KAZAJISTÁN

Kazajistán45 (ocasionalmente escrito como Kazajstán6 o Kazakstán), oficialmente República de Kazajstán6 (en kazajo: Қазақстан; en ruso: Казахстан; en alemán: Kasachstan; en inglés: Kazakhstan), es un país transcontinental, con la mayor parte de su territorio situado en Asia Central y una menor (al oeste del río Ural) en Europa. Con una superficie de 2 724 900 km²,1 es el noveno país más grande del mundo, así como el estado sin litoral marítimo más extenso del mundo (considerando el mar Caspiocomo un lago). Kazajistán es uno de los seis Estados túrquicos independientes, junto a TurquíaAzerbaiyánKirguistánUzbekistánTurkmenistán; comparte fronteras con los tres últimos y con Rusia y China, a la vez que posee costas en el mar Caspio y el mar de Aral. La capital fue trasladada en 1997 de Almatý, la ciudad más poblada de Kazajistán, a Astaná. Kazajistán pertenece a la región natural denominada Asia Central, formada además, junto con Tayikistán, por tres de los países ya citados, Kirguistán, Uzbekistán y Turkmenistán.

La población kazaja tienen sus orígenes en los nomadas túrquicos y mongoles que emigraron a la región en el siglo XIII, en el XVI las tribus se unieron en una sola nación. Kazajistán fue conquistada por el Imperio Ruso y en 1936 pasó a formar parte de la Unión Soviética.

Durante los años 1950 y 1960, el gobierno Soviético puso en marcha un programa de agrícola conocido como “Tierras Vírgenes” en el que ciudadanos venidos de varios puntos del país se trasladaron a Asia Central para labrar la región norte. Esto produjo un influjo en la inmigración (la mayor parte de ellos rusos y de alemanes del Volga). Tras la independencia del país, parte de la población emigró a otros países.

A día de hoy Kazajistán es considerado un estado neopatrimonial caracterizado por su considerable nepotismo y dominio sobre temas políticos y económicos llevados a cabo por su Presidente Nursultan Nazarbayev. Sin embargo, no es un estado totalitario en contraste con TurkmenistánUzbekistán y China. Tras la caída de la Unión Soviética en 1991, el Gobierno Kazajo inició programas de desarrollo económico. Parte de su materia prima se encuentra en las reservas de gas y petróleo, sobre todo en el norte y oeste.
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¿Qué hacer en Kazajistán?  

VISADO

Con el pasaporte español no se necesita visado para entrar en el país. Sí es necesario registrarse en la OVIR (policía de migración), si la estancia en el país es mayor a cinco días.


+- 6.595 km 1.378.217km²

Mediados abril-junio

  • La estepa y las colinas florecen y las aves migratorias llegan en masa.

Mayo y septiembre

  • Clima ideal; en julio arranca la temporada de senderismo.

Noviembre-abril

  • Los esquiadores tienen las mejores instalaciones del centro de Asia en Chimbulak.

 

En verano creo que es época de lluvia en Kazajistán, así que he de vigilar con las carreteras. Supongo que lloverá también en los otros países de Asia Central.

  • ESCRITORES
    Abay, icono cultural
    Nacido en las colinas del Shyngystau, al sur de Semey, el escritor, traductor y educador Abay (Ibrahim) Kunanbaev (1845-1904) estudió en una madraza y una escuela rusa.
    Posteriormente, sus traducciones de obras literarias rusas y extranjeras al kazajo, sus lecturas públicas y su propia obra, como la filosófica Cuarenta y una palabras negras, fueron el comienzo del kazajo como lengua literaria y ayudó a ampliar sus horizontes.
    Abay valoraba las tradiciones kazajas, pero también era pro-ruso. “Estudiar la cultura y arte rusos es la clave de la vida” escribió. En la era soviética su reputación tenía el respaldo de Moscú, y sus escritos rusófilos eran idolatrados. Hoy sigue siendo el icono cultural más destacado.

