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During our recent trip to Kazakhstan, we spent time in the Almaty region and were impressed by the city and the incredible nature that surrounded it. It was very different from the city of Korday in Kazakhstan, but we enjoyed seeing the contrast.

We settled into a friendly and comfortable hotel and used this as our base to explore all the things to do in Almaty. The city is not very big, so we got to know everything quickly.

Almaty is extremely close to the Kyrgyz border and there are shared buses and taxis to and from Bishkek (the capital of Kyrgyzstan) which take around 6-7 hours. And that's how we arrived in the city, in a van shared with three other Kyrgyz.

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This is the most famous attraction in Almaty. The park is a memorial to Almaty soldiers who died in World War II. The centerpiece of the park is the stunning Zenkov Cathdral, which is made entirely of wood, including the nails! Entrance to the church is free. On a sunny day it is busy with local life and makes a great place for a trip.

Medeu is the largest ice skating rink in the world and is a busy place all year round. It can be easily reached by taxi or bus #12, which leaves opposite Hotel Kazakhstan. In summer the track is closed, but the area around it is great for hiking and getting out of town during the day. The gondolas also go from just below the slope to the ski fields.

As budget travelers, we are always looking for delicious, authentic and affordable food. We really enjoyed the mix of Asian and Russian cuisine in Almaty from dumplings and noodles to blini and borsch. We frequent cantina style restaurants. We ate wonderful food and very tasty horse meat.

Almaty is located in a crazy beautiful part of the country. Within a few hours you can ski, hike a canyon or enjoy stunning lake views. There are lots of things to do in Almaty and the surrounding region is worth exploring for at least a week or two. In March, the weather was cold but comfortable. It would be great to come back in the summer when everything is a little greener! If you are going to Almaty and have any questions, don't be shy to get in touch!

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