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Travel ideas for Kazakhstan - unique sights, worth Guinness records

Charyn Canyon

From the series “The Deepest Canyons on the Planet”
Charyn Canyon is situated in Charyn National Park in Kazakhstan. The length of the gorge is 154 kilometers, and its depth varies from 150 to 300 meters. Despite the relatively modest scale, the number of attractions and unique features of the canyon is simply amazing. The must see place of the excursion program is Valley castles. It is an area where amazing natural formations are concentrated. The most famous is the rock shaped like a castle tower. Many pleasant surprises are waiting for nature lovers, as there are more than 1,500 plants, about 80 species of animals and over 100 species of birds in the canyon. It should be noted that many forms of local flora and fauna are listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan.
Savvy travelers compare landscapes of Charyn Canyon to the famous Grand Canyon; they are really very similar, but only at the first glance. Canyons have different ecosystems. Surprisingly, rare species of trees that have existed on the planet before the era of glaciation can be found in Charyn. Experienced travelers recommend visiting the canyon at sunset, as setting sun paints its slopes in purple, gold and pink tones – that looks like a fascinating performance. Charyn Canyon grounds are characterized by high sand content in soils. This feature makes walking on the slopes of the gorge quite dangerous, as fragile soil may collapse at any time. ... Complete sights collection


From the series “Amazing Land Areas Below the Sea Level”
In Kazakhstan there is also a valley worth seeing for the curious tourist. The depth of Karagije Valley is 132 meters, it is located in the southwestern part of the country, on the territory of the Mangyschlaks peninsula. Karagije is one of the deepest dry valleys of Asia. Its steep peculiarities are the steep slopes. The name of the valley is formed by connecting two Turkic words - 'Kara' ('black') and 'Kija' ('steep slope'). The sink also has another unofficial name - 'Batyr', which is translated as 'fighter'.
Karagije Valley has not only the steep slopes, but also quite regular oval shape. Its length is about 85 km, and the latitude - 25 km. According to one of the versions, the valley has formed as a result of the karst and lowering processes, which lasted for thousands of years near the coast of the Caspian Sea. The numerous canyons and gorges in the valley indicate that these processes continue today. The depth of Karagije Valley is constantly increasing.
It is recommended to tourists to walk along the bottom of the lowland, accompanied by the local guide, because it will be extremely difficult for the unprepared person to walk on their cut-up ground. Apart from the picturesque deserts of Kazakhstan, another phenomenon attracts tourists to this region. It is the huge number of unknown flying objects. Literally all the tourists who stay next to the valley, see the UFOs. To the reason of the attention of UFOs to this valley one can only in guesses. ... Complete sights collection

Aksu Zhabagly Reserve

From the series “Places Hiding Fossils of Dinosaurs”
One of the most important natural sights of Kazakhstan is the Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve. It attracts not only with its nature, but with fossil too. During the Jurassic period, almost the entire western part of modern Kazakhstan was flooded with waters of the Tethys Sea. A lot of ancient animals lived on its banks and in the deep sea. During paleontological research in modern times, remains of pliosaurs and flying reptiles were found. The most amazing findings were discovered on the shores of ancient Karatau lake.
Besides its archaeological wealth, Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve is famous for many more incredible sensations. A few decades ago, the country was shaken by the news that near the village of Zhabagly several local residents have seen an unknown creature, resembling the legendary snowman. After that, more researchers came to the reserve. Many of them claimed that they were able to track the Yeti, however, no evidence supporting the discovery was suggested.
The reserve is incredibly popular among tourists attracted by its multifaceted flora and fauna. More than 1 700 species of plants, including rare Tulipa greigii, are found here. The fauna is also represented with rear animals, including a snow leopard and a Menzbier's marmot. Tourists will be able to stroll through important archaeological areas. Travelers could see the most valuable and amazing finds in the cultural center of Kazakhstan, the Museum of Nature. ... Complete sights collection

Duman Oceanarium

From the series “The Coolest and Largest Oceanariums in the World”
Surprisingly, one of the most incredible aquariums of the planet can be found among the desert steppes of Kazakhstan. The Duman Oceanarium, which was opened in 2003, presents to the visitors a rich collection of marine life featuring about 2.5 thousand representatives. The volume of the central aquarium is 3.5 million liters. A project of oceanarium was developed by the best specialists of the Chinese company Asiocean International, as well as specialists from Russia. Actually, Duman is a huge entertainment complex, which in addition to the huge aquariums with marine life and traditional acrylic tunnel, has lots of amazing surprises.
Visitors will be able to visit an ultra-modern cinema, relax in one of the cozy cafes, walk around the shops, and even try their luck at the casino. Great entertainment and educational programs are offered to those who prefer activities related to the sea. Guests of the oceanarium can choose from a wide range of entertainment options, from traditional feeding sharks show to scuba diving and swimming in a huge aquarium with some of the most dangerous marine predators. The entertainment center will appeal to those who have long wanted to learn to dive. There they can train under the guidance of an experienced instructor and get a certificate. ... Complete sights collection

