Kazakhstan general information.
Tours and Excursion to Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan is the grandeur of mountain peaks, sparkling glaciers, quiet forest twilight, mysterious deserts, huge rocky canyons, emerald lakes, rapidly running rivers, poetry of sunlight, a unique animal and plant world.
This is the country of the most ancient civilization of the Eurasian continent, the birthplace of nomadic tribes, a solid stretch of the Great Silk Road.
Kazakhstan is a large country, which is one of the ten largest states in the world by area. Kazakhstan owns part of the largest lake in the world - the Caspian Sea, part of the notorious Aral Sea, and the unique semi-freshwater lake Balkhash. Such a variety of landscapes leads to a rich natural world.
Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia. The total area of the country is 2.72 million square meters. km In the north and west, Kazakhstan borders with Russia, in the southeast - with China, in the south - with Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The territory of the republic extends from the lower reaches of the Volga in the west to the foot of the Altai mountains in the east and from the West Siberian lowland in the north to the Kyzylkum desert in the south. The desert plains seem endless.
More than 3/4 of the territory of Kazakhstan is occupied by plains with heights from 100 to 300 m above sea level. In the extreme southeast and east, the Tien Shan, Dzungarian Alatau and Altai ranges extend with heights from 3000 to 6995 m (Khan-Tengri peak). The Caspian lowland is located in the far west, partially lying below the level of the World Ocean (the level of the Caspian Sea is –27 m). In the center of the country vast territories are occupied by the destroyed mountain system of the Kazakh small hills.
Remoteness from the oceans and a large area affect climatic conditions. The climate of the country is sharply continental. The average January temperature is in the range from -19 to -4 degrees C, the average July temperature is from +19 to +26 C. From the north of Kazakhstan to the south, various climatic zones, various territories, each with its own flora and fauna, change.
In the mountainous southeastern part of Kazakhstan at altitudes of up to 1000 m in the summer months, the air temperature reaches +30 degrees during the day, and drops to +18 degrees at night. In the winter months, about -10 degrees is observed during the day, and at night the air is cooled to -20 degrees.
Precipitation in the north falls to 300 mm., In deserts - less than 100 mm., In the mountains - up to 1600 mm. in year. Snow often falls in November, and mountain passages close until April. Summer rains are often associated with severe thunderstorms, which sometimes even lead to flash floods.
The state language is Kazakh. The language of international communication is Russian. Russian is spoken by up to 90% of the country's population, which is higher than knowledge of the Kazakh language. In large cities of Alma-Ata, Astana, Karaganda, Kustanay, Petropavlovsk, the language of everyday communication is Russian, in the cities of southern Kazakhstan - Kazakh.
Today, Kazakhstan is a multi-confessional country with more than 3,000 religious associations representing 40 faiths, with more than 2,500 religious buildings at their disposal. The authority of religion in the eyes of the public is increasing, and the number of believers and religious associations is constantly growing.
Among believers there are followers of almost all world religions: Islam, Christianity (Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestant movements), Buddhism, as well as Judaism, Hinduism, ancient polytheistic cults and modern neoplasms. Most believers are Muslims (mostly Sunni Muslims) and Orthodox Christians (about 30% of the believing population).
The population of Kazakhstan.
In 2009, the population of the republic for the first time exceeded 16 million people. The population density is 5.7 people per 1 sq. Km. km Urban population - 55%, rural - 45%. The population of Kazakhstan is represented by more than 130 ethnic groups with their own cultural, linguistic and historical specifics. Among the largest ethnic groups are Kazakhs (60%), Russians (25%), Ukrainians (2.9%), Uzbeks (2.8%), Germans (1.5%), Tatars (1.5%), Uigurs (1.5%), Koreans (0.7%), Belarusians (0.7%), etc.
The telephone code of Kazakhstan is 7. When calling to Kazakhstan from other countries (except Russia), you must dial the country code. The total number of dialed digits of the telephone number must be equal to ten. If there are not enough numbers, you should additionally dial the number 2 to the city code.
