Kazakhstan

From Eco Friendly Travels


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Eco-friendly travel guide to Kazakhstan advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Kazakhstan, Asia.


  • Air quality: 2 / 5
  • Bus connections: 3.5 / 5
  • Train connections: 4 / 5
  • Hitchhiking: 4 / 5
  • National parks: 3.5 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 3.5 / 5
  • Safety: 3.5 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$20 - $150
  • Budget per day: US$100 - $200

Responsible Travel

Kazakhstan is a country located in Central Asia that was also known as the Soviet Republic. The area of this country extends from the Caspian Sea. The Altai Mountains to the border of Russia and China at the east. The population of the country is around 18.35 million and is known as one of the best travel destinations in the world. The capital city of the country Nur Sultan is very well known as the biggest metropolis and futuristic development. You will be able to see some of the best natural attractions and others that will help you to get an excellent traveling experience.

You will need to prepare very well before starting your journey to Kazakhstan. From food to clothes, everything is different in this country. The culture and traditions of the local people will be very new to you and never seen before. Try to explore all the corners and cities of the country very well to make your trip memorable. However, there are some other things that you need to keep in mind as an eco-friendly traveler. Helping the environment and local people of the country is one of your responsibilities. So, here are some of the ways of helping them as an eco-friendly traveler.

  • You will be able to get a lot of available transportation options after reaching this country. However, most of them are run by fuel and produce very high pollution in the air. To keep the air free from pollution and get a good riding experience, you can choose eco-friendly ways of travel such as bicycle, electric cars, and many more
  • Without trying the traditional food of the country, your trip is not complete. So, you need to visit the best restaurants in the country and try different traditional foods. However, you will be able to get a very good experience of trying traditional food with street food dishes as well. They are an important part of the food experience as the traditional restaurants of the country
  • Being a popular tourist destination, getting accommodation is not a hard task in the country. In fact, you will be able to get plenty of accommodation options available in the country. It is best to choose to stay in green hotels, which are very popular and eco-friendly. It will not only help the environment of the country but also keep your health very well during the stay
  • Although there are plenty of attractions available in the country, you might need to visit a place that is quiet to get far away from the crowd. Even after the futuristic development, the country has a lot of city parks available that you can choose to visit to get close to nature and far from the crowd of the cities. This will help you a lot to enjoy the fresh air and inspire the local people to visit the city parks
  • During your trip to Kazakhstan, you will be able to see a lot of small shops and stalls available in both big and small cities. Try to purchase items and buy foods from these stalls to get high-quality goods at a low price. It will not only help you to save your money but help the small sellers to get support. Most of these people are dependent on tourism


Air Quality and Pollution

One of the things that you need to keep in mind while visiting a different destination is air quality. Make sure to know all the details about the air quality of the destination before visiting it. Based on the pollution of the air, you will need to take precautions to stay healthy. The air quality of the country is very unhealthy according to different sources. The air quality index (AQI) of this country is around 150-300, which is much higher compared to the average one. You will need to take extra precautions to keep yourself healthy in the country. The pollution in the air is very high, which can cause a lot of health conditions.

Some of the necessary things that you need to carry with you in the country are masks and medicines. However, if you have conditions like asthma or serious breathing problems, then you will need to take the help of doctors to know what you need to carry during your trip. With the help of doctors, you will be able to stay completely worry-free about any instances. It is best to check the air quality of the places before visiting them after reaching the country to know if there is any danger to health.


Respect the Culture

There are many things that attract tourists from different countries to Kazakhstan. One of the things among them is the unique culture and traditions of this country. You will find a lot of tourists who are visiting this country to get the cultural experience. Most of the people of this country belong to the Muslim religion around 72%, more than 26.3 % of the population are Christians, and others belong to different religions. You will be able to see a lot of influence in the lifestyle of the local people of this country of Turkic nomadic lifestyle.

From foods to dresses, the cultural differences with other countries are very well highlighted. You will be able to see some of the traditions that are not available in most of the other countries in Asia. Make sure to experience all of these things very well to understand the culture of the country. It is best to travel the country at the time of different festivals and events. You will be able to know a lot of things about the country when visiting at the time of festivals. The oil production of this country is also very well known around the world.


