Page 1

July 2011 03_final_cover_spead.indd 1

6/6/11 6:10:08 PM

K A Z A K H S T A N Learn more about Astana’s bid to host EXPO 2017 at

C E L E B R A T I N G O ur 20 th A nnive rsar y o f I nd ep e nd e nce How far can a country travel in the first 20 years of its independence? It depends on where it is heading and how fast it is moving. Kazakhstan, which has seen much hardship in the 20th century, regained its independence in December 1991, and has moved in the right direction—going further than most people thought possible. Under its President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan has made a remarkable journey going from one of the least known and least developed republics of the former Soviet Union to a dynamic, developing democratic state with a robust market economy. Thanks to wide ranging social, political and economic reforms, today’s Kazakhstan is politically stable and is, in fact, the pillar of stability in Central Asia. A worthy partner of the international community, Kazakhstan has effectively addressed issues from nuclear disarmament and safety to food security, to promoting dialogue and better understanding between cultures, religions and civilisations. Kazakhstan has achieved substantial success in every arena during the past 20 years, and we celebrate those achievements this year— with the understanding that for all of the promises fulfilled, much more work awaits. JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE OUR FIRST 20 YEARS AND LOOK FORWARD TO AN EVEN BRIGHTER FUTURE.

03_final_INSIDEcover_spead.indd 1

6/6/11 8:44:32 PM

KAZAKHSTAN Promoting Stronger Dialogue and Better Understanding

On June 28, 2011, Kazakhstan will assume the Chairmanship of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of The Islamic Conference, a 57-nation organization representing 20 percent of the world’s population. During its chairmanship, Kazakhstan will work to improve security for all, address social and economic problems and champion the development of science, technology and environmental protection. At this critical moment in history, when the world faces unprecedented challenges and remarkable transformations, Kazakhstan will work tirelessly to promote a greater dialogue and better understanding between cultures and civilizations. Kazakhstan’s experience as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious tolerant society can facilitate this critical dialogue, helping to foster peace, mutual understanding and a safer world.

003_AD_OIC 2.indd 1

6/6/11 5:38:37 PM



Published by the International Information Committee, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan


Exploring the joys of Almaty


Batyr Superstar Musician & humble humanitarian


Astana Celebrates its 13th Year


Apples and the Secret of Paradise: Apples are from Kazakhstan

Contributing Photographer Alexander Kancedalov


Former capital comes into its own

Research and Production Marzhan Kemelbayeva


An American cowboy’s adventure in Kazakhstan

Research Assistant Tatiana Kuzmina


Kazakh religious tolerance pays dividends


Almaty Bazaars offer the spirit of Silk Road


Almaty: A Gateway To Outdoor Adventure


Fashion: Kenje Autumn-Winter 2011 Collection

Contributing writers Alex Walters Colin Berlyne Terri Barner Joe Watsons Senior Photographer Igor Logvin

Designed by Addnoise Dimitra Darioti Evdokia Stivaktaki With thanks for assistance and photography Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Tourism and Sport Office of the Mayor of Almaty Office of the Mayor of Astana


A history of converging foods makes Almaty a gourmet’s delight


Scholarship program creates future Kazakh leaders


Muratkhan Tokmadi: Kazakhstan’s Construction-Glass Leader Seeks More Than Better Views


Fashion: Mechanical piano designs

For additional information © 2011 Edge Magazine All rights reserved Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

004-005_Contents.indd 4

6/6/11 4:49:35 PM


Almaty Listings 74









Arts & Culture




Fitness & Banya



102 Astana Listings Useful Information

004-005_Contents.indd 5








Astana Map

6/6/11 5:05:18 PM

Exploring the joys of

Almaty By Joe Watson

006-011_Exploring the joys of Almaty.indd 6

6/6/11 5:07:09 PM


006-011_Exploring the joys of Almaty.indd 7

6/6/11 5:07:12 PM


Instruments and visitors at Almaty’s Museum of National Musical Instruments Exterior of the Museum of National Musical Instruments

006-011_Exploring the joys of Almaty.indd 8

Almaty has long been Kazakhstan’s crown jewel of culture, sight-seeing and entertainment, so visitors who love discovering a city’s persona will find it a delight to explore. Kazakhstan’s largest city has an excellent art museum, one of the region’s largest bazaars and a world-class ski resort. It also offers a unique cultural history museum showcasing the country’s iconic gold-plated warrior, whom some describe as Central Asia’s King Tut. Those who like green cities will also find Almaty full of parks and fountains. And it has the quality restaurants, cafes and nightclubs you’d expect in a cosmopolitan city of 3.5 million. A good place to start getting a feel for Almaty’s soul is Panfilov Park, at the intersection of Dostyk Avenue and Aiteke Bi Street. Many visitors are stunned by the beauty of the multicolored St. Ascension Cathedral, one of the eight largest wooden structures in the world made without nails. The Roman Orthodox church’s exterior consists of splashes of bright yellow, green, blue and red that attract parishioners and visitors alike. Renowned architect Andrey Zenkov designed the 164-foot-tall building, which

Handicrafts stall at Almaty’s Green Bazaar

was completed in 1907. Panfilov Park also features the Monument to the 28 Heroes, which salutes a unit of Kazakh troops, armed only with light weapons, who helped prevent Nazi tanks from entering Moscow in 1941. The display drips with patriotic symbolism, with coal-black, rippling-muscled Kazakh troops shielding a map of Soviet territory with their bodies. At the foot of the monument is an eternal flame honoring the dead in the Russian civil war of 1917 to 1920 and World War II. Also nearby is a monument to Kazakh soldiers who fought in the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. It includes the names of all 74 Soviet dead from Almaty, a touch that conjures up memories of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC. Only three minutes’ walk from the war memorials is the Museum of National Musical Instruments, one of Almaty’s best. The building at the corner of Pushkin and Mametova Streets features an incredible collection of more than 1,000 folk instruments from Kazakhstan and the world. It includes drums, tambourines, accordions, flutes, harps and, of course, the lute-like instruments that are most associated with Kazakh folk music: the dombra and kobyz. The museum staff give performances several times a day. To enjoy the museum to its fullest, visitors should bring a Russian-speaking friend – because there’s no display information in English. Three blocks from Panfilov Park is the Green Bazaar, Kazakhstan’s largest. It offers meat in all cuts imaginable, vegetables, fruit, nuts, spices and other food, plus clothes, shoes, cosmetics, souvenirs and

6/6/11 5:07:17 PM


Kazakhstan: Land of Golden Warriors

St. Ascension Cathedral in Panfilov Park

Many of Almaty’s tourist attractions are located within walking distance of the war monuments and historic church of Panfilov Park sundries. Make sure you haggle with vendors over prices – that’s part of the fun. Visitors will see sheep heads looking mournfully up at them in the meat section. Kazakhs consider the soft flesh on a sheep’s face a delicacy and serve the boiled sheep’s head to the most respected guest at the party. In fact, cutting the meat off the head and distributing the meat around the table is an art and time-honored tradition in and of itself. A 20-minute walk up Dostyk Avenue from Panfilov Park will take you to Kok-Tobe, a hilltop amusement park you reach by aerial tram. The base of the tram is behind the Hotel Kazakhstan near the intersection of Dostyk and Abai Avenues. The park offers a panoramic view of Almaty, so bring your camera. A mini-zoo includes birds of prey, deer and smaller wild animals, plus rabbits and sheep for petting. The Kok-Tobe restaurant, which is shaped like a nomad’s tent, or yurt, serves up excellent Kazakh cuisine. A short cab ride from Kok-Tobe, at 44 Furmanov Street above the Republic Square, is the National Museum, where Kazakhstan displays its most precious archaeological treasures. The biggest draw is a replica of the Golden Man, a Scythian warrior prince who lived between the 4th and 5th centuries BC. Archaeologists

006-011_Exploring the joys of Almaty.indd 9

Archaeologists discovered Kazakhstan’s famed Golden Man – the first of two gold-plated warriors found in the country over the past four decades – in a burial mound near Issyk in the southeastern part of the country in 1969. His warrior’s outfit consisted of more than 4,000 pieces of gold foil stitched together. The Golden Man is believed to be a young Scythian prince who lived between the third and fourth centuries BC. In addition to gold and silver artifacts, he was buried with an exquisite bow-and-arrow set and other weapons. Because of his magnificence, he has become a symbol of Kazakhstan statehood. His likeness sits atop the Independence Monument in Almaty’s Republic Square. And in 2006, President Nursultan Nazarbayev dedicated a statue of him outside the Kazakhstan Embassy in Washington. The Golden Man that both Kazakhs and foreigners come to see at the National Museum in Almaty is actually a replica. The real thing is at Almaty’s Museum of Gold. Archaeologists announced in 2010 that they’d found another gold-clad Scythian warrior in a burial mound in the Karaganda region east of Astana. His discoverers quickly dubbed him the Sun Lord to differentiate him from the Golden Man. “The figure of a leader like this was associated with the sun,” which ancient Kazakhs worshipped, explained Arman Beysenov, the leader of the expedition. Like the Golden Man, the Sun Lord “was probably a ruler and a warrior simultaneously,” Beysenov said. There was evidence that grave robbers had looted the mound in ancient times, Beysenov noted, but it still contained an incredible amount of treasure. It included 130 gold pieces, including a figure of a predatory cat, plus pendants and parts of sword belts. Hundreds of gold beads and 14 bronze arrowheads were also in the grave. The Scythians were a fair-haired, blue- and green-eyed people who lived in what are today Central Asia, southern Russia and Ukraine in ancient times. Scythian burial mounds in Russia and Ukraine have also yielded exquisite gold artifacts but nothing like what was found in the graves of Kazakhstan’s two golden warriors.

Kazakhstan’s famed Golden Man Warrior

6/6/11 5:07:18 PM


Stunning mountain views can be seen from many parts of Almaty

Traditional Kazakh instruments

006-011_Exploring the joys of Almaty.indd 10

found the warrior in a burial mound north of Almaty. His decorative clothing made of 4,000 pieces of thin gold leaf indicated he was a prince or other noble. The museum is much more than a salute to a golden warrior, however. Its displays of ancient clothing, household items, weapons and other artifacts give visitors a comprehensive picture of how Kazakhstan evolved from a farming culture led by women to a nomadic culture. To get the most out of the museum, visitors should hire one of its reasonably priced English-speaking guides. The National Art Museum, Kazakhstan’s largest collection of art, is near the National Museum at the intersection of Satpaev and Baizakov Streets. It features hundreds of Kazakh, Russian and Western European pieces. Some are by artists banned during Soviet times. Two of Russia’s famed art museums – the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow – gave Kazakhstan dozens of works during the 1930s that the National Art Museum built its collection around. And in 2000, Kazakhs came by the thousands to see an Andy Warhol exhibit in the building. Winter sports fans will also find everything they want in the Almaty area – and the facilities are sparkling, thanks to Kazakhstan hosting the Asian Winter Games earlier this year. The country built new venues for the games – such as ski jumps – and refurbished longstanding ones, such as the Shymbulak ski resort and the Medeu ice-skating rink. Asian Games organizers added a couple of miles of ski-able slopes at Shymbulak, making the Tian

Shan Mountain resort even more alluring. They also renovated the Olympic-sized skating rink at Medeu, below Shymbulak. And the new ski jumps are actually in Almaty, so jumping enthusiasts needn’t go far to pursue their pleasure. After a busy day exploring Almaty, visitors should consider relaxing in a banya, or Russian sauna. The best place to go is the palatial Arasan Banya near the corner of Kunayev Street and Ayteke Bi Street. The longtime leader of the Kazakh Socialist Republic, Dinmukhamed Kunayev, built the Arasan with public funds during the 1970s.The Soviet brass in Moscow were furious about the extravagance, including a dozen saunas, a big swimming pool and a changing room with chandeliers and a bar. But Kazakhs loved it. Patrons stay in steam rooms until they can’t stand it, then cool off in a shower or pool, and return to the banya. To make you even more relaxed, massage services are available. A warning: The wooden benches and floors of some of the banya are so hot you’ll burn yourself without protection. So wear rubber beach sandals, and bring towels to sit on. After a late-afternoon banya session, you might want to take in a show. Almaty has plenty of performing arts, from opera to ballet to symphonies. The main venue is the Abai Opera and Ballet Theater at 110 Kabanbai Batyr Street, near the intersection of Panfilov Street. (By the way, giving directions to locations in Almaty, a city with perpendicular street planning, by the names of the crossing streets is that typical ‘Almaty thing’ that people in town easily learn and always use. More often than not, people would not even know the exact address but would easily locate the place by the crossing street.) The theatre offers both European operas and ballets and Kazakh originals. If you’re a ballet fan, you may be lucky enough to see world-class performer Leila Alpieva. A couple of years ago the diminutive prima ballerina married a British man, so she’s Londonbased these days, but she returns to Almaty often for performances. Classical music enthusiasts will find their fare at Almaty’s Philharmonic Hall and at other concert halls in the city. The philharmonic is at 23 Tole Bi near the intersection of Kaldayakov Street. Almaty also offers jazz, pop and folk-music concerts. Kazakh musicians are among the best in the world, so if you go to a concert, you’re in for a treat. Check with your hotel about what performing arts events are going on at the time of your visit. Almaty also has top restaurants such as the Italian gem Pomodoro, trendy cafes such as Coffee Delia and pulsating nightclubs such as Copacabana. Tell your hotel what you’re looking for, and you’re likely to get a fistful of suggestions. Whatever you want from a big city – culture, entertainment, sports, or tree-lined parks – you’ll find it all in Almaty. e

6/6/11 5:07:21 PM


Almaty Amusement Park Comes Back to Life

The museums and theaters of Almaty offer everything from ballet to ancient artifacts

A former mayor of Almaty rescued the deteriorating Kok-Tobe recreation area in the hills near Dostyk and Abay Avenues five years ago. The move not only has restored the park as a tourist attraction, but has also revitalized its renowned Kok-Tobe restaurant. Like other Almaty residents, Mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov watched the recreation area fall into disrepair when Kazakhstan became cash-strapped after independence in 1991. The park that Almaty leaders opened to fanfare in 1967 even became a repository for trash during the 1990s, according to current park director Nurlan Kaziyev, who also heads the restaurant operation. Tasmagambetov, who has since become mayor of Astana, spent millions of dollars in public money to revitalize Kok-Tobe, which offers a panoramic view of the city. A cornerstone of the work was a canal system to control water running into and out of the park. The system would ensure that the ground remained stable. Since the initial restoration, park officials have planted 2,000 apple trees and lots of grass to help hold the hillside soil. Kok-Tobe has also added a Western-style roller coaster, which guarantees goosebumps by reaching downhill speeds up to 25 miles an hour. And the park is working on expanding a mini-zoo consisting of birds and small mammals, and a petting zoo for children. One addition to the park generated worldwide headlines in 2007: a bronze statue of the Beatles created by Kazakhstan sculptor Eduard Kazaryan. The project was the brainchild of a rabid Beatles fan, Rinat Shayakhmetov.

A stature of the Beatles at the Kok-Tobe amusement park

006-011_Exploring the joys of Almaty.indd 11

6/6/11 5:07:25 PM

012_AD_PROMOTEL 2.indd 1

6/6/11 5:13:35 PM





& humble humanitarian By Joe Watson Not long ago Kazakh friends took an American who had just arrived in Almaty to a benefit concert that included a dozen top local acts. They were good – Kazakhs are terrific musicians – and the American was in a euphoric mood when the headliner walked on stage. The pleasantlooking man with the captivating smile picked up a saxophone and began pumping out a frenetic-paced jazzy tune that blew the American away. He turned to a friend and asked, “Who is this guy? He’s incredible. He’s got to be one of Top 10 jazz saxophonists in the world.” “Batyrkhan Shukenov,” was the reply. “His stage name is Batyr.” After the captivating act with the sax, Batyr grabbed a clarinet and was equally impressive. “My God,” the stunned American said, “he’s one of the world’s Top 10 jazz clarinetists, too.” Then Batyr began singing – and his warm, clear voice left the American shaking his head. “What a talent – and nobody in the West knows him,” he told his friend. But you can bet the former Soviet Union knows Batyr. The 48-year-old who sings in Russian and Kazakh is a superstar everywhere, including in Russia, a hard market for a non-Russian to crack. It isn’t just the musicianship that endears him to his fans. Batyrkhan Shukenov, who hails from the arid southwestern Kazakh city of Kyzylorda, is a genuinely nice guy. His openness and enthusiasm came through in a recent exclusive interview with Edge Magazine.

013-015_Batyr.indd 13

6/6/11 5:24:56 PM


American Jazz legend Louis Armstrong was one of Batyrkhan Shukenov’s early influences

Batyr has been influenced by music from around the world

Batyr credits much of his success to his longtime friend and music collaborator, the composer Kuat Shildebaev

013-015_Batyr.indd 14

Batyr’s repertoire is wide-ranging – from folk to jazz to pop to rock to Latin to almost-classical. And he’s been influenced by music from around the world. In 1967, when he was 5, he heard a famous Indian crooner in a Bollywood movie. The singing was so enchanting that “it drove me crazy,” he said. “My head started spinning around.” When he was 10, he bought a Louis Armstrong record – and had the same overwhelming sensation, “as if I were vibrating inside.” As much as he liked music, in his early childhood he gave no thought to making a career of it. Then fate stepped in. An instructor at a summer camp asked the 12-year-old to enter a singing contest. He did so to humor the instructor, he said – and was flabbergasted when he won. It was a sign that music would be his calling. Batyr learned to play guitar, keyboards, clarinet and saxophone. One of his teachers “opened the jazz world to me,” he said. “His horizons were so wide – Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson and the great Charlie Parker.” When he heard Parker playing sax, he said, he became so revved up he couldn’t sleep. In 1981, Batyr followed his brother Baurzhan to the Leningrad Culture Institute’s music program, where he not only became enmeshed in classical music but also attended as many jazz concerts as he could. When he left after two years for Almaty, his musicalinstruments professor, Nikolai Dranitsyn, told him: “I know you’re going to be a famous musician, and the

most important thing you need to remember is not to become too egotistical.” “I understood that message later,” Batyr said. “Pride is the hardest thing a person has to struggle with when he becomes famous.” A person with talent should always remember that “he has been given a gift,” he said. Batyr finished his last two years of university at the Almaty Conservatory. At the time he entered, in 1983, the school did not teach saxophone. He auditioned on the sax for the conservatory president, the renowned composer Gaziza Zhubanova, who said: “That was great! We’re going to have to open sax classes here just for you.” And she did. Batyr’s rise to stardom began during his conservatory years. He joined the band Aray, which backed up Roza Rymbayeva, a diminutive Kazakh singer whom millions across the Soviet Union adored and who remains hugely popular now. After becoming the conservatory’s first sax graduate in 1985, Batyr formed the band Alma-Ata Studio, which fans would dub A Studio (with “A” pronounced as “Ah”). In 1989, the band’s smash hit “Julia” catapulted them to fame across the Soviet Union. The rollicking pop song is about a girl named Yuliya who would be leaving her homeland, which meant her name would be changing to Julia. The hit prompted the singing sensation Alla Pugacheva to take A Studio under her wing, assuring its long-term success. A large Russian fan base and Pugacheva’s backing prompted the band to move to Moscow, where

6/6/11 5:25:00 PM

15 Batyr still has a home and often performs, although his base these days is Almaty. Although A Studio was popular across the entire Soviet Union, it was a “phenom” in the Caucasus countries of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Fans there screamed and rocked the bus that carried the band into and out of concert halls. “We were like the Beatles there,” Batyr said. After an 11-year run with A Studio, Batyr decided in 2000 to go it alone – and to return to his roots by producing an album in Kazakh. The success of the 2002 album’s lead song, “Otan Ana,” or “Motherland,” surprised many because it has a patriotic theme. But the stirring, from-the-heart salute to home struck a chord with listeners around the world. The album also includes a lullaby, “Uiykta Bopem,” that mothers across the globe, including the United States, have told Batyr they use to help their babies fall asleep. “Friends have told me many times that ‘our child listens only to this song when he goes to sleep,’” the singer said with a smile. Jazz fans also love Batyr’s 2006 album, which is simply titled “Batyr.” It features mostly up-tempo songs, with generous splashes of saxophone and clarinet. The Latin-beat songs – of which there are several – make you want to get up and dance the bossa nova, samba or merengue. Many expats living in Kazakhstan have sent the album to friends back home. Batyr also is a great ballad singer. The emotion he pours into slow songs is guaranteed to stir the soul. Beyond performing, Batyr has long loved and

013-015_Batyr.indd 15

been a mentor to children. And in 2009, that led to his becoming the first Kazakh to be named a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund. He is in good company there. Other UNICEF goodwill ambassadors include Angelina Jolie and Sir Roger Moore, the star of several of the James Bond films. What’s next for this megastar musician who can play multiple instruments, sing in different languages – and do it all with a style few can match? He and his close friend, the leading Kazakh composer Kuat Shildebaev, are working on a sound track for a television serial. And Batyr hinted in his interview with Edge that he would like to take his music to the West. “I have a dream of doing a project with David Foster,” the Canadian composer, arranger and producer, the singer said. Foster has worked with Michael Jackson, Madonna, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Andrea Bocelli and other stars. Batyr said Foster and America’s Quincy Jones are the Western contemporary-music composers and arrangers he admires most. He also told Edge that he realizes he’d have to learn English to win over Western audiences. The glow in his eyes when he discussed the possibility of performing in the United States indicated that learning another language would be a price he’d be willing to pay. The big winners if Batyr takes his act to Europe and North America will be music lovers there. Expats who know music have no doubt that those two continents would quickly join the former Soviet Union in recognizing a true musical talent. e

In 2009, Batyr joined Angelina Jolie and Sir Roger Moore in being named a Good Will Ambassador for the United Nation’s Children Fund

Saxophone is Baytr’s primary instrument and one of many he plays during his shows

6/6/11 5:25:01 PM



K A Z A K H S TA N How far can a country travel in the first 20 years of its independence? It depends on where it is heading and how fast it is moving. Kazakhstan, which has seen much hardship in the 20th century, regained its independence in December 1991, and has moved in the right direction—going further than most people thought possible. Under its President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan has made a remarkable journey going from one of the least known and least developed republics of the former Soviet Union to a dynamic, developing democratic state with a robust market economy. Thanks to wide ranging social, political and economic reforms, today’s Kazakhstan is politically stable and is, in fact, the pillar of stability in Central Asia. A worthy partner of the international community, Kazakhstan has effectively addressed issues from nuclear disarmament and safety to food security, to promoting dialogue and better understanding between cultures, religions and civilisations. Kazakhstan has renounced the world’s fourth largest nuclear and missile arsenal, has built peace and harmony in a society of more than 130 ethnic groups and 40 religions, has improved the lives of its people and has developed peaceful and mutually beneficial relations with all countries. Kazakhstan has been the chair of several major international organizations, such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2010 and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in 2011-2012. This trust is further evidence of the country’s growing recognition and meaningful international involvement. Kazakhstan has achieved substantial success in every arena during the past 20 years, and we celebrate those achievements this year—with the understanding that for all of the promises fulfilled, much more work awaits. JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE OUR FIRST 20 YEARS AND LOOK FORWARD TO AN EVEN BRIGHTER FUTURE.

