Kazakhstan – the motherland of tulips
You may be surprised to know that Kazakhstan is a motherland of tulips, not Netherlands. In comparison to the Netherlands, where people gather to see the annual show of these dainty beautiful flowers, tulips in Kazakhstan grow and bloom in the wild without human intervention and cover vast areas. Here you can see about 40 of 65 different types of wild tulips existing in Central Asia, and 18 of them have been listed as an endangered species. Shrenk’s and Greig’s tulips, considered as one of the most beautiful, are also amongst them.
From April to May scarlet orange and yellow flowers cover boundless fields and foothills of Jambyl, Turkistan and Almaty Provinces. You can observe these beautiful splashes of colors while travelling long-distance by highway from the south of Shymkent to Almaty. With the help of experienced tour guides that are there ready to help you locate the best spots to site see and explain the many species of tulips. For example, the Dasistemon Tarda tulip grows in the mountains and in the Alpine meadows, while endemic Kaufman tulip grows in the green fields of the West Tien Shan among the juniper forest.
To pick tulips is forbidden in Kazakhstan, but you are welcome to admire them in an unusual and aromatic nature whenever you would like!
Otrar is the best place for taking selfies
Turkistan is often visited and is known by a number of pilgrims and travelers. There you can see one of the most majestic and medieval constructions in Kazakhstan, the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. But not many know that there is another amazing site - an ancient city of Otrar, which is on the way to Turkistan, if you are coming from Shymkent.
Scientists and archeologists have still been studying Otrar. Most of the ancient town’s construction has been restored and preserved. This is one of the few historical places in the country, where you can walk through ancient streets and capture some really interesting photos and a few selfies too.
If you want to get acquainted with this place, it is better to be prepared in advance – to get information from the internet, to watch the movie called “The death of Otrar” or you can order an excursion with a professional guide.
A black beach of Lake Alakol
If you are tired of the regular golden sandy beaches that are everywhere, then it’s high time to get acquainted with the black pebble beach of the Lake Alakol, which is in the south-west of Kazakhstan. The lake has not only an unusual coastline, but also healing powers as well. The black beach attracts people with common cold and skin diseases, nervous breakdown, and all those, who love meditations. Even Soviet cosmonauts used to come to the lake after their flights to get rehabilitated here.
Alakol Nature Reserve was established here to preserve rare types of birds, so you can find famous silver bass in its waters. If you come to the lake at the beginning of May, you can join the many bird watchers that come for the “Wings of Alakol” festival. This event attracts not only bird watchers but also journalists, yoga practitioners, and musicians. This is how a season on Alakol begins. Further is summer - a time of the sun, swimming and water entertainments. In autumn, there is another festival celebrated on the first weekends of September – “Okunkol”, where recreational fishermen catch the famous silver bass.
The first and the biggest cosmodrome
You may be surprised to know that the world’s first and biggest cosmodrome is Baikonur, which is in the Kyzylorda Province of Kazakhstan. Till 2050, cosmodrome is leased to the Russian Federation, but legally is owned by Kazakhstan and tour companies of the country can organize tours to rocket and satellite launches. Don’t you want to visit the place, where the first successful flight to space was launched? Indulging in the atmosphere of the space center is worth visiting!
Delicious Kazakh cuisine
Another thing that you cannot ignore is a gastronomic delicacy of Kazakh cuisine. Many of you may find them surprisingly pleasant and quickly come to get an understanding of what we actually eat here in Kazakhstan. With that being said you should know that Kazakh people eat only healthy and natural food, and a lot of dairy products.
Nowadays, gastronomic tourism is becoming more and more popular in our country, and you won’t find such a variety of national cuisines and diverse flavors anywhere in the world. This is due to 135 nationalities that live in Kazakhstan. But the main highlight will always be the Kazakh cuisine that is based on the traditions of the Great steppes nomads. These delicious, healthy and “clever” food of the nomads are becoming very popular among travelers these days..
You can try famous Kazakh people dishes like beshbarmak (boiled meat with dough slices), baursaqs (fried puffy bread), qazy (horse meat sausage), irimshik (fat crumbly cottage cheese) in many cafes, and restaurants. But it will be more interesting to try national cuisine in the ethno-auls (villages). Guests are especially invited to try the many unique delicacies, which are made according to the recollected recipes. They will also demonstrate for you how these dishes are cooked and tell you the history in detail behind the legends and unusual stories about these dishes.
Welcome to beautiful and hospitable Kazakhstan – the modern country that preserved its ancient traditions!