charyn canyon nature hiking Kazakhstan Almaty Al Mata silk road travel

There a very high probability some of your DNA comes from Kazakhstan. As the human family moved out of Africa, across the Middle East, it found fertile pastures in the plains of central Asia. Families formed tribes; tribes formed armies; armies formed empires.
The last invading empire, The Soviet Union, collapsed in 1992.
Kazakhstan is a massive country, with the Tien Shan mountains in the east, deserts in the west, plains extended to its Russian border. While you won’t find Borat (sorry) you will find some exotic bazaars, desert Silk Roads ruins, colourful towns, stunning hiking, and if you are determined and extremely lucky, the elusive snow leopard.

AL MATA: Almaty, Al Mata? It’s the capital, right?

TURKESTAN: Abandoned cities of forgotten empires.

SHYMKENT: The beautiful south.