KAZAKHSTAN

Brief information
Kazakhstan for most people is associated with steppes, nomads and a nomadic way of life. But let's leave these associations for the XX century. Now in Kazakhstan, of course, sometimes you can still meet nomads, but this is not the same country as before. Tourists in Kazakhstan will find beautiful nature, mountains, birch and coniferous forests, therapeutic lakes with mineral salt water, mineral and thermal springs, therapeutic muds, koumiss, unique historical and archeological monuments, including the mausoleum of Khodja Ahmet Yasavi, ancient cities and even ski resorts.

 

Geography of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan is located at the intersection of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. In the north and west, Kazakhstan has a border with Russia, in the south - with Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and in the east - with China. The total area of ​​this country is 2,724,902 square meters. km, and the total length of the state border is 13,392 km.

In the south of Kazakhstan is the desert Kyzylkum. In general, deserts and semi-deserts occupy almost 60% of the territory of Kazakhstan. Another 26% of the territory of Kazakhstan is the steppe.

The largest rivers in Kazakhstan are the Urals, Emba, Ishim, Irtysh and Syr Darya. In Kazakhstan there are several large lakes - Balkhash, Aoakol and Zaisan.

 

Capital of Kazakhstan
The capital of Kazakhstan since 1997 is Astana, which now has more than 750 thousand people. Archaeologists say that people in the territory of modern Astana lived already in the Bronze Age.

 

Official language
In Kazakhstan, two official languages ​​are Kazakh (it has the status of a state language), belonging to the Kypchak subgroup of Turkic languages, and Russian (has the status of an official language).

 

Religion
About 70% of the population of Kazakhstan profess Islam (its Sunni branch), and more than 26% are Orthodox Christians.

 

Government structure
According to the current Constitution, Kazakhstan is a parliamentary republic. Its head is the President, elected for 5 years.

Parliament in Kazakhstan consists of two chambers - the Senate (47 people) and the Majilis (107 people).

The main political parties in Kazakhstan are the Nur Otan Party, the Ak Jol Business Party, and the local Communist Party.

 

Climate and weather
The climate in Kazakhstan is moderate, with warm summers and cold winters. The average air temperature is + 8,9C. The highest average air temperature in Kazakhstan is observed in July (+ 30C), and the lowest in January (-12C). The average annual rainfall is 581 mm.

The best time to visit Kazakhstan is from the end of April to the end of October.

 

The sea in Kazakhstan
In the west, Kazakhstan is washed by the warm waters of the Caspian Sea, and in the south of the country lies the internal Aral Sea.

 

Rivers and lakes
On the territory of Kazakhstan there are several tens of thousands of rivers. Most of them are very small. The largest rivers in Kazakhstan are the Urals, Emba, Ishim, Irtysh and Syr Darya.

In Kazakhstan there are also several tens of thousands of lakes. The largest of them are Balkhash, Aoakol, Zaisan, Big Almaty Lake, Sibinsky Lakes. In this country, many lakes are not only very beautiful, but they also have healing properties due to mineral salts and hydrogen sulphide mud.

 

History of Kazakhstan
People in the territory of modern Kazakhstan lived in the Bronze Age. In the VI-III centuries. BC. e. on the territory of modern Kazakhstan there was a state of Scythians. Approximately in the V century AD. in Kazakhstan, the Turkic tribes are settled.

In the Middle Ages, there were several states on the territory of Kazakhstan that succeeded each other - the Turgesh Kaganate, the state formations of the Oghuz, the Karakhanids, the Kimeks, and then the Kipchaks, and the Karluk Kaganate. At the beginning of the 13th century, Kazakhstan became part of the ulus of Juchi and Jagataya of the Mongolian Empire.

It is believed that the first Kazakh state was formed at the beginning of the 16th century under Kasim Khan. In the 16th century, territorial tribal associations were formed in Kazakhstan, the Senior Zhuz, the Middle Zhuz and the Younger Zhuz.

From the middle of the XVIII century, the process of Kazakhstan's entry into the Russian Empire begins, which ended finally in the 1860s.

In 1918, part of the territory of Kazakhstan was part of the Turkestan ASSR, and in 1920 the rest of Kazakhstan was included in the Kyrgyz ASSR, which was later renamed the Kazakh ASSR. In 1936 the Kazakh ASSR was transformed into the Kazakh SSR.

