the most northerly settlement of pink flamingos in the world, while Charyn is the second largest canyon in the world, and is bound to impress just about anybody.
With such a contrasting landscape, Kazakhstan is the ideal place for outdoor activities. The Ili River is great for canoeing and rafting, while the snowy mountains provide some great hiking trails, as well as winter sports, and the largest speed skating rink in the world. When it comes time to relax, you will find several spas all over the country, from the internationally renowned to the traditional, local centers. Although it may not be a mainstream destination to visit for a vacation, Kazakhstan has something to offer everybody, whether you are after a cultural city break or some quality time with nature, and its residents are always happy to welcome visitors with open arms.
Astana is Kazakhstan’s new capital, and, with its constantly expanding skyline, with each new building reaching higher for the stars than the last, is a model for what the rest of the country can expect in the future. The buildings have been designed in an eclectic range of styles, making the whole city seem almost futuristic. Many of these buildings are open for the public to explore, and offer spectacular panoramic views across the city. However, for those of you who are after a city that showcases Kazakhstan’s heritage, Almaty, the previous capital of the country, is worth a visit, as it is still the cultural hub of Kazakhstan. The city is home to a variety of museums and art galleries, as well as to some of the country’s best restaurants, nightclubs and bars.
Turan Ave 37