Cellular communication in Kazakhstan is carried out in GSM and CDMA format. Cellular penetration rate is 104%. In the GSM format, mobile operators operate: GSM-Kazakhstan LLP Kazakhtelecom OJSC
Internet cafes are widespread in the cities of Kazakhstan. However, due to the weak development of tourism in this country, such establishments are aimed at local youth and are combined with semi-basement computer clubs. The locations of the main part of the Internet cafe are sleeping areas. There are single modern and convenient Internet cafes in the centers of cities. Their exact addresses should be specified in advance. In addition, Internet access points are available at some stations (in Astana and Almaty) and in the central post offices of large cities.
Currency Exchange Kazakhstan.
The monetary unit of Kazakhstan is Tenge (international designation is KZT, domestically - T), equal to 100 tiyin.
In circulation are banknotes in denominations of 100, 200, 500 and 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 20,000 tenge. Tenge is the only legal tender in Kazakhstan, although in practice US dollars and euros are accepted for payment. The markets accept Russian rubles and currencies of neighboring Central Asian republics.
US dollars can be easily exchanged for tenge, euros are also accepted at almost all banks and exchange points. Most banks accept banknotes of only a new type. In markets (especially in the northern regions) you can pay in rubles.
We accept major European and international credit cards. They are easily accepted in large hotels, shops and restaurants of Almaty. Travel checks are best taken with you in US dollars to avoid additional exchange transactions. ATMs can be found in banks, hotels and shopping centers.
Banks are open from 9.30 to 17.30, from Monday to Friday. Lunch break is usually from 13.00 to 14.00, but many banks work without breaks. Saturday and Sunday are days off.
Due to the large size of the country, bus service, as in Russia, is quite limited. Buses run from cities to district centers, but are quite rare on long-distance routes. It is much more comfortable and fast to travel around Kazakhstan by train.
The importance of railway transport in Kazakhstan is very high. Kazakhstan Railways account for 68% of the total cargo turnover and over 57% of the country's passenger flow.
The length of railways in Kazakhstan exceeds 15 thousand km. Through 15 connecting points (11 with Russia, 2 with Uzbekistan, 1 with Kyrgyzstan, 1 with China), the railway system of Kazakhstan is connected with neighboring states. The railway systems of Russia and Kazakhstan are extremely interdependent.
As part of the transport development strategy in Kazakhstan, until 2015, 1,600 km of new and 2700 km of existing railway sections will be built.
Inside cities, buses and minibuses are the main mode of transport. The fare in minibuses is higher than in buses, however, they go much more often. Bus fare is paid through the driver or conductor. Also, in cities, you can use the services of a taxi or private cabs, but tourists are not recommended to travel in private cars. Taxi fares should be agreed upon in advance; only in large cities are fares fixed.
In large cities there are numerous car rentals. In order to rent a car, you must have an international driving license and must be over 21 years old.
Domestic air transportation is carried out by more than a dozen companies, among which Air Kazakhstan and Air Astana are really significant. Regular flights are carried out with the following cities: Almaty, Astana, Aktau, Petropavlovsk, Kustanay, Dzhezkazgan, Semipalatinsk and several others.
On the Caspian coast are two large seaports - Aktau and Bautino. Passenger ships from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran come here.
The construction of the subway in Almaty began in the days of the USSR. But it stalled very quickly and since then construction has not resumed.
Most often, in large hotels and restaurants, the amount for the service is already included in the bill. Usually it is 5-15%. If there is no such amount in the invoice, and you liked the service, then you can round up the invoice amount up. There is also a fixed amount for taxi and rail services. When purchasing goods on the Kazakhstan market, do not forget to bargain.
National cuisine Kazakhstan.
For a long time, the most distinctive feature of the Kazakh people has been hospitality. A dear guest was cordially greeted, seated at the most honorable place, treated to the best that was in the house. Meat is the basis of most dishes. Delicious meat products of kazy, stranger, stings, sting and card are made from horse meat. In traditional Kazakh cuisine, cooking is always preferred. Long since widely used milk and dairy products. Koumiss, shubat and ayran were easier to maintain in the conditions of nomadic life. Bread was baked in the form of cakes, Baursaki is the favorite pastry product, and tea with milk is the most popular drink. Any feast in a Kazakh family usually begins with milk drinks - koumiss, shubat or ayran, then tea with milk, baursaks, raisins, irimshik, kurt is served. Then cold horse meat appetizers are served - kazy, stranger, sting, sting, card. The only hot snack in Kazakh cuisine is kuyrdak.