In December 1991, Kazakhstan proclaimed its independence.

 

Culture
Kazakhstan only in 1991 became an independent country. For many centuries Kazakhstan was a part of different states, however Kazakhs managed to preserve their identity, their traditions. Islam had a great influence on the culture and customs of the inhabitants of Kazakhstan.

The main religious holidays in Kazakhstan are Ramadan, Navruz, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha. During these righteous people, jumps on horses, musical performances, as well as various national games are arranged.

In Kazakhstan, there are a lot of interesting folk customs and traditions. So, grandparents in Kazakhstan, according to tradition, should educate their first grandson themselves.

When a Kazakh boy turns 6 or 7 years old, he is given a horse. This custom develops in Kazakh boys responsibility, because they become "dzhigits".

 

Kitchen
The cuisine of Kazakhstan was formed under the influence of the Uzbek, Tatar, Russian and Uighur culinary traditions. The main food products are meat, sour-milk products, vegetables.

In Kazakhstan, we recommend tourists to try beshbarmak (mutton meat with noodles), manti (steamed dumplings stuffed with lamb), kaurdak (roast from potatoes and lamb), broth "surpa", kazy (horse meat sausage), and, of course , pilaf.

Traditional non-alcoholic drinks in Kazakhstan - kumis from mare's milk, shubat from camel milk, kymyran from a mixture of milk and boiled water, and, of course, tea, in which milk is added.

 

Sights of Kazakhstan
According to official figures, there are more than 9,000 historical, architectural and archaeological sites in Kazakhstan. Some of them are under the protection of UNESCO. Thus, in 2004 the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmet Yasawi was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In our opinion, the top 10 best sights of Kazakhstan can include the following:

Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmet Yasawi
Buddhist petroglyphs in Tamgaly-Tas
Mausoleum of Abdul-Aziz-bab in Shymkent
Mausoleum of Aisha-Bibi in Taraz
Mausoleum of Ibrahim-ata in Shymkent
Turkestan mosque
Minaret in Shymkent
Mausoleum of Sipatay-Batyr
Tombs of Ablai Khan and Abulkhair Khan
Dungan mosque in Karakol


Cities and resorts
The largest cities in Kazakhstan are Astana, Karaganda, Aktobe, Shymkent, Pavlodar, Taraz, and, of course, Alma-Ata.

In the west of Kazakhstan is the Caspian Sea, so if you want, tourists can visit local beaches.

However, the natural conditions in Kazakhstan are more conducive to the development of non-beach, and ski resorts. Among the Kazakh ski resorts should definitely allocate Medeo, Tabagan, "Altai Alps", Chimbulak, Ak-Bulak. The season of skiing in Kazakhstan begins in late November and continues through April. Problems with snow in Kazakhstan's ski resorts do not happen, because there if necessary, use artificial snow. Most of the ski resorts in Kazakhstan have a well-developed infrastructure, including attractions, horse riding grounds, skating rinks and much more.

In Kazakhstan there are also several good mountain climatic and balneological resorts. The most famous of them are Borovoye, Saryagash, Lake Alakol, Bayanaul and Alma-Arasan.

The main medical factors in Kazakhstan's mountain climate and balneological resorts are mineral, thermal, "soda" springs, therapeutic muds, air, nature, salt-rich lakes, as well as hot springs with hydrogen sulfide water and radon.

Souvenirs / purchases
Tourists from Kazakhstan usually bring products of folk art, dolls in traditional Kazakh costumes, kashu (a whip of leather), silver jewelry in Kazakh style, traditional Kazakh female headdress "saukele", kumys, salted cottage cheese balls "kurt", as well as traditional Kazakh folk musical instruments (for example, dombra).

 

Working hours of institutions
Banks:

Mon-Fri: 09: 30-18: 00

The shops:
Mon-Fri: 09: 00-18: 00
Many shops are open on weekends.

Currency
The official currency in Kazakhstan is Kazakhstan tenge (international designation: KZT). Credit cards are still not widely distributed.

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Customs restrictions
If you decided to import into or from Kazakhstan (or take out of it) foreign currency or local currency for more than $ 3 thousand, then you must declare it. Customs rules practically do not differ from customs rules of other countries. When leaving Kazakhstan, customs officers can ask you to present checks for exported goods, so keep such documents.

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