De acuerdo con la Resolución el Gobierno de la República de Kazajistán de 23 de diciembre de 2016 N 848, a partir del 1 de enero de 2017 ciudadanos de 45 estados extranjeros entre Reino de España, tendrán derecho a entrar en el territorio de la República de Kazajstán sin visado, si el período de su estancia no exceda de treinta (30) días a contar desde el momento de cruzar la frontera del Estado la República de Kazajstán.

Al solicitar una extensión de la estancia en el territorio de la República de Kazajstán más de treinta días naturales  con los objetivos del negocio, los órganos de asuntos internos de la República de Kazajstán expedirán visados de una entrada de la categoría “negocio” por un período de hasta treinta días naturales.

Kazajistán tiene un conjunto diverso de reglas de visado para los titulares de pasaportes de diferentes naciones: sin visado, entrada única, entrada múltiple, visa solo con una carta de invitación.

Importante: al ingresar al país por tierra o mar y permanecer más de 5 días, es posible que deba registrarse dentro de los 5 días en la Policía de Migración . Recibirá una tarjeta de registro a la entrada, que debe completar, sellar y conservar durante toda su estancía.

E-visa El gobierno kazajo ha anunciado un sistema de visa electrónica para julio de 2018 . Esa fecha límite ha pasado, y no hay más información disponible hasta el momento.

Visado de Turista. Si no puede visitar sin visa, deberá obtener una visa de turista en una embajada kazaja. Desde 2017, la mayoría de las embajadas solo aceptan solicitudes de residentes del país en el que se encuentran.

Si no tiene una embajada kazaja en su país, averigüe qué embajada es responsable de su nacionalidad u obtenga un visado a su llegada .

Embajada de Kazajistán en España 

 

Tipos de Visa

Los tipos de visa de turista se han simplificado desde 2017. Solo quedan 2 tipos: entrada única y entrada múltiple.

Sola entrada

  • Duración de la visa: 90 días
  • Período de estadía dentro de esos 90 días: 30 días
  • Cantidad de entradas: 1
  • Costo: 20-50 $

Entrada multiple

  • Duración de la visa: 90 días
  • Período de estadía: 30 días máximo para cada entrada
  • Número de entradas: ilimitado
  • Costo: 200 $

Los 90 días comienzan desde la fecha en que completa el formulario, no desde la fecha en que recibe la visa. Que quede claro: con una visa de entrada múltiple, solo puede permanecer 30 días en el país para cada entrada. Sin embargo, se le permite regresar el mismo día después de la ejecución de una visa.

Una visa de grupo es una posibilidad para grupos de turistas que viajan juntos. Lo más importante es que necesitan ingresar y salir juntos del país. No sabemos el tamaño mínimo del grupo.

 

Conforme a la legislación de Kazajistán, las Fiestas Nacionales son días no laborables.
Las Fiestas Nacionales de la República de Kazajstán son:

1-2de Enero – La Fiesta del Nuevo Año
8 de Marzo – La Fiesta del Día Internacional de Mujeres
21-23 de Marzo – La Fiesta de Nauryz Meiramy
1 de Mayo – La Fiesta de Unidad del Pueblo de Kazajstán
9 de Mayo – La Fiesta del Día de Victoria
6 de Julio – La Fiesta del Día de la Capital
30 de Agosto – La Fiesta del Día de la Constitución
16-17 de Diciembre – La Fiesta del  Día de la Independencia