Kazakhs eat at a low table - dastarkhan. The most popular dish among Kazakhs is Beshbarmak. This is the main dish of national cuisine. Beshbarmak in translation from Kazakh means “five fingers” because of the manner in which this dish is eaten by hand. The beshbarmak dish consists of large pieces of boiled meat, which the owner cuts, treating each guest with tidbits: he gave the pelvic bones and drumsticks to honorable old men, the brisket to son-in-law or daughter-in-law, the neck vertebra to girls, etc. The owner presented the ram’s head cooked in a special way to the most honored guest. The guest had to share his head between those present, observing a certain ritual in which the ancient custom of respectful treatment of guests, old people, children, close and distant relatives was reflected.
Today, representatives of many other nations are gathering behind the dastarkhan, just like the Kazakhs: Russians, Tatars, Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Germans, Uighurs, Dungans, Koreans. For centuries, these peoples lived peacefully next to the Kazakhs and influenced their cuisine, daily life and culture, and also adopted some Kazakh traditions. Therefore, modern Kazakh cuisine includes not only traditional Kazakh dishes, but also favorite dishes of Uzbek, Uyghur, Russian, Tatar, Korean and other cuisines. That is why in modern Kazakh cuisine, while maintaining purely national features, it is not difficult to notice international features.
The Republic of Kazakhstan is an open-air museum. In this country there are beautiful natural attractions, such as Lake Burabay covered in legends in the Kokshetau region, alpine meadows of the Zailiysky Alatau, magnificent landscapes of the canyon of the Charyn River.
The most important, and usually the most inconspicuous sight of the country is the ancient "Great Steppe", the birthplace of many modern peoples of Eurasia and the keeper of many secrets of the past. Despite many years of nuclear testing in the Semipalatinsk region and plowing of steppe lands for grain crops, many millions of square kilometers of this ancient natural complex have been preserved here in their original form. In April, flowers and grasses transform monotonous ocher-colored landscapes that explode in all shades of red, orange, blue and yellow. Autumn is the time of harvesting and wilting of herbs, when market tables literally burst with the load of recently harvested fruits, and the air is filled with the aroma of hundreds of types of herbs.
In the ancient city of Turkestan is the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmet Yasavi built in the XII century. Tourists will be able to get acquainted with historical facts from the life and work of Khoja Ahmet Yasawi, with other attractions of the city and visit the famous Turkestan fair or the famous Turkestan mosque. In Tamgaly Tas, the Rock Art Gallery is interesting (Buddhist petroglyphs from the Bronze Age). The memorial of the famous Russian traveler and scientist Przhevalsky, the Dungan mosque, the Russian church are attractive in Karakol.
Among the main attractions include Panfilov Park - the right rectangle of vegetation surrounding the vibrant Zenkovsky Cathedral - one of the few buildings of the imperial era that survived the earthquake of 1911 (especially if you pay attention to the fact that it is built entirely of wood and without the use of nails). In the western part of the park are superb Arasan baths, where there are branches for Turkish, Russian and Finnish baths.
One of the most beautiful cities in Kazakhstan is the city of Almaty. Located near the mountains of Zailiysky Alatau, it pleases with original architectural ensembles combining elements of national style with the latest building structures. A unique nature reserve is located near the capital on an area of 90 thousand hectares.
The surroundings of Almaty are picturesque and attractive for tourists. The ice stadium Medeu is known all over the world. It is located at an altitude of 1691.2 m. It was built in 1972. The area of the ice field (10.5 thousand sq. M.) Allows for competitions in speed skating, ice hockey, and figure skating at the rink. The mild climate of the Medeu tract, the optimal level of solar radiation, low atmospheric pressure, calm, clean clear glacial river Small Almaty provided high quality ice and international recognition. Medeu has over 120 world speed skating records set.
