Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi

You must go to Turkestan if your goal is to explore traditional Kazakh culture. The status of Turkestan in Kazakhstan is comparable to that of Xi’an in China. Being the capital of Kazakh Khanate, Turkestan is rich in historical heritage, among which the "not-to-be missed” spot must be the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi.

 Although Ahmed Yasawi was not any nobleman, he was an important spiritual leader who popularised Islam in Central Asia. His poetry, the Divine Wisdom, has been hailed by Muslims in Central Asia as a crucial classic. His mausoleum, built by Timur, the well-known Mogul Khan, is spectacular and has been inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO, so that people can get to know the prosperity under Timur’s rule. There you can ride a camel and go on a journey in this ancient city in the desert, in order to have a taste of the prosperity of this jewel of the Silk Road in the past and the glorious history of the nomads.


The ancient history of Kazakhstan can be found in the Tamgaly Petroglyph in the Zhetysu. There are more than 5,000 petroglyphs in the canyon, the majority of which are from the Bronze age, while some are from the Iron age. These petroglyphs reflect people’s lives as they farmed and raised livestock to make a living. Many of the petroglyphs depict animals, whereas some depict the people’s daily necessities. By visiting this archaeological site, you can learn about the social customs and culture at the time, as well as their history, thus being able to find out the cultural origin of human beings.

Charyn Canyon National Park

If you want to experience how spectacular the Silk Road is and the meaning of such a vast world, you should go camping in Charyn Canyon, the suburbs of Almaty.

Charyn Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world, only after the Grand Canyon in the United States. The Tian Shan actually accentuates the spectacular view of the Canyon, making it comparable to that of the Grand Canyon. The sedimentary red sandstone wall, the gurgling stream, and the wild animals walking past by chance vitalise and add mildness to the solemn canyon. As part of your mysterious night in the desert, you may, like the nomads do, grill kabobs and look up at the stars while listening to ancient legends, very much like the scene in Arabian Nights.

Mausoleums of Aisha-Bibi & Babaji-Khatun

On the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, Taraz, an ancient city of over a thousand years of history, is waiting in the centre of the desert for your visit. This ancient city of the Silk Road, where Xuanzang had passed by, witnessed a touching love story that has been waiting to be told.

Aisha-Bibi was the daughter of a poet, who, despite her father’s opposition, left home for her beloved tribe leader so far away in Taraz and decided to marry him. By a quirk of fate, however, the girl was sneak attacked by a poisonous snake while bathing in the river and died without seeing her beloved man. Returning from war, deprived of seeing his fiancée for the last time, the tribe leader was so miserable and build a mausoleum for his beloved to bury their affection that had not yet started.

Since then, the Aisha-Bibi Mausoleum and Babaji-Khatun (wise queen) Mausoleum have become the places where people pray for family happiness and a family with lots of offspring. You may be blessed by this pair of steadfast couple by praying sincerely to them and it might be possible for you to have a happy marriage and family.

Saryarka – Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan

Hills and flatlands make up Kazakhstan. If the Tian Shan in the East symbolises the soul of the country, then Saryarka in the Northwest represents its trunk. Saryarka means “the yellow range” in Kazakh. Just like the Loess Plateau in China, Saryarka gave birth to the civilisation of Kazakhstan. There are, besides loess, also grasslands and lakes, making Saryarka a more vibrant attraction. Tengiz Lake, located in the Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve, has become an important habitat for migrating birds.

A highly vibrant oasis in the desert is a showcase of the biodiversity of Kazakhstan. The Naurzum Nature Reserve, located also in the plateau within the steppe, ensures the growth of the terrestrial biota. You can see the marvellous creation of nature in the Kazakhs loess plateau. In this World Heritage site, deserts and lakes, ranges and grasslands are in perfect harmony, creating a symphony of nature.