Kazakhstan is a Central Asian country we’ll heard about more and more in the future. Kazakhstan, venue for the next Expo scheduled for 2017, is the more developed country of Central Asia, accordingly the most expensive. Kazakhstan is also the ninth largest country on the earth; this allows the country to have really a lot of different natural and human environments to visit: lakes, rivers, steppe, forests and deserts, but also nomadic populations and a XXI century style capital. We cannot list everything Kazakhstan offers!
The size of the Kazakh territory, however, makes sometimes hard the moving from one part of the country to another. Some very interesting attractions, as Beket-Ata, in the Mangistau Desert, for this reason are difficult to reach. Remains of the thousand-year-old history of Kazakhstan are scattered throughout the entire country, for instance the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi in Turkestan or the ruins of Sauran. History lovers will be abducted from the past of Kazakhstan characterised by warring hordes and trading caravans, a past that nowadays is reflected in the unique cultural character of the country, drawing a lot of tourists each year.
Other greatly attractive element is the beauty of the landscapes, with the unbelievable variety of flora and fauna. Natural environments are safeguarded, the most famous being the protected area of Aksu Zhabagly, the “tulips kingdom” where the snow leopard lives. In the National Park of Altyn Emel you can witness the mysterious show of the singing dunes, whereas the reserve of Korgalzhyn is a true paradise for people interested in bird-watching. In Kazakhstan you can climb rocks, do trekking or go mountain bike as well, everyone will find something to enjoy.
People loving to visit cities will not remain disappointed starting from Almaty, the biggest town in Kazakhstan. Once capital of the country, today Almaty is the place in Kazakhstan where everything happens, where go to shopping and to live the most hectic night-life of Kazakhstan. The new capital town is Astana, in the past outpost in the northern steppe and at the present ultra-modern city, with its futuristic architecture buildings. The other cities are spread throughout the Kazakhstan, as the case of the far away Karaganda. Every city, however, has a charm that makes fascinating to discover them.
A particular way to travel in Kazakhstan is to relive the Soviet past, when the country was an important part of USSR. Unfortunately, the legacies of this past are often negatives, the most famous case being the Aral Lake, at the border with Uzbekistan. The excessive use of its waters resulted in their withdrawal, in such sort that where yesterday there was water now there is desert. The Aral is one of the most visited places in Kazakhstan but of great value could be also a visit to the not so distant Baikonur Cosmodrome, the site from where the Soviet space missions left for the cosmos.
Travelling to Kazakhstan means to go in the most modern heart of Central Asia, where different realities coexist albeit with their contradictions. Kazakhstan is really a great country to discover!