Don't Miss Places In Kazakhstan
From west to east, the country of Kazakhstan stretches from the salty Caspian Sea to the soaring Altai Mountains. In the north are high, grassy plains called steppes and in the south – arid and sandy deserts. Kazakhstan has bitterly cold winters and long hot summers.
The native Kazakh people are descended from the Turkic and Mongol invaders of the past. For centuries they were nomads, roaming the plains with their herds of meat milk, wool, and even an alcoholic drink called kumis made from fermented mare’s milk. Traditional livestock herding continues, but many people now work on modern farms, and their produce contributes greatly to the country’s economy.
Here are the top ten not to be missed places in Kazakhstan.
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The Kolsai Lakes (Kolsai Gorge or the Kungei Alatau) is famous for its three stunning lakes that are located in the forest area. The lower lake is on a suitable road. And then you should walk on a good path to the very large and beautiful lake second, then - to the third. And then you can walk through a simple path called the Sary-Bulak access to get to the Lake Issyk-Kul. But, this part will require two or three days of exploration. There are scenic places all around ideal for photographs and a good swim.
The path from the Kolsay 1 to the second lake is very complicated. It is fully equipped for tourists, there are no pointers and the trail is so elementary but, sometimes you need to climb. If you find this route complicated, you can opt on renting the back and forth horseback ride that comes here every hour provided that you know how to ride.
Be totally charmed by the extraordinary beauty of its mountains and panoramic views. You will not regret spending 5-7 hours drive from the city of Almaty by the bumpy road to get to this site. At the lake you can stay overnight in the wooden cabins - but is in very frugal conditions. To fully enjoy all its features, get here early in the morning and take a boat to cross the lake and be the first to hire horses for a hike on the second lake. This is insanely beautiful and extreme, so be sure you keep well in the saddle! The mountains are pretty cool and rainy, even in summer, so prepare warm clothes for the evening.
Medeu Skating Rink and Ski Resort
The Medeu Skating Rink and Ski Resort is a truly enchanting place that is near the former capital of Kazakhstan - Almaty. Medeo is a vast skating rink that is located at 1690 m above sea level. You can ski mostly in the afternoon after 18-00 (from 16-00 to 18-00 at the rink technical break). If you have the desire and the strength, go to the dam, climb the stairs and admire the ski moves on top of the Medeo complex.
On this site is where most skating Olympians established more than 200 world records at all distances both for men and women. The Almaty rink has been nicknamed "the factory of records". It was built in 1972 when it was still under the USSSR. From the top of the Medeo you can have the most vivid impressions of the city. For hockey enthusiasts, skiers, and snowboarders this site can be reached by cable car from the Chymbulak Station.
The Zenkov Cathedral can be easily accessed from anywhere in the city, as it is almost in the heart of the Almaty. It is said that during its construction not a single nail was used. It was built between 1904 and 1907, under the direction of A.P.Zenkova, after the devastating earthquake in 1910, in which then-Verny, was swept from the face of the earth, but, the cathedral was not damaged even a single bit. After that, the locals began weaving tales about the myths and fairy stories when explaining its durability and integrity. During Soviet times, the building was used as the National Museum and by various public organizations. In 1976, it was restored, but only in May 1995 when the cathedral again began to hold services.
You must visit this attraction in Almaty, enjoy a walk in the park, sit on a bench and admire the Cathedral in all its glory. Everything there breathes spirituality and serenity. Old Park and the old Cathedral and the many believers that are devoted in hearing the beautiful orthodox services. The cathedral is in the center of a magnificent park, around a beautiful blue spruce. Architectural interest was the 1st decision of the council, and despite the fundamental appearance it is made of wood and covered with alabaster, which is dictated by anti-seismic considerations. Undoubtedly it is one of the most religious places in Almaty where you can find solace despite the huge crowd of attendees.
Kok Tube Hill
The cable car takes you from the center of the bustling city to a wonderful place called Kok Tube Hill with clean mountain air, shady avenues, and stunning views. Here is the tower-which can be seen from any point of Almaty. Here you can take a cable car lower station, which is close to the "Kazakhstan" hotel and theater. Visit the mountain in the morning. You can climb on a paved road from the street of Omarov. The Kok Tobe has good restaurants where you can have breakfast in the open area with views of the city. Everything wonderful is revealed in front of you at a glance. Located on the mountain is an amusement park and even a small zoo, so if you climb it with the kids and spend 2-3 thousand tenge, they will not be bored.
The descent better implemented by cable car. You will be near the central theater of the city, and be able to continue discovering the rest of the attractions you can find in the capital. You can walk further down the street to the park called Dostyk 28 guardsmen (Park fame), and take a walk inside, visit the memorial and eternal flame. Do check out the Cathedral of the Ascension, it I the only the structure of the city, which survived during the earthquake but got devastated in the middle of the last century. the entire city. There are still many things and attractions to see like the monument of “The Beatles”.
