Kazakhstan is arguably one of many world’s most neglected locations in Central Asia. Most travelers head to East or Southeast Asia and neglect concerning the continent’s huge inside. It is a very completely different area of the world and one which only some independent-minded folks ever trouble to go to.

Kazakhstan has a historical past and story hardly ever advised within the West. It’s a large nation nearly fully neglected, and but it’s wealthy in historical past, stunningly lovely, visitor-friendly, and guests quickly notice that Kazakhstan is one among the countries that could become a major tourist destination in the future.

Horses in the Assy Plateau, near Almaty, Kazakhstan

Horses within the Assy Plateau, close to Almaty, Kazakhstan

What To Know About Kazakhstan & Why It Ought to Be On The Bucket Checklist

The heritage of Kazakhs is nomadic. They as soon as roamed throughout the steppe with yurts and horses (much like the Mongols), however lately the inhabitants lives in settled housing. Across the nation, guests will see visitor home yurts and even fashionable buildings made within the form of a yurt as a nod to their nomadic previous. Everybody is aware of the Mongols have been (are) nomadic, however few are conscious that the Kazakhs have been, too, till fashionable occasions.

  • Language: Kazakh, Russian
  • Measurement: 2,724,900 km2 (1,052,100 sq mi)
  • Inhabitants: 19 Million

Kazakhstan is probably the most developed of the Central Asian states (though it’s nonetheless a growing nation). It has a big Russian affect and inhabitants from the Soviet interval, and immediately most individuals communicate Russian (in addition to their native Kazakh language).

Sadly, for some folks, Kazakhstan is simply dismissed as one of many “stans.” That’s unlucky for a lot of causes – one motive being each of the Central Asian countries is unique with distinctive points of interest, and one other being that Kazakhstan is a various and eye-watering lovely nation.

Dramatic Soviet Building in Almaty, Kazakhstan
Photograph by Aaron Spray

Dramatic Soviet Constructing in Almaty, Kazakhstan

As former nomads, the Kazakhs retain sturdy connections with horses. Word that horse meat is a nationwide dish in Kazakhstan. Adventurous vacationers can pattern horse and even camel milk whereas exploring the nation.

Associated: Samarkand Sits At The Crossroads Of The Silk Road With Amazing Architecture

Kazakhstan Is A Land Of Dramatic Contrasts

Kazakhstan is the most important of the Central Asian international locations (the truth is, it’s the ninth largest nation on the planet by land space). Whereas it’s dominated by the huge Eurasian Steppe, Kazakhstan has locations of dramatic alpine magnificence. Within the south, the most important metropolis and former capital, Almaty, is constructed on the foot of large mountain ranges that characteristic among the largest mountains on earth, rising to over 7,000 meters. To the northeast are the Kazakhstan components of the famously lovely Altai Mountains.

  • UNESCO Websites: 5 Websites In Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is ideal for an adventurous driving vacation – for many who wish to go off-roading and discover the mighty steppe. It’s also an alpine paradise for many who wish to discover its many mountains.

Movie Set In Kazakhstan
Photograph by Aaron Spray

Film Set In Kazakhstan

Whereas Kazakhstan might lack historical cities (apart from the UNESCO-listed southern metropolis of Turkestan), it nonetheless has loads of historic websites. One of many historic websites to find is the 5,000 ancient petroglyphs at Tamgaly. These are UNESCO listed, and a few are over 4,000 years outdated.

Different histories in Kazakhstan embrace sections of the famous ancient Silk Road that when related the East and West.

Associated: What Makes Uzbekistan The Most Popular Country In Central Asia (And Why It’s Worth Visiting Once)

What To Know About Visiting Kazakhstan & When To Go to

Kazakhstan is dominated by the Eurasian Steppe, and that steppe will get bitterly chilly within the winter. The most effective time to go to is through the summer season months. Those that wish to go mountain climbing within the mountains round Almaty ought to go to in the summertime after the snows have melted increased up.

Go to through the summer season months (or later spring / early autumn)

In the previous few years, Kazakhstan has liberalized its visa coverage, and now all Westerners can go to Kazakhstan visa-free for as much as 30 days. Those that wish to keep longer can simply make a visa run to neighboring Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan within the south. Whereas guests can uncover Kazakhstan on a visit, it’s extra well-liked to journey for longer and see the neighboring Central Asian states as effectively.

Big Almaty Lake in Kazakhstan

Huge Almaty Lake in Kazakhstan

  • Visa Coverage: Visa Free For 30 Days (Together with American, Canadian, European, and Australian Passports)

Kazakhstan is a protected nation to go to and as of 2023 the US State Department simply urges guests to train regular precautions.

The three predominant cities in Kazakhstan are Almaty, Astana, and Shymkent – these are all dramatically completely different cities. Almaty is the outdated capital of Kazakhstan, nestled on the bottom of the mountains, and has a powerful Soviet heritage. Astana is the gleaming new capital metropolis constructed on the steppe (which can be fridged within the winter months). Shymkent is the third metropolis of Kazakhstan and is known for preserving extra of the standard Kazakh heritage (little Russian is spoken in that metropolis).

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