Burial mounds of Beshatyr Saka. In southern Kazakhstan and northern Kyrgyzstan, a huge number of graves of Saka kings are scattered. This is a huge funeral burial of the Iron Age more than 104 m in diameter and more than 17 m high. In no other place in Eurasia is there such an accumulation of royal burial mounds.
Altyn-Emel National Park is located 150 km from Almaty in the picturesque area of the Dzungar Mountains. The national park covers an area of 600 thousand hectares. On this territory there are approximately 190 archaeological sites: grave hills and dwellings and settlements of the Bronze Age.
The park Altyn-Emel has an abundance of flora and fauna. The rich fauna of the park is represented by rare species of animals - snow leopard, wolves, foxes and many others.
Kazakhstan is not among the countries outstanding in the resort business.
However, Kazakhstan can offer tourists a good ski vacation, combined with skiing at the famous high-mountain skating rink Medeu. In other words, Kazakhstan specializes in winter.
Almaty is a scientific, cultural and educational center of Kazakhstan. Here, the largest educational institutions, famous theaters and entertainment venues, in recent years, the gambling and entertainment business has been greatly developed. In the vicinity of the city, literally 10-15 minutes by car, there are unique places of world significance - the Alpine skating rink 'Medeo', the ski base 'Shymbulak'. The Khan-Tengri international mountaineering camp enjoys great popularity, from where ascents to the highest mountain mark of Kazakhstan are made - Khan-Tengri peak (6995 m).
Kazakhstan is not among the countries outstanding in the resort business.
However, Kazakhstan can offer tourists a good ski vacation, combined with skiing at the famous high-mountain skating rink Medeo. In other words, Kazakhstan specializes in winter.
The Altai Alps ski complex - a picturesque corner of Ulba Ulbinki - is located 22 km from the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk, in a mountainous area, surrounded by a mixed forest - pine, fir, larch, birch, aspen.
Medeu is the world's largest alpine winter sports complex. The skating rink is located in the same tract at an altitude of 1700 meters above sea level. The Medeu tract is located at an altitude of 1520-1750 m above sea level in the valley of the Malaya Almatinka River, and is surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges. In the west - Kimasarsky, in the east - Kabyrgatau and in the southeast - Kumbel. There is an Olympic-sized skating rink, a pony and horse riding ground, an amusement park, the Premier Medeu hotel, a summer pool and an abundance of barbecue facilities. This is one of the favorite places of citizens and visitors.
The specialized sanatorium "Kazakhstan" of the MC of the Office of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan is located in the central part of the city of Essentuki, not far from the mud baths named after Semashko, drinking pump room and spa park. The sanatorium has been functioning since 1977. The sanatorium complex located on the territory of 7.7 hectares even in the summer stands out against the background of lush greenery of trees with its bright oriental flavor.
The modern comfortable building is richly decorated with wood and plastic in accordance with national Kazakh traditions, features of national architecture and in the domed roof of the pool an unusual round shape. A large winter garden with exotic birds and a pond with Japanese mirror carps, an abundance of exotic plants in the pool, in the glass galleries connecting the dormitory, medical department, dining room create a festive atmosphere. In the round pool with a domed roof with glass walls with plenty of light and greenery of tropical plants you can feel the atmosphere of the southern resort all year round.
Shymbulak resort, located at an altitude of 2200 meters above sea level, is the best ski resort in Central Asia.
The ski season in the resort of Shymbulak lasts from November to April, the best time is January-February. The place is notable primarily for its good snow, cleanliness and silence. There are 8 tracks in total, a height difference of 900 m. The tracks are differentiated in relief and are intended for both sports professionals and beginner skiers. The giant slalom track is rightfully one of the ten most difficult tracks in the world. The only drawback of Shymbulak is the absolutely unsettled “apreski”.
In the north of this amazing country there is a unique corner of nature, a real oasis in the sea of sand - Borovoe. Locals call this place, without modesty, “Kazakhstan Switzerland”. But this is not surprising: forests surrounded on all sides by steppes that extend far beyond the horizon. Mountains that rise above all this splendor. This is a miracle - the picture of nature is difficult to forget even after many years. As they say once and for all.