99 Top Experiences in Kazakhstan

  1. Climb Baiterek and look out over booming Astana
  2. Go shopping at the Green Bazaar in Almaty
  3. Get invited for a dastarkhan and sample homemade kurd, kumys and baursak
  4. Go eagle hunting in winter
  5. See millions of birds during their migration on Lake Balkhash
  6. Go nuts in Khan Shatyr, Astana’s entertainment bonanza
  7. Kayak Ili river and see the fake Silk Road movie set
  8. Talk to the mysterious balbal guarding the steppes of Central Kazakhstan
  9. Take a ferry boat across the Caspian
  10. Go ice fishing
  11. Experience the full glory of the Altai mountains by foot, horse, ski, bicycle or 4WD
  12. Ride a horse across the steppe or through the mountains
  13. Party till dawn with hipsters and rich kids, mafiosi and new arrivals in Almaty’s diverse nightlife
  14. Hike in the mountains around Almaty
  15. See kulan in Altyn Emel National Park, let the sand dune sing, and watch the Aktau and Katutau mountains shift colours as the sun sets.
  16. Find Bronze Age remnants in Central Kazakhstan at the Kent mountains
  17. See the Aral Sea surviving against all odds, or drive over its death bed at Aralsk
  18. See Scythian burial mounds in Esik and visit the lovely mountain lake
  19. Climb Khan Tengri
  20. Have your future predicted by a fortuneteller or get pagan with a shaman
  21. Dance in the tulip fields of Aksu-Zhabagly until you spot a bear
  22. Hit rock bottom in the lowest point of the former Soviet Union – the Karagiye Depression – and hunt for fossils
  23. Roll the Devil’s Balls in Western Kazakhstan, then survey the empty salt fields from the lonely Bozzhira tract
  24. See flamingos fly in Korgalzhyn
  25. Snap seals on the Caspian shore
  26. Eat Kazakhstan’s traditional food: beshbarmak, kurdak and kazy
  27. Milk a mare, then shave a camel
  28. Learn about the KarLag, the Kazakh gulag, in the museum of Dolinka
  29. Sunbathe on the beach of Bayanaul
  30. Go on a botanical expedition and hunt for tulips, rare desert plants, or yet to be described flowers in Altai
  31. Get out of Astana and smell the pine tree freshness of Burabay
  32. Picknick on Big Almaty Lake and take in a falconry show on the way back
  33. Surprise a snow leopard
  34. Angle for the giant taimen on Lake Zaysan
  35. Visit Charyn Canyon from every angle and hike through it
  36. Go on a pilgrimage to Beket-Ata
  37. A different kind of pilgrimage: shop for luxury brands at Esentai Mall
  38. Spot as many birds as possible from more than 500 species in Kazakhstan, at UNESCO heritage Naurzum national park
  39. Go ice-skating on the world’s highest skating rink Medeu
  40. Watch an ice-hockey match in NHL breeding ground Ust-Kamenogorsk
  41. Visit Astana’s aquarium and see fish 3.000 km removed from the ocean.
  42. Get shocked by the nuclear destruction at the Semipalatinsk Test Site
  43. Hunt for Cold War artefacts in Priozersk, and discover ghost towns and abandoned military installations across the country
  44. Rock out during a concert of Kairat Nurtas, the nation’s most popular singer
  45. Raft a river
  46. Watch a space launch in Baikonur
  47. Take a train and watch the earth roll by for a long, long time
  48. Witness the embattled saiga in Ural, Ust-Yurt or Betpak-Dala semi-deserts
  49. Attend a traditional Dungan wedding
  50. Marvel at the petroglyphs of Tamgaly
  51. Climb the Ustyurt plateau and find the last of the vanishing moufflon
