The big brother for all the ‘stans’, Kazakhstan is the most economically advanced country in Central Asia. It is the world’s ninth-biggest country with sporadic urban developments in parts in otherwise large empty steppe.
While the new capital Astana is a shining star of and Almaty reminisces of Europe, the beauty of Kazakhstan lies in the untouched land mass. What it lacks in historical significance, it makes it up in the nomadic wilderness. The richest country in Central Asia, thanks to the oil & mineral reserves, Kazakhstan has emerged as the getaway to Central Asia, luring intrepid travelers to its mystic emptiness.
Escape to Astana – Glistening capital of Kazakhstan
The capital of Kazakhstan was known as Akmola, before being rechristened in 1998 as Astana, which means “the capital” in Kazakh. It formally took over from Almaty in 1997 as a capital. Located in the middle of one of the largest flat, empty expanse of grasslands, Astana appears like an oasis, where miles of nothingness is interrupted by sudden appearance of futuristic buildings. With low population of only 16 million and billions of barrels of oil and gas tucked under its belly, Kazakhstan is a gold mine. The wealth generated from oil has been pumped into creating glistening new capital. Escape to Astana and explore the 21st-century showpiece, an outcome of one man’s vision, the President Nazarbayev.