016_AD_PRESIDENT.indd 1

6/6/11 8:54:09 PM


Astana Celebrates its 13th Year

By Terri Barner

Fireworks at Astana’s Baiterek Tower

017_021_ANNIVERSARY_ASTANA_13.indd 17

6/6/11 4:44:48 PM


Internationally renowned musician Sting will perform at Astana’s 13th anniversary celebration

In addition to Western stars, the 13th Astana Day celebration will feature top acts from Russia, Kazakhstan and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union

The biggest party in Kazakhstan the past few years has been Astana’s birthday celebration – and the 2011 extravaganza promises to carry on that tradition. So if you’re in town on July 6, make sure to check it out. This December will mark Kazakhstan’s 20th year of independence so Astana Day will include lots of events relating to the nation’s birth. There will also be a separate, larger celebration of the 20th anniversary on December 16. Astana Mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov has attracted top talent to celebrate the significance of this year’s anniversary. This year’s feature acts will include Sarah Bright-

man, Lara Fabian and Sting. Brightman is a British superstar whose mainstays are classical numbers, Broadway-musical tunes and pop. The soprano’s 1995 duet with Bocelli, “Time to Say Goodbye,” became a smash hit, selling 12 million copies worldwide. It established her as a musical giant. Brightman is also an actress and dancer. Lara Fabian is a pop, pop-rock and ballads star who sings in French, English and Italian. The native of Belgium, who is now a Canadian citizen, has sold 18 million records. Her breakthrough album, the French-language “Carpe Diem,” went gold less than three weeks after its release in 1994. It spawned three hit singles, “Tu t’en vas”, “Si tu m’aimes” and

Astana’s iconic Baiterek Tower was designed by renowned international architect Norman Foster

017_021_ANNIVERSARY_ASTANA_13.indd 18

6/6/11 4:44:52 PM


“Leïla”. The singer’s first album in English, “Lara Fabian,” debuted in 1999. Its pop dance song, “I Will Love Again,” reached number one on U.S. charts. Sting is a British performer who is as widely admired for his philanthropy as for his music. He was the lead singer and bass guitar player for the popular rock band The Police before starting a solo career. He’s also a leading contemporary song writer. The hit that many still associate with Sting is the Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” He’s won 16 Grammy Awards and is a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In addition to stars from the West, the 13th Astana Day celebrations will feature top bands and solo acts from Russia, Kazakhstan and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union. Altogether, the Astana Day program will boast 98 entertainment, cultural, sports and political events. They will include children’s-group performances, art and culinary exhibitions, and folk festivals. This year’s big entertainment names will be part of a “Strive Higher, Astana!” concert. Another major

017_021_ANNIVERSARY_ASTANA_13.indd 19

attraction will be an “Echoes of Asia” international circus festival. And still another will be a “Millennium Around Astana” celebration of nomad civilization. Organizers of an “Astana Arkan” Turkic music festival will bestow a gift on the capital this year: a new song dedicated to the city. Kazakh and international performers will sing the number together. The capital will also hold its 2nd Astana International Action Film Festival in conjunction with the 13th anniversary celebration. Last year’s festival attracted Hollywood movie star Dolph Lundgren, Hong Kong director Yuen Woo-Ping and former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson. The 13th anniversary celebration comes as Astana continues to grow and progress as a livable city of 750,000 as much as government center. Many of the entertainers and big-name guests who visit Astana express awe at the capital’s futuristic skyline. And that skyline will continue to expand over the next decade as the city adds a number of buildings designed by internationally renowned architects, such as Lord Norman Foster, to complement Astana’s already

Above: Khan Shatyr trade and entertainment complex

6/6/11 4:44:52 PM


Kazakhstan’s Golden Man atop a mighty tiger is a symbol displayed in numerous Kazakh cities

017_021_ANNIVERSARY_ASTANA_13.indd 20

6/6/11 4:44:54 PM


Images of previous Astana Day celebrations, including President Nursultan Nazarbayev (middle right) greeting residents

017_021_ANNIVERSARY_ASTANA_13.indd 21

iconic structures such as the Kazakh Yeli statehood memorial, the Pyramid of Peace and the tent-shaped Khan Shatyr shopping complex. This year alone, Astana will commission a new opera and ballet theatre, a Students’ Creativity Palace, a world-class medical center, and a mosque that can accommodate 5,000 worshippers. The new National Library, the centerpiece of whose design is a Mobius strip, is scheduled to be finished next year. The 45,000-square-meter Student’s Palace will consist of a Kazakh History Museum, a planetarium, libraries, sports facilities and dancing halls. Two major infrastructure projects that Astana plans in the near future are a larger airport and a larger central train station. The new airport, which will be about 20 miles from the city, will be dedicated to international travel. The current airport will handle domestic flights. The new Chrystal Rainbow train station will be near the intersection of Akzhol and Musrepov Streets. In 2014, Astana will start building a 42-mile light rail line with 42 stations. Airline passengers will be happy to learn that it will link the existing central train section with the existing airport. So if you’re in Astana on July 6, the locals will be throwing a party you won’t want to miss. e

6/6/11 4:44:57 PM


Apples and the Secret of Paradise:


are from

Kazakhstan By Alex Walters

022_023_APPLE_STORY.indd 22

6/6/11 4:46:33 PM


Modern research indicates Almaty’s apples are the generic parents of all the world’s apples

When noted travel author Christopher Robbins told Kazakh friends he wanted to visit wild apple orchards in their country, he writes that they thought him slightly mad. With all the scenic wonders of their vast nation, why bother chasing a few fruit? But Robbins knew what he was doing. For as he acknowledged in the title of his already classic travel memoir “Apples Are from Kazakhstan,” that far from humble fruit does come from this country – and it carries in its humble body deep secrets of human origins and destiny. And that’s because the great Tien Shan Mountains in southern Kazakhstan are the location of the legendary Buddhist paradise of Shangri-la, or Shambhala, the land of lost content and eternal youth. And apples rate prominently in the mythology of the great civilizations as the definitive fruit of paradise that hold the secret to immortality and eternal life. And modern research has verified that they did indeed originate in the Tien Shan region of southeastern Kazakhstan. It is therefore no coincidence that Kazakhstan’s greatest, most populous city, leafy Almaty, the city of orchards at the foothills of the Tien Shan, used to be called Alma-Ata which literally means “The Father of Apples” in the Kazakh language. And that is literally true. The wild apples of the Almaty / Tien-Shan region have been traced back to the Neolithic era 10,000 years ago. Today’s wild apple

022_023_APPLE_STORY.indd 23

of the genus Malus sieversii, still found in the mountain hills near Almaty, is regarded as the most likely ancestor of all the apple trees in the world today. The humble apple is a genetic marvel. It has 57,000 genes, the highest number of any plant genome yet studied. Human beings have only 30,000. It is rich in Vitamin C and taken in sufficient quantities by itself protects the human body against the age-old scourge of scurvy. As American scholar Mitch Lynd wrote on the Midwest Apple Improvement Association web page, whether one is discussing the Judaeo-Christian Adam and Eve in their Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis, or Iduna, the early goddess of Viking and Teutonic legend, the apples of the Hesperides in the Greek Myths, or Avalon, the fabled lost island paradise of the Celts, “Man’s idea of paradise centers on an abundance of cultivated fruit, its sensual irresistibility and the consequential calamity of its seduction.” All these legends agree that the fruit in question is an apple. And as Christopher Robbins says, “Apples Are from Kazakhstan.” e

6/6/11 4:46:34 PM


Former capital

comes into its own By Colin Berlyne

024_027_ALMATY_ROLE_REGION.indd 24

6/6/11 4:47:47 PM


Almaty has long been the business center of Kazakhstan. But it is now also establishing itself as Central Asia’s business, tourism and transportation hub. Such a role for Kazakhstan’s former capital may come as a surprise to the outside world. But not to those familiar with the policies the Kazakh government has implemented since independence 20 years ago. In the two decades since, Kazakhstan’s unilateral nuclear disarmament, free market policies and successful development of domestic energy resources have attracted more than $122 billion in foreign direct investment. “Kazakhstan has today a thriving economy, governed by consumers not plans. With material improvements has come well-deserved pride and selfconfidence,” said Thomas Mirow, the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development at the EBRD Annual meeting in Kazakhstan in May. As the largest city in the country and the nation’s first capital, it was inevitable that the success of those policies would transform Almaty into a

major transportation hub and regional center for visiting foreign businessmen and investors. President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s decision to move the national capital to the previously small communications center of Astana in the center of the country was, at first, not popular in Almaty. It resulted in hundreds of thousands of people – government officials and their families followed by government service industries – relocating to the new city rising in the Asian steppe. But today, it’s clear that this decision proved to be a boon for Almaty’s development. The old capital has continued to boom and earlier this year established itself on the global sporting map by hosting the Asian Winter Games – the first time that such a major sporting event has been held in Central Asia. Almaty’s population and economy have continued to grow at remarkable speed and the city government consequently has had to deal with the social and environmental problems associated with rapid economic success. But these issues – especially winter air pollution from nearby

The city’s emerging role as a transportation center will make it an obvious choice for export-reliant industrial enterprises.

Almaty has successfully merged the traditional and the modern in its role as the region’s business capital

024_027_ALMATY_ROLE_REGION.indd 25

6/6/11 4:47:49 PM


Above: Almaty at night. Near right: Almaty regularly hosts international business conferences Far right: Many of Almaty’s older buildings are being replaced by modern office and apartment towers

The Kazakh Stock Exchange (KASE) is undergoing a period of extensive expansion

024_027_ALMATY_ROLE_REGION.indd 26

coal-burning power stations and from the city’s high concentration of cars and trucks – would have been far worse if the nation’s capital with all its functions and worker requirements had not moved to Astana. Most of all, by moving prime national political functions and administrative affairs to Astana more than 1,000 kilometers to the north, Nazarbayev’s decision cleared the way for Almaty to clarify its vision and focus on its true expertise and destiny. “Kazakhstan wants to become an active player in the global economy. Therefore, the task has been set before the nation and government to turn the country into a world trade, logistics and business hub,” Nazarbayev told a meeting of the Council of Foreign Investors recently. “We are developing our transit capabilities, encouraging flows of workforce and cargoes, and creating a well-developed logistics and transportation infrastructure,” he said. “We have been developing Almaty, a large business and financial center, promoting tourism and services.” Just as Astana has successfully emerged as Kazakhstan’s Washington, DC, faster and more successfully than anyone expected, Almaty has emerged more as the nation’s New York City – the business, tourism, communications and entertainment center

of the country. This might have happened eventually. But the speed with which Almaty has developed its new identity has given it a head-start on any other major city in Central Asia. Most important to Almaty’s emerging new role is the Kazakh Stock Exchange (KASE). This year, KASE is in the throes of one of its most extensive expansion periods. The government is pushing ahead with a program to launch initial public offerings (IPOs) in many major state-owned companies with shares to be purchased by Kazakh citizens by the end of the year. This program will increase the participation of ordinary Kazakhs in the activities and profits of major corporations. It will also greatly expand the volume of capitalization of the Kazakh Stock Exchange confirming its dominant position in Central Asia. And since the hydrocarbon oil and natural gas reserves of the Caspian Basin now promise to be comparable in scale to those of the Arabian/Persian Gulf region a century ago, the value of Almaty establishing itself as the business and investment center for the region cannot be over-estimated. The expansion of Kazakhstan’s road and rail infrastructure is also solidifying Almaty’s position as the main transportation hub of the Asian heartland.

6/6/11 4:47:51 PM


On June 15, 2009, Kazakh and Chinese officials confirmed that Kazakhstan’s new network of super highways, and the super highway systems of northwestern China would meet just inside China at the town of Horgos, which is the Chinese terminal for the Turkmenistan-to-China natural gas pipeline. Since Almaty is located close to the Kazakh-China border and is also the largest city relatively close to Horgos, that agreement confirmed Almaty’s identity as the future “Chicago” of Central Asia – a great business, transportation and trading city in the heart of a resource-rich continent. The expansion of regular airline services to and from Almaty also confirms this growing role. The government of Kazakhstan’s national development strategy to 2030 has also had an impact in solidifying Almaty’s position. The strategy, boosted by Kazakhstan’s membership in a new customs union with Russia and Belarus, is to encourage the development of light industry and more advanced industries across the country. While many of the more advanced industrial developments such as oil refineries and petrochemical plants will be located in and around the Caspian Basin, or at the mining centers for other precious minerals, much light industrial development, especially in the food processing sector, is likely to be attracted to the large population and rapidly growing market of Almaty. The city’s emerging role as a transportation center will also make it an obvious choice for exportreliant industrial enterprises. “I find Almaty’s location and developing transportation access to the Chinese market to be key attractors in our consideration to invest here,” the CEO of a large multinational said during a recent scouting trip to the city. Almaty’s geographical location at the foot of the

024_027_ALMATY_ROLE_REGION.indd 27

Tien-Shan mountain range and its famous cable-car tramway ride into the mountains where world-class skiing can be found also confirm the city’s potential as a growing tourism center. The mountain vistas, alpine-style lakes, winter sports facilities and incomparable wild life offer an array of outdoor activities. The ancient Scythian warriors, courageous Kazakh traders and explorers, and Russian colonizers who founded the modern city in the mid-19th century could never have dreamed of how far and how fast Almaty would grow. But the city is now poised for a new era of prominence in the 21st century. e

Above: Almaty has modernized its transportation systems Below: Almaty early morning

6/6/11 4:47:53 PM


6/6/11 5:13:02 PM


American cowboy’s An

adventure in

Kazakhstan By Joe Watson

029_031_COWBOY.indd 29

6/6/11 4:48:42 PM


Mike Slattery had been traveling for 24 hours when the big cargo plane he was riding in touched down at Astana International Airport. The 23-year-old Nebraskan was tired, but there was no time to rest. He needed to help transfer 170 cows from the 747 to trucks heading for the ranch in northern Kazakhstan that he would be managing. His first shock was the press. Kazakhstan’s purchase of hundreds of cattle from the United States to restart its beef industry had generated international headlines in the summer of 2010, including stories in the New York Times. So Kazakhstan and foreign journalists were waiting in the capital Astana to swarm aboard the 747, ask questions and take photos. “At that point, I had no idea what I’d gotten myself into,” Slattery said. It was almost an hour before the journalists left. Then there was another jolt. “As we loaded our bags onto a Jeep,” Slattery said, “one of the heifers broke out of her crate and took off running down the runway.” Slattery, Nebraska veterinarian Joe Skavdahl, the crate-unloading crew and airport staff rushed to corral her. Footing was treacherous for the pursuers because, although it was early October, “it was raining and snowing that night,” Slattery said. A Kazakh tried to lasso the heifer with a cargosecuring strap. He missed, and she mowed him down. She stumbled during the collision, however, giving the other pursuers an opportunity to pounce on her. “We tied her down on the edge of the runway as planes were coming in,” Slattery said. That was the start of Mike Slattery’s Great Kazakhstan Adventure, and it’s been almost as invigo-

029_031_COWBOY.indd 30

rating ever since. Slattery was fresh out of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis when his rancher friend Heath Lapp called in August of 2010 to let him know about the ranch-manager job in Kazakhstan. Lapp would end up sending some of the Hereford cattle to Kazakhstan that Slattery would manage. “I thought I’d never have another opportunity to do something like this,” Slattery said of the job in the exotic location. He drove to North Dakota to interview with Dan Price of Global Beef, the American partner in the Kazakhstan operation. “I did the interview in the middle of a wheat field,” Slattery said. It was harvest time, “and they were cutting wheat then.” Price liked Slattery’s credentials and personality, and signed him to a year’s contract to manage the 100,000-acre ranch at Mamai, four hours north of Astana. The native of Indianola, Nebraska, and his veterinarian friend Skavdahl, of Harrison, Nebraska, arrived in Astana in early October with the first load of 1,300 pregnant Angus and Hereford cattle. The remainder of the first-time mothers that would make up Global Beef’s joint venture with KazBeef arrived in 747s for weeks afterward. “I got my last load in the beginning of December,” Slattery said. The calves began arriving within days of the last planeload of heifers. Astana is the second-coldest capital city in the world behind Ulan Baatar, Mongolia, and Slattery said the day the calving began – December 17 – it was 40 below zero. The 32 million cattle that Kazakhstan had had during Soviet times had dwindled to 2 million in the

6/6/11 5:17:51 PM

31 20 years since independence in 1991, so Slattery’s ranch hands had no experience delivering calves. “In the beginning, I was pulling every calf,” he said, referring to grabbing a newborn’s head to help the mother get it out of her womb. He also had to show the ranch hands how to deliver breech babies – those coming out of the womb feet-first instead of head-first. Not only did Slattery have to deliver all the calves for weeks, but he and Skavdahl had to train the Kazakhs in how to take care of the newborns and the moms. “We spent a lot of sleepless nights” in those days, Slattery said. The ranch hands learned their lessons so well that within a few weeks they were handling the birthing, waking the Nebraskans at night only in unusual situations. When the mothers and babies were past the danger point, Slattery said, he and Skavdahl had the ranch hands put them outdoors. “I had a lot of people skeptical that they would survive” the brutal northern-Kazakhstan winter without being in a barn, he said. But he assured them that if the cattle got enough quality feed to meet their nutritional requirements, they would be fine. A diet of grass hay, alfalfa, barley and corn silage – all of it grown in Kazakhstan – plus protein and mineral supplements saw the herd through the winter with few deaths and little weight loss, Slattery said. The supplements came from a company in Stepnogorsk, an hour away from the ranch. Provisioning the animals was back-breaking at first because there was no stationery water tank and no tractors with which to dole out feed. Slattery’s crew used tanker trucks to bring in water and borrowed wagons to haul in feed. The ranch hands tossed the feed off the wagons with pitchforks. Besides no water tank and tractors, the ranch had no horses for the crew between Slattery’s arrival in October 2010 and the end of April 2011 – seven months. When they needed to rope a cow, they did it on foot, which can be a dangerous proposition. Slattery said the two-dozen ranch hands have been a great resource – bright, hard-

working and eager to learn. “They have listened to me very well,” he said. “I get questions not only from our guys, but also from others trying to start operations. And a lot of (Kazakh) veterinarians ask questions.” Kazakhstan’s veterinary schools teach methods from Soviet times, Slattery said, so the ranch’s two Kazakh vets had to learn modern animal-husbandry techniques and the use of new medicines. Slattery said he’s found Kazakhs friendly and eager to learn about the United States. Both on and off the ranch, “everywhere I go, I’ve been met with nothing but respect.” To underscore the hospitality he’s encountered, he noted that “when I first landed in Kazakhstan, I was greeted by a bunch of guys with bread, a meat of some kind and vodka.” Slattery said Kazakhstan can be a major force in the global beef industry. The ninth-largest country in the world, it has great swaths of steppe – or prairie – for raising cattle. There’s so much land “that’s able to be used for livestock that’s not being used,” he said. The calves his ranch produces will be used to start other herds in Kazakhstan at first, Slattery said. But Kazakhstan has ambitious beef export plans. It hopes to be selling 80,000 tons a year within a decade. Neighboring China and Russia are huge markets, with a combined 1.5 billion people. Slattery’s veterinary friend Skavdahl returned to Nebraska this spring after six months, with the calving only half finished. Still working the cattle, Slattery has also turned his attention to designing pasture layouts for the 100,000-acre ranch. When he first arrived in Kazakhstan, he started a diary. But the onset of calving left no time for that. Friends have urged him to begin recording his experiences again. After all, there’s no telling what will happen in the second half of the American cowboy’s Great Kazakhstan Adventure. e

