Kazakhstan is amazing: astonishing nature, tasty food, welcoming people. However there's a lack ancient history artifacts. The only place you can experience something like that is in Turkistan area. Next to Shymkent.
Recently Shymlent became a city with more than a million citizens, thus the region capital was transferred to Turkistan. Government started to put tones of money in local budget and began a huge renovation program. Therefore the first thing I faced -- endless construction works.
In general I can't say Turkistan is a rich town.
A repetition of performance for May, 9 celebration (Victory Day).
Finally, the most historical part in entire Kazakhstan. Mausoleum of Ahmad Yasawi. According to legend he was granted a stone of persimmon from prophet Muhammad, even though there were 400 years between them (!).
It is strongly believed in Central Asia, that a Muslim has pilgrim in local mausoleums before he plans to go to hadj.
Mausoleum construction was never finished. The main entrance looks like the work is still in progress.
You can take a ride on a camel nearby. It's quite popular attraction by the way (:
Or take a look on yurt, mosques, museum and other attractions nearby.
Or enjoy construction works. You simply can't skip it (:
Shymkent is much more wealthy city. However it's still far way from Almaty. Even though that's a third city in the country.
They think if you cover ruins with a fence, nobody will notice the ruins. It doesn't work that way.
It's not that bad though in general. A normal provincial city. With tasty food :)