Kazakhstan – 20 Things You didn’t Know

Kazakhstan is the first country in this series, there will be more coming soon about all the other countries I have found amusing and interesting. Like Oman, Benin, Iran, Azerbaijan, Jordan and much more.

My Kazakhstan trip was a great adventure, a bit too short, as the country is huge but a lot of great memories. Oh well, I guess I will have to go back at some point!

Interesting, funny and quirky facts about Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

1. No ground floor

There is no institution of the ground floor. You are on the 1st floor straight away. Especially confusing every single time when I was trying to go down with the lift.

I was like: ‘Wait! What? Which button I should choose?’ And not because I’m dumb, simply too used to having ‘zero’ button everywhere else around the world! :)

2. Shisha State

I named Kazakhstan ‘The Shisha State’.

Maybe Kazakhstan is not the first country which comes to your mind when you think about shisha but really everyone smokes it everywhere at any time of the day! Who would think?!

UPDATE: Now smoking shisha is banned in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

3. Holland Tulip – National Symbol

The national symbol of the country is Holland Tulip. Originated in the mountains and around steppes of Kazakhstan.

Strangely hardly anyone is aware of that. I have discovered this fact only thanks to my pure curiosity.

In the centre of  Shymket there was huge Tulip Fountain and tulips lights everywhere. It was bothering my mind. I have asked the lady in my hotel. And then many people who I met on my way. Nobody knew. They were all telling me they just like flowers!

As usual, Google had the answer and I could go to sleep peacefully.

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

4. First man on the horse?!

Kazakhstan is believed to be the country where man first climbed on a horse. And to be honest I’m not really surprised by this information.

It is all about horses and horse riding here, once you leave big cities of course!

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

5. Muli culti…

It is the most multinational and multicultural country on Earth. Over one hundred different nationalities are living here.

You can notice it in every aspect of life. Food is the best example. From Russian pelmeni through Kazakh supra and manty, Ukraine red borsch, Uzbek plov to Chinese rice dumplings. And now, I’m not talking about a trip across Asia, just Kazakhstan. Lol

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

6. Navy Issue

Although Kazakhstan is a very long way from any sea, it does have a navy! It is based on the land-locked Caspian Sea.

I guess it is kept in case of war with Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran or Turkmenistan. But know knows! Maybe to purley show power and splendour. Very Old Soviet Republic Style!

7. 3 New Year’s Eves!

Kazak people celebrate three New Years Eves. For real!

Two official ones. First on the 1st of January, by the Gregorian Calendar. Second, on the 22nd of March, it is called Nauryz, and it is Persian origin. And one unofficial on the 14th of January, by the Julian Calendar. The legacy of the Soviet times.

Tree times a year? Nothing to complain about I guess! Lol

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

8.  99 out of 110

Out of 110 elements from the Mendeleev’s table of chemical elements, 99 were detected on the Kazakhstan territory.

So does soil in this country is rich or just toxic? I will leave that to your imagination ha ha ha Just a little hint, I’m back from the trip and still nothing unusual grown on or in my body! LOL

9.  Largest landlocked country?

It is the largest landlocked country in the world. Stretches from Siberia to desserts of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. And from China to the Caspian Sea. It is so large, that distance from one end to another is about the same as LondonIstanbul route.

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

10. 3 time zones

Kazakhstan has three times zones, depending on the season of the year GMT +4, +5, +6.

Three New Year’s Eves, three time zones… maybe 3 is a magical number here?

11. Mysterious 2030

The Magic and Mysterious number 2030. Wherever I have travelled there were signs with this number. Often only a number. Nothing more. No information neither explanation. Even in places where hardly anyone lives. Now I know it’s the government’s info campaign about 2030 General Plan, but once I was there I found it surreal.

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

12. Every car is a taxi!

Every car is a taxi. There are not many official taxis and even those do not have fixed prices.

I actually loved it. You just wave on the street, cars stop, discuss the destination and price and hop on. No calling, no waiting, no hustle. Perfect! But better if you can speak Russian!

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

13. More women or horses?

There are more horses in Kazakhstan than women. This is what I have heard from many many locals. It was like a mantra!

After travelling the country and seeing all the women, I can only say it means they really have an extraordinary amount of horses! Lol

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

14. Kazakh = wanderer

The word “Kazakh” means “independent” or “wanderer”. The official translation says “free independent nomad”. Maybe that is why I felt so good in Kazakhstan, it is like my spiritual soul mate.

15. First man in space?

The first manned space flight took place in 1961 from the Baykonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Yuryi Gagarin, a Russian cosmonaut.