Top 10 Places to Visit

Every year we can see that more than thousands of tourists visit the country of Kazakhstan. The reason behind this thing is that the cities are lovely and give you a lot of fun. But if you want to make your trip more exciting then you have to visit the places in these cities.

  • Palace of Peace and Reconciliation (Nur-Sultan) - It is a palace in the city of Nur-Sultan where you can get many cultural activities. They are fabulous and you will never get disappointed after seeing them. No one misses it because a place like this is nowhere there in any other cities of Kazakhstan.
  • Shymkent Zoo (Shymkent) - This is the best zoo in the city of Shymkent where you will get a wide variety of animals. They are the best and can also give you a feeling of wow which you have never felt earlier. Try not to miss it because the opportunity of visiting here might not come again and again.
  • Aisha Bibi Mausoleum (Taraz) - This mausoleum was built in the 12th century and is still famous even today also. It is because it has the reminiscence of a famous king who had some bigger contributions in promoting cultural heritage. Therefore, it is a must-visit for you and your family because without this place your trip is incomplete.
  • Zenkov's Cathedral (Almaty) - You can refer to it as a Russian orthodox church that has the finest architecture. It is beyond any words and can provide you with a better amount of satisfaction. So just go for it and see how it gives you a very fine experience of your trip.
  • Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi (Turkistan) - It is a mausoleum cum palace where the famous Khoja Ahmed Yasawi once resided. Come here and you will get to know the full history behind it and that too in detail. A destination like this is not there in any other cities of the world.
  • World War 2 memorial (Aktau) - This place is dedicated to all those warriors who sacrificed their lives during the period of war. Visit here and know some interesting facts about them which you have never known earlier. But if you say a no to it then no one can help you to find the best place.
  • Imangali Mosque (Atyrau) - You will see that this mosque has more than thousands of worshippers. Here you can come and wish for the best thing which can easily fulfill your desire. But if you miss it then you will curse yourself throughout the whole life and feel frustrated.
  • Abul Khair Khan (Aktobe) - It is a very nice monument, and here you will get knowledge about the significance of Aktobe city. You will not have any disappointment because this knowledge is enough to share among your beloved persons. Make a double tick of this place and mark it as very important in your travel diaries.
  • Mechet' Imeni Mashkhur Zhusupa (Pavlodar) - This place is located in the heart of Pavlodar city and surrounds the entire area. People often call it a boring place but you have to come here and make your own decision. After coming here if by chance you do not get any happiness then better leave the hobby of traveling.
  • Oblastnaya Mechet (Karaganda) - The best time to visit this palace is during the evening. Try it out, and you will find that at this time the prayers are amazing. And it is guaranteed that after doing it you would want to give your best reviews and ratings about it.


Explore

Now when it is about exploring the cities of Kazakhstan then the above places are not enough. You have to come out of them and visit other places like some city parks and museums. They will give you a different level of enjoyment so that you do not get bored.


City Parks

  • Central Park (Petropavl) - The ambiance of this park is calm, and you would be eager to come here for a long walk. Just make a fair attempt of visiting here, and you will see how wonderful it is. Whoever visits here gives the most positive reviews about this place.
  • Park Zhastar (Taldykorgan) - If you are willing to have a picnic with your family then this is the perfect place for you. By doing it your time will be spent in such a way that no one will know anything. Today if you miss it then tomorrow you will blame yourself and regret it.


National Parks

  • Buiratau National Park (Nur-Sultan) - This park is a great example of greenery as here you will get many plants and trees. They become a point of attraction, and you would want to make them your memory. So carry your camera with you and take their pictures so that the moments cannot be forgettable.
  • Karatau Nature Reserve (Kentau) - It is a wildlife park where you can get some wild animals. They are eye-appealing and love to make friends with every tourist. You have to visit here because it always leaves you awestruck.


Beaches

  • Aktau Beach (Aktau) - The water of this beach is clean and salty in a manner that will always entice you. Lounge into it for a nice bathing experience which you have never got earlier. But if you think that it is nothing then no one can help you.
  • Gorodskoy Plyazh (Kostanay) - Though this beach is not for bathing but here you can come to feel the waves. They are huge and the splashes of its water come on your side. So this place is crucial and can make you feel very extraordinary.


