Kazakhstan
Almaty Qalasy

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28 travelers at this place

  • Day55

    Almaty

    June 26, 2015 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    After another 24 hours in the train, we were finally in Almaty. Our couchsurfer Ataner provided a whole flat for us, which actually was a guesthouse for clients of his company. The last two nights we've shared it with a Japanese couple and we all went to a Turkish restaurant together. Almaty is good for many hikes and it has also a chocolate factory :)Read more

  • Day14

    Day 14: This is Alma-ataaaaa ah ah ah;-)

    August 3, 2016 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    The biggest city of Kazachstan, totally different than al the deserted landscapes I have seen so far of this country. It's rich and international, with a lot of students and a lot of people and expensive cars on the streets. Not much historical sites and mostly modern looking buildings. For me a moment to relax and be able to communicate with a bunch of people. 1 tip for if they don't speak your languages: take a photo of what you want at forehand saves you a lot of trouble when you can just point it out on your phone :). By the way, meet Aria Stark working at Traveler's coffee, it's a nice that she wanted to pose for this shot :).Read more

  • Day120

    Quick peek to the mountains

    August 30, 2019 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Vising Shymbulak ski resort just 15 minutes outside of the city. Conformable lift by cable card up and short hike to feel the mountain breeze. Mountains in the morning, concert in the evening in Gor'kogo Park.Read more

  • Day20

    Zurück zum Hotel

    August 15, 2019 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Kurz bevor wir in unserem Ausweich-Zuhause waren, aßen wir einen Döner in einem 24 Stunden Dönerladen. Die Döner hier ähneln eher einen Dürum, aber mit einem anderen Brot. Auch die Füllung entscheidet sich. Zum Beispiel gehören Kartoffeln hier fest dazu.

    Gut gesättigt gingen wir dann schlafen. Das Bett war leider nicht besser als das in unseren Auto.
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  • Day21

    Grüner Basar

    August 16, 2019 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Unsere Übernachtung im Hotel in der Stadt war für uns ungewohnt laut und unruhig. Die Sehnsucht nach unserer eigenen "Wohnung" ist jetzt schon groß, deshalb bleiben wir auch im engen Kontakt mit der Werkstatt.
    Dadurch dass wir das Hotelzimmer früh wieder verlassen müssen und unser ganzes Hab und Gut mit uns tragen, fühlen wir uns wie Obdachlose.

    Auf ging es dann mit Sack und Pack in das Zentrum.
    Als erstes waren wir auf dem grünen Basar, das Angebot dort hat uns sehr beeindruckt. Und dabei waren wir mittlerweile schon in so einigen Martkhallen. Besonders das Fleischangebot war riesig: Pferd, Schaf, Rind, Geflügel und etwas abseits Schwein. Halal!
    Da Frischfleisch für uns nicht allzu praktisch ist haben wir uns mit Obst, Gemüse und Käse eingedeckt. Und dabei versucht unser Verhandlungsgeschick etwas zu trainieren. Das ist wahrscheinlich das schwerste für uns beide und die Sprache haben wir da nicht gerade auf unserer Seite.
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  • Day21

    Werkstatt Almaty II

    August 16, 2019 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    40 Kilometer, 1,5 Stunden unterwegs

    Noch ein paar ausgelassene Abschiedsfotos und dann...

    Zu früh gefreut: beim Losfahren steigt die Temperaturanzeige auf heiß. Hatten wir doch recht und es liegt nur an der Anzeige?
    Laut der Werkstatt muss das Thermostat erst in den großen Kühlkreislauf schalten.

    Durch unsere langen Aufenthalte in der Werkstatt haben wir uns schon mit dem jugendlichen Naanbäcker mit Tandoori Ofen angefreundet. Zur Abwechslung zeigt er uns wie der Ofen funktioniert und wir lernen die Familie kennen.

    Danach soll es losgehen in Richtung Big Almaty Lake, ein Bergsee über Almaty. Doch beim Starten steht unsere Temperaturanzeige wieder auf heiß. Also wieder zurück in Werkstatt: befindet sich noch Luft im Kreislauf? Wir sollen erstmal losfahren und morgen, am Samstag, zurück kommen. Eine Gefahr besteht nicht, denn der Motor ist ja nicht heiß.

