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Globetrotter

A WORLD OF TRAVEL NEWS AND DISCOVERIES

All eyes on Kazakhstan

IT’S NOW EASIER THAN EVER to visit this particular ’stan after the country introduced visa-free travel for the UK. But should you? Emphatically yes, says Lonely Planet destination editor Megan Eaves: ‘Kazakhstan’s greatest draw is its incredible natural scenery – it’s a country the size of Western Europe with the population of the Netherlands, so there’s lots of open space. The country lies on the ancient Silk Road, and you can get a taste of that history in the city of Turkistan – a 14th-century Sufi pilgrimage site.’ You can’t go to Kazakhstan without seeing the new capital, Astana, and its quirky architecture, such as the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre (pictured). Says Megan, ‘Highlights include the Bayterek Tower, meant to embody a folktale about a mythical bird who laid a golden egg on top of a tall poplar tree.’

Lonely Planet’s Central Asia guide (£19.99) features a section on Kazakhstan; or download the individual chapter (£2.99; shop. lonelyplanet.com).

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