Russia is renting out this province from Kazakhstan until today. Maybe that why they are in such good connections! Can you imagine Russia losing the spot? LOL

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

16. Fermented horse milk?

Koumiss, the traditional drink made from the fermented horse milk. Called the milk champagne by malicious. “The Great Russian Remedy for Wasting, Debilitating and Nervous Diseases” from Treatise on Koumiss from 1877. I hate it! My adventurous attitude of trying everything once was a mistake! Never again ha ha ha

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

17. First Amazons?

Archaeological excavations conducted in Kazakhstan suggest that it is the homeland of the Amazons. The brave women warriors. You are welcome all my history lovers!

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

18. Apple Land

South-east Kazakhstan is the place where apples were first cultivated. From where they were spread around the world. They have biggest apples in the world. They even have a city named after them – Almaty.

And I thought that we Polish people are crazy about apples!

Kazakhstan Interesting Facts

19. All climate zones

Here one can find practically all climatic zones. From the torrid deserts through steppe and forest to eternal snows of the mountain heights reaching beyond the clouds.

20. First to repay all debt! – 

Kazakhstan became the first former Soviet Republic to repay all debt to the IMF. Seven years before it was due, thanks to booming oil and metals industry.

Let me only say. It was a truly superb experience to visit this extraordinary country.

Check out Interesting Travel Facts about other countries!

Did you love those interesting facts about Kazakhstan?

If you did, please share it on social media, that would mean the world to me!

If you didn’t please do tell so I can improve this site for you and other readers.

And do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions about Kazakhstan. More than happy to chat!

Cheers, Marysia

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20 thoughts on “Kazakhstan – 20 Things You didn’t Know

  1. Terry

    Very interesting post. But why you hate horse milk? ;)

  2. Claudia

    Ok. The fermented horse milk is a no no. Sorry!!

  3. Camille

    Very interesting, I pick you some pictures and analyses for my market research on Kazakhstan (The cultural part of the country). Me and 15 of my classmates agree to select this destination for a collective export mission in this mysterious country next october to Astana !
    Whatever, my research on this country made me found your blog that I will follow closely now ! :)

    Thanks !

    • Thank you so much Camille, if you have any questions just drop me an email and I will try to help as much as possible :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #112My Profile

    • bikena

      You are all welcome to our country Kazakhstan!
      *Psst…Kazakh are known for their hospitality!))

      • Of course :) I had an amazing time in your country, people were more than amazing! I felt very welcomed wherever I went :)
        Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #118My Profile

  4. Very interesting. I wouldn’t have thought of Kazakhstan as such fascinating country! Maybe apart from number one, because USA or Thailand and many other countries have that rule too. It took me a while to get used to it when I lived in the States:)
    Marta Kulesza recently posted…20 PHOTOS OF AUTUMN IN PATAGONIAMy Profile

    • Didn’t really pay attention to it when in States I must admit! And I have been there so many times ha ha ha Kazakhstan is really great Marta, at least for me, it is my type of travel and destination!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #91My Profile

  5. Brian

    Nice thoughts and website you have, thanks for sharing. 2030 is the year they are aiming for to become a first world country as opposed to a third world country that they were at when the “government plan” started. They also want to have the worlds fair there at that time. You should look at the flavor of Koomis (Kumis) as similar to Kefir, only Koomis is slightly fermented. The fermentation kills off an enzyme that makes it digestible for humans.

    • Ha ha ha Yes, I found out that later about the mysterious 2030 number. And flavour or not flavour Koomis is not my favourite :)
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #80My Profile

  6. Marie-Carmen

    The more it goes, the more tempted I am to add Kazakhstan to our list since we are not going to be so far from it soon…
    The Aral sea is a big thing we want to see there! And love the “everyone is a taxi” thing you mentionned! It does sound pretty good!
    Marie-Carmen recently posted…Chiang Mai – Songkran 2014My Profile

    • Marie you should add Kazakhstan for sure! Really great country, but super big, I have been 4 weeks and saw only small part of it!
      Marysia recently posted…Friday Lens Affair #66My Profile

  7. This is great. I’m becoming more and more intrigued with the Stan countries. More horses than woman is crazy and awesome. I love horses so I’d love to experience that :)
    Ashley recently posted…Prepping for Long Term Travel : Month SixMy Profile

  8. Bell

    Really interesting post, 3 times zones is a lot!! We hope to make it there one of these days!
    Bell recently posted…Stunning and golden, Buddha Tooth Relic SingaporeMy Profile

  9. Chels

    Wow, that is really interesting to learn! The taxi fact is so cool! Could get kind of scary..but I’m sure it works out well :)

    • My Travel Affairs

      Oh, it works perfectly and it is kind of experience! :)

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