Landmarks

There is nothing called famous landmarks in any city of Kazakhstan. But there is nothing to worry about because these museums are their leading examples.


Museums

  • Abish Kozha (Zhanaozen) - In this museum, you would get some beautiful artifacts of the early ages. Without any doubt, we can say that they are beyond any words and give you the best joy. In the beginning, you may find it boring but later on, you will realize its value.
  • Mangistau Ethnographic Museum (Aktau) - You will see that this museum is spread all over the internet. It is for the story of how the Britishers invaded the territories of Russia. After knowing this story you would want to share it with your friends.


Eat

Compared to western countries, you will be able to see a lot of changes in the food of Kazakhstan. Some of the foods of this country play symbolic value to the culture and have been the favorite of the local people for a very long time. You will be able to get some of the delicious dishes available in this country that will help you to boost your overall eating experience. From lamb dishes to others, you will be able to get all of the different types of foods. You will be able to get a lot of traditional restaurants available in this country that serve tasty dishes.

Some of the most popular traditional dishes of the country that you need to try while visiting include Beshbarmak, Qarta, Mypalau, Zhaya, Zhal, Shelpek, Shalgam, Tohax, Baursak, Kazy, and others. Make sure to try all of these dishes to get the best food eating experience in this country. Apart from the big restaurants, you need to also visit the street markets in the country that are available in almost all the areas. It will help you to save a lot of money and support the small stall sellers as well.


Drink

Just like foods, you will be able to get a lot of drinks available in the country too. It plays a very important part in the culture in this country. Make sure to visit all the different corners very well to get various drinks available. From alcohol to soft drinks, you will be able to get a wide range of drinks available. You can visit the nightlife of the country to get most of the drinks available in one place. Some of the traditional dishes are must-try in the country that will help you to know a lot about them. Mostly the milk products are very popular in this country.

Some of the most common ones that you need to try in this country are Kumys (mare’s milk), Airan (milk of cow), Shubat (milk of camel), and clothes. However, these are not the only drinks that you will be able to get many others that will boost your drinking experience. The legal age of drinking alcohol in this country is 21 or above. If you are above the drinking age, then you will be able to get a lot of alcohol drinking options in this country. As the country is Muslim based, try to avoid drinking alcohol in the religious places of the country.


Tap-water

When it comes to drinking the tap water in this country, the first thing that you need to check is if it is healthy. If the tap-water is not healthy or suited for drinking, then you might fall sick or trigger different health conditions. The tap-water of Kazakhstan is not safe to drink for travelers. There are many things that you need to keep in mind before drinking the tap water in this country. Although many local people drink the tap-water without any hesitation, most of them either use the filter or boil the water very well before drinking it.

If you are thinking of using the tap water of the country, then it is best to boil the water very well or take the help of filtration. However, if you have different health conditions, then it is best to avoid using tap-water and purchase bottled water from the shops. The packaged water is available in different corners of the country very well. Also, make sure to carry the packaged water with you to different places during your trip.


Activities

There are plenty of activities available that will help you to spend your time very well in this country. From tourist attractions to the unique architect of the country. You can learn a lot of history about the country and its origin by visiting some of the historic places. The country is a mix of both natural beauty and futuristic ideas. While one side of the country helps you to enjoy snow mountains and blue lakes, you will be able to see the futuristic capital city and learn about the development of this country.

There are many outdoor activities that you can take part in in this country such as eco-tours, wildlife exploration, hiking, trekking, camping, horseback riding, off-road biking, rappelling, and many more. Some of these will help you to always remember the trip to this country. If you want to get far from the crowd of the cities, then you can also take part in the yoga classes that will help you to get your energy back. There are plenty of city parks that can help you to get close to nature and enjoy the fresh air. If you visit the time of winter, you will be able to take part in different activities such as ski, snow ride, and others.


