Kazakhstan is a country of wonderful and diverse nature consisting of forest steppes and steppes in the West from the Volga, as well as high-altitude meadows and forests of the Altai in the East, and the landscapes just change remarkably to the south with extending deserts of Central Asia. The Khan Tangiri Shyngy is the highest point in the region with an altitude of 6,995 meters and Vpadina Kandy is well below at -132 meters below sea level.
There are over 6,000 types of plants, 600 of which are indigenous to Kazakhstan, and a heaving diversity of fauna from mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and 500 different kinds of birds. Such diverse and flourishing flora and fauna manifest a climate that best suits the nomadic pastures, which is continental with warm summers and cold winters.
The world’s ninth biggest country and largest landlocked nation of a 2,727,300 km² area are greater in size than Western Europe. Within years of independence from the Soviets easily grew to become one of the world leaders in rates of growth and economic development amongst its adjacent Eurasian nations. The former Soviet republic is rich in oil and natural gas, thus, explaining Bush’s trifle over the country.
PEOPLE & CULTURE
Equally diverse, the crossroads that is the multinational republic of Kazakhstan is at the center of social, cultural, and economic ties between Europe and Asia. The nation is mottled with people sharing language, religion, and nationalities. Despite this, modern Kazakhstan emerged as a new citizen of the land with an original culture that is upbeat with the times. Not to mention, football is the most popular sport and pastime. Now isn’t that just beyond expectation?
With only 16.2 million (January 2010) Kazakhstanis (nationality) in the vast expanse of the land lot, there are 6 Kazakhstanis for every kilometer of land, and that is a lot of space for a person. The KAZAKH is the dominant nationality (63%), as well as the “state language” (64.4%), among 130 nationalities including Russian, Ukrainian, Uzbek, and Tatar.
The country is generally bilingual with RUSSIAN as the “official language” spoken by almost all Kazakhstanis. ENGLISH (30%) is also widely spoken especially with the young generation of Kazakhstanis. The multi-religious nation also allows freedom of religion, but Islam takes the cake with 72% of the populace in practice. Christianity in the form of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism is a minor religion.
The inimitable nature of Kazakhstan, its historic monuments, well-developed transport, and tourist infrastructures rightfully deserve Kazakhstan to be one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Rare as any tourist comes here, the traveler who opens his/her eyes to the real face of Kazakhstan will be sure to enjoy the traditional hospitality of the local residents.
To preserve the unique Kazakhstan landscape and wildlife, there were created national parks, preserves, and reserves like paradise on earth best trekked on a horse in authentic nomad-style. The traveler may also want to crawl and delve into the secret of underground mosques near the Caspian Sea or arise to the heights of the Altai Mountains.
Modern hotels in the large metropolis correspond to the world standards of the hotel industry. Medeo is the largest high-altitude ice-skating rink on the planet at the height of 1,700 meters above sea level, and of course, made from the purest spring water, while Chimbulak is the ultimate ski resort.
The Baikonur Cosmodrome, the world’s largest and oldest operational space launch facility, is the site of the launch of Yuri Gagarin’s first manned orbital flight. On the other hand, large trading entertainment complexes cinemas, sports facilities, and supermarkets have been built in the republic for added entertainment and convenience. Fortunately, most attractions and activities here are indeed easy on the pocket.
The food in the region is based on meat, which helps the Kazakhstanis keep warm during the cold seasons. They are also heavy on pasta, rice, and potatoes-the staples, cooked in, of course, meat stock. Now, Kazakh cuisine seems close to the rest of the world’s palette this way, even more so with their food offerings that consist of a balance between starch, meat, and vegetables like noodle dishes (Laghman), steamed meat, and veggie dumplings (many), grilled meat skewer with lavash, a flatbread (shashlyk).
The Beshparmak or “five fingers” is the national dish of several meat parts distributed based on position or status. Vegetarian food run high and dry in Kazakhstan, so head out to a Korean diner and get a decent vegetarian fix for a low cost. Kazakh cuisine is presently very much celebrated in other countries in Central Asia, Russia, Germany, and even Korea.
Explore Kazakhstan travel package with Best Choice Tours.