Adventure on the Great Pamir in Tajikistan Pamir TRAVEL

Central Asia - Kazakhstan

Larger than all of Western Europe, Kazakstan is a vast country of steppes and mountains rich in natural resources and natural beauty. For thousands of years it was also a natural bridge between East and West, with a northern spur of the Silk Road running through parts of southern Kazakstan. Authorities are now aggressively marketing the country's tourism attractions. These range from winter sports such as skiing and snowmobiling, to warm weather activities like hiking, fishing and hunting, or more relaxed pastimes such as visiting a health spa.
Kazakstan has many nationalities and ethnic groups, all contributing to a rich cultural melting pot. And it has been that way through the centuries. Archaeological finds from the Kazak region where the northern route of the Silk Road ran show early; trade ties with Europe, China and Persia.
Most of Kazakstan's Silk Road sites are concentrated in an easily reached area of the country well served by transport from the capital Astana.

What to See
  • The Khodzha Akhmed Yassawi Mausoleum was erected in the 14th century where the poet and Sufi preacher of the same name was buried and became one of the most-visited Islamic shrines in the world. Later rebuilt by Tamarlane, the complex of palaces and temples is the among the largest in all of Central Asia.
  • The Ancient City of Otrar was at its height as a trade center between Europe and China in the 10th to 12th centuries. Sacked and destroyed by the Mongols, it flourished again under Tamarlane. Remnants of the city's extensive citadels, forts, walls, gates and other large structures are still evident.
  • The Tamgaly Rock Art Gallery boasts ancient pictures and drawings from the Bronze Age which depict the sun cult worship of the time. It began with sketches of animals made by nomads and later the mounted warriors, archers, falcon-hunting scenes, leading up to Buddhist images in more recent times. In all, scholars estimate the works embrace 20 centuries of human culture.
  • The Ancient City of Taraz is more than 2, 000 years old and over the centuries grew into a vital commercial center where gold, silver, bronze, silk, leather and other goods were traded. Excavations have shown Taraz' citizens enjoyed cobbled streets, plumbing systems and other luxuries. Nearby are located two UNESCO-protected ancient mausoleums.
  • The Gold Man, now at the national museum in Almaty, was a young Saka prince discovered at the Issyk burial mound not far from the Kazak capital of Almaty in a grave untouched by looters. Dating from the 4th century BC, the tomb contained over 4, 000 finely wrought golden relics, including a dagger depicting 21 animals.

How to Get There
Almaty has an international airport with flights to and from Frankfurt, Moscow, Tashkent, Bishkek, Samarkand, Urumqi and Istanbul Shimkent, located in the south CENTRAL region near many Silk Road sites, has flights to Moscow, and some of the capitals of the former Soviet republics Otrar and the Khodzha Akhmed Yassawi Mausoleum are best reached from Shimkent Taraz has an airport served by domestic flights Tamgaly and the Gold Man are in or near Almaty There are rail and bus services to all the sites.

Where to Stay

There are two five-star hotels in Almaty with a total of 583 rooms and one four-star hotel with 200 rooms There are four three star hotels totalling 1030 rooms There are 23 unrated hotels with a total of 5, 380 rooms There are no hotels on the site at Otrar which is best visited from Shimkent, which has one three star hotel of 18 rooms and at least one unrated hotel with 285 rooms In Taraz there is an unrated hotel for foreign guests of 40 rooms At the Khodzha Akhmed Yassawi Mausoleum site there is an unrated hotel with 80 beds

Other Important Sites
  • Betashir Burial Mounds Complex contains tombs dating from the 5th to 4th century BC
  • The Ancient Settlement of Isfidzhab-Sairam is an old city in southern Kazakstan.
  • Charyn River Canyons are the country's premier natural beauty spot
  • Relict Ashen Grove is another must-see nature spot.


The Republic of KAZAKHSTAN occupying over 2. 717, 300 sq. km, is the ninth largest country in the World as to the territory. Kazakhstan lies in the very center of the EURASIAN continent. This location predetermined historically its great geopolitical importence on the major transasian lines of communication between the East and the West. Kazakhstan borders on Russia, Kyrghyztan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, China.


Kazakhstan covering vast territory is notable for the extremely diverse relief: from high snowy mountains to steppes, semi-desert and desert. The lowest place in the World, situated in the West is 300 m. below the see level, one of the highest peaks of the world Khan-Tengry, located in the South-East is 6992 m. and Pobeda 7439 m. above the see level.


Climat of Kazakhstan is sharp continental.

Flora and fauna

Kazakhstan enjoys over 5000 species of plants & over 600 species of animals & berds (Brown bear. Pink flamingo, Snow Leopard, Steppe antelope-saigak, ets. ).


Kazakhstan is a multinational state. There are over 16. 5 million inhabitans in Kazakhstan today. Kazakhs make 45%, Russia - 35%, other nationalities (over 100) -20%.


Kazakh, the official landuage of the country, belongs to the TURK group. Russan remains the language of the interethnic communication.


Multinationality of the state determines a divirsity of religions. The main ones are Islam & Christianity.


The city of ASTANA with the population of 273 thousands is the capital of Kazakhstan since 1996.


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