Why Kazakhstan deserves more attention
Kazakhstan is one of the most fascinating countries I’ve ever visited. It has mountains, great hiking trails, interesting culture and history, beautiful cities and really lovely locals. The best thing about it was that I was almost completely alone there as a tourist! I have to admit, the only reason I wanted to go there was because I had no idea what Kazakhstan was all about. No one travels there and that’s why I wanted to. But it was still surprising to me when I arrived to see empty hostels and locals who were fascinated with tourists. Nowadays, when it’s become so much easier to travel and more accessible for more people, it’s quite rare to come to a country that‘a unfamiliar with tourists. Perhaps that’s why I liked it so much.
Kazakhstan is, first of all, massive. It would take me years to travel around the country, so I had to settle with a few cities. But the short time I spent in Kazakhstan made me realize that it’s probably one of the most underrated countries in the world. The thing with Kazakhstan is that there’s so many opportunities for it to become a big tourist destination. But many people seem to think these parts of the world are “dangerous”, because no one really knows what’s going on. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When I traveled there, as a female solo traveler(!), I felt completely safe and taken care of. Even though the language barrier does make it trickier, the locals were always patient and curious so you could count with them helping you if you were lost.
Since there aren’t many tourists in the area, it could feel a bit lonely at times, but the few that had made their way there became close friends. It also helps that locals are always willing to chat with you, and besides, it’s part of the reason why we travel – to get to know the people who lives there. I’ve been to places where the locals had no interest in engaging with the tourists (and perhaps rightfully so), but locals in Kyrgyzstan always greeted me with a smile. I never felt lonely because of this.
When it comes to the landscape… wow! For mountain lovers, or anyone who likes stunning landscapes, this country is for you. Kazakhstan also offers canyons, lakes and rolling hills as far as the eye can see. There’s plenty of tours you can join when you’re in Kazakhstan. It’s by far the easiest way to get to these specific places, but you can also rent a car or rent a driver that’ll take you to where you want to go. It’s a bit tricky in the beginning to figure out how everything works, but when you got the hang of it, you’ll be stuck in Kazakhstan for longer than you thought you would be.