  52. Discover the amazing pyramid of the Aktolagai plateau
  53. Go skiing: slalom the slopes of a ski resort or freeride down the untouched backcountry powder
  54. Cycle with Aleksander Vinokourov during one of Almaty’s cycle events
  55. Learn all about the nation’s only president in his museum in Astana
  56. Stand in awe of the steelworks of Temirtau or the mining heritage of Ekibastuz
  57. Go to the end of the road in Zhezkazgan
  58. Eat Korean food from the nation’s 100.000 koryo-saram
  59. Get pampered at Almaty’s Arasan baths
  60. Take in traditional music with a concert at the Folk Instruments Museum
  61. Buy a piece of handcrafted woodcarving or felt making.
  62. Take a helicopter ride over the Ili-Alatau mountains
  63. Visit abandoned oil fields, bitumen lakes and mines of all kind
  64. Meet Uyghurs and have a real Uyghur meal in the region east of Almaty
  65. Dip into each of the Kolsai lakes as you hike to the top
  66. See the sunken forest of Lake Kaindy
  67. Go on a (long) tour of curious mosques and unusual spiritual sites
  68. Stay in a yurt and discover Kazakh customs in the village of Myktykol or Shabambai Bi
  69. Link up the various sites bearing witness to Southern Kazakhstan’s medieval history, from Aisha Bibi to the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi
  70. Wander through the modern architecture of Astana and its Expo 2017 village
  71. Meet a member of each of Kazakhstan’s 100+ minorities
  72. Listen to an old woman’s tales of Soviet times
  73. Visit the land of milk and honey tucked away in the Dzhungarian Alatau
  74. Hang out with the guys and sample Kazakh vodka, beer, dried fish and chechil
  75. Find peace, spirituality and absolute silence in Bektau Ata and the Bugyly mountains
  76. Learn Kazakhstan’s history at Almaty’s History Museum, then admire the nation’s art in the Kasteyev museum
  77. Climb Mount Belukha and look for Shambala
  78. Find peace on the other side of Lake Markakol
  79. Camp in the desert and count the stars
  80. Stay up late in the village and hear the wolves howl
  81. Check out historic Semey, with its surprising array of interesting museums
  82. Check out historic Uralsk as well.
  83. Enjoy the splendid apple harvest of Almaty’s famous aport wandering the hilly green dacha regions of the city
  84. See the destruction Genghis Khan left behind in once-thriving Otrar
  85. Lick a Soviet-style ice cream and hang out near the wooden cathedral in Panfilov Park
  86. Mountainbike the Assy plateau and come down along the waterfalls of Turgen Gorge
  87. Paraglide over Ush Konyr
  88. Visit the biggest farm in the world in the former Virgin Lands
  89. Drink kymis (fermented mare’s milk), then wash it down with shubat (fermented camel milk)
  90. Visit the atmospheric ruins of Sauran or the newly discovered ruins at Altynkazgan.
  91. Hunt for Soviet mosaics and Lenin statues in the backstreets of Kazakhstan’s industrial cities
  92. Drive a 1960’s Zhiguly
  93. Motorbike through the Taukum and the Kyzylkum deserts
  94. Visit the heart of Kazakhstan at Ulytau, smell the steppe and eat the best lamb meat
  95. Become a mineral geek and hunt down 100s of geological oddities
  96. Learn to play the dombra and accompany an aitys battle
  97. Wrestle someone from Kyzyl-Orda
  98. Celebrate Nauryz with a game of Kokpar
  99. Mix with creatives and glitterati at Kazakhstan Fashion Week
  100. Challenge a brainiac to a game of Toguz Kumalak.

