Take a trip to the Ile River – only a few hours from Almaty – to see rock drawings of Buddha at Tamgaly Tas and stay for a picnic along the riverbank. On the opposite bank are the remains of the Nomad film set amid superb surroundings. Paying a few hundred KZT to the caretaker will allow you to enter this plaster mock fort and clamber around its plaster crenellations. It is also possible to navigate the river by boat at Tamgaly Tas; call Track Tourism or Silk Road Adventures to organise. The former also offer rock climbing in the area. Lastly, if you are making the trip between April and June be sure to stop in the steppe and see the wild tulips and poppies that blanket the area at that time of year.