With over four million people touring the country in recent years, more travelers have become interested in visiting Kazakhstan and seeing its sites. Being the ninth-biggest country in the world, it offers a large amount of space waiting to be explored. The southeast region is where most of the country’s tourist destinations are located. Its southern portion is where one will find the historic region of Turkistan. It is easy to see why tourism is fast-growing and why travelers are cueing up to vacation in this vast, Central Asian country. If you want to experience the magic of this country on your next vacation, here are the top eight things Kazakhstan is famous for. Take the time to do these during your visit.
1. Wild horses
The wild horses of Kazakhstan, known as Przewalski’s horses, are the last breed of wild horses in existence. The 1960s saw this animal almost go into extinction through overhunting, extreme droughts, and competition. The good news is that several conservationists have put in herculean efforts to save this beauty from complete eradication. Kazakhstan, together with China and Mongolia, is at the forefront of saving this magnificent creature. Around a dozen of these horses roam wildly in the steppes, mountains, and deserts surrounding Altyn-Emel National Park, located near the border of China and Kyrgyzstan. This animal is worth looking at and admiring because it is the only wild horse in the world.
Kazakhstan’s most famous dish is beshbarmak, which translates to “five fingers” because it is eaten using the hands. The dish is composed of meat with the preferred ones being beef, lamb, and horse and is served on top of thin squares of noodles. A flavorful sauce made from meat broth mixed with onions, ground pepper, and salt is poured over the dish. A small bowl of the broth is served on the side for slurping. Today, this nomadic dish is served in a ritualized manner, where certain parts of the meat are given to people in relation to their age, position, and gender.
3. Mineral oils
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
The country overflows with mineral deposits, thus making it a great source of oil and fuel products. Ore, coal, and non-metallic minerals are found in Kazakhstan’s mines and have become treasured commodities by the public. Among these are the well-loved bi-products called mineral oils, which are produced using distillation. It has become a competitive field and has pushed the country to become second in Central Asia when it comes to its production. Mineral oils produced here are mainly used to produce beauty and skincare products and as a laxative to help facilitate better digestion. These products are the reasons why Kazakhs generally have good skin and live healthily.
4. Arasan baths
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Visitors to Kazakhstan can relax and rest their weary bodies by paying a visit to Arasan Baths. It is considered Central Asia’s biggest and most grandiose public bath, where guests can spend two full hours indulging in soothing baths and pools. Among the popular features are Russian, Turkish, and Finnish hammams or steam bathhouses. It has several rest areas where visitors can take some time to relax and breathe. The large complex is a fixture of Eurasian architecture where domes and columns dominate its design. Arasan offers special treatments, such as body scrubs and various massages, for a fee. There are a few restaurants within the complex where you can have something to eat and drink.
Arasan Wellness & Spa
Address: Тулебаева, д.78 (уг.ул., Айтеке Би), Almaty, Kazakhstan
Website: Arasan Wellness & Spa
Opening hours: 7am – 10:40pm (daily)
5. Lake Balkhash
Lake Balkhash is known as one of the largest lakes in Asia and is the 15th largest on the planet. Its unique characteristic is that it contains two types of water. The western side is filled with fresh water while the eastern part has high salinity. The western side is wider but is shallow, while the eastern part is narrow but deep. These two parts are connected by the Uzynaral Strait that has a depth of 6 meters (21 feet). The lake is the perfect spot to witness Kazakhstan’s beautiful greenery and abundant wildlife that include birds, wild boars, Persian deer, and wolves, to name a few.
6. Baikonur Cosmodrome
Baikonur Cosmodrome is a spaceport acknowledged to be the first and largest of its kind. Construction of the launch pad was completed in 1957, and it began as a testing site for Russian missiles. Today, the Russian government manages the port on a leased property in Kazakhstan. The place is still busy and launches several missions throughout the year. The property has many platforms, some of which can accommodate the latest rockets. It also has a rocket construction area, fuel stations, and a central control room. Visitors are welcome to step inside Baikonur Museum and stand in front of the Yuri Gagarin monument to honor the first man in space.
Address: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Baikonur, Kyzylorda Region, Kazakhstan
7. Ski destination
Rising to a height of 10,500 feet (3,200 meters), Shymbulak Resort is the largest ski resort in Central Asia. Its modern amenities are incomparable and make life more comfortable for skiers. Tekeli is for the adventurous skier, and it lies along the path to the Dzungarian Mountains, which is situated 186 miles (300 kilometers) from Almaty. The latter is also a perfect spot for skiing because it is located at the foot of the Trans-Ili Mountains, which has a height of 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). Glistening slopes dominate the landscape of Ak-Bulak, which never ceases to excite thrill-seeking skiers. The newest addition to Kazakhstan’s impressive number of ski resorts is Kok Zhailau, located in the heart of Ile-Alatau National Park.
If there is one important apple Kazakhstan visitors need to know about, it is the Malus sieversii. This type of apple grows in the mountains in the southern part of the country and is where apples such as Fuji and Granny Smiths originated from. People who live in the Alatau Mountains harvest this sweet fruit starting in April. This area is considered by botanists as the place where the history of apples started. It is also acknowledged as the last wild apple forest on the planet. German botanist Johann Erasmus Sievers discovered this apple in 1796, and the fruit is named after him.
Kazakhstan has a lot to offer its visitors
Kazakhstan is one of the most amusing places one can visit. Travelers from all over the world will love what this country has to offer. From food to nature, visitors won’t run out of things to explore and do, with the famous things listed above waiting for you.
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