The Silk Road heritage in Kazakhstan's Zhambyl region

16 October 2019

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Kazakhstan has a lot to offer in terms of tourism and sightseeing. One of the places worth visiting is the Zhambyl region in the south of Kazakhstan. The region is situated between the Shu and Talas rivers and is a treasure trove of historical sites.

The capital of the region is an ancient city named Taraz. One of the oldest cities in Central Asia, Taraz celebrated its 2000th anniversary (recognized by UNESCO) in 2001. The city was a major trade center along the Silk Road. Today Taraz is home to ancient architectural monuments, such as mausoleums of Aisha-Bibi and Babadzha – Khatun of 10th-11th centuries, Karakhan and Dautbek of 10th-13th centuries.

The Zhambyl region also boasts a great number of landscape and biological sites that are valuable for eco tourism, for example, the Northern region of Western Tyan-Shan.

Five historical sites of the region are included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list, including the Aktobe (Stepninskoe) settlement, Kulan, Ornek, Kostobe and Akyrtas.

The great potential of the Zhambyl region for domestic and international tourism made the government of Kazakhstan consider investing in developing local infrastructure. To that end, Kazakhstan allocated 41 million tenge (over $121,000) for the initial stage of tourism development in the region. EXPO-2017 is also expected to lure more tourists to Zhambyl. Four travel agencies will operate during the period of EXPO to make sure visitors will be able to discover the most ancient region of the country.