5 Books About Kazakhstan Actually Worth Reading

Kazakhstan is a new country, and few books of interest to the general audience have so far been written about it in English. Too bad, since there is a lot to say. I have highlighted 5 books that I recommend for the traveler who wants to understand Kazakhstan better before or after her visit. Below these, I gathered up the best of the rest: propaganda, photography books and novels set in Kazakhstan.

Good travelogues and historical and political overviews of Central Asia that include Kazakhstan can be found in the Central Asia books section.

Table of Contents

Best books about Kazakhstan

1. The Silent Steppe: the Story of a Kazakh Nomad under Stalin – Mukhamet Shayakhmetov

 

If you read just 1 book about Kazakhstan, let it be this one. While the devastating famine in Ukraine is fairly well-known, the death and displacement of millions of Kazakhs in the same period of Stalin’s reign is almost forgotten in the West. This first-hand account of a survivor tells the story of the sad, starved end to the nomadic lifestyle of Kazakhs.

Like a Kazakh “Wild Swans”, Shayakhmetov has written an exceptionally dignified and balanced account of the incredible hardships the Kazakh people had to endure in the 1930’s and ’40’s. You will learn not only about the tragic history of the land, but also about the age-old way of life of Kazakhs before it was destroyed by Soviet Russia. No other writer comes close to Shayakhmetov in describing the Kazakh way without undue romance or exaggerated venom. The Silent Steppe will make you understand how Kazakh traditions still linger on in contemporary life.

On top of that, the story of little Mukhamet is an inspiring tale of survival against the odds, ready for a Hollywood make-over. You are guaranteed to understand Kazakhstan better after this read.

The Silent Steppe on Amazon

2. The day lasts more than a hundred years – Chingiz Aitmatov

By revered Kyrgyz novelist Chingiz Aitmatov, The day lasts more than a hundred years is the greatest novel ever written set in Kazakhstan. It is at once a description of Kazakh culture and the hard life in the steppes, a crushing indictment of Soviet policy, a science-fiction story, and a book that makes you think about life.

The day lasts more than a hundred years on Amazon

3. Book of Words – Abai

In his main work, Kazakhstan’s national poet Abai describes the Kazakh people and their ways. and encourages them to look for a higher moral ground. More than 100 years later, the national character has not changed, and Abai’s Words are still the reference if you want to learn more about why Kazakhs are the way they are.

Book of Words on Amazon

4. Once in Kazakhstan: The Snow Leopard Emerges – Keith Rosten

Once in Kazakhstan tells the often unbelievable story of the first moments of Kazakhstan’s independence. Doubling as a crash course on how to start a country, the book is filled with amusing, fascinating, as well as dark and sad anecdotes of that crazy time in Kazakhstan’s history, when everything not only felt possible, but was.

Once in Kazakhstan: The Snow Leopard Emerges on Amazon

5. The Nomads – Ilyas Esenberlin

A big, heavy 3-volume book that tells the complete history of the Kazakh khanates. I don’t really recommend this book for a first-time visitor. If however you are truly gripped by Kazakhstan and have read the 4 books above, The Nomads is a good investment. Looks good in any modern apartment in Astana.

Only available in bookstores in Kazakhstan.

Propaganda

Apples are from Kazakhstan (The Land that Disappeared) – Christopher Robbins

A brilliant piece of propaganda. Since it is the most popular book about Kazakhstan, I have to include it in my list.

The author spends his time in Kazakhstan talking to rich businessmen and other powerful men. Apparently, it is all going great. The Soviet past was terrible, though, but now that Kazakh men are in charge (women are only interviewed as wives and daughters of, or feature as sad strippers, elegantly dressed granddaughters or angry receptionists. Poor people get no mention at all) things are going great!

A lot of pages are dedicated to the president: he gets to tell how he saved Kazakhstan on numerous occasions. In general, Nazarbayev comes off better than Jesus in the Bible. Robbins interviews critical journalists about the president, but even they cannot find anything critical to say!

The brilliance of the book lies in the writing. It’s very well-written, and Robbins juxtaposes his adventures with the boys with stories of the forced visits to Kazakhstan by Panfilov, Trotsky, Dostoyevski, Solzhenitsyn and others, as well as meetings with an archaeologist, a wolf hunter and a John Lennon impersonator.

Unlike me, most people love this book. It’s well researched, and a good introduction to Kazakhstan for those who, like the author, start off knowing nothing at all about Kazakhstan. It is sadly disfigured by the necessity to prop up the president and his boys.

Was Robbins paid to write this book? I hope so. Otherwise it is an embarassment.