The native of Indianola, Nebraska, and his veterinarian friend Skavdahl, of Harrison, Nebraska, arrived in Astana in early October with the first load of 1,300 pregnant Angus and Hereford cattle

An American cowboy faces the challenges of managing a Kazakh cattle operation

029_031_COWBOY.indd 31

6/6/11 4:48:47 PM


Kazakh religious

tolerance pays dividends By Alex Walters

032-037_Tolerance.indd 32

6/6/11 5:37:30 PM


032-037_Tolerance.indd 33

6/6/11 5:37:32 PM


In the last two decades the country has embraced its traditional Muslim heritage while also encouraging globalism and modernization

Kazakhstan will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its independence this year while chairing the Organization of the Islamic Conference. It’s fitting that Kazakhstan should lead the organization that serves as the voice of the Muslim world because in the last two decades the country has embraced its traditional Muslim heritage while also encouraging globalism and modernization. Embracing both has been key to Kazakhstan’s post-Soviet economic success and social stability. The country’s inclination to embrace its traditional heritage while integrating into the larger world is rooted in the history of the Kazakh people as successful shepherds and merchants across the “green ocean” of the vast Eurasian steppe. For half a millennium, the Kazakhs were the principal missionaries and conduits to spread the teachings of the Prophet across the heartland of Continental Asia. And they did so peacefully. Their Hanafi tradition embodied their experience of interacting constructively with a myriad of religions from Orthodox Christianity to the west, to the teachings of Daoism, Confucius and Buddhism to the east. Since independence, the country has re-embraced this heritage. The Kazakh people have become more devoutly Muslim at the same time that they have become more cosmopolitan and sophisticated in the ways of the industrialized nations of North America, Europe and Northeast Asia. “The traditional Islam came from our parents. So

we must respect them. But time is getting on and everything is changing. We are living in more advanced time,” said Janbota Aidarova, a 26-year-old recent graduate with a master’s degree in public administration. “So we have to mix cosmopolitan with our traditional Islam. Actually it is not so bad. We can do that very well.” Kazakhstan is almost 75 percent Muslim with a significant 25 percent minority that is primarily Orthodox Christian. It also includes other religious minorities. Social tolerance is therefore essential to national peace, cohesion and economic success. Yeraly Togzhanov, deputy chairman of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (APK), recently emphasised the central role that tolerance and harmony play in attracting foreign investment and encouraging economic growth. “Kazakhstan has succeeded in developing an effective model of inter-ethnic tolerance that fits its historic circumstances and socio-political conditions. This allows the nation to confidently build its future, while cherishing the multicultural society as a strategic resource in its progress toward democracy and public well-being,” he wrote in April in The Astana Times newspaper. Major government institutions, primarily the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, were set up following independence to promote the goals of toleration, mutual respect and harmony. In effect, Kazakhstan did the opposite of what the rulers of Serbia did during the disintegration of Yu-

The tomb-mosque of ancient holy man Arystan Bab in southern Kazakhstan

032-037_Tolerance.indd 34

6/6/11 5:37:33 PM


Peace, Cooperation and Development To Define Kazakhstan’s OIC Chairmanship

From top to bottom St. Ascension Cathedral in Panilov Park. Candle ceremony Orthodox priest

032-037_Tolerance.indd 35

Kazakhstan has established an ambitious agenda for its upcoming chairmanship of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference and will base its year in office on the concepts of “Peace, Cooperation and Development.” The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is a 57-naMinister of Foreign Affairs of the tion institution based Republic of Kazakhstan Yerzhan in Saudi Arabia that Kazykhanov serves as the institutional voice for the Ummah, or Muslim world, of 1.2 billion people. The organization will hold a foreign ministers’ meeting June 28-30 in Astana, after which Kazakhstan will assume the chair. Kazakhstan will lead the organization during a time of great change within the Islamic world. Coping with this change will be one of the main challenges of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship. Kazakhstan itself has had to cope with extraordinary changes in the last two decades – moving from a Soviet republic to an independent nation while promoting harmony among its Islamic community and other religious minorities. The country hopes to apply its successes in that process to its OIC chairmanship. Kazakhstan’s primary goals for its year in office include serving as a bridge between Islamic nations and the West, raising the OIC’s international profile, implementing the OIC’s ten-year action plan, helping Muslim nations manage the changes that have been taking place, promoting economic and cultural cooperation, supporting nuclear non-proliferation, and strengthening international and regional security with an emphasis on Central Asia. The motto “Peace, Cooperation and Development” is fitting for Kazakhstan’s chairmanship as the coinciding stability and economic success the country has enjoyed over the last 20 years demonstrates that development and economic progress depend on the promotion of peace and cooperation. This is reflected in an old Kazakh proverb: “Unity lives along with progress.” In line with Kazakhstan’s view that progress is

6/6/11 5:37:35 PM


Kazakhstan has achieved its unique stability by encouraging all people to take comfort in their individual religions

goslavia at the time that the Soviet Union was falling apart. Where Orthodox Christian Slobodan Milosevic tried to condition the Serbian people to an ethnic hatred of Muslim Bosnians and Catholic Christian Croats in the years before independence, the Kazakh government chose the opposite path – to reconcile the peoples of Kazakhstan and teach them to appreciate and understand each other. The heritage of the Muslim peoples of Central Asia and their 20th century experience is also different from those of the peoples of the Middle East. In the Middle East, the Arab civilizations of the half millennium after the time of the Prophet were shattered by the Crusades from Catholic Christian Western Europe. In Central Asia, the region was swept by the Mongol followers and heirs of Genghis Khan who buried the rising Orthodox Christian civilization of Kievan Rus to the west. Christians and Muslims, therefore, did not primarily have a history of conflict in earlier centuries. They were the common victims of a devastating external invasion from the east. Centuries of rule in Central Asia by Tsarist Russia were then followed by the 74 years of the communist era from 1917 to 1991 through most of which Christian churches and the Muslim faith alike were persecuted and suppressed. By contrast, the brief period of Western colonization in the Middle East from 1917-18 to the expulsion of the British from Iraq in 1958 was seen as a clearcut invasion or incursion of the region by alien Western empires seeking to impose alien traditions and cultures on the region. The Muslim nations of the Middle East are still wrestling with the chaotic and catastrophic heritage of those decades to this day. Kazakhstan, on the other hand, has fostered a modern day unity between Muslims and Christians, as well as dozens of other faiths. And that has created an environment stable enough for economic growth and the attraction of $122 billion in foreign investment since independence. It has also allowed the emergence of an entrepreneurial class after three quarters of a century under a totalitarian ide-

ology that repressed private enterprise with as much zeal as it repressed Islam and other great religions. “Kazakhstan is a very young country. And it is developing. During the short time the country has realized so many big projects. An absolutely new city was built from scratch in Astana, for example,” said Aidarova. “We (the youth) are the future of Kazakhstan, and we positively can say we have a big future.” Periods of rapid transformation and economic growth, however, can also destabilize populations. But Kazakhstan has achieved its unique stability by encouraging the people in Kazakhstan of all ethnic groups and religions to take comfort in their individual religions during this time of transition. As a result, the Muslim religion has flourished. There were only a dozen mosques in Kazakhstan a quarter century ago. Today, there are 2,400 for 16 million people. The capital’s iconic Nur-Astana Mosque was built to house almost 7,000 worshippers at regular Friday services. More than twice that number now arrives for services each week. Kazakhstan also recognized following independence that achieving tolerance and mutual respect among its religious and ethnic communities could not be achieved by adopting isolationist policies. So the country has maximized contacts with the broader Muslim world and other faiths. As a result, Kazakhstan serves as an example to other Muslim nations of a country placed between east and west that has prospered, not by denying its traditional faith or walling itself off from the outside world, but by incorporating the best that the East and the West have to offer. As a result of these developments, Kazakhstan has come to be known as “Europe in Asia” and “Asia in Europe”, combining the various characteristics of the two. The Kazakh conception of a tolerant and forward thinking Islam coexisting with modern change and other religions is rooted in the country’s best traditions that go back centuries and that has forged the psyche of the Kazakh people. And, this has been the secret of Kazakhstan’s post-Soviet stability and success over the last two decades. The Kazakh people have re-embraced their ancient Islamic faith and are demonstrating what that can mean to the modern world. e

Both pages Religious buildings Immediate right Women at prayer

032-037_Tolerance.indd 36

6/6/11 5:37:36 PM

37 achieved through attention to both social and economic needs, Astana has submitted a proposal within the framework of its OIC chairmanship to adopt a long-term program of economic and financial assistance by the OIC to the Islamic world’s least developed countries. Kazakhstan will also use its chairmanship to improve the rights of women within the Islamic community and is organizing an OIC International Conference on Women Affairs to be held in Astana. The Kazakhstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also encouraging other OIC member states to increase the roles of women in the economic, cultural, and political arenas, and to increase protection from violence and discrimination in line with the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination and Islamic values of justice and equality. In the run-up to its chairmanship, Kazakhstan will host the 7th session of the World Islamic Economic Forum and during the chairmanship, it will convene the 3rd conference of health ministers from OIC member states. These and other meetings will be designed to address critical issues facing the Muslim world. The country also hopes to work closely with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) to promote cultural heritage preservation and improve the teaching of the languages, histories and cultures of Islamic countries. So far, Kazakhstan’s goals for the coming year have been well received by the organization. “We are all bound to benefit from Kazakhstan’s dynamic political weight and from its well-known energetic activities at the international and diplomatic levels such as to consolidate our Joint Islamic Action,” OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told a press conference in the Saudi city of Jeddah on May 26 after Kazakhstan chaired an OIC senior officials meeting there. The changes taking place across much of the Islamic world would be a challenge for any country taking the lead of the world’s primary Islamic organization. However, Kazakhstan hopes its success over the last two decades promoting “Peace, Cooperation and Development” at home will translate into an effective road map for progress among its partners in the Muslim world.

032-037_Tolerance.indd 37

6/6/11 5:37:37 PM


038_041_BAZAAR.indd 38

6/6/11 4:49:45 PM


Almaty Bazaars offerthe spirit of Silk Road the

By Colin Berlyne

038_041_BAZAAR.indd 39

6/6/11 4:49:52 PM


Scenes from Almaty’s Green Bazaar


038_041_BAZAAR.indd 40

Almaty’s location at the hub of Eurasia has long led to the city serving as a center of trade and culture. And today, the city’s traditional bazaars continue to offer a unique fusion of culinary tastes and random treasures for the adventurous visitor. The bazaars of Central Asia were legendary in the medieval era of the fabled Silk Road. Ironically, they enjoyed their modern revival in the Soviet era. Even as hundreds of thousands of people were dying from famine across Central Asia during the farm collectivization of the early Soviet era, the bazaars of Almaty and other regional centers were becoming famous for the vast range of goods they offered. As living conditions slowly improved in the decades after World War II, the fame and range of goods of the Almaty bazaars also grew. In the last decades of Soviet rule, much that was officially unavailable could be found at the city’s markets. The flood of immigrants forcibly deported from other regions during the dictatorship of Soviet leader Josef Stalin also brought a diversification of goods and services to Almaty’s bazaars that endures to this day. Over the past 10 years, the development of energy wealth and foreign investment in Kazakhstan have also allowed state-of-the-art goods such as iPods and smart phones to be found alongside traditional items such as Kazakh musical instruments and textiles. Almaty boasts of 80 bazaars. By far the most famous is the Zelyoni, or Green Bazaar. There you can buy every

form of food and drink that Kazakhstan and Central Asia are famous for. You can also search for exotic fare ranging from Persian, to Siberia (pelmeni dumpings) to the famed Vernenskoe beer with shark fins from the Japanese islands. The richest finds can be found by rummaging at leisure through the inner stalls of the longest-established shops buried deep in the heart of the bazaar. If the Zelyoni is too upmarket or tourist for you, seek out the Barakholka bazaar. Barakholka, which can roughly be translated from Russian as a combination of flee market and stuff just heaped on stalls, is 2.5 miles long, 20 rows wide and buzzing with life. It’s the kind of market where you can find literally anything. And if the price doesn’t suit you, the market’s merchants relish an old-fashioned Central Asian negotiation to bring it down. A $300 winter coat can be had for less than $50 – but you’ll have to argue over it with the stall owner first. And one Saturday every month, the Ablai Khan Market sets up shop across the road from Tsum – the Centralniy Universalniy Magazin, otherwise known as the Central General Department Store on what is unofficially known as Arbat Street. This is the place to find exquisite Kazakh handicrafts created by individual expert artisans. Whether you are searching for exotic food, a token of tradition or modern day electronics, the spirits of the wheeling-dealing and enterprising merchants who opened up the Silk Road and defied the communist secret police to sell their wares can be found in the modern-day bazaars of Almaty. e

6/6/11 5:39:14 PM


038_041_BAZAAR.indd 41

6/6/11 4:49:59 PM


042-049_Almaty_adventure.indd 42

6/6/11 5:45:45 PM



A Gateway To Outdoor Adventure By Alex Walters

042-049_Almaty_adventure.indd 43

6/6/11 5:45:48 PM


Top The Turgen Gorge provides whitewater adventure less than 90 kilometers from the city. Right The mountains surrounding Almaty provide excellent mountain biking opportunities

The surrounding mountains provide excellent day hikes to view the falls.

042-049_Almaty_adventure.indd 44

Almaty may be best known as Kazakhstan’s largest city and business hub. But its location at the base of the majestic Tien Shan mountain range with its snowcovered peaks and shimmering waters also make the city a unique playground for adventure seekers. In fact, the former capital of 1.5 million has often been compared to Zurich in Switzerland and Denver, Colorado, in the United States for its combination of outdoor adventure and mountain charm. Adrenaline seekers visiting Almaty should first head 90 kilometers east to the Turgen Gorge in the Ili-Alatau National Park for adrenaline pumping whitewater rafting. You can set up a whitewater rafting trip by calling

the Almaty-based Indra-Tour company at +7 (727) 225 45 11 or by visiting their English language website The gorge also boasts seven waterfalls including the Medvezhiy (Bear) Falls, which drops 30 meters between overhanging cliffs and fir trees, and the Bozgul Falls, which are so powerful they have worn a tunnel into the rock. The surrounding mountains provide excellent day hikes to view the falls. Day hikes and short horseback riding excursions can be arranged by the Wild West-themed Stetson Rancho, a 28-bedroom resort about 15 kilometers before the gorge. The resort also offers a swimming pool, sauna, billiards room, cinema and restaurant.

6/6/11 5:45:51 PM


Shymbulak Ski Resort: First rate skiing within a half-hour’s drive

Skiing, hiking and camping are just a few of the outdoor activities within a short drive of the city

042-049_Almaty_adventure.indd 45

Skiers and snowboarders visiting Almaty will definitely want to check out the Shymbulak ski resort in the Tian Shan Mountains outside the city. Shymbulak is the region’s primary ski resort and was a venue for the 2011 Asian Winter Games. The resort, a 30-minute drive from Almaty, is open for skiing from mid-November to mid-April and offers 7.2 miles of ski runs ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert. Special snowboard runs are also available where boarders can try out the latest tricks. The resort’s base camp is at an altitude of 6,600-feet with the top ski-run starting at 9,150 feet. A typical run takes five to 10 minutes, depending on snow cover and a skier’s level of expertise. Shymbulak features three chair lifts and three tow ropes. A modern artificial snow system also helps ensure proper cover throughout the season. Night skiing and an ice skating rink are also offered. Visitors can rent all the gear they need in the pro shop and instructors will start you off in the right direction. Single and multi-day lift tickets are available. Another unique attraction at the resort is a threemile aerial tram which was built for the Asian Winter Games and which connects the main resort with the Medeu ice skating rink below. The view itself is worth the ride. Visitors also have access to a hotel, a luxury chalet, restaurants, a cafeteria and shops. The resort is also open before and after the ski season for hiking and other warm weather activities. Shymbulak’s lifts and other facilities were upgraded for the winter games so you’ll find Shymbulak to be a modern resort in the heart of Central Asia. For more information, visit ru/about/shymbulak or call +7 (727) 330 00 51. The website has an English language version and resort staff can provide English language information. You can also email

6/6/11 5:45:54 PM


The Almaty region also offers a wealth of opportunities for fishermen.

Arrangements to stay at the resort can be made by contacting the Stetson Bar in Almaty at +7 (727) 261 25 01 or +7 (727) 272 68 63. You can also visit their website at or drop by the bar at 128/2 Furmanov Street. For a more unique adventure, Almaty visitors can head 150 kilometers north of the city to the Altyn Emel National Park where they can sand-board down sweeping 80-meter-tall sand dunes. The park is just northeast of Lake Kapchagai and stretches 90 square kilometers between the Ili River and the Ak Tau mountain range. The area is refuge for a rich variety of wildlife including steppe antelope and is famous for its soaring Singing Sand Dunes. The Singing Dunes are located at the eastern end of the park and gained their name because they hum in the wind. To surf the dunes, call Blust Tours at +7 (727) 250 15 12 or +7 (727) 250 61 14. They can also be reached at +7 (727) 250 61 15 or by visiting their office at 69 Abay Avenue, on the corner of Masanchi Street, office

14 in Almaty. The park was also a dwelling place for ancient inhabitants of the land almost three millennia ago. It contains ancient Scythian burial mounds erected between the 8th and 2nd centuries BC and Bronze Age petroglyphs in some of its valleys. The Almaty region also offers a wealth of opportunities for fishermen. The Ili River Delta is a Mecca for big game freshwater fishing. An 80 kilometer trip north from Almaty takes visitors to regions of the river delta rich in catfish and other species. Day, as well as multi-day fishing trips, can be easily arranged. Call Blust Tours at the numbers mentioned above. It’s also worth driving 120 kilometers north of the city to the Ili River to view the rock drawings of the Buddha at Tamgaly Tas. Blust Tours can arrange boat tours up the river. In the spring from April to June, the steppe in that region is also ablaze with color from the hundreds of thousands of wild tulips and poppies that cover the area.

Above The nearby Ili River Delta is a favorite of big game freshwater fishermen Right The deep gorges and rock walls near Almaty provide ample opportunities for rock climbers

042-049_Almaty_adventure.indd 46

6/6/11 5:45:58 PM


A Day at the Races The Kazakh people have lived life in the saddle for thousands of years, so it’s no wonder that that history survives today in the horse racing venues of Almaty and Astana. Horse racing is still in the early stages of development in Kazakhstan. It was frowned upon during the 74 years of the Soviet era. But the popular passion for horses has deep roots. Without the horse, the steppes of Asia could not have been explored and settled. Kazakh nomadic tribes for thousands of years relied on their small, hardy steppe horses to raise and herd their cattle and sheep, transport their families and carry on trade across the Heartland of Eurasia. The Kazakh people since independence have enthusiastically restored the horse as the symbol of their culture. Use of the horse in sport has a long history as well. Whenever small groups or larger tribes of Kazakh nomads would gather for trade fairs and festivals, they would hold informal horse races with contests and displays of equestrian skill. Recent archaeological research also suggests that the ancient equestrian culture of the Kazakh people may be the oldest in the world. They may well have been the first to tame and domesticate the horse. With this incomparably rich background, it’s no wonder that the new hippodromes of Astana and Almaty are filled with passionate connoisseurs of equestrian skill. The Almaty Hippodrome is located in the quiet Zhansugirov neighborhood to the north of the city. It is the premier horse racing venue in Central Asia. It also features facilities for other equestrian sports and horseback riding for the general public. The racing seasons runs from mid-May to mid-October with races primarily on Sundays. The hippodrome is located a few kilometers from the city center at Almaty, 10A Omarova (Forest) Street. For more information call +77272948602. The hippodrome in the new capital Astana was opened in 2007 and holds 2,600 spectators. It is located a few kilometers away towards the airport from

042-049_Almaty_adventure.indd 47

the gleaming buildings of the new government center of the city on the left bank of the Ishim River. For several years, President Nursultan Nazarbayev attended the Capital Day races there. So if you have a passion for the horses and a few tenge to put down on your favorite horse, you’ll no doubt enjoy your day at the races.

