"Almaty, Central Asian Jewel" Top 5 Page for this destination Almaty by rsleisk
Almaty Travel Guide: 357 reviews and 828 photos
Although my time in Almaty was brief, only 3 days because of an error with my visa, I found the city to be very European and modern.
The issue I had with my visa was that it had expired. I had only gotten the visa a day before I left the US. I mistook 08/07/04 for August 7th when it was really July 8th.
When I arrived in Almaty at nearly midnight I was going through customs and the soldier whisked me away telling me that my visa had expired. I ended up getting a transfer visa based on my Uzbekistan visa which allowed me only 3 days in Kazakhstan.
The problem with that, which I didn't find out until I was leaving was the guy stamped it with 5 minutes till the next day so I was supposed to leave on the 29th, well I left on the 30th, so I was illegal leaving the country.
I ended up working a deal with the customs lady and her boss, I bought them both bottles of vodka to leave the country! That's how some things work here. Next time I will read my visa more carefully.
The city was bustling with the economic boom of an oil rich land. There were many fancy cars and Casinos. The people were very friendly, an interesting mix of Kazak, Russian and Muslim.
The food and transportation was very inexpensive. You could take a Taxi or a ride all around the city and not pay more than 200 Tenge ($1.50 USD).
The temperature was very nice and cool. The majestic Tian Shan mountain range is only about 20 minutes away but there are breathtaking views from many vantage points in the city.
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This was a major plaza with nice statues. Hidden in between the buildings behind these statues was a great Irish pub called The Dublin. Try a pint of Kilkenny beer and a burger!
Further to the right of these statues is Furmanov street where there are shops and good restaurants like Line Brew.
The town seemed to be going through a growth spurt for there were many new buildings being erected.
This was a view from my hotel room at the Regent Ankara which gives you a glimpse at the Tian Shan mountain range.
- Pros:Vibrant, European, modern city, beautiful mountains!
- Cons:Not there long enough to find any...
- In a nutshell:Central Asian Jewel
Most people in Almaty do not speak English so it is best to come prepared with a good Russian phrase book. Part of my... more travel advice
We went to lunch at the American Bar & Grill. The restaurant is located the same building as the Alatau Cinema.... more travel advice
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