Apples are from Kazakhstan on Amazon

Nazarbayev and the Making of Kazakhstan – Jonathan Aitken

Jonathan Aitken is a buddy of president Nazarbayev, and this book presents another glowing portrayal of Kazakhstan’s one and only president. Nonetheless, to understand Kazakhstan today you need to know Nazarbayev, and Aitken has a lot of first-hand information about the man you will not find elsewhere. For those with an interest in politics and an underdeveloped gag reflex.

Nazarbayev and the Making of Kazakhstan on Amazon

Coffee table books

The Soul of Kazakhstan – Alma Kunanbay and Wayne Eastep

There’s a bunch of photo books on Kazakhstan. I find the best one The Soul of Kazakhstan by Alma Kunanbay and Wayne Eastep. With evocative, artful pictures and a text that brings to life Kazakhstan’s culture and traditions, this book works well as a gift and outranks anything you can find in a book shop in Kazakhstan.

The Soul of Kazakhstan on Amazon

Nomads and Networks – Soren Stark

Also worthwhile as a coffee table book for those with an interest in ancient history and/or the Altai region (small crowd, I admit!). Accompanying a groundbreaking exhibition in the Smithsonian, the book traces the sophisticated culture of the Scythians and their neighbours living in Kazakhstan around 2000 years ago.

Nomads and Networks on Amazon

Novels

Kazakhstan has inspired some of the most depressing books in Russian literature (not an easy feat). One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich was based on Solzhenitsyn’s time in a labour camp in Ekibastuz, while Dostoyevski started The House of the Dead in Semey. Alexander Chudakov won awards with A Gloom Is Cast Upon the Ancient Steps (untranslated thus far), which takes place in a fictional town in Kazakhstan and describes life under Stalinist Russia. All brilliant books, but not included here since Kazakhstan is really just a faint backdrop to the story.

Zahir – Paolo Coelho

If you are a fan of Paolo Coelho and are planning a trip to Kazakhstan, Zahir will give you a taste for the empty steppes. Easy to read with a clear message, Zahir is good for those long train rides through the endless green flatlands of Kazakhstan. If you are not a fan of Paolo Coelho, you know what to do.

Zahir on Amazon

Performance Anomalies – Victor Robert Lee

A thriller set in Almaty? Yes, it works! The plot is original, with modern, plausible geopolitical strands woven into a fictional story about a man with exceptional senses. The writing is good, the plot pushes forward at pace and there is a good sense of place here: the author describes Kazakhstan well.

Performance Anomalies on Amazon

The keeper of Antiquities – Yuri Dumbrovsky

Brilliantly intricate psychological novel set in Almaty, dealing with the insidiousness of the Soviet purges in the 1930’s. One of the great modern novels to come out of Russia in the past 20 years according to the critics, it’s good to know a bit of Soviet history before attacking this one.

The keeper of Antiquities – Yuri Dumbrovsky

Guidebooks

Bradt guide to Kazakhstan – Paul Brummell

The Bradt guide is thoroughly researched and covers almost all interesting places in Kazakhstan. It is well-written by the original author, and is invaluable to anyone planning to travel Kazakhstan for more than a week or 2.

The 2nd edition is quite poor in its updates, though. Mistakes from the first edition have been copied into the 2nd edition, and interesting places that were skipped before have not been included. Only Almaty and Astana seem to have had a substantial update, but seeing the rate of change in these cities, many of the recommendations are already outdated. Despite this, still a very good guidebook, and the best choice for practical information for a deep exploration of Kazakhstan. Last update 2012.

Bradt guide to Kazakhstan on Amazon

Odyssey guide to Kazakhstan – Dagmar Schreiber

Odyssey gives more room for Kazakhstan, offering more background than Bradt. This book is very outdated and lacks in practical information, but it is invaluable for those who have been to all the places the Bradt guide covers and need more. Schreiber has been everywhere and offers background and inspiration on topics and places not covered in the Bradt guide. Latest edition 2010.

 

Desde <https://caravanistan.com/books/kazakhstan/>

 
El Doctor de Viaje

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