6/6/11 5:46:02 PM


The soaring dunes of the nearby Altyn Emel National Park are known as the Singing Sand Dunes because they hum in the wind

042-049_Almaty_adventure.indd 48

6/6/11 5:46:04 PM

49 Lake Almaty in the Ili Alatau National Park 25 kilometers east of the city is also a great spot for fishing and swimming. The lake sits in the Alma Arasan Gorge at an altitude of 2,510 meters with its vivid turquoise waters stretching 1.5 kilometers long and 25 meters deep. The lake is also the starting point for numerous day hikes which can be arranged by Blust Tours. Nearby, is also the Tien Shan Astronomical Observatory where visitors have access to the observatory’s high-powered telescope. And, for the ultimate adventure for water lovers and fishermen, visitors can rent a 35-foot French sailing yacht docked 70 kilometers north of the city at Lake Kapchagai. The yacht Calista can be rented for the day or the weekend and offers the chance to swim, fish or sail to an island in the large, manmade lake. The yacht carries up to eight guests or six overnight and can be rented April to November with a few days advanced booking. Rental prices start at $200 per hour. With the mountains as a majestic backdrop, the experience is worth the price. To rent the yacht, call Dos Travel at +7 (727) 272 58 08 or +7 (727) 272 58 57 or visit their website at And though it is now the off season, skiing is a huge part of the Almaty adventure experience. So make sure to check the separate skiing story which accompanies this article. The region’s mountainous terrain is also a wonderland for serious mountaineers and advanced skiers. Kan Tengri Expeditions operates the Karkara base camp at Khan Tengri, Kazakhstan’s highest (and the Tien Shan’s second highest) and most revered mountain with a 6,995-meter peak. Their president and founder is the legendary climber Dr. Kazbek Valiyev, the first Kazakh to climb Everest and president of the Kazakhstan Mountaineering Foundation. Call

042-049_Almaty_adventure.indd 49

+7 (727) 291 02 00 for more information about Kan Tengri’s advanced mountaineering and heli-skiing adventure tours. And a bit further from the city is the magnificent 300-meter deep Charyn Canyon. The canyon lies 200 kilometers east of the city but is worth the drive. The Charyn River winds through the valley with Charyn’s trademark red rock formations rising on each side. The formations are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon and have earned parts of Charyn the name “Valley of Castles.” The best times to view the canyon are in the spring months of April and May or in the autumn from September to October. At those times, the play of light on the rock formations of the canyon is incredibly beautiful. Camping facilities are available. For tours of the canyon, call Oxiana Travel at +7 (727) 244 92 56 or +7 (727) 317 79 27. You can also visit their website at And finally, one of the most iconic adventures visitors to Almaty can experience is a traditional hunt with trained eagles. Hunting with eagles is an ancient tradition in Kazakhstan that may go back all the way to the Scythians 2,500 years ago. For at least half a millennia, Kazakh tribes practiced it with their beautiful and unique golden eagles. The hunting season begins in November and is over by the middle of February. Falconers hunt on horseback and hunt for foxes, hares, rabbits and small mountain antelopes. Those visiting Almaty during hunting season can arrange a hunt by contacting the Silk Road Adventure company at +7 (727) 269 88 66 or visiting Though Almaty remains best known as one of Central Asia’s primary business centers, its mountain charms and easily-accessed adventures are also attracting those who want to play as well as work. e

Hiking the Singing Sand Dunes

For a more unique adventure, Almaty visitors can sand-board down sweeping 80-metertall sand dunes

6/6/11 5:46:05 PM

Fashion 2011


Autumn-Winter 2011 Collection Designer Devyatko Kenje has created a unique “Requiem” collection for Autumn-Winter 2011-12 inspired by “biodata conceptualization.” The collection is unique as it removes the stereotypes of traditional fashion to focus on designs with only one seam. Among the fabrics used were silk, taffeta and velvet. Kenje’s 2010 collection was presented during Kazakhstan’s year in South Korea event and Kenje is an annual participant in Kazakhstan’s Fashion Week. Kenje was also the only designer in 2007-08 in Central Asia who received the approval of the Haute Couture Syndicate in France to participate in Fashion Week in Paris with such fashion houses as Dior, Armani, Chanel and Versace. Devyatko Kenje Address: The corner of Al-Farabi and Gagarin Streets Phone: 8 (702) 646 02 36, 8 (705) 187 70 70

050_055_FASHION.indd 50

6/6/11 4:52:27 PM

050_055_FASHION.indd 51

6/6/11 4:52:29 PM


050_055_FASHION.indd 52

6/6/11 8:17:35 PM


050_055_FASHION.indd 53

6/6/11 8:17:36 PM


050_055_FASHION.indd 54

6/6/11 8:17:56 PM


050_055_FASHION.indd 55

6/6/11 8:17:59 PM


056_060_ALMATY_FOOD.indd 56

6/6/11 4:53:27 PM


A history of converging foods makes

Almaty a gourmet’s By Terri Barner

056_060_ALMATY_FOOD.indd 57


6/6/11 4:53:29 PM


Kazakh dishes have few vegetables beyond potatoes and peppers, but the salads are great – and varied.

056_060_ALMATY_FOOD.indd 58

Almaty’s centuries-old position as an east-west and north-south crossroads has made it a place where lots of cultural symbols have fused, including clothes, household items, musical instruments and even weapons. Nowhere has the fusion been more apparent than in food. Almaty is a city where you’ll find not only Kazakh cuisine but food from neighboring lands as well. The major import from the south is Uzbek cuisine, from the north Russian, from the west Turkish, and from the east spicy Uyghur and Dungan from China, as well as Korean. A trip around Almaty will reveal a lot of other ethnic cuisine, however, including the longtime Caucasus staples Georgian, Armenian and Azeri and the more recent imports French, Italian, German, mainstream Chinese, Indian and Thai. The fusion of all these cuisines makes Almaty a gourmet’s delight. Like any city, Almaty has restaurants with fare ranging from fantastic to mediocre to awful. So ask your hotel, tourist agency or friends where to dine. The three cuisine categories you’ll find most often in Almaty are Kazakh, Russian and Uzbek. Kazakh food is heavy on meat, with mutton and horse the mainstays. The fare also includes chicken,

and, increasingly, fish. Some restaurants even offer pork. That surprises visitors who are aware that Kazakhstan is a predominantly Muslim-populated country, albeit a secular one. Besbarmak, which literally means “taken with five fingers”, is the dish that Kazakhs and outsiders alike most associate with Kazakh culture. It consists of boiled mutton or horse with flat pastry and broth, and was traditionally eaten with… well, five fingers. Other popular meat dishes are kazy and shuzhuk, which are horsemeat sausages, and kauyrdak, which is a stew made from internal organs such as heart, liver and kidneys along with potatoes and onions. Kazakh cuisine also boasts a number of pasta dishes. The most popular is manty, a steamed dumpling filled with minced meat, onions and, sometimes, also pumpkin. Kazakh dishes have few vegetables beyond potatoes and peppers, but the salads are great – and varied. You can find combinations of lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, beets, cucumbers and small pieces of meat, including fish and chicken. In addition to tea, popular traditional Kazakh drinks include kumys, or fermented horse milk, and shubat, or fermented camel’s milk. One of Almaty’s best-known Kazakh restaurants,

6/6/11 4:53:31 PM


Kazakh feast

Right Almaty food vendors

Kok-Tobe, sits atop a hill with a commanding view of the city. Visitors catch an aerial tram not far from the Hotel Kazakhstan on Dostyk Avenue to get to the park that contains the restaurant, whose two wings are shaped like nomad tents, or yurts. Kok-Tobe is huge – it can accommodate 120 – and full of interesting decorations, including beautiful Oriental rugs, wolf skins and even a snow-leopard skin. (Shooting a leopard would be prohibited today, given that the animal is close to extinction.) On a recent day, restaurant director Nurlan Kaziyev served out-of-town visitors an array of shashlyk, or shiskabob, including grilled mutton, mutton patties and quail. Most restaurants serve shashlyk that is half meat and half fat, but Kok-Tobe uses lamb instead of adult sheep to make servings lean. All the shashlyk that the visitors tried was savory and – in the case of the quail – crunchy. A large Greek salad topped off the meal. Kaziyev said Kok-Tobe is particularly proud of its besbarmak. “We use really old recipes,” he said. “We put several types of meat in them, including horsemeat and smoked lamb. The smoking makes it a little salty, which people like.” Uzbek food has similarities with Kazakh food, especially a proclivity for mutton, but also has touches

056_060_ALMATY_FOOD.indd 59

that Kazakh fare lacks. One difference is more vegetables and fruit, which thrive in Uzbekistan’s warmer climate. The signature Uzbek dish is plov, which consists of chunks of meat cooked in yellow rice, with raisins, carrots, other vegetables and fruit, and spices. In addition to plov, many foreigners like somsa, round pieces of bread stuffed with spiced meat, best when baked in the traditional tandyr oven. Almaty’s best-known Uzbek restaurant is Alasha, which looks like something out of “1,001 Arabian Nights.” Visitors enter a gate surrounding the restaurant through a 12-foot archway under three mosque-like green domes. The Alasha grounds are spectacular, with visitors reaching some outdoor seating areas by walking across wooden bridges that cross water spilling from a gurgling fountain. Manager Timur Danakhunov said all of Alasha’s food ingredients come from Uzbekistan, including rice, carrots and spices for plov. When the restaurant opened in 2002, the cooks were from Uzbekistan as well, but it has since trained locals to recreate that distinctive Uzbek taste. A group of out-of-town visitors recently sampled Alasha’s kazankebob, or skewered ribs and potatoes, plus plov and somsa. The kazankebob had a

6/6/11 4:53:33 PM


delicious, tangy barbecue taste, which was complemented by the potatoes. The plov was the best the long-time visitors to Central Asia had ever had, they said. A testament, perhaps, to the ingredients’ freshness. And the somsa was excellent, with the spices creating an almost-sweet taste. Like Uzbek food, Russian cuisine has been part of Kazakh diets for decades. The Russians brought their food with them when they colonized the steppe two centuries ago, and the fare became even more prevalent when Russians flooded into Kazakhstan during Soviet times. Russian food is hard to characterize because it’s so diverse. It consists of all manner of meat, including beef, lamb, pork, poultry and fish. Russians use a variety of grains to make breads, pancakes, dumplings, cereals and drinks such as beer, kvass and vodka. And perhaps no other ethnic group in the world has as many soups as the Russians, starting with borscht, which is served steaming, and okroshka, which is served cold. The Namedni restaurant at 44 Furmanov Street, near the corner of Makataev Street, attracts Russians, Kazakhs and expats alike with its large menu, excellent fare and interesting decor.

056_060_ALMATY_FOOD.indd 60

Owner Andrey Pyrlikov, who started in the restaurant business as a waiter two decades ago, “wanted ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan not to forget their rich history and their rich national cuisine,” he said. So in 2003, he opened a restaurant that would provide good food and remind people of the old days. The décor, which might be called Soviet retro, includes artifacts from the 1930s through 1980s. Three dishes that many customers order are pelmeni, varenniki and borscht. Pelmeni is a boiled dumpling filled with several kinds of minced meat – often a combination of beef, lamb and pork. Pepper, onion, garlic and spices provide the flavoring. Varenniki is a Ukrainian dumpling whose filling can include all manner of items, including mashed potatoes, cheese and cherries. Borscht is the Russian beet soup that gourmets around the world love. Pyrlikov guarantees his version will be one of the best you’ve tried. Whether it’s Russian food like Namedni’s that you’re looking for – or Kazakh, Uzbek or something even more exotic – you’ll find it close to where you’re staying in Almaty. The city’s food-fusion culture goes back centuries, and those who know it say it just gets better and better. e

6/6/11 8:09:29 PM


Scholarship program

creates future

Kazakh leaders By Terri Barner

Kazakhstan has lots of national treasures – from the crop- and livestock-producing steppes to snowcovered mountains to the Golden Man warrior on display in Almaty. As important as these geological and historical treasures have been in shaping the country’s character, a unique government initiative has also played a huge role the past two decades. It’s the Bolashak Program, which has provided full scholarships for thousands of Kazakhstan’s brightest students to obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees abroad each year. In addition to paying for the students’ education, the Bolashak program covers all additional costs, including travel and living expenses. That makes it one of the world’s most comprehensive scholarship deals. The program’s intent is to create a sophisticated new generation of Kazakhstan leaders, and all signs are that it’s working. Students return with new ideas and a passion for moving their country ahead. Despite being in their 20s, many almost immediately assume leadership roles in government, business, education, arts, the non-profit world and other fields. The Bolashak program “gave me an opportunity to think wider, to think globally,” said Danat Zhumin, who returned to Kazakhstan after studying in the United States to start a successful business-tobusiness consulting company. The experience “also made me feel like I could make a difference in the world and in this Bolashak Program Director country.” Sayasat Nurbek

061_064_BULASHAK.indd 61

6/6/11 4:55:03 PM


The thousands of students who have completed the program have made contributions to Kazakhstan’s advancement in all walks of life.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev started the Bolashak program only two years after Kazakhstan became independent in 1991. It was a gutsy call back then, said the program’s director since last fall, Sayasat Nurbek. “Imagine what was going on at the time,” he said. The Soviet Union had collapsed, cutting off all of Kazakhstan’s funding for economic, educational and social-services programs. “The country was in ruins, the economy in pieces” as Kazakhstan began transitioning from a planned to a free-market economy, Nurbek said. Against that backdrop, “a lot of people questioned whether we should have used scarce resources to send young people abroad,” he said. The results show the gamble paid off. Although the Bolashak program has cost considerably since its founding, it has drawn praise from Kazakhs, non-Kazakhs and even international heads of state for helping create a new generation of leaders with cutting-edge skills and an international outlook. Like any successful program, the Bolashak – which means “future” – has changed with the times, said Nurbek. It went through a major expansion in 2005, with the number of students jumping from about a hundred a year to 3,000, he said. It’s now in the midst of its second revision. In the past, Bolashak recipients were an equal mix of undergraduate and graduate students. From this year on, the program will fund only master’s and Ph.D. degrees and post-doctorate fellowships. One reason for the change, Nurbek said, is to help strengthen Kazakhstan’s own universities. “If you’re depending on a foreign education (at the undergraduate level) all the time, you will not be able to build your own centers of excellence,” he said. In addition to the shift to graduate-degree-only funding, the Bolashak program will narrow the choice of majors that the scholarship recipients will be able to pursue. Bolashak students have majored in more than 100 fields since the program began in 1993, Almashov said.

061_064_BULASHAK.indd 62

Because most of the new crop of Bolashak students will pursue master’s degrees, which they can obtain in half the time of a bachelor’s degree, the number of those selected each year will also drop by about half, Nurbek said. Now the program will take what he calls a “targeted approach” by paying only for degrees that address critical manpower shortages in Kazakhstan. He said the four key areas that Kazakhstan has selected for the new targeted Bolashak approach are: • Specialty engineering – The country needs more industrial, heavy-machinery and agricultural engineers. The goal of Kazakhstan’s new industrial and innovation strategy is to rev up the economy and make it more sophisticated by 2020. Moving it away from natural resources will require additional innovative industrial engineers. Heavy-machinery engineers will help the country make expensive machinery at home rather than importing it. And agricultural engineers will help Kazakhstan reach its ambitious objectives of becoming a world force in crop and livestock production and exports. • Educational experts – Kazakhstan is making a sweeping overhaul of its educational system that will require specialists steeped in international best practices and the knowledge to implement them. The country is one of the first in the former Soviet Union to adopt a decentralized educational model that will give universities and colleges more academic freedom, Nurbek said. Kazakhstan also is planning to introduce, before 2020, a Western-style 12-year school program, adding a year to the 11-year Soviet model. And it’s embracing a European university-education reform movement known as the Bologna Process. Such changes will require educational-management, educational-integration and other specialists, Nurbek said. • Health-care administrators – Kazakhstan is spending billions of dollars to improve its health-care system and make it more responsive. The country has long appointed doctors to run hospitals and other

6/6/11 4:55:03 PM


Bolashak graduates obtain new ideas to shape Kazakhstan’s future Bolashak scholarship winners say their study abroad gives them new ideas to help Kazakhstan develop and the confidence that they could play an important role in shaping their country’s future. They also say the program’s comprehensiveness – it covers all educational, travel and living expenses – made them the envy of their overseas classmates. Danat Zhumin obtained seasoning in government ministries dealing with education and training after returning from the University of Montana. He then started the Apex business-to-business consulting company in Astana. Zhumin said what he learned while obtaining a master’s degree in public administration “gave me an opportunity to think wider, to think globally.” The experience “also made me feel like I could make a difference in the world and in this country.” One of Apex’s key objectives is getting Kazakhstan businesses and institutions to adopt a more international focus. That means helping them develop such skills as human resources training, strategic thinking, corporate branding and an understanding of what an all-encompassing public relations program can offer. Apex’s clients have included some big names: Nazarbayev University, the Astana Economic Forum, the Hotel Kazakhstan and the Chevron-led international petroleum consortium Tengizchevroil. Dilyara Zhumagulova is a public relations expert working with Zhumin – and another Bolashak alumnus. Zhumagulova, who obtained a master’s in public relations at Westminster University in London, said many Kazakh enterprises know they need public relations (PR) but don’t understand “what it really is and how it should be done.” Part of her job is helping to convey that understanding. Zhumagulova said she’s pleased to see public relations’ stature beginning to rise in Kazakhstan. Many operations have seen PR people as low- to middleranking image-policy implementers and not strategic thinkers. That was long the policy in the West as well, but it has changed to the point that many companies there have vice presidents of PR who are part of the enterprise’s brain trust. Zhumagulova recalls Westminster students from Britain and other countries being stunned that the Bolashak program took care of all of her university expenses and living needs. “We’re very lucky to have a magic scholarship,” she said. Bolashak graduates such as Zhumin and Zhumagulova are not only bringing new ideas and approaches to Kazakhstan’s business world, but also to its non-profit, government and academic worlds. Two other Bolashak alumni are working together to help improve Kazakhstan’s non-profit arena. They are Alina Khamatdinova, chief executive of the Astana-based Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan, and Sabina Dyussekeyeva, head of the alliance’s Civil Participation Program. Khamatdinova turned down a seat in Parliament to pursue a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Montana. She was one of the Nur Otan Party’s 100 candidates for Parliament that year. The party’s election victory meant she was assured of a seat. But she thought she might be able to do more for her country over the long term if she studied abroad. Montana was a great place to land, she said, because it has more nonprofits per capita than any other American state. “In Montana, I saw how NGOs should be – how they could be effective and how they could be a change agent,” she said. “I decided that in our country NGOs should be the same way.” Khamatdinova and others at the Civil Alliance, an umbrella group of 500 NGOs, have been making headway in educating government officials and longtime leaders of Kazakhstan’s NGOs about the new roles that non-profits should play, Khamatdinova said. Khamatdinova found a kindred spirit in Dyussekeyeva, who obtained a master’s degree at California’s Monterey Institute of International Studies. Dy-

061_064_BULASHAK.indd 63

ussekeyeva said her two years as a Bolashak student opened her eyes to the important role non-governmental organizations could play in Kazakhstan’s development. The Kazakh government has long taken the lead in providing social services, Dyussekeyeva noted. She’s been helping Khamatdinova spread the word that NGOs can deliver a lot of services better than government – and some officials are listening and beginning to ask non-profits to deliver those services, she said. Dyussekeyeva said that when her classmates gasped about her Bolashak scholarship covering all of her educational and living expenses, she replied that Kazakhstan viewed the expense as an investment in its future. Yerbol Moldakassimov, head of external relations at the Academy of Public Administration in Astana, said his educational experience as a Bolashak student at the University of York in England came both in and out of class. “A Western education helps you to synthesize critical thinking” – to do a better job of evaluating, said Moldakassimov, who obtained a master’s in public administration at York. “We had to support our position (in class) with a compelling argument” that required careful consideration of all facts, Moldakassimov said. He said his experience outside the classroom helped change his values and contradict some of his preconceptions. “When you’re in a multicultural environment, you eliminate stereotypes and psychological blocks,” he said. All of his educational experiences taken together, he suggested, have made him more open to implementing changes to improve his country. A desire to make changes that can move Kazakhstan forward is a common theme among Bolashak graduates – and it’s exactly what those who started the program had in mind. It is the new ideas coming from the minds of the Bolashak graduates, as much as the graduates themselves, which will help shape Kazakhstan’s future.

