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Caspian Sea

The vast Caspian sea, though sometimes classed as a lake, is the largest landlocked body of water in the world. The gateway between Europe and Asia, it is bordered by Iran to the south, Azerbaijan and Russia to the west and Turkmenistan to the east, while Kazakhstan's Mangystau region lies to the northeast.

Nature abounds here and many visitors flock to explore the habitat for rare and interesting species. Home to Caspian Bream and Caspian Salmon and historically a haven for sturgeon, the Caspian Sea has long been a big producer of sturgeon eggs which are made into caviar. Meanwhile, many native species of birds have been named after the area, including Caspian Gulls and Caspian Tern. It's also famous for its Caspian Seals, one of a very few species of seals who live in an inland body of water. On its banks lies the city of Aktau, the administrative capital of the Mangystau region, a bustling center for tourism, originally built for oil industry workers.

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On his visits to Kazakhstan, Jay is consistently struck by its wild nomadic traditions and its spectacular, thrusting new architecture.
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