    Unsere Fahrt zum Big Almaty Lake müssen wir dann leider schon in der Dunkelheit und bei Regen bestreiten. Bei den Temperaturen auf 2.500 Metern Höhe genießen wir unser kurzes Abendessen im Auto. Dabei können wir die örtliche Jugend beobachten die Tanzvideos vor ihren Autoscheinwerfern drehen.
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  • Day19

    Ab zur Werkstatt

    August 14, 2019 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    465 Kilometer, 8 Stunden unterwegs

    Nach dem Frühstück haben wir unseren ersten Regen, seit gefühlt einer Ewigkeit erlebt.
    Nach einer kühlen Dusche sind wir in Richtung Almaty gestartet. Wegen mittlerweile einiger Probleme wollten wir dringend eine gute Werkstatt aufsuchen.

    Wir waren etwas unschlüssig ob wir direkt zu Mitsubishi oder in eine, durch andere Reisende, empfohlene Werkstatt fahren sollten.
    Unterwegs haben wir uns für eine gute Werkstatt aus iOverlander (unsere App für alles mögliche unterwegs) entschieden.

    Das Mittagessen an einem kleinen Truck Stop war leider nicht so gut wie das letzte Mittagessen. Wir bestellten etwas und bekamen etwas ganz anderes.
    Bei der Weiterfahrt bemerken wir schon wieder unser Hitzeproblem. Also ab nach Almaty.

    Gegen 18 Uhr trafen wir bei ARB ein. Eigentlich ein Offroadausstatter, aber für uns ein guter Anlaufpunkt dank der Englischkenntnisse. Der wahrscheinlich netteste Servicemitarbeiter der Welt half uns. Erkin überschüttete uns mit Gastfreundschaft. Es ist fast schon zu viel des Guten.
    Da die Mechaniker schon im Feierabend sind, geht es morgen früh weiter.

    Im Süden Kasachstan's sprechen viel mehr Menschen Englisch. Das tut der Verständigung bei den begrenzten Russischkenntnissen sehr gut.

    Als Fortbewegungsmittel ohne unser eigenes Auto nutzen wir eine Art Uber-App. Also per Handy einen Fahrer bestellen, den Preis aushandeln und dann bar bezahlen. Das klappt immer sehr gut. Außerdem ist es sehr spannend, weil der Fahrstil natürlich ein ganz Anderer ist. 😅

    Für eine ordentliche Mahlzeit am Ende des Tages empfiehlt uns Erkin ein Restaurant. Ich dachte mir, dass ein Bier doch jetzt genau das Richtige wäre. Also bestellte ich Eines. Nach der Reaktion der Kellnerin, werde ich so einen Fauxpas in einem Halal-Restaurant wohl nicht mehr begehen. 🙈

    Wir übernachten die Nacht also auf dem bewachten Betriebsgelände der Firma. Als wir nach unserem Abendbrot wieder zum Unternehmen kommen, schließt der Wachmann die Werkstatt extra für uns auf, damit wir die Toilette benutzen können. Das ist ein Service. 👌🏻
    Hoffentlich kann uns morgen schnell geholfen werden.
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  • Day8

    Almaty

    August 29, 2018 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    I didn’t do much on my first day because I was so tired. The train arrived at 10:15 a.m. and as its an internal service there is no security or immigration check. I was in the main hall a few minutes after the train arrived. First thing I did was find little cafe and have a cup of coffee and some breakfast. I hadn’t eaten at all the previous day. This was because of bad planning but also because I like to have a mini-fast once a week or so. Then there’s the whole logistics of eliminating waste products. You don’t wanna even go there on Kazakh trains.

    I checked into my hotel almost immediately. They were very helpful and allowed me in before official check-in time. I had a shower, changed my socks and underwear and unpacked. This is very easy due to my using packing cubes, as mentioned earlier.

    Talking briefly about underwear, I think I might be adopting some Mormon tendencies. I’m looking for magic garments. As I travel light, I have a wear one and a spare one policy with most clothes so need clothes that will stand the rigour of travel, be good at the underwear stuff, be olfactory neutralising and, importantly, wash and dry in a few hours. Ordinary Marks and Sparks or Dunnes Stores boxers will not do this so I got a 2 pairs from USA. They cost a few bob but worth it. They work a treat. I can get a weeks sweaty wear out of a pair and they’re still fresh as a daily. A pretty traumatised daisy, mind you, but a daisy of a sort nevertheless.

    Then I started looking for a magic shirt that would have similar qualities to the above but would also make me look about 7kg lighter. I found one in a shop in Dublin at an almost give-away price as the summer season was coming to an end. It has SPF50 protection, two big front pockets, foldable neck shield, long sleeves, anti mosquito bite and a whole load of other qualities. It’s made by Columbia. I’ve been wearing it since Wednesday last, 10 days now, and even slept sweatily in it twice. It’s still fresh as the proverbial daisy. It’s dark blue so doesn’t show the dirt. A result!