Above: Bolashak Program graduates Below: Bolashak students in England

6/6/11 8:06:37 PM

64 medical facilities. But doctors aren’t necessarily the best health-care facility and program managers, Nurbek noted. “So we’ll need a lot of good doctors (in the future), but in addition to good doctors, we’ll need good public health-care managers,” he said. • Language specialists – Government officials want Kazakhstan to become a trilingual country within two decades, with citizens speaking Kazakh, Russian and English. Kazakh and Russian are Kazakhstan’s traditional languages. English is important because it’s the language of global business, finance, technology and other fields. In addition to Kazakh, Russian and English, other languages are becoming important in Kazakhstan – Chinese, for example. So the country will need thousands of new language specialists in coming years. The program’s director, Nurbek, is a prime example of the new generation of leaders and the success of the program. At only 30 years of age, he is in charge of one of the country’s most important education- and development-related efforts. His international seasoning includes degrees from three areas of the world. He graduated from Marshalltown Community College in the U.S. state of Iowa, obtained a bachelor’s in international law at Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana and a master’s in geopolitics and global security at the University of Rome. He’s taken additional university-level training in Japan, Italy, the Netherlands and the United States, becoming fluent in several languages along the way. In its early days, the Bolashak program sent 50 to 60 students abroad each year, Nurbek said. Most went to a few dozen elite universities in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany and Switzerland, including Harvard, Warwick in England and the Sorbonne in Paris.

061_064_BULASHAK.indd 64

When the program was expanded to 3,000 students a year, the pool of universities also exploded to about 500 in 27 countries, including Russia, China, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. Since Kazakhstan needed “talented people everywhere,” Nurbek said, the program allowed students not only to study engineering, management, diplomacy and other mainstream fields, but also art, music and even film directing. The 4,000 students who have completed the program have already made contributions to Kazakhstan’s advancement in all walks of life, he said. Currently, there are on average 3,000 students studying abroad under the Bolashak program. “In (the U.S. state of) Montana, I saw how NGOs should be – how they could be effective and how they could be a change agent,” said Bolashak graduate and non-profit leader Alina Khamatdinova. “I decided that in our country NGOs should be the same way.” Graduates such as Khamatdinova are helping ensure Kazakhstan’s development moves forward on multiple fronts. Given that the Bolashak program has played such an important role in Kazakhstan’s development, and the fact that it’s become a source of national pride, it’s likely to continue creating the country’s future leaders for years to come. e

Bolashak graduates bring international ideas to Kazakhstan

6/6/11 4:55:05 PM

065_AD_KazMunaiGaz.indd 1

6/6/11 6:02:57 PM




ConstructionGlass Leader Seeks More Than Better Views

By Joe Watson

066-068_Glassman.indd 66

Muratkhan Tokmadi was stunned when he visited the United States in 1996 to see the major role that glass played in the construction of skyscrapers. The successful Almaty construction engineer had never seen glass used in a building’s walls or roof. “I began asking myself many questions,” he said during a recent exclusive interview with Edge. “How can you make tall buildings of glass – aren’t they dangerous? How do you keep the heat inside? How do you keep the sunlight out?” The sight of the skyscrapers in Atlanta and New York left such an indelible impression on the then30-year-old that it’s perhaps not surprising that he’s now become Kazakhstan’s construction-glass leader. After 18 years of success as a builder, the native of Semipalatinsk in east Kazakhstan decided a dozen years ago that he wanted to do more with his life. “I wanted to produce something,” Tokmadi said. The question was what. Given his background, it would make sense to produce building materials, he thought. His memories of the American skyscrapers prompted him to decide to make construction glass. Tokmadi opened a factory in Almaty in 2004 that has not only become the major player in glass construction materials in Kazakhstan, but that also exports to Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Eighty percent of the output is for construction. The rest goes into glass furniture and other products. From day one, Tokmadi was determined to make

the factory a cutting-edge operation – and to constantly increase its efficiency. That drive has led to his winning many awards for quality, including Kazakhstan’s top honor in that category, the Altyn Sapa Prize. To ensure that his operation becomes better and better, Tokmadi has become a student of some of the great management minds of the past half century. They include America’s Edward Deming, whose ideas about quality were an underpinning of the Japanese economic miracle of the 1960s and 1970s, and Jack Welch, the retired General Electric chief executive who is revered for his ability to get the most out of his people.

6/6/11 6:00:29 PM


Many Kazakhstan business leaders, including Tokmadi, read Welch’s management books closely. Welch is so widely admired in the country that Tokmadi will lead an effort to invite the American to Kazakhstan this fall. Tokmadi’s factory is a precision operation. He uses the just-in-time approach that Japanese industry pioneered to have materials arrive when needed. Yellow paint on the floors indicates where materialsholding carts should be placed for maximum efficiency in feeding a production line. The factory’s German- and Austrian-made equipment is top-notch. Every step in the manufacturing process that can be automated is automated. This

066-068_Glassman.indd 67

includes hoisting devices that prevent workers from having to lift materials by hand. Tokmadi’s team studies the operation daily to see if it can be further streamlined by eliminating steps. Although Tokmadi uses modern equipment and has made his production lines as efficient as possible, he borrows a page from General Electric’s Welch in saying that his most important resource is his employees. Like Welch, he finds the best people he can, gives them incentives to meet their goals, then let’s them do the job. Borrowing another page from some of the world’s top managers, “I don’t punish them for mistakes,” Tokmadi said. That would leave employees

Muratkhan Tokmadi is Kazakhstan’s leading construction glass manufacturer

6/6/11 6:00:30 PM


Our quality must meet world standards. We must be able to compete with the world

afraid to try something new. To get to know his 120 employees’ hopes, dreams and concerns, Tokmadi eats with them in the company cafeteria, listening to what’s on their minds. He noted that another management guru he admires, Tim Collins, who wrote “From Good to Great,” asserts that the companies that become outstanding are the ones that “pay attention to human resources.” Tokmadi’s factory produces an amazing array of special construction glass that is strong, safe and saves energy. He could have produced ordinary construction glass, and made a good profit, but that’s not what he’s about. He was determined to make glass that not only serves a purpose, but also helps society. He manufactures windows that reduce a building’s heat loss by 50 percent during winter, for example. The glass “produces the same effect in summer,” saving on air-conditioning. “If a building loses less heat, then we’re burning less energy,” he said. “That means fewer C02 emissions which is better for the environment.” The factory also produces glass that’s soundproof. To show customers how important that is, Tokmadi built a demonstration device. Inside a glass box a sound generator replicates the buzz of traffic on a busy city street. If you open the door of the box, you hear the grating noise. If you close the door, you hear nothing. The message: Use this glass, and you’ll have a quiet workplace. Another product that Tokmadi plans to manufacture is electrified glass for rooftops. It melts snow and ice, preventing a buildup that could damage a roof – or even cause it to collapse. To ensure that nothing is wasted, Tokmadi is planning to make lightweight construction materials out of glass left over from the manufacturing pro-

066-068_Glassman.indd 68

cess. The foam glass, which won’t burn and is light enough to float in water, will be used to build structures and roads, he said. At the moment, the raw material for Tokmadi’s operation is American glass. That’s because Kazakhstan has no factory that makes construction glass from scratch. Tokmadi wants to be the first to build such a plant, which he said would mesh with Kazakhstan’s goal of “reducing dependence on imports.”Currently, he is looking for the capital to create the first Kazakhstan glass cluster – a factory preparing quartz sand with sodium carbonate. All the exports are focused on high profitability and attracting investment.” Tokmadi noted that when Kazakh officials began discussing the formation of a free-trade zone with Russia and Belarus a few years ago, “many business people were afraid of the idea.” They feared their operations would be unable to compete with customs-duty-free products from the other partners, especially Russia. Tokmadi is a fan of the arrangement. Most of the American glass he buys comes through Russia, he said. He’s saving money by no longer having to pay a customs duty when it crosses the Russian border. Tokmadi also said that the customs union will force Kazakh businesses to produce better, more cost-efficient and more innovative products. “We belong to a world economy,” he said. “Our quality must meet world standards. We must be able to compete with the world.” He agrees with Deming’s philosophy that an inevitable consequence of good management is quality and a strong competitive position. The customs union is the first step in Kazakhstan having to face world competition head-on. The next – and biggest – step will be the country joining the World Trade Organization, which requires the elimination of both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. WTO membership is expected in the next few years. In addition to working hard, Tokmadi plays hard. The former boxer, who has always believed physical fitness helps generate the best ideas, gets up to ride a bicycle at 6 a.m. He also is an accomplished guitar player and singer and studies religion. His approach to using all of his abilities both in and out of the factory, he said, is that “if you don’t use it, you will lose it.” e

6/6/11 6:00:31 PM


The main activities of the company are:

Geological exploration Uranium production Manufacture of nuclear fuel cycle products The electric energy sector

Production of construction materials

Social welfare

Training of personnel

Reactor construction, nuclear power plants Scientific support of production

National Atomic Company “Kazatomprom” JSC Republic of Kazakhstan, 168, Bogenbay Batyr St., Almaty 050012 F: Ò:

069_AD_KAZATOM.indd 1

6/6/11 6:03:28 PM

Mechanical piano by

Aigul Kuandykova


Mechanical piano designer Aigul Kuandykova

The fashion designs of the firm Mechanical piano transcend geographic and cultural boundaries to dress intelligent, confident and worldly young women regardless of national origin. The firm focuses on softly colored, unrestricted clothes that are asymmetrical and deconstructed but at the same time well tailored. They are conceptual yet seductive designs using luxurious textures meant to frame the personality rather than scream fashion. Mechanical piano was founded in 1999 by Aigul Kuandykova, a former architect. And her work continues to reflect the art and architecture of the broader world. Ritz-Palace 229 1 Al-Farabi Avenue, Almaty 050051 Phone: 8 (727) 319 27 97 Business Centre ''Nurly-Tau'' 4b, office 1202 19 Al-Farabi Avenue, Almaty 050059 Phone: 8 (727) 311 09 62

70-71_Fashion2.indd 70

6/6/11 6:05:57 PM

70-71_Fashion2.indd 71

6/6/11 6:05:59 PM

prime.indd 72

6/8/11 11:12:42 AM




Arts & Culture


Fitness & Banya


CafĂŠs & Coffee Houses





6/6/11 6:15:41 PM




Namedni Restaurant


ne of the joys of visiting Almaty is sampling its growing, diverse and well-established restaurant scene. Almaty is Kazakhstan’s business capital which means it attracts visitors from all over the world looking to capitalize on the country’s relatively new-found freedom and growing energy wealth. As a result, Almaty’s restaurant scene has kept pace with a slew of new establishments designed to meet the ethnic, traditional, fusion and casual dining preferences of it visitors. You can find great Italian, Korean and Chinese food in Almaty along with a strong selection of Indian and traditional Central Asian cuisine. The restaurants also vary greatly in price with everything for Sushi for a few dollars to exquisite French cuisine served on silver platters beneath elaborate chandeliers.

074_081_LIST_Restaurants.indd 74

Among our must-try recommendations is the Uzbek-styled Alasha. It serves some of the best traditional plov in the city and imports from Uzbekistan the ingredients for the dish. It’s also decorated with exquisitely colored tile, elaborately carved wooden doors, streams and fountains. And they put on a show while you eat featuring tightrope walkers, acrobats and dances. You’ll also want to check out Bellagio – reputed to be the choice of Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Its location is spectacular, facing the Malaya Almatinka River in the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains and it offers a diverse Italian menu. More and more restaurants – particularly the more upscale places – are beginning to offer English language menus. But even those that don’t

6/6/11 6:05:46 PM

75 usually feature friendly staff willing to help you out with a combination of pointing, simple phrases and a few descriptive hand gestures. And remember that tipping in Almaty usually runs about 10 percent of the bill. So don’t let the language barrier keep you in your hotel. Almaty’s restaurant owners are more than happy to see visiting faces and to give you the help you need to enjoy a great meal.

Price Key (per person): $ = 3000 tenge-6500 tenge $$ = 6500 tenge-9500 tenge $$$ = 9500 tenge-13,000 tenge Teatralnoye Located immediately west of the Abai Opera and Ballet Theater, you can dine in the restaurant’s terrace garden during the warm months to the sounds of operatic rehearsals. The elegance of opera is carried into Teatralnoye’s dining room where you’ll find stately columns, silver serving trays and ornate chandeliers. A frieze of an opera also lines one wall. The menu is largely international with a French focus.

Address: 51A Zhambyl Street Phone: +7 (727) 272 87 77 Hours: Daily noon-12 am $$$ Schwabsky Domik If you’re a fan of kitschy theme-style restaurants you’ll love Schwabsky Domik. This place is designed to look like a European village with little pitched roofs everywhere, lederhosen-clad staff who greet you with a smiling “guten tag”, and plenty of German beer on tap. And they have plenty of sausages and meat dishes with which to wash down all those draughts. An extensive wine menu is also available for those who aren’t quite in the kitschy spirit.

Address: 121 Abylai Khan Avenue Phone: +7 (727) 261 05 14 Hours: Daily noon-midnight $$$ Naoro Naoro is one of the jewels of the dining circuit. Chef Julian Sperondio studied under legendary Pierre Gagnaire, a great pioneer in the fusion cuisine movement, and it shows. With director Sam Sedecias (formerly of Nobu London) Sperondio focuses on delivering a main ingredient, a complementary garnish and exotic sauces; his lamb with coffee chickpea puree and bok choy with cardamon sauce are outstanding.

Naoro loosely means “On Gold” and the décor reflects this theme. Reservations are essential, but try a cocktail with tapas-style canapes while your table is prepared.

Address: 17 Abai Avenue (corner of Pushkin Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 291 11 45 Hours: Tues-Sat 7 pm-11 pm $$$ The Grill Restaurant It has a deserved reputation for grilling some of the best steaks in the city. Located on the ground floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, this bistro style restaurant with wood-paneled walls prepares prime Black Angus steaks, T-bone steaks, strip loin, tenderloin, rib eye, not to mention lamb, pork and seafood – all ready to sizzle on the grill. Every day, one type of steak is offered at a reasonable price for the business lunch from noon to 3pm.

Address: Hyatt Regency Hotel, 29/6 Satpaev Street, Bostandyk District Phone: +7 (727) 250 26 63 Hours: Daily noon-3 pm and 6 pmmidnight $$$ Bellagio Bellagio has a presidential reputation – quite literally. Bill Clinton of the United States and Vladimir Putin of Russia have both dined there and it’s also said to be a favorite of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev when he dines out in Almaty. The location is spectacular, facing the Malaya Almatinka River as it cascades down the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains and at the entrance of Ili-Alatau National Park. The restaurant is famous for its Italian menu and a regular haunt of Almaty’s elite. Reservations are recommended.

Sumo-san Offers Taste and Culture of Japan Almaty boasts one of the best Japanese restaurants in the former Soviet Union – the legendary Sumo-san. There’s a simple reason it stands above all others: Owner Nailya Orunkhanova goes to Japan five to six times a year to obtain recipes and watch top cooks in action. Then she returns to Kazakhstan to train her chefs in the latest trends in Japanese cuisine. Japanese expats are the most discriminating appraisers of their homeland’s food, of course – and they swarm into Sumo-san, located at 159 Baitursynov Street near the intersection of Temiryazev Street. The ultimate compliment the expats give Orunkhanova is calling her “Mama-san,” as they would the valued proprietor of a restaurant back home. “They will say to me, ‘Mama-san, please learn such-and-such a new dish and cook it for me,’” Orunkhanova said. “And I make sure that I do learn that dish for them.” All of the restaurant’s offerings are outstanding – from sushi to sashimi to miso soup to tempura to udon and beyond. And the menu is huge, guaranteeing you’ll find whatever Japanese fare you’re looking for. Sumo-san creates an atmosphere of old Japan by being chockfull of authentic decorations and artifacts. They include a gorgeous kimono from the 1940s that a 94-year-old retired geisha, Yoshiko Hirono, presented Orunkhanova. The two have been friends for almost two decades. Orunkhanova also brings back decorations and artifacts on every trip to Japan, making Sumo-san a repository of Japanese culture. There’s even a large circular wooden staircase connecting the top and bottom dining areas – a fixture all over Japan that is rarely seen elsewhere. Orunkhanova, who studied hospitality, food and catering at a university in St. Petersburg before starting a culinary career, became intrigued with Japan as a teenager. She noticed in movies made there how quaint, romantic and colorful the country was. She began traveling there in 1994, only three years after the break-up of the Soviet Union. The warmth the Japanese showed her – and the tasty and healthy food – prompted her to begin dreaming about opening a Japanese restaurant in Almaty. Four years later, in 1998, she was able to make it happen. And Sumo-san has since become Almaty’s home for the tastes of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Photos: Yuri Bibikov

Address: 197 Gornaya Street, Road to Medeo

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

074_081_LIST_Restaurants.indd 75

6/6/11 6:05:47 PM

76 minimalist Japanese sushi and sashimi bar, offering popular maki and sushi.

Address: 50 Dostyk Avenue (corner of Kurmangazy Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 291 01 90 Hours: Daily noon-11 pm $$$ Boudoir Boudoir is a stand-out and the ultimate experience in global fusion dining. We’re confident in saying it is unlikely any other restaurant in Kazakhstan serves live mud crab from the creeks of Australia. Chef Shane Brierly from Australia and his Thai wife previously starred at Lotus One in Dubai and their creative range and quality is extraordinary. Even the cocktails are mixed by a maestro flown in from London and utilize local ingredients like Almaty’s classic apple. (The Almaty region is believed to be the genetic homeland of all the apples in the world).

Address: 134 Bogenbai Batyr Avenue (corner of Abylai Khan Avenue), Almaly District Phone: +7 (727) 272 55 55 Hours: Daily noon-2 am $$$ Alasha

Namedni Restaurant Phone: +7 (727) 250 24 09 Hours: Daily noon-midnight $$$

Hours: Daily 10 am-midnight $$$

Dali Restaurant

Kok-Tobe offers one of Almaty’s most unique dining experiences. To get there you can take a tram up the mountain and catch amazing views of the city. Kok-Tobe is divided into three restaurants with its main eatery named Yurt because its sections are shaped like a traditional Kazakh yurt. Yurt serves up Kazakh staples such as beshbarmak, lagman and manty as well as any place in town. And, in a nod to its growing international clientele, the restaurant has added non-Kazakh cuisine to its menu. A trip to Kok-Tobe offers

Do golf, the art of Salvador Dali and a breathtaking vista of the majestic Tien-Shan mountains go together with fine Mediterranean cuisine? Here they do. So check out this unique place in the clubhouse of the Zhailyau Golf Course. Its walls are lined with Dali’s wild masterpieces and even the ceiling is covered with a gigantic reproduction of one of his legendary Melting Clocks.

Address: Zhailyau Golf Resort, Kargaly District Phone: +7 (727) 277 76 21

074_081_LIST_Restaurants.indd 76


a unique combination of good food and great atmosphere.

Phone: +7 (727) 295 44 44 Hours:  Daily noon-midnight $$$ Thai Horsemeat wrapped in pandan leaves is an unlikely but widely popular favorite here. It’s one of the best Thai restaurants in town offering first class Tom Yam Goong (spicy prawn & lemongrass soup) and Tom Kha Gai (chicken & coconut milk soup). The chefs come from Thailand and many of the delicacies are flown in every day from all over the world, delivering reliable authentic flavor and freshness. The restaurant also includes ‘Zen’ - a

This Uzbek-styled restaurant is great fun and a wonderful experience. Located on a side street on Dostyk Avenue, its entrance resembles a traditional tiled mud brick mosque. Diners can eat Central Asian style on raised platforms or tapchans. The cuisine, like the décor, is classic Uzbek. Spectacular entertainment every night starts at 9 pm and includes music, dancers and acrobats. If you can’t visit Uzbekistan on your trip, this is the next best thing.

