Almaty Journals

Kazakhstan

A September 2006 trip to Almaty by Klair

Quote: Kazakhstan is the ninth biggest country in world yet no one seems to have a clue where it is. It was part of the former soviet union and lies between china and russia!! They speak Russian and Kazakh and most of the young people speak English.Tours are non existant and i only got to the Charyn Canyon because a Kazakh friend of mine organised it for me!! Almaty is a pretty city with tree lined avenues on a grid system, therefore it is easy enough to get around. It is at the foothills of the Chimbaluk Mountains so there is plenty of scope for hillwalking during the summer and at winter time it is a ski resort!

Kazakhstan

Overview

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As there is relatively no information or guide books on the 9th biggest country in the world, I decided to impart some of what I learned with you! Almaty is a progressive city and 5 years from now will be a tourist destination! However it is still a relatively new country and not quite geared up for tourists just yet. Also there is a very strong smell of petrol in Almaty because they use leaded petrol and there are lots of 4 litre engine cars driving around. I developed quite a bad cough as a result of all the car fumes. However Alamty is very pretty and the people are very friendly and welcoming.Quick Tips: The Kazakhs are crazy meat eaters - meat is served with meat so vegetarians are not r...Read More
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Hotels were quoting $150-$250 a night so we scoured the Internet looking to rent an apartment. While looking for a trekking tour we came across a website www.stantours.com that also were able to organize an apartment for us at $70 per night for a one-bedroom apartment, we finally had a bargain! It was a large apartment with a kitchen livingroom, bathroom and bedroom and very close to all amenities!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 2, 2006

Zherujyk

Restaurant

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This place had a menu in English which helps greatly. I had mushroom soup and beef stroganoff but there was quail soup and camel and fried brain on the menu as well! For the less adventurous, there was steak and fish also. All waiters were dressed in traditional attire and there were musicians playing traditional Kazakh music and belly dancers on stage as well to keep us entertained while we waited for our food which took ages to come. There were 20 of us there but we waited over an hour for our starters and another hour for our main course! But the food was good!!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 14, 2006

Wasabi Sushi

Restaurant

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Again another restaurant with an English menu, this place had meat, chicken and fish dishes together with sushi and miso soup and omelets and fries! Service however, is not great but I am beginning to think a meal in Kazakhstan is supposed to take about 4 hours!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 14, 2006

Metro

Attraction

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It is a big place with dancers on stage and lots of western pop blaring out! Although I got the impression that I was the only female there that wasn't a prostitute! The metal detector at the entrance to the club is a bit off putting as well! However, all people we met in there were really nice and friendly!

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 14, 2006