Sightseeng in Kazakhstan
In the north Kazakhstan, between cities Astana and Koksheta, is located an amazing district, an oasis in Kazakh steppes – Borovoe. Geographically this place is known as Kokshetaus eminence, but local guides call it "Switzerland of Kazakhstan".
"When the God created the world, - is said in an old legend, - rich forests, big fields and wide rivers fail to one nation’s share, beautiful blue lakes to other. But Kazakh got only steppes. It was offensive for Kazakh people and they asked the God to give them a part of beautiful nature too. And then the God scraped out from its bag and strewed among boundless steppes the rests of scenic mountains, rocks and lakes with blue pure water, open-handedly scattered emerald meadows covered by flowers, springs with cold water and jolly loquacious streams. He covered rocks with colorful carpet of various trees and bushes, settled forests with animals and birds, lakes - with fishes, meadows – with insects and unique species of butterflies. Thus Borovoe appeared."
The highest point of this place is Kokshetau Rock (The Blue Rock). To the south is located a perfect panoramic peak Burabay Rock (690m). Burabay means camel. To the south more are situated Shuchinsk mounds, the biggest of them is called Jeke-batir – "a solitary soldier" (826m).
But a pearl of Borovoe is a range of situated among forests and surrounded by mountains lakes. There are many of them: Shuchye, Borovoe, Big and Small Chebachii, Kotirkol. From Kokshetau’s ridge also small lakes Svetloe, Karasie, Gornoe, Lebedinoe are seen.
The most scenic place of Borovoe is Blue Bay on the lake of the same name. Straight from bay’s water rises Jumbaktas ("mysterious stone") cliff resembling a sphinx. The sphinx attracts in such way that if it is observed from different points of view it is possible to see a girl’s face with losing its curl hair firstly, then a middle aged women’s and eventually an old women’s face.
Borovoe is more wonderful as any fairy tail. A combination of mountains, coniferous forests and lakes creates not only unique landscapes beauty but also a particular medical climate. A range number of health centers, tourist bases with all resorts attributes such as restaurants, bars, shops and discos is situated there.
Balkhash Lake is a pearl among the natural resources of Kazakhstan. There is a legend that a rich man Balkash had a beautiful daughter Ili. Once this man announced a festival competition –toy and promised his daughter as a wife for a winner. But beautiful Ili was in love with pure shepherd Karatal and helped him to win the bridegroom competition. Balkhash however did not want to let his daughter get married with a poor man. Then Karatal and Ili fled. Furious father couldn’t catch up with the runaways. That’s way he turned them into the rivers, rushed between them and turned into a lake, absorbing his naughty daughter. It the reason why the Lake has color of gray blueness.
Balkhash Lake is the largest closed lake after Caspian and Aral seas. The length of the lake is 614 km., the width is from 3,5 to 44 km. and maximal depth is 26 m. The phenomena of Balkhash consists in different mineralization level of its west and east parts, connected by a narrow channel. The west basin becoming water from Ili River is sweet, the east is salty. 8-10 tones of fish is got here every year. Balkhash marinka and perch are registered in the Red Book.
Ili is the largest river in Semitechye. Its length is 1439 km. The river takes the beginning in China, on territory of Almaty province it forms Kapchagai artificial reservoir, and runs into Balkhash Lake. Kapchagai is called the sea: during warm time it is favourite vacation spot of the townspeople. Its maximal width is 22 km, depth is 45 m. Health centers, vacation resorts and beaches are located along the coast. Waters of Kapchagai are rich with various fish species. Only in several kilometers from it, on coast of Ili River, there is a place returning us in an extreme antiquity. On the right coast, from a huge stone images of Buddha have turned to the sky for many centuries.
The set of petroglifs, deities’ images, Buddhist inscriptions which meaning is still unknown have been kept on black mysterious rocks. There are totally about 1000 various rock drawings dated by historians from the late Middle Ages. Big interest for naive tourists and amateurs of active leisure t represents rafting on the river Ili. During rafting tourists get acquainted with flora and fauna of the flood-lands. There are a lot of unique species of birds in Tugai bush. Also fishing on the river Ili is fine. Catfish, sazan, pike perch, bream - all these species can fish even inexperienced fisher.
They are called a pearl of Northern Tian-Shan. Three high-mountainous lakes with abrupt, piney slopes are located in spurs of Kungrei-Alatau ridge. Each lake has the charm. The rainbow trout called royal fish is found in crystal-pure blue water. This is a nice place for the walks, travel on horses and mountain bicycles. The first lake was stretched to 1 km at a height of 1 818 m, a road leads to it. There are comfortable guest houses and camping. Middle Kolsai Lake (2 252) is the biggest and most beautiful, it is 5 km from the first lake. Top Kolsai is 4 km further and 600 m above. 6 km farther, on the border with Kirghizstan, a traveller is waited with Sary-Bulak Pass (3 278) with magnificent view on blue Issyk Kul lake. All trip (25 km) can be done on a horse for one day, on foot - for 3 days.
Alakol (Motley) is one of the most beautiful lakes of Kazakhstan and located in its east part. As well as fertile water the salty lake rich in medical dirt and mineral salts. It is located on the Northern-east edge of Dzungarian Alatau. On the Bird's island inhabit flamingo and 40 other species of birds.
Charyn canyon which beauty is compared with Grand Canyon in Colorado, is 200 km to the east from Almaty. Unique forms of washout and aeration of a relief will transfer you to the fantastic, unreal world of odd sculptures from sandstone: "Valley of Palaces", "Gorge of witches" and others. Steep slopes culminate in 150-300 meters. The canyon is stretched on 154 km from northeast to the southwest, along the Charyn River which suits for rafting perfectly. A rare species of world vegetation experienced the Ice Age - sogdian ash grows here.
Mangistau region is situated on territory of Western Kazakhstan.
The Great Silk Road have run through the whole territory of Mangistau for 2000 years. Now it is one of the most attractive tourist routes. Attractive landscapes in the aggregate with fauna’ diversity of Usturt reserve, unique nature, historical and cultural, scenic places of Caspian Sea coast are of significant interest.
A trip along the Great Silk Road running through the whole territory of Mangistau from the south to the north and farther to the north-west from Usturt plateau and Sheptinskie Gates is considered one of the most attractive tourist routes. Small ancient settlement Sartash, Alta, Ketyk, legendary sacred Sherkala mountain, and near to it ruins of Chingizkahn’s son Dzhuchi fortness have remained here. There are many places of historic-architecture value: underground mosques Beket-Ata, Shakpak-Ata and other mosques made from stone, Eset-batir’s memorial complex.
Ancient city of Kzyl-Kala, Khanga-baba tract.
Ancient burial places have been found on the north from Kyzan, on the coast of Dead Kultuk. They are dated approximately from 4-5 c.c. BC. Experts believe that this discovery can give new data about ancient nomadic people of Sako-Massaget period. Located 18 km from Shepte borough Akmysh attracts tourist not only by its beauty but also by historical monuments of the ancient city of Kzyl-Kala ("red city" in Kazakh). There are scenic ravines Samal and Sazanbay three kilometers from Akshymsay. Another one beautiful place Khanga-baba tract is 30 km. from Fort Shevchenko. Spring water, bushes of hawthom, blackberry and mulberry. Here is also an ancient necropolis of Khanga-baba with a mosque