Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Almaty

Issyk Lake & Turgen Gorge
Hiking or biking amongst waterfalls cliffs and fir trees is the order of the day at Turgen Gorge a place of outstanding natural beauty.
Ile River
Perfect for a lazy boat ride gazing at the steppes at they unroll to the horizon.
Ile River Delta
A trip to the immense Ile River Delta might not be quick or cheap but it's certainly an unforgettable experience. Certainly it'll make you fall in love with the country hook line and sinker.
Advantour
Lermontov Drama Theatre
This Russian theatre translates some Kazakh and English pieces, but focuses on Chekov et al.
Almaty Guide
Almaty guru Karlygash Makatova knows and translates everything cool about Almaty.
Kasteev Art Museum
Art museum with a broad collection of Kazakh and Soviet art from the 1930s onwards.
Charyn Canyon
Kazakhstan's Grand Canyon, the red rocks of Charyn are a little smaller, but no less spectacular.
Tau Dastarkhan
Well-situated hotel with some fantastic amenities.
Asia Discovery
Want to go trekking, hunt with eagles, discover Kazakhstan's flora and fauna? These guys.
Mukhtar Auezov House
A cultural hour or two at this famous playwright's preserved house.
Central Mosque
A true post-Soviet landmark, visit the mosque to see Kazakhstan at it's international best.
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.
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.
Eurasia Int’l Film Festival
If you're a film buff, check out Central Asia's offerings.
Arasan Public Banya
A real man's spa - flagellate with birch twigs.
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.
Akademkniga
For the best maps of hiking in Kazakhstan.
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.
Rakhat
Delicious Kazakhstan chocolates, one of the few brands authentically produced in the country.
Green Bazaar
Even if you're not buying, the Green provides a wonderful insight into the day-to-day life in Almaty. People-watching opportunities await!
Barakholka Market
There's so much going on at Baraholka market it can be hard to know where to look first; it's brimming with goods for both the souvenir-seeking tourist and seasoned local.
Alexander & Svetlana
Gadgets and Soviet memorabilia galore from this couple.
Museum of Instruments
Ask for a demonstration of how these beautifully crafted instruments are played, and listen in wonder.
Tengri Umai Gallery
The first private art gallery in Kazakhstan, this minimalist institution hosts a selection of interesting contemporary works.
Museum of Books
A collection of Kazakhstan's literary history.
Kensai Graveyard
Another of Almaty's more fascinating cultural spots, Kensai Graveyard provides awe-inspiring views of the mountains and is something of a moving experience to say the least with headstones aplenty.
KazakhConcert
KazakhConcert stages a mix of classical, jazz and folk concerts featuring local and visiting foreign musicians.
Jazzystan
Contemporary, international musicians are more the rage at Jazzystan.
Central State Museum
Museum covering the archaeology geology natural history and ethnography of Kazakhstan. A must-see.
ArtiShock Theatre
Audience participation is often demanded in these challenging and illuminating avant-garde performances.
ArtBatFest
An interactive art festival, ArtBatFest is a great place to wander for flashmobs, photography exhibitions and experimental theatre.
Abay Opera House
Come to see well-known and local ballets and operas in the beautiful classical Soviet building with its air of faded grandeur.
Gloria Jean’s
Perfect for those who miss their morning Starbucks and free WiFi, this is Kazakhstan's alternative.
Cooshy Sushi
Popular with a corporate group as well as the uber-chic Cooshy Sushi is one of Almaty's trendiest spots for lunch or supper.
Coffeedelia
Jumbo lattes and excellent breakfasts by day, cocktails by night: CoffeeDelia is perennially popular.

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