Accommodation

There are plenty of accommodation options available in the country for travelers around the world. As the country is very well known as a travel destination, you will be able to get a lot of accommodation options available. From very cheap to expensive ones, you will be able to get a lot of options available in the country. While some of them offer all the basic options, others provide extra facilities. You will need to choose the mode of accommodation based on your staying duration and your budget. If you are staying in the county for a long time, then luxurious accommodation can be very costly for you.

Also, all different accommodation options are not available in different areas of the country. No matter which one you choose for your stay, try to book them very early to ensure your room. As the rooms tend to get booked very fast, it is best to book them using online services. Try to book accommodation in the center of the cities to get connected to different areas very well. As an eco-friendly traveler, green hotels are one of the best accommodations for you. It will both help you and the country to stay out of pollution. Here are some of the most commonly chosen accommodations given below in detail that will help you to decide which one is best for you.


Green Hotels

As mentioned earlier and above, you will be able to get a very good staying experience while staying in green hotels. Compared to all the other accommodation, you will be able to find a lot of available facilities in green hotels. There are plenty of green hotels available that you can visit and choose a room for you based on your requirements From low to expensive ones. They use all eco-friendly methods for the customers to keep them healthy and the city safe.

From water to energy, they use recycled and natural sources instead of chemicals to keep your health top-notch and produce less pollution. There are many green hotels available in Kazakhstan that you can choose from for your stay. Try to book them a lot earlier as they seem to get booked very fast. It is best to take the help of online services to book them. If you are staying in the country for a limited time, then it is best to use green hotels for a very good staying experience at a reasonable price range.


Hostels and Guest Houses

There are many hostels and guest houses available in the country that you can also choose for your stay. Hostels and guest houses are available in areas, where you might not be able to get any green hotels available. So, they might have a lot of similarities in terms of facilities but guesthouses and hostels are easily available. The guesthouses and hostels start from a very lower price range compared to hotels that help you to get more budget flexibility. You can even share the hostel room with other travelers or people to get them at a lower price.

There are plenty of facilities that you will be able to get from the hostels and guesthouses if you choose to stay in the expensive ones. If you choose to stay in the cheap ones, then you will be able to get basic facilities available with a comfortable stay. Just like green hotels, it is better to book the guesthouses and hostels in the country before starting your trip to get them available.


Apartments

If you are planning to stay for a long time in Kazakhstan, then it is best to stay in the apartments. You will be able to get apartments from a very low to expensive range. They are available almost all around the country in different areas. You will be able to rent the apartments in the country very easily using both online and offline modes. The price of renting these apartments is very low and helps you to stay comfortably. However, the best thing about staying in the apartments during your trip is that you will be able to learn a lot about the culture and lifestyle of the locals.

Apartments are also used by the local people to stay in the country for different things like work, study, and others. You will be surrounded by local people in the apartments that will help you a lot to learn more about them and get a very good staying experience. After staying for weeks in the apartments, you might become friends with them too. They will help you to know different things about the culture and give you some valuable information about the country as well.


Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is not an unknown term anymore for both the tourists and local people of any country. This is one of the most used ways of accommodation that helps tourists to save a lot of money. You will be able to stay in the home of another tourist who is also a traveler and local of the country. The host will help you to provide shelter, food, and great hospitality during your stay. This is a group or community of travelers that help each other to stay in their house when they are visiting their home country or town.

Just like apartments, the best thing about using this is that it helps you to stay in the country like a local. You will be able to witness all the different things from culture, traditions, foods, to clothes, rituals, and others. Most likely, the host will also help you to know the different things about the country and give some valuable information as well. You will be able to get a very good saying experience and adopt their way of living in no time.


Camping

While all the other accommodations are good options for your stay in the country, none of them offers you the thrilling adventure that you will be able to get from this. There are plenty of camps available in Kazakhstan, where you can stay for getting a very good experience. While it helps you to witness nature very closely, on the other hand, you will be able to get all the benefits. Just like other accommodations, all types of ranges are available in camps based on price range.

You can choose to stay in the mountains or near the lakes based on your likings. They offer all the basic benefits like toilets, electricity, food, and others. However, as the camping spots are very popular, it is best to book them as early as possible. Some of these camps help you to get some outdoor activity experience as well. From hiking to trekking, different types of outdoor activities are available in many camps that double the excitement of the stay.


