Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Almaty

Grand Hotel
Central Mosque
A true post-Soviet landmark, visit the mosque to see Kazakhstan at it's international best.
Grillage
Sophisticated restaurant for true gourmands, check out the wine list to see what we mean.
Line Brew
Is it a fire station? Is it a castle? Nobody knows, or cares, with food and beer this good.
Favor
A little hidden but well-worth the search, Favor does steaks like nobody's business.
Alasha
A charming Uzbek offering, complete with lush carpets and shisha room.
Sadu
With a chic interior sophisticated menu and health-promoting juices this boutique / restaurant combo is a wonderful place to visit for lunch.
Track Tourism
Mountain climbing specialists, with an extensive photographic collection of Almaty.
Tamgaly
These rock carvings are a World Heritage Site, and a humbling experience for all culture vultures.
Other ski resorts
Smaller, less developed resorts - but you get the slopes to yourselves.
Shymbulak
OK, so you'll undoubtedly have experienced more challenging skiing, and you will almost certainly be used to better facilities, but how often do you get to ski in Central Asia?
Silk Road Adventures
High-powered exploration, with hang-gliders and helicopters on hand to show off the steppes.
Stan Tours
Turkmenistan tour specialists.
Medeu Skating Rink
Skating has such romantic connotations - crisp skies, frosted breath and red cheeks - all come to life at Almaty's Medeo ice stadium.
Kolsai Lakes
Ever wanted to sleep in a yurt, wake up to views of a sparkling shimmering lake and spend the day riding to your heart's content? Here you are then.
Jibek Joly
Specialists in excursions - Charyn Canyon and Turgen Gorge.
Kan Tengri
Eco-friendly tour company with a deservedly stellar reputation.
Galina Kosjakova
She can fly! Balloon trips with a female pilot.
Gorky Park Tennis
Twelve courts covering all surfaces are available, alongside English-speaking teachers.
Extremal
Mountain advernture shops - cycling equipment in the summer, ski and snowboard in the winter. These guys are the real experts.
Eagle Hunting
The most exhilarating (legal) experience in Kazakhstan.
Ecotourism Info Centre
Community-based tourism.
Eurasia Int’l Film Festival
If you're a film buff, check out Central Asia's offerings.
Butakofka Gorge Stables
Indoor and outdoor lessons available - all-weather riding.
Big Almaty Lake
A great spot for being at one with nature - and huge amounts of water.
Arial Golf Club
A decent club for beginner or junior players, with reasonable prices to match.
Arasan Public Banya
A real man's spa - flagellate with birch twigs.
Altyn Emel
Burial mounds and sand dunes that hum in the wind are amongst many of this park's varied offerings.
Aquarius Wellness Club
Ultimate bliss at the Royal Tulip Hotel, with a great gym, hammam, and extensive beauty treatments.
Alpina XXI
Small but comfortable and well-equipped hiking hotels.
Almaty Hippodrome
If you prefer to watch horses rather than ride them then in Almaty the HippodRome is the place to be.
Aksai Gorge
Liberate your soul from material worries and visit the monks in this monastery.
Ajar Stud Farm
Hacking on purebred Arabian horses - less highly strung steeds available for the timid.
Akademkniga
For the best maps of hiking in Kazakhstan.
Asanov Shooting Club
Have a go at marksmanship, with displays and contests to whet your appetite.
TsUM
There are some great textiles being produced and imported in Almaty the best of which can be found on the top floor of the Tsum department store.
Tumar
A good selection of handmade felts mean there's no need to trawl craft fairs.
Winter Fantasy
Exotic high-fashion furs from this designer label.
Via del Mondo
A loving selection of the best and rarest wines and fine cigars.
Shock
A treasure trove of Sauvage sale pieces, this is one for those who are more max-it than plastic, and looking for bargains.

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