Kazakhstan a big country
Hi, I have travelled to Kazakhstan for many years for business reasons and was lucky enough to visit different places in this country.
First of all this is a Central Asia and a very big country by area, something like the whole European Community by size. Kazakhstan spans from the border with Europe, Ural river, at its western edge, to the border with China at its eastern side. There is only one time in Kazakhstan now, with a mean time for the whole country, but till a few years ago there were different times for different longitudes, I can not recall exactly but either two or three hour difference from East to West.
People in Kazakhstan are quite hospitable and friendly, therefore it is a good place to visit. The only recommendation is to ask local people about any danger or dangerous spot because of crimes events which affect locals as much as visitors (a visitor may be seen as a better target). Crimes which can affect a visitor are mainly due to poor conditions of people left behind in this rapidly expanding economy, while most of the population is taking advantage of a rising economy.
Since its separation from the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan is seeking to reinstate its national features as, for instance, the usage of the Kazakh language also in the schools and other official uses in leu of the Russian language. I think Kazakhstan went through big changes and development by being part of the Former Soviet Union, positive developments I believe up to a certain stage but it is difficult to say whether Kazakhstan delevelopment ouitside FSU could have been better. Anyway, during the deep crisis of the FSU, not a good time, Kazakhstan separated and after very difficult initial independence years the economy is now surging thanks to the national resources of Kazakhstan and this time kazakh people are driving the game.
I can tell you about a few places in Kazakhstan:
Almaty - the former Capital, at the Eastern side in a mountain area. Famous for the Olimpic winter games in its Medeu place which is very near the town. A new city built by FSU, without old history but the sdministrative and political center till a few years ago, a busy business town.
Astana - the new Capital, it is being developed in some way in a similar fashion to the Gulf cities with new palaces, towers, squares partly founded with governemtn funds. It is now the administrative and poilitical center, located in a more central position and experiencing the typical continental climate with cold winter and warm summer.
Uralsk - the west Kazakhstan region Capital very near to the border with Russia. The city is split in two by the Ural river in such a way the part of the city is in Europe and part in Asia. In Uralsk regiond the oil and gas field of Karachaganak, near Aksai town, is one of the big fields in operation.
Similarly to Atyrau, crossed by the Ural river near its bellmouth at the Caspian sea. Atyrau is also a region Capital and a more famous and hystoric oil and gas town. Major oil fields are in Tengiz and offshore in the Caspian sea.
There is something special in Kazakhstan though the tourists flow is small, possibly there is a need for advertising this country, I am sure some places could be a great and diverse tourist destination.
Hotels are quite expensive in Kazakhstan especially if looking for the more famous hotel chains but I could find discount hotels by searching for different dates. Other independent hotels can be found in a hotel directory and it may be possible to get better prices by contacting directly the hotel.
Published on 4/20/10