The Republic of 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!
Before we start, many people ask me about Borat or ‘is Borat real’? Please be serious and get a grip on yourself.
As much as I enjoy stunts of Sacha Baron Cohen please do take a moment to imagine how annoying it must be for Kazakh people to explain to every single tourist that actually they do not want to be associated with a movie?
The movie is a comedy stunt and I think should be taken as such.
Kazakhstan Info/ Kazakhstan Facts
Kazakhstan Capital: Astana
Kazakhstan Currency: Kazakhstani Tenge
Kazakhstan Language: Kazakh, Russian
Kazakhstan Population: 17,8 million
Kazakhstan Religion: Sunni Islam, Christianity
Kazakhstan Flag: A gold sun with 32 rays above a soaring golden steppe eagle, both centred on a sky blue field. The hoist side displays a national ornamental pattern “koshkar-muiz” (the horns of the ram) in gold. Adopted on the 4 of June 1992.
The gold and blue colours were inherited from the former Soviet flag which was the gold from the hammer and sickle and the cyan bar from the bottom of the flag.
The pattern represents the art and cultural traditions of the old khanate and the Kazakh people.
Blue sky background symbolizes the peace, freedom, cultural, and ethnic unity of Kazakh people including the various Turkic peoples that make up the present-day population such as the Kazakhs, Tatars, Uyghurs, Uzbeks, as well as the significant Mongol and Russian peoples.
While sun represents a source of life and energy. It is also a symbol of wealth and abundance; the sun’s rays are a symbol of the steppe’s grain which is the basis of abundance and prosperity.
The golden eagle on the flag symbolize Kazkakshatn ethnicity groups. The eagle symbolizes the power of the state. For the modern nation of Kazakhstan, the eagle is a symbol of independence, freedom and flight to the future.
Kazakhstan Map/ Where is Kazakhstan located?
Geography of Kazakhstan is really interesting. It is the largest landlocked country in the world. It has an access to the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea, but both of those are landlocked as well. Bordered by Russia, China, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Interesting facts about Kazakhstan.
Here come Kazakhstan fun facts about customs, traditions, food and times zones.
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! :)No ground floor? So is the 3rd floor really a 2nd floor? HahaClick To Tweet
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.
3. Holland Tulip – National Symbol
The national symbol of the country is Holland Tulip. Originated in the mountains and around steppes of Kazak Land.
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.And you would think that country of tulips is Netherlands :)Click To Tweet
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!
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. LolWithout a doubt, it is the most multicultural country in the world! #winClick To Tweet
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.
7. 3 New Year’s Eves!
Kazak people celebrate three New Years Eves. For real! And I think it is the most amusing of all facts about Kazakhstan culture.
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! Lol3 New Years Eves a year? That is what a call a great part nation! #partylikethereisnotomorrow hahaClick To Tweet
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 terms of size. 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 London – Istanbul route.
10. 3 time zones
Time in Kazakhstan is a serious concern. The country 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?Is TREE a magical number in Kazakhstan?Click To Tweet
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.
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!Potentially every car is a taxi in the country #thatisconvenient :)Click To Tweet
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
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 my spiritual soul mate country.
15. First man in space?
The first manned space flight took place in 1961 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Yuri 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
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 haFermented horse milk? No, thank you! #oncewasmorethanenoughforalifetime hahaClick To Tweet
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!
18. Apple Land
South of Land of the Kazakhs 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!The biggest producer of apples in the world? Yes but those eatable ones haha For the others that would be China hahaClick To Tweet
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.All climates zones? That seems great, you can go from skiing to tropics without living the country! #kazakshatnrocksClick To Tweet
20. First to repay all debt! –
Land of the Kazakhs 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.
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