Semipalatinsk Test Site

From the series “The Most Radioactive Zones on the Planet”
The Semipalatinsk test site is located in Kazakhstan. It was the first place in the Soviet Union for the nuclear bombs tryout. That significant event happened in August, 1949. Since then, the area of ​​18 500 square meters was a regular place of the testing nuclear weapons. Today, the landfill is a true champion of the world in the number of nuclear explosions per unit of area. Roughly estimated, numerous tests have affected about 200 000 people.
Various interesting stories are associated with this landfill. During the Soviet era, there was a secret city of Moscow-400, which was later renamed in Kurchatov. Today, this city is closed, but people lived there up to the 90s of the last century. The bulk of the population were soldiers and scientists, who were involved in the development of nuclear weapons. The nuclear tests were carried out at the site until 1989. Officially, this territory was closed only in 2012.
All these years, the landfill area was severely guarded. There are suggestions that  radioactive elements, which are now used for secret development in third world countries, were collected there. Radioactivity in the closed landfill is still very high; it reaches 20 mR per hour. The main victims of the ecological disaster are locals, who still continue to live in a radioactive area. They are engaged in the cultivation of the contaminated land and grazing in the steppes, where dangerous nuclear bombs have being exploding several decades ago. ... Complete sights collection

Semipalatinsk Testing Ground

From the series “Largest and Famous Nuclear Test Sites”
Semipalatinsk Testing Ground is the most known on the territory of ex-USSR. It has received its popularity thanks to negative afterwards of the tests. A great territory of Kazakhstan and Russia were polluted by the numerous explosions. Until now locals suffer from afterwards of the destroying tests. Nowadays the test site is thrown far away and doesn’t have any protection. There were saved several signs that alert about the high level of radiation.
People live here, among large craters and semi-destroyed buildings of the military infrastructure. Even more, they are engaged in farming. The soil, which has a high level of radiation, is used for planting fruit and vegetables. Locals don’t have another way out; their lives were prescribed by the military forces of USSR. Once their native houses were poisoned with radiation. This territory wasn’t cleaned after the nuclear tests and even more, the locals weren’t moved to the safe place.
This desert and forgotten places are visited by tourists who want to look at semi-destroyed tunnels. Specialists say that even a short walk there can be rather dangerous for the health. The brightest example are locals, until now, people from this place, have cancer oftener than people in other world regions. Semipalatinsk Testing Ground was officially closed in 1991. Nowadays in the nearby towns and villages, new medical centres have been opening. ... Complete sights collection

Abandoned Hangar near Baikonur Cosmodrome

From the series “The most famous buildings of communism”
There are abandoned objects on the territory of the majestic Baikonur cosmodrome. It is the largest in the world. These buildings were built during the time of communism. They turned out to be unnecessary after. Vitaly Raskalov presented to users on the Internet pictures of an abandoned hangar a few years ago. It is located next to the famous cosmodrome. These unique photos spread around the world in a matter of days.
Raskalov's team managed to take pictures of the famous “Buran” (“Snowstorm”) spacecraft in one of the abandoned hangars. It, too, was forgotten and abandoned. Even though the vast territory of the cosmodrome is officially protected, it is incredibly difficult to control such a large area. Therefore, it is not difficult to get into the territory of old mines and hangars for experienced researchers. In addition to the abandoned hangars, the researchers managed to photograph several blown-up mines, as well as many empty buildings. They were important components of the spaceport infrastructure a few years ago.
The gates of the hangar, which houses the “Buran” spacecraft, are officially recognized as one of the largest in the world. Their height is 46 meters. The abandoned buildings themselves are also striking in their scale. Many objects of the cosmodrome had to be closed due to problems of the unprofitability of use. The world-famous spacecraft "Buran" was also abandoned precisely because its launch required too much material investment. The abandoned territory of the cosmodrome attracts mainly non-ferrous metal thieves and stalkers today. ... Complete sights collection
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All unique landmarks of Kazakhstan on the map

Fantastic City Tours and Excursions in Kazakhstan

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Photogallery of landmarks of Kazakhstan

Trip ideas for regions of Kazakhstan

Kolsay Lakes park is a perfect place for walks. As you might guess from the name, the park is the location of fabulous alpine lakes. Tourists are offered to make ascend to the mountains and see a lot of unique attractions along the way. Tourists also traditionally like horseback riding in foothill areas. Besides its unique natural attractions, Almaty is widely famous for its magnificent markets. Green Bazaar is surely the best place to purchase gifts, jewelry and home decorations. The market … Read more
Fans of shopping will like MEGA. There are shops that offer elite clothes, a wonderful supermarket, a park for children with interesting attractions and playgrounds, and much more. In the heart of Astana, visitors will find Keruen shopping complex that features a wide selection of shops for any taste and budget. A large entertainment complex occupies a significant part of Keruen, and both children and adults will find it interesting to attend. The opening of Khan Shatyr Entertainment … Read more - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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