Is Kazakhstan worth the visit? The answer is a resounding yes! The country is filled with beautiful landscapes and monuments you won’t be able to see anywhere else. Here are five of the most breathtaking places in Kazakhstan that are worth the trip.
- Kolsai Lake
Located near the Tian Shan mountains, Kolsai Lake is a system of three different lakes, each filled with clear blue water. When the sun is up, you can even see the reflection of the surrounding forests, hills and mountain peaks in the water. It has earned the name ‘Pearls of Tian Shan’ because of how beautiful the lakes are. With homestay options and campsites nearby, the place is a favourite with locals too. You can even try horseback riding between the lakes, which are as picturesque as a painting.
- Issyk Lake
This beautiful lake with turquoise waters has a fascinating story. It was originally formed more than 8,000 years ago, but it finally saw development in the 1930s. In the late 1950s, the lake was used by the USSR as a park, surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees, with leisure facilities built. However, a massive mudslide wiped out most of it in the 1960s, and it was not rebuilt till the 1990s. As a result, the lake today is smaller than it was. This has not diminished its stunning beauty, though.
- Nomad’s land
Also referred to as the City of Nomads, this place is actually an abandoned movie set that was turned into a tourist destination. It is located on the edge of the Ili River in the Tamgaly Gorge. It was originally built in 2005 for the Kazakh movie ‘Nomad’, but was later abandoned and reused by several movie productions. This ‘land’ makes a beautiful backdrop for photos and also lets your imagination run wild as you walk through the set of this old street. Check out this review by Stephanie of History Fangirl!
- Tamgaly Tas
Here, you can see beautiful rock carvings and paintings of Buddha, bodhisattvas and different styles of Tibetan scripture on separate cliffs and boulders. The place became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. Its mysterious carvings have attracted tourists who come to marvel at these rocks. It was once an open-air sanctuary where religious rituals were held, and also a place where Buddhists came to pray. Till this day, no one knows who left these carvings behind.
- Hazret Sultan Mosque
Located in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, this is the largest mosque in Central Asia. The construction of this mosque took 3 years due to its large scale and was officially inaugurated in 2012. The building resembles an oriental palace and exudes an imposing presence with its white exterior with gold and turquoise details. Due to its gold dome and massive white columns, one can easily spot the mosque in the city’s skyline even from afar.