The Gorky Park is one of the few places where you can go with the family on the weekend. Families with children can enjoy the ride on the carousel, go to the zoo, water park, eat barbecue, and enjoy a cup of coffee and a taste of the local cuisine at the restaurant in the middle of the park. It is a great place to walk around because there are a lot of roundabouts, a water park and a lot of things for kids and adults.
You can ride on a catamaran or boat and sail on a large water park. There are lots of greenery, ponds, bridges and unmatched children’s railway. During mornings, it is a walking park where senior citizens and exercise buffs stretch, walk, and sweat out on its well paved grounds. On afternoon weekends, there are cultural entertainment and live concert shows to amuse the tourists and locals alike.
The Tamgaly Tas is an amazing place in the vicinity of the Almaty riverside. Here on the steep cliffs to the river are unique Buddhist images. It is best to get there by crossing the river. It can be reached by car or bus to Kapchagay below the dam, and then by boat or raft. You can certainly get there by car which is about a three hours drive from the city. But crossing by the river is much more interesting. There are a lot of picturesque cliffs until you reach this interesting single rock, which is called the "Devil's finger”.
Just upstream of the river was the location for the film "Nomad". It is interesting to see the "eastern fortress", created for this purpose. It is located on the opposite side of the river. The main attraction really here is the image of the Buddha. It is best to go in the spring, but you can fall. In the summer - too hot, and in winter - cold. It should be kept in mind that in the immediate vicinity there are no settlements or any business establishments that will cater to what a tourists need. Bring along your own water and food.
Big Almaty Lake
The most beautiful places are waiting for you in the vicinity of the Big Almaty Lake. From the lake water comes in Almaty (a reservoir of clean drinking water for the city), so do not be surprised as the lake is protected and the water passage is closed.
But you can walk through the surrounding area and in the vicinity there is something to see; the high snowy mountains, dense spruce forest, the wide horizon, but keep in mind - the road to the lake is not too good and a bit tedious. Sit down and sit on the shore a few hours and listen to the silence. Then walk along the banks go on a visit to the meteorologists site, treat yourself for a tea and play with their beautiful white dogs. If you are in Almaty - you cannot miss this place.
The Baiterek Tower is a symbol of Astana the capital city since 1990 and perhaps the whole of modern Kazakhstan. At first it seems like a simple soulless metal monument but in fact it is a complex of entertainment. Placed underground are a cafe and an exhibition museum. From, here you can climb into the “balloon” to an altitude of 100 meters, where there is a restaurant and an observation deck on which the lift reaches its last point. The Baiterek impossible not to notice as it is located on the main street facing the pedestrian boulevard of Nurzhol.
In addition to being one of the monument and symbol of Astana, it is also a good lookout point. This is the "heart" of the new Astana. First, is the opportunity to admire the beauty of Kazakhstan. Secondly, the magnificent presence of this place where you can look over the city, think about how you can create a dozen years in the wilderness a modern city (it is, of course, to Dubai, but here is another story).Thirdly, there is Nazarbayev's handprint, and everyone who stood on the Baiterek, puts their hand to his hand (they say it is for good luck).
Palace of Peace and Reconciliation
The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation in Astana is a unique architectural structure in the Akmola Region. It attracts not only the tourists, but it is also the venue for many important events such as the Organization of the Islamic Commonwealth, Assamleya Peoples of Kazakhstan, etc. And most importantly the palace symbolizes the religious diplomacy of Kazakhstan where it has agreed to have a peaceful coexistence of all faiths and nations. This place is indeed symbolic of a country where more than 120 ethnic groups and peoples of the world live in peace and harmony.
It is a great place for lovers of paintings and art in general which is concentrated on the 6th floor. There is the Kulanshi ART Center that houses many paintings by contemporary artists and has classic original lithographs created by Picasso, Dali, Chagall, Durer, etc. The Kulanshi is the main core of the Pyramid, be sure to visit it and draw lots of inspiration and positive emotions.
Hazrat Sultan Mosque
The Hazrat Sultan Mosque is one of the largest Mosques in Central Asia that was built in 2012. The name "Hazrat Sultan" translates as "His Holiness Sultan." The mosque was named in honor of one of the Sufi sheikhs - Khoja Ahmed Yassavi (XII century), who was a poet, philosopher and Muslim leaders known throughout Central Asia. If you do not pass the mosque service, you can go and see it from the inside.
Just remember to take your shoes off (for it has special lockers). It is a beautiful temple building with no frills and pretentiousness. Despite its size, it combines ease of architectural solutions and decorated with white and golden tones. It is located in the new area of the city where there are the many other interesting buildings, such as the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation and the Independence Square so it is easy to visit.