Welcome to Southern Kazakhstan
This is the most Kazakh part of Kazakhstan: Kazakhs are generally the great majority in the population, having been settled here in large numbers during Soviet collectivisation. It is also the only region of Kazakhstan that was within the sphere of the Silk Road and the settled civilisations of Transoxiana in medieval times. Chief among its varied attractions are the pristine mountain country of Aksu-Zhabagly and the splendid Islamic architecture of the Yasaui Mausoleum at Turkestan, Kazakhstan’s most sacred Muslim shrine and a fine piece of Timurid architecture. For those arriving in Shymkent from the relative wilderness of Aral and Kyzylorda, the city's excellent dining scene is a feast for the starving.