Luxury KAZAKHSTAN Vacations

Luxury Kazakhstan Vacations – Sacha Baron Cohen may have briefly raised the profile of the world’s ninth-largest country, but most travellers have yet to realise that there’s more to Kazakhstan than Borat. The big draws are definitely the superb Altai and Tian Shan mountains bordering China, but the bleak, bewildering steppe also beckons with surreal, surprising secrets ranging from Soviet-era cosmodromes and underground mosques to the rusting ruins of the Aral Sea. After years of collectivisation, the former horsemen of the Golden Horde are now getting rich on petro-dollars, while trying to deal with the legacy of serving as the Sooviet Union’s favourite dumping grounds. Today the Eurasian steppe offers one of the last great undiscovered frontiers of travel.

Best time to visit in Kazakhstan

May to September

Places to visit in Kazakhstan

  • The glittering blue domes and 15th-century Timurid tilework of the Yasaui Mausoleum in Turkistan.
  • Kazakhstan’s futuristic new capital Astana, which boasts the world’s largest tent.
  • Cosmopolitan Almaty, with Orthodox cathedrals and engaging museums.
  • Fishing boats marooned in the desert sand of Aralsk, miles from the nearest waters of the Aral Sea.

Top things to do in Kazakhstan

  • Ride to Shambhala on a horse trek to the base of Mt Belukha in the magnificent Altai Mountains.
  • Hike to the three Kol-Say Lakes in the south-eastern Zailiysky Alatau mountains.
  • Glide around Medeu’s giant ice rink or snowboard nearby Chimbulak ski resort.
  • Spot flamingos in their most northerly habitat at Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve.
  • Buy some birch twigs and give yourself a good thrashing at Almaty’s Arasan’s Baths.

Discover Kazakhstan

  • Read Apples are from Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared by Christopher Robbins, a witty and engaging travelogue that blends history with modern insight.
  • Listen to The Silk Road: A Musical Caravan, a collection of traditional music from across inner Asia, including several tracks from Kazakhstan.
  • Watch Kazakh hordes battle the Dzungarian armies in Sergei Bodrov’s Nomad, Kazakhstan’s US$40-million blockbuster.
  • Eat qazy (smoked horsemeat sausage) – the ultimate nomad snack.
  • Drink shubat (fermented camel’s milk), washed down by kumys (fermented mare’s milk), or play it safe with a cold Tian-Shansky beer.

Kazakhstan Highlights

Steppe, Borat, Aral Sea, oil, Tian Shan mountains, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Semipalatinsk nuclear site, horses

One word for Kazakhstan Tourism

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