Regions

Cities

Getting There and Moving Around

Before packing your bags and going out on the journey, you need to decide very well about the transposition for both reaching the country and moving around. There are plenty of transportation options available for you to reach the country and move around. However, it depends a lot on your location of the home. You will need to choose one of them based on how much time you have on your hand for the trip and your travel budget. While some of them are very expensive, others are budget-friendly. As an eco-friendly traveler, you will also need to think about pollution and choose transportation to move around.

It is best to choose a mode of transportation earlier to book the tickets and ensure your seat. Most of the tourists around the world choose to travel by air as it is the fastest one among all the others. However, you need to choose very carefully after knowing both the advantages and disadvantages of transportation. Here are some of the most common ways of traveling to the country from different countries given below to help you know the details and choose one accordingly.


Air

Air is known to be the most chosen way of traveling to different countries as it helps to travel very fast without any discomfort. You will be able to get a very comfortable and exciting journey and right on time. There are some countries that are not directly connected to Kazakhstan by any other mode of transportation except air. They are easily available and very well known among travelers. However, you need to know some other things as well before booking the flight tickets. The tickets are way more expensive than the other transportations.

On your whole journey to the destination, you will not be able to see anything else except clouds. Forget about enjoying the beautiful views and places on your way to the country. It is best to book the flight tickets as early as possible because they go out very fast. Booking them early will also help you a lot to get the best price with a discount. You can take the help of online websites to book the tickets without any issues. If you have limited time for the trip, then it is best to travel the country by flight to both save time and utilize it.


Bus

The bus is the most convenient way to travel to the countries and move around. From most of the nearby countries, you will be able to reach Kazakhstan by bus. However, You will need a lot more time to reach the country compared to flights. If you are traveling from other countries that are situated far away, then you will need to break your journey as direct buses are not available. Compared to flights, you will be able to enjoy the side scenes very well and all the views on your way. When it comes to moving around, it is the cheapest way to travel from one city to another or different places in the country. However, there are some cities in Kazakhstan where the buses are not very frequent. Some buses of these cities have aged a lot and the bus stations are also not maintained.

However, when you are visiting the cities of this country like Nur-Sultan, Uralsk-Aktobe, Shymkent-Almaty, and others, you will be able to find a very good and comfortable bus journey. You can check online to know the price of the tickets and book buses. The best thing about traveling by bus is you will be able to learn about the lifestyle and culture of the local people. You will be traveling in the buses surrounded by local people that will both help you to know them very closely and explore their lifestyle. You will need around 500T for every 100km while traveling by buses in this country, which is equivalent to the 3rd class of trains.


Train

After flights, travelers around the world choose trains mostly for their journey. You will be able to get a completely different experience by traveling by train. There are different ranges available that you can choose to travel by train from 1st class to 3rd class. From most of the neighboring countries, you will be able to travel directly by train. Just like buses, you will have to break the journey if you are traveling from a country that is from this country. It will take a lot more days than flights to reach the destination but you will be able to witness all the beautiful places on the way. After entering the country, you will find trains available in almost all areas.

The intercity trains are very well connected and preferred more than buses. If you are traveling to cities, then it is best to book the tickets in advance. There are some websites that you can use to book the tickets online. You do not have to wait much to get a local train as they are very frequent. If you are thinking of traveling the country very well without any interruptions, then trains are the best option for you. There is no problem getting late to visit the destination as there is no traffic on your way.


Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking is known to be the best way of traveling to different destinations as it helps you to save a lot of money and give a very unique experience. This way of traveling has become very popular around the world among travelers for the unique adventurous experience. Hitchhiking is a valid option for you if you are traveling from a nearby country. However, you will not be able to hitchhike from far countries as it will take a lot more time. Generally, hitchhiking takes a lot more time to reach the destination because of the hiking part. Using hitchhiking, you will be able to hike to the destination with the help of the other vehicles that are going the same way.