Address: 20 Ospanov Street, Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 254 07 00 Hours: Daily noon-midnight $$ Sadu Concept Store This restaurant/boutique offers the convenience of following lunch or dinner with boutique shopping on the same premises. With its green- and brown-striped chairs and menus, olive sofas and soothing earth tones, the cool interior of this sunlit restaurant offers a refuge from the noise, crowds and heat of an Almaty summer. Secure in his older, elite clientele Sadu’s Italian

6/6/11 6:35:45 PM

77 chef Simone specializes in simple Mediterranean dishes, including a variety of hand-made pastas and sauces and his original limoncello.

Address: Mercur Town, 3/25 Samal (Furmanov Street), Samal Microdistrict Phone: +7 (727) 271 68 65 Hours: Daily noon-midnight $$ Namedni Namedni attracts Kazakhs, Russians and a diverse mix of expats alike with its large menu and signature dishes. Among its most popular are Namedni’s Russian beet soup and Pelmeni – a dumpling filled with a combination of meats, pepper, onion, garlic and spices. The decor is also interesting and could be defined as Soviet retro with artifacts from the 1930s through 1980s. Among the owners’ favorites are several transistor radios from the 1950s and 1960s.

Address: 44 Furmanova Street (corner of Makatayev Street) Phone: +7 (727) 273 84 94 Hours: Daily noon-midnight $$

Borgo Antico Even Marco Polo from Venice would feel at home here. Borgo Antico boasts vaulted red brick ceilings, warm tiles and a rustic Tuscan atmosphere that has made it a favorite gathering place of the Almaty elite. We recommend the prawn and salad steeped in balsamic vinegar. Its salmon, sea bass, lobster, red snapper and calamari are also all flown in fresh twice a week from Dubai.

Address: 11/6 Iskendirov Street, Gornyi Gigant Phone: +7 (727) 293 51 51 Hours: Daily noon-midnight $$ Asian Wok Asian Wok offers superb Chinese and Indian cuisine. Executive Chef Bappi Sharma honed his craft to world-class standards in Moscow for many years and it shows. Bappi has created showcase sauces that are his trademark: ginger and spring onion, black bean and hot Szechuan bean. All three are excellent for the wide of variety of fresh seafood and meats on the menu.

Alasha: A Feast for all Your Senses Ask 10 locals for the best Uzbek restaurant in Almaty, and at least nine will say Alasha. That’s because the nine-year-old establishment has it all – delicious food, interesting decor and a unique entertainment lineup. Alasha derives its name from a type of hand-woven carpet of such high quality that it’s the one traditionally laid out for guests. It’s a fitting name because Alasha is often the place locals choose to which to take their valued business associates and friends. The dish that everyone associates with Uzbekistan is plov, and Alasha’s is among the best in Almaty. The restaurant ensures that high quality by importing from Uzbekistan the yellow rice, carrots, raisins and spices that go into the meat-and-vegetables concoction. Kebabs are also an important part of Uzbek cuisine, and Alasha has 20 varieties. Another dish not to be missed is tandyrroasted mutton – tandyr being a traditional Uzbek clay oven. A much-ordered dessert is baklava, a pastry made of many layers of paperthin dough with a filling of ground nuts and drenched in honey. Every time you go to Alasha, you’ll also see a feature of the décor you never noticed before. Colorful tile is everywhere – on columns and walls, and both inside and outside. The wooden doors have exquisite

074_081_LIST_Restaurants.indd 77

Bappi is a high profile fixture in his own restaurant and thrives on interacting with his clientele. Take advantage of his passion for excellence.

Address: 248 Dostyk Avenue (corner of Kazhymukan Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 264 4812 Hours: Daily noon-11 pm $$ Porto Maltese Another first class fish restaurant in the Mediterranean tradition, Porto

Maltese offers its clientele their choice of fish from a display at its entrance and a variety of preparation styles including “grilled”, “salted”, “in bergamot pepper”, or “steamed.” The regular available selection includes mullet, sole, dorado, sea bass, john dory and turbot. The waiters wear long blue aprons, as if they’ve just come fresh from a seafood market, and will fillet your fish dish at the table.

Address: 109 Panfilov Street (corner of

carvings. The displays of artifacts include large brass and ceramic vases. And outdoors you relax to the sounds of fountains and streams. And few restaurants put on as entertaining a show as Alasha. The most unusual attraction is a troupe of acrobats and tightrope walkers. They do flips, form human pyramids and perform other acrobatic routines in the outdoor dining area. Alasha also has a band that plays Uzbek music and a 12-person folkdancing troupe. All perform as patrons are eating. When you walk away from Alasha after a great meal, you’ll feel that not only have your taste buds been stimulated, but your entire range of senses.

6/6/11 6:35:46 PM


Two French Chefs Give the Rixos a Special Cuisine Quality The world’s most discriminating gourmets say the crème de la crème cuisine is French – and Almaty’s Rixos Hotel is the only fine-dining venue in Kazakhstan to boast not just one but two French chefs. The Rixos’ executive chef, Laurent Guesdon, became hooked on cooking when, as a child, he ran the kitchen at his grandmother’s bistro in Angers, near Paris. So sure was he that cooking would be his life that he enrolled in a culinary school at 13. Guesdon, who presides over the cuisine served at the Rixos’ Brasserie French restaurant, its French pastry lounge and the rest of the hotel’s dining operations, arrived in Almaty in the fall of 2010. He’s worked hard since then to mold a culinary staff that thrives on teamwork and whose ultimate goal is to produce an unforgettable meal for every guest. “Now I have maybe the best kitchen team in Almaty,” he said. Alexandre Crocher is the Rixos’ French pastry chef. The hotel decided that incomparable pastry was such an important part of a top dining experience that it hired a maestro for that task alone. Guesdon revamps every Rixos menu every six months. His ultimate goal is a once-in-three-months revamp. He said the meat he’s fondest of cooking is fish – “it’s more interesting.” But his hands-on management style ensures that his team of 40 cooks and 25 stewards prepares all meats, vegetables and other fare with the same attention to detail. As for the pastries, two recent visitors said the chocolate cake with ice cream was a dessert to die for. When the guests pricked the exterior of the cake with their forks, a mousse-like rich chocolate syrup poured out. The combination of the cake, the syrup and the ice cream was indescribable, the visitors said. Guesdon said he reminds his team constantly that “it’s difficult to build a good reputation” with food, and “it’s easy to lose it.” That means every meal must be perfect. “Every day it’s a championship. Every day we have to be good,” he said. That work has paid off, he said. “We’ve started to become famous in Almaty.” Laurent graduated from the Etienne Lenoir restaurant and hotel school in Chateaubriant. He honed his skills at some of the most famous hotels in the world, including La Samana on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, the Grand Hotel Regina in Grindelwald, Switzerland, and the Noga Hilton Hotel in Geneva.

074_081_LIST_Restaurants.indd 78

Rixos Pastry Chef Alexandre Croche

Rixos Executive Chef Laurent Guesdon

He also traveled the world as the personal chef of Canadian business tycoon David Graham. While he’s satisfied with what he’s accomplished at the Rixos, there is more to be done, he said. This includes opening a Thai restaurant, starting a barbecue operation on the hotel’s outdoor terrace and acquiring a world-class machine to make homemade ice cream.

6/6/11 6:05:53 PM


Namedni Restaurant Gogol Street), Almaly District Phone: +7 (727) 273 21 78 Hours: Daily noon-11 pm $$ Primavera Located in a giant glass globe on the 13th floor of the Koktem (Kazakh for spring) Business Center, Primavera presents one of the most stunning views in the city. We recommend the panorama at sunset (The view is also worth seeing at night when the city is lit up.) Primavera also offers views of the Tien Shan mountains to the south and the steppes to the north. The over-the-top décor includes crocodile-skin wall coverings and velvet chairs. Primavera features European and Japanesefusion cuisine and an impressive wine list chosen by the restaurant’s own wine club.

Address: Koktem Business Centre, 180 Dostyk Avenue (corner of Zholdasbekov Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 237 5087 Hours: Daily noon-midnight $$ Avlabar Named after an Armenian district in Tbilisi, Avlabar is known for its Georgian hospitality. Located at Tau Dastarkhan in the Alma Arasan Valley, Avlabar is one of six restaurants in this complex that sits in the foothills of the Zhailiskii Alatau mountains. Avlabar’s Georgian kitchen has people from Almaty raving. The restaurant offers all the traditional classics - from fresh khachapuri (cheese-filled flat bread) to lobio (kidney bean salad) and pkhali (beets in a garlic and walnut sauce). Finally, no Georgian meal is complete without a few toasts, so try a bottle (or two) of Georgian wine from their wide selection.

Address: Tau Dastarkhan Family Resort, Ili Alatau National Park, Alma Arasan Gorge.

074_081_LIST_Restaurants.indd 79

Phone: +7 (727) 270 57 29 Hours: Daily 11 am-2 am $$ Di Wang Outside appearances can be deceiving: Di Wang is located on a quiet, easily overlooked side-street but inside it is cutting edge trendy. Designed by the leading designer of the French modern furniture company Ligne Roset, Di Wang boasts images of Chinese and Japanese emperors on its walls, white leather chairs and a glass aquarium full of exotic fish. Singaporean chefs produce fine Japanese and Chinese dishes. Di Wang also provides a full sushi menu, a reasonably priced lunch and you don’t want to miss its traditional tea ceremony.

white façade with Arabic script. It offers Moroccan, Turkish and Georgian cuisines. Specialties include lamb served in a tagine with dried fruits and chestnuts on saffron rice, salmon-spinach falafel rolls served with wasabi and tahini sauce and the famous Turkish dish, Imam Bayildi. Its Arab-style coffee is brewed from a special recipe blended with cardamon and harissa and served with a pitcher of mintflavored water.

Address: 36 Dostyk Avenue (corner of Bogenbai Batyr Avenue), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 293 86 67 Hours: Mon-Sat noon-midnight, Sun 1 pm-midnight $$

Zhety Kazyna This remarkable restaurant offers a choice of Central Asian, European, Russian and East Asian cuisine with different dining areas and decors for each. Zhety Kazyna means Seven Treasures and it lives up to its name. A Kazakh apa or grandmother directs guests to the rooms of their choice. The main restaurant has an Uzbek theme with an open, tiled kitchen on one side with beautifully carved Uzbek columns, painted ceilings, marble fountains and arched windows with paranjas (latticed screens with a geometric designs). It offers Kazakh, Uzbek, Uighur and Dungan dishes of the highest quality. We recommend the

Address: 75 Zhambyl Street (corner of Tchaikovskovo Street) Phone: +7 (727) 272 38 10 Hours: Daily noon-midnight $$ Bibliotheque Bibliotheque provides European cuisine in a classic high culture décor that alone is worth the visit. The entrance sets the tone: It is dedicated with carved quotes about the joys and wisdom of wine. The clientele dines to a background of classical music surrounded by impressionist art. The restaurant is illuminated by electric chandeliers and the fireplace would do justice to any 17th century French chateau. Omar Khayyam and Beethoven would both love it here.

Address: 116 Dostyk Avenue (corner of Satpaev Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 262 61 22 $$ Safran At night, this Middle Eastern style restaurant displays an illuminated

Alasha Restaurant

6/6/11 6:05:54 PM

80 besparmak, which is the Kazakh national dish made with meat and ribbons of home-made pasta. Zhety Kazyna also features the Zi oriental emporium which serves Japanese and Chinese dishes. A purple corridor with oriental clouds painted on the red ceiling and a dragon looping its way over the doors guides guests to private, oriental style rooms where guests squat on the floor and waitresses enter on their knees.

Address: 58a Abylai Khan Avenue (entrance on Makatayev Street), Zhetisu District Phone: +7 (727) 273 25 87 Hours: Daily noon-midnight $$ Kishlak This conveniently located restaurant is designed to make you feel like you are in a Central Asian village. You enter through a brick gate, into a courtyard and into the restaurant where you’ll find a little foot bridge over a man-made stream with fish, as well as fake greenery and exposed Uzbek pots and pans on the walls. It all gives the quant feeling of visiting a neighbor’s home. As for the food, you’ll find hearty standards at reasonable prices.

Alasha Restaurant Address: Seifullin Street Phone: +7 (727) 261 56 01 Hours: Daily noon-1 am $ Sumo San Located just round the corner from the InterContinental Hotel, Sumo San is popular with Japanese expatriates living in Almaty. The

extensive menu offers sushi and teppyanaki among other dishes. The restaurant is also adorned with photos of sumo wrestlers. Its inviting maze of dining rooms offer a tasty bento lunch with a delicious miso. And in the summer, Sumo San offers a great outdoor seating area.

Address: 159 Baitursynuly Street, Bostandyk District Phone: +7 (727) 292 87 38 Hours: Daily noon-midnight $ Pomodor

Sumo-san Restaurant Photo: Yuri Bibikov

Pomodor offers a breath of Italy and serves some of the best Italian comfort food in town. Small-scale, it’s still a family-run restaurant that delivers superlative quality. Chef Patron Giorgio Palazzi knows his regulars by their names and favorite wines. Palazzi also travels each year to his native Le Marche, Italy to bring back cargoes of fresh, highly prized white truffles. Pomodor uses local ingredients and its mozzarella is made by Italians living in Almaty. The restaurant is also known for its great desserts.

Address: 108 Panfilov Street (corner of Bogenbai Batyr Avenue), Almaly District Phone: +7 (727) 261 83 26 Hours: Mon-Sat noon-11:30 pm $ Korea House

Alasha Restaurant

074_081_LIST_Restaurants.indd 80

Korean restaurants in Almaty go back to 1937 after Josef Stalin forcibly transported more than 200,000 Korean settlers from Russia’s Far East to Central Asia because he feared they could become spies for Japan. Today, more than 400,000

Koreans live in Central Asia, including 70,000 in Kazakhstan, and the Korea House’s chef is one of them. He produces all the traditionally spicy dishes and the restaurants’ decor resembles an indoor East Asian garden with lots of green and bamboo plants placed on its dark Asian-style furniture. Waiters bow to their guests and deliver their dishes with both hands to display respect.

Address: 2 Gogol Street, Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 293 96 87 Hours: Daily, noon-midnight $ Piano Bar Mardi Gras Palladium’s Piano Bar Mardi Gras proudly displays Kazakhstan’s transparent Schimmel grand piano. Operating in the centre of Almaty’s Business District, the Piano Bar is a popular lunch attraction for embassy employees, businessmen and international executives. Palladium offers an extensive wine list, a full bar and a first-rate selection of cigars making it an attractive afternoon gathering spot.

Address: Palladium Restaurant Complex, 275 Furmanov Street (corner of Al-Farabi Avenue), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 260 89 00 Hours: Mon-Fri noon-3 pm $ Namaste Conveniently close to the Hyatt, Aiser and Astana International Hotels, Namaste’s Thai-trained Indian chefs deliver tandoori dishes cooked in a clay oven and a wide range of first-class vegetarian dishes. The

6/6/11 6:05:56 PM

81 atmosphere is loud and chaotic with Indian music videos and Bollywood movies being played but don’t be deceived, the cuisine is first class.

Address: Baitursynov Street (corner of Satpaev Street), Bostandyk District Phone: +7 (727) 292 24 84 Hours: Daily 11 am-midnight $ Zontiki Zontiki means parasol, or umbrella and that theme is honored in the décor, with cream and orange parasol lampshades dangling from the pale wooden walls surrounding a minimalist decor. The fresh, light interior generates an optimistic atmosphere enhanced by the background music of classic pop songs. Zontiki’s Korean chef prepares a wide selection of Japanese and Korean dishes. The sushi is served on a wooden boat and, as at Korea House, if you order Korean food you’ll be treated to Korean kimchi (or starters) for free. Kadury - a sweet Korean rice cake with toasted sesame seeds and honey – is available with tea as is the eponymous Umbrella Cake. Reservations are recommended.

Address: 44 Kurmangazy Street (corner of Tulebaev Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 272 6759 Hours: Daily 11 am-midnight $ Cooshy Sushi Sushi cuisine came late to the largest land-locked country in the world but the Kazakhs have been making up for lost time ever since. Cooshy Sushi was Almaty’s first kaiten sushi bar and continues to deliver fresh nigiri, maki and temaki from a conveyer belt that winds through the restaurant’s loft-style interior. The décor echoes New York’s Soho and London’s hip mock-industrial hang-outs with exposed brick and industrial accents. Genuine Japanese chefs prepare the dishes on color-coded plates with each color indicating the cost. Diners grab their choices as the belt moves along. Crowded for lunch and dinner, it also offers a full menu of Japaneseprepared meals. Downstairs is the teppanyaki room where the chefs will prepare your meal right in front of you.

Kok-Tobe: Great Food and a Great View Almaty’s Kok-Tobe restaurant offers visitors a one-of-a-kind Kazakh-food experience – including a unique trip to the front door. To get to the restaurant on a hill several hundred feet above the city you can catch an aerial tram near the intersection of Dostyk and Abay Streets. The tram provides a panoramic vista of Almaty, including a bird’s-eye view of some of the city’s largest and ritziest homes. (For those afraid of heights, there is also a less romantic way to get to the top of the mountain – by car.) Kok-Tobe actually is three restaurants. The main venue is called Yurt, because its two wings are shaped like the round tents nomads used. Another is the Grill Bar, where the standard fare is barbecue and beer. There’s also a huge inflatable tent for birthdays, weddings and other special events. It may be a tent, but it’s luxurious – and has the feel of a structure with standard walls. It’s also heated during winter. Yurt is the facility that attracts the most international diners. It has a sumptuous atmosphere with Oriental carpets and pillow-sized cushions everywhere, conjuring up a sultan’s harem room. In fact, the restaurant’s entertainment lineup includes a troupe of female dancers. Adding to Yurt’s exotic atmosphere are paintings of nomad life, brass works and other artifacts. Yurt prepares the mainstays of Kazakh food – dishes such as beshbarmak, lagman and manty – better than just about any restaurant in Almaty. Knowing that many international guests shy away from fat, it makes its meat dishes as lean as possible. Restaurant director Nurlan Kaziyev has also added tempting non-Kazakh fare to Yurt’s menu. Quail has become popular, for example. Kaziyev said Yurt also has a French chef for those who want the best in Continental cuisine. Yurt’s two indoor seating areas can accommodate 120 guests. In summer, it opens an outdoor terrace that seats 100. The terrace is a delight because Yurt sits in the middle of a hilltop park. So trees and other greenery are everywhere. The Grill Bar also is outdoors. It features the Central-Asian- and Caucasus-style barbecue known as shashlyk. Chefs from Azerbaijan are reputed to be the best shashlyk makers in the world – and the Grill Bar boasts one. At a whopping 750 square yards, the park’s party tent can accommodate several hundred people. It includes banquet tables and a stage big enough for an orchestra. An experienced catering staff prepares exquisite dishes for special events, starting with salmon, shrimp and quail’s-egg hors d’oeuvres. And once your evening meal is over, you get to see the lights of the city as you head back down the mountain.

Address: 41/15 Gogol Street (corner of Zenkov Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 273 84 62 Hours: Daily noon-midnight $

074_081_LIST_Restaurants.indd 81

6/6/11 6:35:51 PM





hether you’re a pretty young thing or a businessman celebrating a deal, Almaty’s nightclub scene has something to offer. Larger and more established than the scene in Astana, Almaty has already learned how to get its groove on and welcomes you to join. So if your Ipod includes a rotating mix of international DJs, head over to Da Freak nightclub which attracts top talent from the UK, Germany and Russia. Looking for a warehouse party? Try Gas where you’ll find a London-style industrial steel and brick space pulsing with progressive house until early morning. If you prefer your clubs a bit more laid back, Almaty offers Cuba where the live Cuban music is as tasty as the mojitos. Another unique part of the nightclub scene is long legs. Go-Go dancers

082-083_LIST_Nightclubs.indd 82

are part of the landscape here and clubs will include a show at some point in the night. So if you walk in and see scantily clad women dancing on the bar, just tell your girlfriend it’s part of the culture. Another thing to keep in mind is that like any major city – the top nightclubs discriminate based on age and appearance. The posher the nightclub, the more difficult it is to get past the velvet rope. So if you’re not a pretty young thing, bring one. And be prepared to pay a cover comparable to other major cities -- $20 plus. But once inside, it’s definitely a good time. World class cocktails, top DJ talent, private VIP rooms and dance floors full of locals happy to be young and free.

6/6/11 6:09:12 PM

83 Tornado You get your drinks at a central bar and chill on couches edging the room as Tornado alternates between pop, hip-hop and R&B. Tornado is part of the Assorti restaurant chain.