    However, I’m going to wash it tonight as I’ve started noticing, just out of the corner of my eye, that it’s beginning to develop independent motion. I don’t want it to become sentient. Then I’d be in a pickle.

    And then there’s the socks. I got a single pair of Arctic merino socks for when it gets seriously cold. I wore them in Siberia last year when it was sub-zero. They were great. But they’re not magic, just fabulous. The magic ones are liners I got for the thermal ones and they dry quickly, don’t smell, etc etc. I also wear them as main socks when the weather is average. They’re great with sandals when it’s hot. I know, I know, you’re not supposed to wear socks with sandals but I’m so old now the fashion police ignore me. They don’t even register me. Blessed invisibility. They are grey, though.

    I have no magic trousers. I never quite got to the bottom of that. Mind you, I saw many a pair of trousers I’d like to magic off other people. But that’s another story and not for a family audience, like here.

    But, back to the hotel. It was a very soviet era establishment where shabby chic definitely wasn’t an interior design choice. It was evolutionary, probably from a revolutionary time. Sorry, couldn’t resist that. I had what was called a suite but was really a huge room with an enormous bed and air conditioning. The electrical sockets were hanging off the walls and all had scorch marks on them. There was a smell of burning rubber and bakelite when I switched the kettle on. And so on and on. I found myself starting to grumble internally and stopped this in time. Chill, babe, I said to myself, just go with the flow. It’s all adventure, experience. And, you know, it worked. I laughed at myself for being a bit of a silly goose and started to enjoy the differences and idiosyncrasies of the place. It was cheap too, at 11€ a night, with breakfast. I eventually got a smile from the formidable looking woman provodnitsa at the front desk. She was Russian!

    After my shower, I went out exploring but first went to get a Kazakhstan SIM card for my phone. They’re incredibly cheap here. The woman at the hotel pointed me to a tech market nearly and as I was waiting in the queue, it’s an ex-soviet country so queues are inevitable, I had a delightful giggling interaction from a lovely old babushka next to me. Her standard of English was similar to my Russian but we stíll communicated. She had the most stunning set of full top and bottom gold teeth, they looked amazing. I got SIM and 2GB internet for less than 2€. It’s 4G and fast, quicker than Dublin.

    The Kazakh people are extremely friendly, in my experience and according to my research. There are two main types of people here, to my untrained eye, European Russians and Turkic people who are the original indigenous inhabitants of this part of the world. There are also Chinese and some other peoples I don’t recognise.

    The traffic here is fierce. They travel at a great rate of knots and there are many crashes. I saw several during my time here but nobody seemed to be hurt. I was on a bus on my first day and the driver was driving crazily while texting and beeping his horn. Brrr.

    The roads are in great condition, at least in the inner city but the suburbs are not so bad as well. There are traffic light controlled pedestrian crossings at every junction and the rules are respected. Although the traffic looked fearsome, I felt safe crossing the roads. It’s a bit hairier when there’s no pedestrian crossing. Instead, they paint crossing lines on the street but the cars don’t stop until you step in front of them. I was very nervous about found this at first as it looked almost suicidal but I soon got used to it. Now I just walk in front of cars and they stop. Drivers are pretty irritable and rev their engines and play chicken but stop eventually. They also shoot past as soon as you’ve passed frequently missing you by centimetres. Once I thought it was not personal, I thought it funny. It’s still a bit nerve-wracking, all the same, especially when I wonder is that eejit speeding right at me on his mobile phone now. But I survive!

    There is some mammoth building work going on in the city centre at the moment with thousands of workers making the place pedestrian friendly and green. They’re doing a great job.
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  • Day9

    Almaty

    August 30, 2018 in Kazakhstan ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    I didn’t do a lot of touristy stuff, mainly everyday local interactions and observations and walking about to get the feel of the city and its beating heart. As its my first week in Asia I thought I’d pace myself. I didn’t see any cathedrals or palaces but took a, out of buses around the city and noticed how things work and how people interact; about the differences and similarities between Kazakhstan and Ireland or should I say, between Almaty and Dublin.

    That’s about it. There’s, loads more I could write as I’ve seen a lot of things and made, it’s of connections but just haven’t the time to write it all up. Also, I’m trying, with middling success, to focus on process and not just content.

    Sorry I have no pics and there’s just this huge expanse of text. Although the Internet is on my phone I can’t use it as a hotspot to connect my tablet. I write the blog on the tablet and the hotel WiFi is glacially slow so I can it download any images.

    Off tomorrow morning to Bishkek, in the mysterious mountain world of Kyrgyzstan and to the World Nomad Games in Cholpon Ata on the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul. This is the real ancient Central Asia.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Almaty Qalasy, Город Алматы

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