As there are many high roads available that connect the country with other countries, you will be able to reach the country. Not only reaching the country, but Hitchhiking is also a legit option to travel around the country very well and get lifts on your way. As the cities of this country are very well connected, you will be able to travel very well. Some of the things that you need to keep in mind include choosing a busy road and looking for lifts at the places where the cars slow down like restaurants, petrol pumps, and others. Also, try to carry some of the things with you like water, dry fruits, maps, and others.


Others

These are not the only ways of reaching the country and moving around in different places. You can choose many other ways to reach the country and move around that are not commonly chosen by travelers. While it gives a very good experience to travel the destination, most of them take a lot of time to reach. Among all the other ones, traveling by road on motorbike or cars is the best way of travel. You will need days to reach the country from different countries. You might have to stay at roadside hotels at night on your way. The best thing about traveling using other transportations is that it will help you a lot to experience the best natural beauty on the way.

If you are traveling from a country that is close to the Caspian Sea, then you will be able to reach the country by water using a boat or ship. However, only choose these adventurous ways of traveling if you have a lot of time available on your hand. Apart from reaching the country, you can choose many other ways of traveling to different cities and get a very good experience. There are many shops around that will help you to get bikes and cars for rent for road trips.


Sustainable Shopping

Sustainable shopping is getting popular around the world for travelers. Without shopping, any tour is not complete as it helps to carry a mark of the cultures and traditions of the country back with you. You will be able to get a lot of flea markets and second-hand markers available in Kazakhstan that will help you to get some best vintage, antique, and valuable items. You will be able to make your collection exclusive with the help of some rare items available in the country.

However, there are some of the things that you need to keep in mind before choosing your souvenirs. Try to visit the markets as soon as possible to get the best antiques and artifacts available. You will be able to get some of the best second-hand items available in these markets at a very low cost. Apart from that, you can also visit the food markets of the country if you love to get some of the special seasonal ingredients. Shopping from these markers will help the small sellers a lot to get some support.


Recycling

Recycling is one of the things that is very crucial for every country around the world. You will be able to see a lot of recycling processes taking place in this country as the local people and government are very serious about it. They have increased the solid waste recycling measures by more than 3% in recent years. Every year, they are trying to make the country more eco-friendly and reduce the environment by reducing waste.

You will need to play your part very carefully to keep the country waste-free. Make sure to visit the recycled good stores as well to help the people and support the country. You will be able to get some of the best high-quality items available at a very low price that will save a lot of money. As an eco-friendly traveler, it is one of the responsibilities that you need to do in the county.


Waste

Waste management is one of the things that every country is focusing on very much. The government of Kazakhstan has taken the issue very seriously. You will be able to see a lot of different waste reduction methods used in the country. They are trying to minimize the use of plastics to reduce the total waste production in the country. Most of the total waste goes into landfill and others. Make sure to participate in all of the different activities that local people are doing to improve the environment.


Work and Study Abroad

On your trip to the country, you will come across many foreign students who are visiting to pursue their higher education. The country has different universities that are very well known for offering the best courses. Apart from that, there are also many jobs available that attract foreign workers in the country. If you are interested in getting your higher studies done and get some of the best jobs in the country, then make sure to know what are the different benefits that you will get. Being one of the best countries for oil production, people from many countries get attracted to Kazakhstan. Here are some of the best benefits and facilities that you need to know.


Exchange Student

The exchange student program is one of the best programs for the students that helps them to study at a foreign university at a minimum price. With the help of this program, you will be able to study at a university in a foreign country that has a partnership with your home university. However, you will need to get nominated by the home university to get this program. With the help of this program, you will be able to study just by paying the tuition fee. There are many universities available in Kazakhstan that offer exchange student programs.


Au Pair

Au Pair is very helpful for travelers, workers, and students, and others to stay for the initial stage in the country by offering both shelter and food along with some pocket money. In the initial stage of settling in the country, it will help you a lot to search for other jobs, courses, or explore the country. You can take the help of online services to find a host of Au Pair service very easily. Try to contact the host as fast as possible to get all the formalities done.


Volunteering

Although you can do many different things to help the country and environment. If you have extra time, then you can volunteer for different things that will help both the local people and the country. Some of the most common volunteering jobs that you will be able to do in the country such as keeping the country clean, collecting waste, planting trees, teaching English to the local people, and many more.


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