Kazakhstan as a Country
Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country and former Soviet republic, extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altai Mountains at its eastern border with China and Russia. Its largest metropolis, Almaty, is a long-standing trading hub whose landmarks include Ascension Cathedral, a tsarist-era Russian Orthodox church, and the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, displaying thousands of Kazakh artifacts.
Kazakhstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan is a transcontinental country largely located in Central Asia with the most western parts of it being located in Eastern Europe. It is the world's largest landlocked country, and the ninth-largest country in the world, with an area of 2,724,900 square kilometres (1,052,100 sq mi). Kazakhstan is the most dominant nation of Central Asia economically, generating 60% of the region's GDP, primarily through its oil and gas industry. It also has vast mineral resources.
Kazakhstan is officially a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage.Kazakhstan shares borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and also adjoins a large part of the Caspian Sea. It does not border Mongolia, although they are only 37 kilometers apart. The terrain of Kazakhstan includes flatlands, steppe, taiga, rock canyons, hills, deltas, snow-capped mountains, and deserts. Kazakhstan has an estimated 18.3 million people as of 2018.Its population density is among the lowest, at less than 6 people per square kilometre (15 people per sq mi). Since 1997 and independence, the capital is Nur-Sultan, formerly known as Astana. It was moved from Almaty, the country's largest city.
Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan and once served as the capital during the Soviet Union and six years after independence in 1991. Set against a backdrop of beautiful snowcapped mountains, Almaty is built on a slope via which travellers can easily navigate the city (north is down the hill). The landscape makes this city an excellent one in terms of sports and nature— many hiking trails exist, and snowboarding/skiing is a must-do in winters. Almaty is Kazakhstan’s main financial center, making it both cosmopolitan and even pricey in terms of living. For those who want a break from horse meat, try Govinda’s for some vegetarian Indian cuisine. The many Georgian restaurants in Almaty are also a great option for vegetarian travellers.
The capital of Kazakhstan since 1998, Astana is making a bid to be not only the capital of the country but of Central Asia at large. Owing to this, Astana boasts of a strange melange of architecture with old Soviet buildings as well as futuristic creations by foreign celebrity architects. Astana is a planned city, designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. In terms of population, it’s relatively small for a capital with just under a million inhabitants.