Address: Assorti Restaurant, 106G Dostyk Avenue (corner of Abai Avenue), Medeu District Phone: 8 (727) 263 3266, 8 (727) 263 3266       Hours: Fri & Sat 11 am-5 pm Metro

Da Freak Check the DJ list as this place attracts top talent from the UK, Russia and Germany. The main hall features techno with a smaller, upstairs red room offering mellower electro house. There’s no harsh dress code, but you won’t make the cut in sports clothes.

Address: 40 Gogol Street, Panfilov Park, Medeu District Phone: 8 (727) 273 1337 8 (727) 273 1337       Hours: Fri & Sat Midnight-6 am Gas Progressive house music pulses into the early morning at this wellknown industrial-style nightclub. Its unique steel-clad, exposed brick interior as well as its regular roster of go-go dancers will give you something to look at while scanning for new friends.

Address: 100 Seifullin Avenue (corner of Shevchenko), Almaly District Phone: 8 (727) 272 7474, 8 (727) 272 7474  Hours: Mon & Tues 10 pm-6 am, WedFri 10 pm-7 am, Sat 10 pm – 9 am. Closed Tuesdays.

(corner of Dostyk Avenue), Almaly District Phone: 8(727) 291 2932, 8 (727) 291 2932, 8 (727)291 4310 Hours: 24 hours daily, live music ThursSat at 10 pm Most When the other nightclubs have shut down, this place keeps pulsing. Most is open until 9 a.m. on weekends and offers retro music from the 1980s and 1990s. You can also shoot pool if you tire of grooving to George Michael.

Address: 12 Kommunalnaya Street (corner of Seifullin Street), Zhetisu District Phone: 7(727) 233 0457, 8(727) 233 0457 Hours: Fri & Sat Midnight-9 am Rai Rai is generally considered Almaty’s most popular nightclub. Reliable

house music fills its unique mirrored and black-and-white-walled interior. VIP cabins are also available for those who are just so over the crowd.

Address: Tselini Cinema, Kabanbai Batyr Avenue (corner of Masanchi Street), Almaly Disctrict Phone: 8 701 687 9587 , 8 701 687 9587       Hours: Lounge Thurs-Sat 8 pm-6 am. Nightclub Thurs & Fri 11 pm-6 am

It’s not exactly hip, but it is interesting. The Metro nightclub is located in a larger entertainment complex and is designed to look like a medieval cavern which you reach by crossing a drawbridge. The rest of the complex offers a go-cart track, bowling, billiards and a restaurant.

Address: 2b Zhandosov Street (corner of Baizakov Street), Central District Phone: 8 (727) 247 8166, 8 (727) 247 8166       Hours: Daily noon-5 am, Fri & Sat until 7 am

Esperanza Esperanza is another of Almaty’s top nightclubs. House, dance, rap, rock and R&B are regularly on offer. Plus the place cuts down on rowdiness by requiring men to be at least 25 years old to enter. Women must be at least 18.

Address: 481 Seifullin Street (corner of Raiymbek Avenue), Zhetisu District Phone: 8(727) 299 6699, 8 (727) 299 6699       Hours: Daily 10 pm-6 am

Petroleum You can’t miss with Petroleum. It’s the oldest and best known club in the city and offers a reliable mix of pop, disco and techno. It’s in the same complex as the Gas nightclub.

Address: 100 Seifullin Avenue (corner of Shevchenko), Almaly District Phone: 8(727) 272 7474, 8 (727) 272 7474       Hours: Daily 10 pm-6 am Cuba This club’s dark wood and rattan motif, iconic black and white photos and live Cuban music will place you squarely in the center of Castro’s island. Give it a few minutes and you’ll be itching for a shot of rum and a quality Cubano.

Address: 102 Bogenbai Batyr Avenue (Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

082-083_LIST_Nightclubs.indd 83

6/6/11 6:12:50 PM




Posh Bar


good bar is a valuable thing. And Almaty has lots. You’ll find everything from Irish pubs where you can catch the latest soccer match over a game of darts to chic club-like lounges, to upscale business bars. On the relaxed end of the spectrum, you’ll want to stop in at Line Brew or Mad Murphy’s. Line Brew offers an excellent selection of Belgian beers and will roast your shashlyk over an open fire. Mad Murphy’s offers hearty stouts, billiards and a true Irish bar feel. More upscale is Almaty’s GQ Asia. This upscale bar is out of the pages of the iconic men’s magazine and is the best place to close or toast a new business deal. You might also want to try Nirvana Bar which has created a Feng-Shui-esque East Asian respite from the noise and

084-086_LIST_Bars.indd 84

bustle of the city. Among Almaty’s more lounge-like options are Cinzano and Posh Bar. Cinzano can be tough to get into at night, but during the day you can enjoy a sushi lunch in its trendy red- and white-themed rooms. Posh also lets in only the young and beautiful, but during the day it’s the hub for hip business people using Posh’s free WiFi. Almaty also offers live music at places like Soho and Members Bar. Though a few of Almaty’s more lounge-like bars discriminate at the door based on age and appearance, most of Almaty’s bars are just that – bars. Places to enjoy a few drinks and a little conversation. So take your pick and toast your arrival in one of Central Asia’s most dynamic cities.

6/6/11 6:14:43 PM

85 Cinzano Cinzano can be hard to get into late at night as the door admits only the young and beautiful. But if you get past the bouncer, Cinzano offers 130 types of cocktails. You can also get in during the day to sample a sushi lunch in its trendy white Bianca or Red Rossa rooms.

Address: 109b Dostyk Avenue (corner of Kazhymukan Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 253 13 45 Hours: Daily, noon-8 am Di Wang Lounge Bar Di Wang is on the lounge end of the bar-lounge spectrum. But if you like your couches low, your hookah sweet and your Ipod includes Thievery Corporation (, this bar-lounge is the right place to chill with friends.

Address: ??? Jambyl Street (corner of Tschaikovskovo Street) Phone: 8 (727) 272 38 10 Hours: Sun-Wed 11 am-last customer, Thurs-Sat 9 pm-last customer Dublin Pub Dublin is one of Almaty’s well-done Irish bars. It offers an international menu in an intimate wood-paneled space on a quiet street. And in the summer, it offers a pleasant outdoor terrace.

Address: 45 Bayseyitova Street Phone: +7 (727) 272 14 75 Hours: Daily 11 am-1 am Euphoria If you have a thing for live music and runway models, this is the place to be. Euphoria is known as one of the main spots for Almaty fashion shows. And when the stage isn’t filled with glamazons in the latest designs, it’s taken up by some of the city’s top musicians. Euphoria is more than just a hotel bar.

Address: 29/6 Satpayev Street, Hyatt

Posh Bar Regency Hotel Phone: 8 (727) 226 18 08 Hours: Mon-Wed 5 pm-2 am, Thurs-Sun 5 pm-5 am Guinness Pub The name pretty much says it all. Guinness Pub is just what you would expect it: It’s got the famous Irish stout on tap, billiards and the food and live music of the Emerald Isle.

Address: 71 E Dostyk Avenue, near Hotel Kazakhstan Phone: +7 (727) 291 55 85 Hours: 11 am-2 am GQ Asia bar This is the bar for off duty businessmen and the women who love them. If your sense of style fits nicely in the pages of the iconic men’s magazine, you’ll feel right at home in this upscale bar. So loosen your silk tie, hang your suit coat on the back of your chair and toast to the deal you came all this way to close.

Address: 248 Dostyk Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 387 04 03 Hours: Mon-Wed 5 pm-2 am, Thurs-Sat 5 pm-4 am

Mad Murphy’s La Fete You probably weren’t around to party in Paris in the 1920s. But apparently they knew what they were doing. And La Fete carries on that tradition. Paintings of partying 1920s Paris hipsters line the walls of this large basement bar-lounge. Cocktails are served to the light house music of Le Fete DJs.

Address: 44 Kurmangazy Street (corner of Furmanov Street, downstairs in the Hall of Receptions building), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 272 78 37 Hours: Daily 6 pm-2 am Line Brew Think Braveheart before Mel Gibson wasn’t cool and you’ve got the vibe of this UK pub. Its interior is gothic castle, the beer is Belgian and the chef will roast your traditional shashlyk right there over an open fire.

Address: 187 Furmanov Street (corner of Abai Avenue), Bostandyk District Phone: 8 (727) 250 79 85 Hours: Daily 12am-last customer Mad Murphy’s You go to an Irish bar to find a hearty stout, a game of darts, billiards and a little soccer on the tele. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at Mad Murphy’s. It’s also a popular haunt for expats who like to take in their matches on the bar’s large televisions.

Address: 12 Tole Bi Avenue Phone: +7 (727) 291 28 56 Hours: Daily 11:30 am-1 am Members Bar

Mad Murphy’s

This is where you go for the sweet sounds of live jazz. The music usually starts around 11 pm. Call to see who is playing and when.

Address: 181 Zheltoksan Street, InterContinental Almaty Phone: +7 (727) 250 50 00 Hours: Mon-Sat 9 pm-2 am Nice Bar Nice Bar offers don’t-want-to-getup, sink-into sofas and velvet-curtained private spaces, which can be particularly pleasant if you’re getting along well with a new friend.

Address: 29 Volodarskogo Street Phone: +7 (727) 292 38 25 Hours: Daily, 12am-2am Nirvana Bar By “Nirvana” this place is referring to Asian contentment rather than the 1990s grunge rock band. It uses the four elements of life -- air, fire, water and earth – to create a calm, Feng-Shui-esque respite from Almaty’s business bustle. It’s the place to go for a little peace and Eastern-style quiet with your after work cocktail.

Address: Building 2, Dostyk Avenue (Satpaev), Samal Microdistrict Phone: 8 (727) 264 74 50 Hours: Daily noon-midnight OXO Lounge Bar This place truly has something for everyone. Its upscale space attracts a professional crowd in their mid-20s to mid-30s who come for different styles of music each night. Wednesday nights are 80s retro, Thursday is R&B night and Fridays offer a rotating roster of house music DJs. And the not-to-be missed striptease show happens on Saturdays. There’s also a downstairs bar called Dibo which stays open 24 hours so you can chill out for a bit or keep the party going after the striptease dancers have gone home.

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

084-086_LIST_Bars.indd 85

6/6/11 6:14:44 PM


Vogue bar

Address: 67a Gabdullin St (Auezov), Bostandyk Phone: +7 (727) 275 62 53 Hours: Daily 6 pm-5 am Posh Bar Posh is a unique bar-nightclub that opens early in the morning and morphs into different style venues over the course of the day. Starting at 9 am, the late club crowd stops by for breakfast. During the day, hip business people use the space’s free WiFi, and from 5 pm to 6 pm you can enjoy a proper tea. And on Friday and Saturday nights you’ll find Almaty’s beautiful people grooving to house and lounge music. This place discriminates on age and clothing, so look young and dress sharp if you expect to get in.

Address: Mercur Town, 3/25 Al-Farabi (corner of Furmanov Street), Samal Microdistrict Phone: 8 (727) 266 39 96 Hours: Daily 9 am-last customer San Siro San Siro’s draw is simple: Soccer. It’s Almaty’s temple to the green field and the 90 minutes of drama that occur there. Whether you are

Real Madrid for life or sport the Blue and Red of Barcelona, San Siro is likely to have a match you’ll want to catch on one of its numerous TVs. And there’s plenty of comfort food if your team loses.

Address: 117 Bogenbay Batyr Avenue Phone: +7 (727) 272 05 94 Hours: Daily 24 hours Shtab Shtab is where you go for beer. It’s a tiny local bar opposite the Hotel Ambassador with just a handful of tables, but an ample selection of local and foreign drafts.

Address: Zheltoqsan City Center Phone: 8 (727) 272 24 40 Hours: Daily 10 am-midnight Soho This is a live music joint with something from everyone. On any given night you’ll find bands singing everything from 1980s love ballads to Beatles classics. Almaty’s jazz musicians are also known to take the Soho stage. So call to find out about the current music lineup.

Address: 65 Kazybek Bi Avenue (corner of Furmanov Street) Phone: 8(727) 267 03 67

Vogue bar

Hours: Daily 9 am-3 am Stylish Dog This place screams style: White leather armchairs, bubbling fluorescent table legs and hip lighting. Your style quotient goes up eight points just by hanging out here.

Address: Café Max Internet-Center, 1A Timiryazev Street, Bostandyk District Phone: 8 (727) 260 98 88 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Tinkoff There aren’t too many places where you’ll find European and Japanese cuisine served up with homemade beer in a glass and steel industrial space. But Tinkoff is that place. Add to it Latin music and a great roof deck, and Tinkoff offers something for everyone.

Address: 27a Satpaev Street (corner of Masanchi Street), Bostandyk District Phone: 8 (727) 292 49 00 Hours: Daily noon-2 am Vitalia Vitalia may have an Italian menu, but

Posh Bar

this is no neighborhood pasta place. Vitalia’s modern cuisine is served up amidst an ultra chic interior and moody lighting. Or you can just take in the ambiance while listening to the sounds of R&B and dance music.

Address: 63 Tole Bi Avenue (corner of Zheltoksan Street) Phone: 8 (727) 272 74 61 Hours: Daily 10 am-last customer Vogue bar Sit down at the Vogue Bar and you are in the capable hands of Sasha, voted Kazakhstan’s Champion Bartender. Sasha can do way more than pour you a pint. He’s known for his extensive cocktail repertoire and killer mojitos. He also puts on a glass-spinning, bottle flipping bartending show every Friday that puts Tom Cruise and the 1980s movie “Cocktail” to shame. Vogue’s smaller size, comfy seats and intimate atmosphere also make it a stand out alternative to Almaty’s larger mega bars.

Address: 11 Satpaev Street (Furmanov), Medeu Phone: 8 (727) 264 16 99 Hours: Daily 11 am-3 am

Posh Bar

084-086_LIST_Bars.indd 86

6/6/11 6:14:46 PM



Rixos Hotel


usiness and pleasure travelers will find no shortage of quality hotels in Almaty as Kazakhstan’s biggest city offers an array of options from luxurious to efficient. At the top end are the city’s five star listings including the Rixos Almaty and Hyatt Regency Almaty. The Hyatt was the city’s first five-star hotel and continues to offer impeccable service. A 24-yurt cafe in the middle of the hotel reminds its international guests they have arrived in Central Asia. The Rixos offers a stunning seven-story courtyard-style design with a light-filled glass ceiling. But it may be best known for its luxurious spa and banya. The Rixos spa offers an oversized pool, steam-filled massage rooms and all the papering you could want. Among Almaty’s four star listings are the Grand Hotel Tien Shan and the quant Ambassador Hotel. The Ambassador bills itself as Almaty’s first boutique hotel. And while it may not match the European definition, it’s

087_089_LIST_Hotels.indd 87

certainly more unique and filled with character than the larger corporate hotels. The Grand Tien Shan is also a great option as it’s located in the center of the city across from Kunaev Park. It’s also housed inside a beautiful neo-classically designed building that once served as Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Geology. The majority of Almaty’s major hotels are located close to the city’s business centers. A number of small resort hotels are also offered in the mountains that ring the city. Most of the major hotels also offer airport transportation and WiFiequipped business facilities. With Almaty serving as a business hub, many of its hotels are often most crowded during the work week rather than the weekend. But with a large and growing number of hotel options, you should have no problem finding a quality room.

6/6/11 6:06:37 PM


Rixos Hotel Grand Hotel Aiser H H H H Address: 1 Pozharskiy Street Phone: +7 (727) 296 99 99 E-mail: Astana Inter Hotel H H H H Address: 113 Baitursynov Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (727) 250 70 50, +7 (727) 250 10 60 E-mail: Hotel Premier Alatau H H H H Address: 105 Dostyk Avenue Phone: +7 (727) 258 11 11, +7 (727) 258 43 12 Rixos Almaty H H H H H Address: 506/99 Seifullin Street Phone: 8 (727) 300 33 00 InterContinental Hotel H H H H H Address: 181 Zheltoksan Street Phone: 8 (727) 250 50 00 Hyatt Regency Almaty H H H H H Address: 29/6 Satpayev Street Phone: 8 (727) 250 12 34 Royal Tulip Almaty H H H H H Address: 401/2, M. Ospanov Street

Intercontinental Hotel Holiday Inn

Phone: 8 (727) 300 01 00

Phone: 8 (727) 291 91 01

Dostyk Hotel H H H H H Address: 26 Kurmangazy Street Phone: +7 (727) 255 82 27

Kazzhol Hotel H H H H Address: Gogol Street 127/1, Almaly Phone: +7 (727) 250 89 44

Shera Hotel H H H H Address: 281 Furmanov Street Phone: 8 (727) 313 75 75

Almaty Sapar Hotel H H H H Address: 177 Zhamakaev Street Phone: +7 (727) 246 88 66

Royal Palace Hotel H H H H Address: 178 Zhansugurov Street Phone: 8 (727) 380 79 12

Uyut Hotel H H H H Address 127/1 Gogol Street Phone: +7 (727) 279 55 11

Ambassador Hotel H H H H Address: 121 Zheltoksan Street Phone: 8 (727) 250 89 89

Voyage Hotel H H H H Address: Furmanov Street, 97a Phone: +7 (727) 272 22 77

Grand Hotel Tien Shan H H H H Address: 115 Bogenbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 244 96 00

Grand Hotel Eurasia H H H H Address 9a Zholdasbekov Street Phone: +7 (727) 380 80 80 E-mail:

Holiday Inn H H H H Address: 2D Temiryazev Street Phone: 8 (727) 244 02 55

Parasat Hotel & Residence H H H H Address: 10 Elebekov Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (727) 263 55 88, +7 (727) 263 55 99 E-mail:

Kazakhstan Hotel H H H H Address: 52/2 Dostyk Avenue

Jeppesen Hotel H H H Address: 206B Gagarin Street Phone: 8 (727) 275 49 05 Almaty Hotel H H H Address: 85 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 272 00 47 Hotel & Resort “Altyn Kargaly” HHH

Address: 204 Zhandosov Street Phone: +7 (727) 250 08 28, +7 (727) 250 08 26 Gold Dragon Hotel H H H Address: 402 Seifullin Avenue Phone: +7 (727) 279 71 59 E-mail: Astra Hotel H H H Address: 12 Zheltoksan Street Phone: +7 (727) 246 86 88 Olympica Hotel H H H Address: 14 Sanatornaya Street Phone: +7 (727) 250 03 27, +7 (727) 299 02 44 *Hotel star rating provided by the Ministry of Tourism and Sport

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

087_089_LIST_Hotels.indd 88

6/6/11 6:32:02 PM


Tau Dastarkhan is a Spectacular Mountain Resort Close to Almaty Almaty visitors who’d like a little mountain air in a gorgeous natural setting without having to rough it should check out the Tau Dastarkhan Resort. The resort’s location 30 minutes from Almaty in the Ili-Alatau National Park’s Alma-Arasan Gorge guarantees spectacular sights and invigorating hikes. But the resort also contains a first-rate hotel with four restaurants, saunas, swimming pools, a water park and other amenities for those who want to be pampered while savoring the fresh air. The Tau Dastarkhan, which opened in 2002, has long been considered one of the best mountain resorts in the

087_089_LIST_Hotels.indd 89

Almaty area. And manager Yuri Apolsky said the owners renovated it recently to make it even more alluring. The 53-room Tau House Hotel’s restaurants are the Kazakh-themed Mergen, the Georgian-oriented Avlabar, the European-focus Gorny and Kazbek, which offers several varieties of cuisine. A number of mountain-style restaurants are within walking distance of the resort. The recreational crown jewel of the resort is the Tau Spa, which boasts four saunas, two swimming pools and water slides. There are two Finnish-style saunas – wet and dry – plus Turkish and Japanese styles. For a total sauna experience, it’s fun to jump from one type to the next until you’ve sampled all four. Both men and women use the saunas, so bathing suits are required. Sitting on a steamy sauna bench “is a great way to meet a girl,” said a young Almaty resident whose family has had a longtime Tau Spa membership. In addition to the four saunas, the Tau Dastarkhan offers massages and other spa services, and has a minizoo for children that includes wolves, foxes, peacocks and other animals. Skiing is available between December and February at the nearby Kumbel resort. For more information visit

6/6/11 6:32:32 PM



Art & Culture


lmaty is truly Kazakhstan’s cultural capital. Its historical museums offer an extensive history of the country from its taming of the steppes to the construction of its worldclass capital. Almaty’s array of visual and theatrical arts are also world class and have won prestigious international awards. And just strolling around the city’s parks and monuments gives a sense of Kazakhstan’s rich culture. One of the best places to start is the Central State Museum. This three-story museum contains more than 200,000 artifacts – from early tools to weapons to a replica of Kazakhstan’s Golden Man – which visually explains ancient-to-modern Kazakh history. To get a sense of the visual arts of Kazakhstan and the region, try the Kasteyev State Museum of Arts, which contains more than 22,000 works from Kazakhstan, Russia, Western Europe and Asia.

