In Central Asia, hugged by Russia on its northern border while embracing China to the east and Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan & Caspian Sea. It the largest landlocked & the ninth largest country in the world. It has diverse landscapes, fascinating history with culture, rich enough to compete for any destination in the world, with Continental Climate. Temperatures reaching as high as 40°C, in July – August & winters hit serious cold reaching lower than -30°C.
Kazakhstan is often called the “small Switzerland” because of its amazingly beautiful lakes and mountains, steppes and deserts, rivers and high hills, and even the sea, which is, in fact the biggest lake in the world, the Caspian Sea.
Kazakhstan uniqueness lies primarily in its multicultural – multiethnic people. Home to 126 ethnic groups, whose representatives speak in different languages, best known for its nomadic roots and breathtaking nature.
Kazakhstan possesses many tourism attractions of its nomadic culture & various unique landscapes, mirroring its nomadic heritage, reflecting on cultural symbols and traditions.
The horse is probably the most central part of Kazakh culture. Kazakhs love horses, from riding them for transportation in villages, using them for farming, racing them for fun.
They even have a tradition of cooking the horse-meat for special occasions. Food there is traditionally meat heavy, a place for food lovers to explore. A speciality for most Kazakhs is Beshbarmak (also spelled Beshbarmak or Beşbarmaq) meaning five fingers, which is what is required to enjoy it, all five of them. It is a stew made traditionally from horse meat which is served on flat pasta squares sheets.
Kazakhs are hospitable people and enjoy hosting dinners at their homes, they serve you tea and bread, even if you are not invited to a meal. Since Kazakhs consider bread to be sacred, serving bread is a sign of respect.
If you befriend a local & visit their home for supper, you may be offered Kumis, fermented mare’s milk to drink. In outlying regions, usually replaced by camel milk. If the invitee is considered a special guest, the host may present a sheep’s head for the main course.
Honored guests are offered a specially prepared sheep head. Eating sheep’s head has a long history in Kazakhstan. The chunks of boiled meat are cut and served by the host in order of the guests’ importance. It is tradition to serve the ears have traditionally gone to children so they listen better and to young men so they will be careful. The palates are served to teachers to make them gentle with students and young girls to encourage diligence.
However, if you are vegetarian you won’t go hungry. Thick vegetable soups, salads and rice dishes abound. For the sweet-toothed, desserts and cakes are also plentiful and delicious.
Along with the thrilling food, Kazakhstan is the home of the apples and the largest city Almaty is famous for the Apples; Almaty’s old name Alma-Ata means “Father of Apples” in Kazakh, Almaty the city claims to be the birthplace of the domesticated Apples for more than a hundred years.
Another part of the nomadic heritage is the Yurt, a Central Asian transportable dwelling. These small white homes are still found in some parts of Kazakhstan. Yurts are widely used in national celebrations and in Kazakh arts and poetry as reminders of the Kazakhs’ nomadic past.
Along the love of sports and the epic food Kazakh’s stores, the early history in the Tamgaly region, you can see thousands of Iron Age rock carvings.
In the country’s south, you can visit the Baikonur Cosmodrome – it was there that Russian Soviet pilot Yuri Gagarin was launched into space in 1961, the first human to make the journey. Kazakhstan is certainly not short of wide, open spaces. Towering mountains, sprawling deserts, lakes and the largest dry steppe region on Earth all belong to this diverse expanse of land.
Kazakhstan has been an active trade route for merchants and travelers from time immemorial. This country used to be a hub of economic and socio-cultural exchange between two major continents of the world, namely Europe & Asia.
Kazakhstan used to be a part of the Silk Route and hence has marvellous constructions which were erected during the years of Silk Trade Kazakhstan stands out as a special Belt & Road partner as the initiative was started with Kazakhstan. The northern branch of Great Silk Road passes the territory of the country.
That part of the road is the epic complex of historical, archaeological and architectural memorials, including the experience of cities planning and construction. Such cities as Otrar, Sauran, and Turkestan were not only trade centres, but also scientific and cultural centres. And it is one of the most developed countries in Central Asia.
If you walk through the capital of Astana, you will feel as though you are in the future, through all its futuristic architecture. The cities are great places to meet people, experience the energy of the nightlife, shop to your heart’s content and spectacular food all available in Kazakhstan.
If you want to know about another ancient Silk Road city read ‘Why Georgia is on our minds?’