20 Things you didn’t know about Kazakhstan and its people
Are you looking to travel to Kazakhstan and have determined that you know pretty much nothing about the country and the people? It is not an unusual thing to find people being entirely uninformed about this country. If you want to learn more about this gorgeous country, stick around and see twenty fun facts about the people and the nation.
Beautiful Kazakhstan amazes most people due to its beauty and breathtaking features. Here are the outstanding twenty things you may have never known about Kazakhstan:
- Kazakhstan is situated on two continents. These are Asia and Europe. Ural River is the landmark used to define the boundaries of these two continents. However, it cuts through the western part of this country. Due to its location, the state can be recognized as part of either continent or both.
- Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked nation in the world. Its size is 2,724,900 km2, making it the largest of all landlocked countries compared to those of Western Europe. Despite its massive size, the nation has a small navy. The navy was established in 2003 and is based on the Caspian Sea. It has fourteen vessels and over three thousand strong force.
- The country borders five different countries. These nations include Turkmenistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, China, and Kyrgyzstan.
- The Soviet Union colonized the country. However, it acquired its independence in 1991. Since then, the nation continues to be ruled by the same president who is known as Nursultan Nazarbayev. The reign of Nursultan Nazarbayev has been criticized by multiple human rights groups profoundly due to its restriction on freedom of speech.
- The capital city of the country is known as Astana, now Nur-Sultan. It is one of the most futuristic and exciting capital cities in the world. In Kazakh, Astana means ‘capital city’.
- Kazakhstan is home to the largest and also the first space launch facility. The space launch facility was built for the Soviet Union back in the 1950s. It is here that Sputnik first took off. Currently, the space facility is being leased by the Russians. However, it remains the heart of its space program. Tim Peake will follow the footsteps of well-known astronauts when he takes off his rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is located in the Kazakh desert.
- The country is also home to the tallest chimney in the world. The chimney, which is 419.7 meters tall, has earned the name ‘The Cigarette Lighter’ from the locals. It is taller than the other famous Poolbeg chimney in Dublin, which is 207.8m high. ‘The Cigarette Lighter’ is linked to the GRES-2 Power Station.
- The nation has the tallest tent in the entire globe. The tent, which is known as ‘The Khan Shatyr’, is 150m tall. This is approximately 492 feet tall. The other fascinating fact about this tent besides its height is its location. It is situated right at the heart of the country's capital, Nur-Sultan. ‘The Khan Shatyr’ also has an indoor beach making it a great tourist destination.
- Kazakhstan is home to three UNESCO world heritage sites. One is the Saryarka plains, which is a famous world birdwatching site. Second is Tamgaly, which houses over five thousand ancient rock carvings. The last UNESCO world heritage site is the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. The mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is situated in Turkistan city. Its construction began in 1389 but came to a stop in 1405.
- Kazakhstan has received recognition from UNESCO due to its significant role in education. UNESCO ranked the country number one in the world Education Development Index. The position was due to the country’s active role in providing children universal primary education, and also promoting gender parity. The country was also recognized due to its active role in the maintenance of high levels of adult literacy.
- The country is also ranked among the richest countries in the world when it comes to natural minerals. Due to this, the nation has been viewed as a pacemaker when it comes to the future of the oil industry.
- The nation is also popular due to its high population of wild horses. There is a belief that the first man to ever tame and ride a horse was from Kazakhstan.
- One exciting fact about Kazakhstan people revolves around coffee. The coffee served in this country is different from that served in other states. Here, it tends to be extra sweet, with people adding more than ten spoons of sugar!
- The national drink of this country is fermented horse milk, also known as Koumiss. So, be ready to drink fermented horse milk if you are planning to visit Kazakhstan.
- Kazakhstan made history in 2000 and became the first country colonized by the Soviet Union to repay all its debts to the International Monetary Fund. The remarkable thing about the repayment is the fact that it happened seven years before it was due.
- The people of Kazakhstan literally celebrate three New Years. The first New Year is celebrated on the 1st of January, followed by a festivity at the spring equinox, and then the ‘Old New Year'’ that was decided by the old Julian calendar.
- In most ill-informed sporting events, we have heard the version of Sacha Baron Cohen national anthem being played. Although most people believe this is the original version, this is not the case. The authentic version of the national anthem is titled ‘My Kazakhstan’. It was created back in 2006, and apparently, President Nazarbayev played a significant role in the lyric writing process.
- Although the footballers of the country might not be famous, the country still left a mark at the Olympics. It scooped thirteen medals in total, 7 of which were gold. The country was ranked twelfth on the medal table.
- The country has a nature reserve comprising of over 1,300 flowering plants species. It also has well-marked trails, great guides, and breathtaking biodiversity. The biodiversity consists of animals such as the golden eagles, the ibex, and the argali sheep.
- Kazakhstan houses several ski resorts. One of them is the famous Shymbulak, which Prince Harry and his then-girlfriend Cressida Bonas visited in 2014.
Kazakhstan is undeniably a beautiful country to visit. Therefore, any people planning for a getaway need to include this nation in their bucket list. It is home to some of the most distinct things, such as the largest tent and chimney.