090-092_LIST_Arts_Culture.indd 90

For the theatrical arts, try the Abai Kazakh State Opera and Ballet Theatre and its beautiful Italian-style building. Here you’ll find world-class international performances. More contemporary performances can be found at the Art&Shock Theatre which specializes in cutting edge plays. And one of the best ways to get a feel for the city is to head to Panilov Park. There you’ll find the multicolored St. Ascension Cathedral, one of the largest wooden structures in the world made without nails, and a monument to WWII Kazakh troops. Some of the museums have small entrance fees and most don’t offer English language displays. So bring a Russian speaker or call ahead to arrange a guide. But no matter which museum or theatre you visit, you’ll see that Almaty’s arts and culture reflect the influences of centuries at the heart of the Silk Road.

6/6/11 6:20:01 PM


Kasteyev State Museum of Arts Kasteyev is considered Kazakhstan’s top art museum. It began its acquisitions in 1935 and has since collected more than 22,000 works from Kazakh, Russian, Western European and Asian artists. The extensive collection includes paintings, graphics, sculptures as well as pieces from the theatre and decorative arts dating from ancient times to the present. The collection began with 200 works donated by Russian museums. The museum houses 14 permanent, temporary and traveling exhibitions and often showcases local artists. A virtual tour is available on the museum website listed below.

Address: 30a Satpaev Street Phone: 8 (727) 2478356, 2478249 Hours: 10 am - 6 pm (closed on Mondays and last day of each month) Entrance fee: 80 tenge adults, 50 tenge children and students

the best place to go. It is one of the oldest and largest museums in the country and is located directly across from the Presidential Palace. This museum takes visitors on a journey through Kazakhstan’s ancient and modern history from its early agricultural roots up to its present day politics. More than 200,000 artifacts help tell the story of the country. The museum also houses a replica of Kazakhstan’s famous Golden Warrior Prince. And there’s a small area detailing the history of Almaty. The museum also features a small cafe and souvenir shop. None of the exhibits are in English, so you’ll want to bring a Russian speaker or hire a guide at the museum.

masters of their crafts as well young performers who have already been recognized in prestigious international competitions. The theatre itself was created in 1934 from a musical studio and the building is depicted on Kazakhstan’s 2000 tenge note.

Address: 110 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 2727934, 2722042 Ticket office hours: Mon-Sun 10 am-6 pm

State Museum of National Musical Instruments This museum is considered to be one of Almaty’s most interesting attractions. The all-wooden museum building is an attraction in itself as it was built in 1908 by Andrey Zenkov, the same architect that designed Almaty’s famous cathedral built without a nail. The museum building was one of the few that survived Almaty’s massive 1911 earthquake.

Address: 44 Samal-1 Phone: 8 (727) 2644650, 2642200, 2645577 Hours: Wed-Mon 10 am-6 pm Entrance fee: 80 tenge adults, 50 tenge students and pensioners, 40 tenge children

Central State Museum

Abai Kazakh State Opera and Ballet Theatre

If you have time to visit only one museum in Almaty and want to learn about Kazakhstan, this is

The opera singers and ballet performers who fill this classic Italian building are among the celebrated

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

090-092_LIST_Arts_Culture.indd 91

6/6/11 6:20:02 PM


Almaty Opera House

The instruments collection was established in 1980 and features 60 varieties of Kazakh traditional instruments from across the country and other post Soviet nations. The collection includes the dombras of some of the country’s best known poets and composers.

Address: 24 Zenkov Street Phone: 8 (727) 2916326 Hours: Tues-Sun 10 am-5:30 pm Art&Shock Theatre Art&Shock is a modern independent theatre thought to be staging some

of the most innovative performances in Kazakhstan. This theatre pushes the edge with improvisation and interactive performances along with pantomime and traditional theatre. The theatre chooses its performances based on the concepts of “theatralization of theatric art” and “theatralization of life.” Art&Shock was founded in 2001 and has won grand prizes at international theatrical festivals throughout Europe, Russia, and Central Asia.

Address: 49/68 Kunayev Street Phone: 8 (727) 2735282, 8 (727) 2735282      

Ticket office hours vary. See website Lermontov Russian Drama Theatre and Tengri Umay Arts Gallery This space includes a Russian language theatre and a visual arts space. The theatre was founded in 1969 and continues to stage Russian language plays every day but Monday. On Mondays, the space displays the artwork of contemporary Kazakh artists. The Tengri Umay gallery was established in 1990 and features more than 300 works of contemporary paintings, sculptures and installations. The space also features a shop selling artworks and souvenirs.

Address: 43 Abai Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 2673131, 2673151, 2673145 Hours: Mon-Sat 10 am-6 pm Deutsches Theater Almaty Deutches offers Almaty residents and visitors a taste of European theatre. It was founded in 1975 as a way to preserve German culture but

090-092_LIST_Arts_Culture.indd 92

has since expanded to become an international theatre company. Its plays are performed in German with simultaneous Russian translations. Like Art&Shock, Deutches specializes in innovative, contemporary theatre in addition to traditional works. The theatre moved to Almaty in 1989.

Address: 64D, Satpayev Street Phone: 8 (727) 3920234, 8 (727) 3920233 Ticket office hours vary. See website Arvest Art Gallery You’ll never know what you’ll find at the Arvest Art Gallery. This unique space does not focus on particular trends in art, but rather chooses its exhibits based purely on the originality and talent of the artist. Created in 2007, Arvest is a space for artists to display and sell their paintings, sculptures, graphics and other art forms. You can expect a new exhibit almost every month and master art classes are offered each Monday.

Address: 75/68 Bogenbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 2914797 Hours: Daily 10 am-8 pm

6/6/11 6:20:04 PM



Cafés & Coffee Houses


offee is the elixir of early mornings, late night meetings and long afternoons debating the issues of the day over an espresso at a sidewalk cafe. But no matter how you prefer your coffee, you should be able to find what you need in Almaty’s cafes and coffee houses. 4A Coffee remains one of Almaty’s more popular coffee shops among locals and expats. They roast their coffee on site and the aroma

093-095_LIST_Coffes.indd 93

alone will get your taste buds going. Madlen also offers a nice resting place particularly if you have a sweet tooth as the place is known for its exclusive cakes and goodies. It also offers WiFi. And if you have serious work to do, you can head to Cafemax which has designated work sections. Many of the coffee shops in Almaty now come with WiFi and most offer at least sandwiches along with their java.

6/6/11 6:24:46 PM


Segafredo Zanetti 4A Coffee This is the coffee house for Almaty’s hipster class and in-the-know expat community. Luckily, in addition to being trendy it’s also generally considered to sell the best coffee and coffee beans in the city. The smells of the place are delicious as they roast their coffee on site. Good bread and tasty sandwiches round out the experience. Surprisingly, you

Segafredo Zanetti won’t find WiFi here, but they offer plenty of old dead-tree edition books for customers to read.

Address: 81 Zhibek Zholy Street Phone: +7 (727) 271 82 37 Hours: Daily 8 am-9 pm

offer numerous coffee cocktails and some international cuisine, including great sandwiches. The ceiling is also painted in a tribute to Gauguin.

Address: 83 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue Phone: +7 (727) 272 10 92 Hours: Daily 11 am-1 am



It’s a bit pricey but it has a great central location near the opera house and quality coffee. They also

WiFi and an outdoor seating area are among the main draws of this popular coffee house. It’s friendly, open until midnight and its combination of good food and quality coffee draw a wide ranging clientele. It’s an enjoyable place to sip and surf the web.

Address: 79 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue Phone: +7 (727) 273 23 94 Hours: Daily 8 am-12 pm Marrone Rosso “Gourmet” is a relative term. But you can feel safe calling Marrone Rosso a gourmet coffee house. Marrone Rosso means “brown-red” in Latin and those are considered to be among the finest beans. Marrone Rosso also makes its salads and sandwiches to order so they are fresh and bakes its pastries on site. The coffee shop is part of the international Aroma Espresso Bar chain. But don’t let the chain affiliation scare you away. It’s an interesting place to hang out and have a pastry.

Address: 149 Furmanov Street Phone: +7 (727) 261 39 54 Hours: 8 a.m. – midnight “Segafredo Zanetti” cafe Segafredo Zanetti Gloria Jeans

093-095_LIST_Coffes.indd 94

If you’re experiencing espresso withdrawal symptoms, go here. Segafredo Zanetti is one of Italy’s

leading espresso companies and this cafe specializes in the real thing. It is also known for its desserts and outdoor seating. Internet access is free. It’s also open late. Just look for the sign that says “Uno coffee per amico,” meaning “Coffee for a friend.”

Address: 46 Dostyk Avenue (corner of Zhambul Street) Phone: +7 (727) 291 02 27 Hours: Daily 9 am-midnight Cafe Coffee and Toffee Stone Pillars and wood beams give this centrally located coffee house a uniquely castle feel. It’s also located in the All Trade building near various tourist sites, so it’s a good place to take a mid-day coffee and lunch break.

Address: 44 Shevchenko Street Phone: +7 (727) 261 74 16 Hours: Daily 9 am-11:30 pm Madlen If your sweet tooth is stronger than your coffee addiction, then this is the place to go. Madlen has good coffee, but is primarily known for its large selection of cakes and other goodies. The prices are reasonable

6/6/11 6:24:48 PM


Segafredo Zanetti

and WiFi is available until 7 pm. This Madlen is part of a 15 shop coffee chain with outlets throughout Kazakhstan.

room. Expect to find young hipsters in pre- and post-party mode. The name is also part of the place’s address and all the prices end in 29.

Address: 115 Ablay Khan Avenue (at the corner of Karasay Batyr Street) Phone: +7 (727) 272 23 86 Hours: Daily 9 am-1 am

Address: 29 Dostyk Avenue Phone: +7 (727) 291 97 37 Hours: Daily 9 am-2 am

Cafemax Cafemax is a true internet cafe – Meaning it’s an internet access center first and a cafe second. But this Cafemax is stylishly designed and popular with Almaty youth. It’s also uniquely divided into gaming, work and cafe sections. It also offers a smoking room. And the coffee isn’t bad either as they offer 14 types of coffee drinks.

Address: 176 Zhibek Zholy Street (between Kunayev and Furmanov Streets) Phone: +7 (727) 273 95 53 Hours: Daily 10 am-9 pm “Lounge Bar 29” This place is more of a coffee lounge than coffee house. It’s open late, features DJs and has a VIP

Gloria Jeans Gloria Jeans is part of an Australianowned global coffee company and has two local outlets. The Gloria Jeans in the Mega shopping center is basically a mall coffee shop – a good place to rest your legs and wallet after a day of shopping. But the outlet’s second location on Abylay Khan Street is a true coffee house. It has stylish chairs in the shapes of coffee beans and a striking red parlor. It also features more than 40 types of hot and cold coffee drinks. There’s no alcohol available but they serve a good breakfast and offer free WiFi.

Address: 133 Abylay Khan Avenue (at the corner of Bogenbay Batyr Avenue) Phone: +7 (727) 321 04 88 Hours: Daily 10 am-midnight

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

093-095_LIST_Coffes.indd 95

6/6/11 6:24:50 PM



Fitness & Banya

Arasan Banya


he concepts of fitness, spa and banya are often interwoven among Almaty’s health and exercise facilities. Some faculties are designed primarily for fitness with weight lifting and other exercise equipment. Others are more spa like with facials and message services. While others are designed to be traditional Kazakh banyas with steam rooms and communal baths. Among the fitness facilities, World Class Fitness Center is considered to be one of the best. It’s part of a global chain and offers state-of-the-art equipment and exercise classes. It also offers day memberships, which some Almaty fitness centers do not. The Spa at the Rixos Hotel is also considered one of Almaty’s best. You’d be hard pressed to find more luxury than is offered at the Rixos. The spa has the feel and appearance reminiscent of Roman decadence with full

096-099_LIST_Fitness_Banya.indd 96

facial, massage and body treatment services. It also offers a huge swimming pool, vitamin bar and beauty salon among other amenities. The Alligator Club and the Arasan are considered Almaty’s shouldn’t miss Banyas. Banya – as steam rooms are referred to in Russian – are important in Kazakh life and the Alligator Club is among Almaty’s most elite. It offers traditional Russian and Finnish banya, spa therapy, a swimming pool and solarium. The Arasan banya is not the newest or the most opulent, but it is considered the city’s central banya where you’ll find Kazakhs from all walks of life relaxing all hours of the day. It’s a great glimpse into the culture of the city and the country. Not all fitness centers and spas in Almaty accept day or short-term customers, so call ahead to make sure a long-term membership isn’t required.

6/6/11 6:32:03 PM

97 World Class Fitness Center Type: Fitness Center World Class is among the best fitness centers in Kazakhstan. It opened in 2002 as part of the global World Class chain and offers one of the largest western-style facilities in Central Asia. In addition to top-of-the-line equipment, you’ll find classes in yoga, aqua fitness, dance, stretch, body ballet and more. Annual memberships cost around $3,000. Day visitors are welcome.

Address: Mendygulov Street at Al-Farabi (between Furmanova and Dostyk) Phone: 8 (727) 250 6500, 8 (727) 250 91 15 Hours: Daily 7 am- midnight Daily, monthly and one year memberships available Rixos Royal SPA Type: Banya / Spa World Class may be among Almaty’s most hard-core fitness centers, but Rixos is definitely one of its most luxurious. The Rixos Royal Spa offers the best in body treatments, facials and massages. They also have a state-of-the-art fitness center, gym, sauna, Turkish bath and a huge indoor swimming pool. Inner gardens, rain and steam rooms also help soothe the mind and body. The complex also features a vitamin bar and beauty salon.

Address: 506/99 Seifullina Street Phone: 8 (727) 300 33 00, 8 (727) 300 33 33 Hours: Daily 7am-midnight Luxor Type: Spa / Banya / Fitness Center Like Rixos, Luxor is the place for those who want luxury with their fitness. In addition to a state-ofthe-art gym, personal and group training, dance class and children’s

Rixos Hotel programs, Luxor offers a great spa with massage services, a cafe, restaurant, and beauty salon.

Address: 341 Dostyk Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 2677 577 Hours: Daily 7 am-midnight Six month and one year memberships only Alligator Club Type: Banya The Alligator club is considered one of Almaty’s elite banyas. It offers traditional Russian and Finnish banya, spa therapy, a swimming pool and solarium. Kalian and Karaoke are also available.

Address: 1B Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 261 05 22, 8 (702) 33 222 9 Hours: Daily 24 hours Price: 7000–11,000 tenge per hour Arasan Banya Type: Banya The Arasan is considered Almaty’s central banya. It’s grandeur is somewhat faded after 35 years, but it is where you will find Kazakhs from all walks of life enjoying its saunas, rinsing pools and beer selection.

Address:78 Tulebayeva Street, on the

Rixos Hotel

Rixos Spa Exudes Opulence Garrett DeBose has found the perfect way to pamper himself. The Kazakh British Technical University professor takes a couple of hours between classes several times a week to use the Rixos Hotel’s spa complex. In addition to offering its facilities to hotel guests, the Rixos makes memberships available to Almaty residents. DeBose chose the Rixos after reviewing its range of spa services – and luxury. “You should try the spa,” he told an out-of-time visitor recently. “There’s nothing else like it in Almaty.” The native of Holland swims regularly in Rixos’ 285-square-meter indoor swimming pool. He also uses the other amenities in the 2,200-square-meter spa complex and is a frequent massage customer. Besides massages, the Rixos’ other spa services include body treatments and facials. The Rixos is a five-star hotel, so all of its facilities and services are world-class, including its spa complex. Actually, the complex isn’t just a spa. It’s a fitness and spa tandem. It has an exercise room with state-of-the-art strength and cardiovascular equipment, for example. Its other facilities include a sauna, a Turkish bath, seven massage rooms, five relaxation rooms, a vitamin bar and a Turkish bar. The spa-complex décor is opulent, making you feel like you’re royalty. A green-tiled, domed entryway looks like something from Constantinople’s heyday. Chandeliers, fountains and lush green plants abound. It doesn’t take much for Rixos spa users to imagine they’re in a Roman bathhouse during the most glorious era of the Empire.

Rixos Hotel (Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

096-099_LIST_Fitness_Banya.indd 97

6/6/11 6:32:04 PM


Rixos Hotel

corner of Aiteke Bi Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 272 46 71, 8 (727) 272 46 72 Hours: Tues-Sun 8 am-10 pm. Closed Monday Prices: Tues-Fri 1500 tens per hour, Sat & Sun 2000 tenge per hour Fitnation Type: Fitness Center / Banya Fitnation offers a well-equipped gym, a swimming pool, Russian and Finnish banya, and a Turkish bath. It also offers personal and group fitness training and testing.

Address: 15 Respubliki Street Phone: 8 (727) 295 29 39 Hours: Daily 7 am-11 pm Six month and one year memberships only E-mail: Samal Fitness Center Type: Fitness / Banya Samal is a large three-level banya and fitness center with a wellstocked weight room, as well as a sauna and swimming pool. A onemonth gym pass for 3 workouts per week costs $40 to $50. The banya also offers billiards and karaoke. Massage and peeling services are available.

096-099_LIST_Fitness_Banya.indd 98

Address: 91A Samal 2 Phone: 8 (727) 265 39 10 Hours: Daily 24 hours Price: 8000- 10,000 per hour Nordik Fitness Club Type: Fitness Club The Nordik Fitness Club features a quality gym in addition to a juice bar, core training and massage.

Address: Tsum building. Entrance from Zhibek Zholy, inside the glass door on the right. Phone: 8 (727) 273 78 84. Hours: Daily, except Sundays, 9 am - 9 pm Daily, weekly and one year memberships available Oazis Type: Banya Oazis features seven banyas with Russian, Finnic and Eastern saunas, a bar, karaoke, billiards, massage and hotel rooms.

Address: 176 Altyn Besik, on the corner of Tole Bi Yassayu Phone: 8 (727) 226-07-77, 8 (701) 744-98-97 Hours: Daily 24 hours Price: 12,000 tenge per hour

Caesa’r Club Type: Banya Caesa’r offers Russian, Eastern and European style saunas, billiards, DVD, karaoke, kalian and massage services.

Address: 212 Raymbek Avenue Phone: 8 (702) 222 99 90; 8 (727) 269 94 84; 8 (727) 269 94 93 Hours: Daily 24 hours Price: 5000-10,000 per hour Aprofit Type: Fitness Center Bring your kids to your workout to enjoy Aprofit’s children’s programs. Aprofit also features a gym, personal and group training, dance classes, a swimming pool, spa and massage services.

Address: 132 Dostyk Avenue Phone: 8(727) 264 34 35, 8 (727) 264 55 48 Hours: Daily 7 am-11 pm Daily, weekly and monthly memberships available Bella Type: Banya Bella offers sauna, a swimming pool, heat insulated floors, and mas-

sage. It also offers Turkish tapchan, a bar, hotel VIP rooms, billiards, karaoke and kalian.

Address: 106A Gurileva Street Phone: 8 (727) 234-46-74, 8 (701) 335 88 38 Hours: Daily 24 hours Price: 5000 tenge per hour FitCurves Type: Fitness Center / Spa FitCurves is another local center that offers programs for children. You’ll also find a swimming pool, gym, personal and group training, massage services and a spa.

Address: 15 Kaldayakov Street Phone: 8 (727) 390 60 90 Hours: Daily 7 am-11 pm Daily, weekly and monthly memberships available Teremok Type: Banya Teremok is known for its European style service and extensive traditional Russian banya. It also offers spa therapy, karaoke and kalian.

Address: 16 Adylova Street, Taugul-3 Microdistrict. Phone: 8 (727) 309 21 21, 309 20 20,

6/6/11 6:32:06 PM


Arasan Banya Gives a Glimpse into Kazakh Life

Rixos Hotel

8 (705) 999 30 30 Hours: Daily 24 hours Price: 3000-12,000 tenge per hour Barskye Zadvorki Type: Banya If you like a little mountain air with your banya head to Barskye Zadvorki. The elite Russian wood banya also offers massage therapy, scrubbing, peeling and a facial mask. You can also play billiards or sing karaoke.

Address: Dostyk Avenue on the corner of Marat Ospanov Street Phone: 8 (727) 260 45 04, 8 (701) 369 81 56 Hours: Daily 24 hours Price: 7000 tenge per hour Anira Silk Way City Type: Fitness Center / Spa Anira is a quality facility offering a gym, personal and group training, dance workouts, a swimming pool, spa, massage services, cafe, restaurant and beauty salon.

Address: 142 Dzherzinsky Street, on the corner of Zheltoksan Street Phone: 8 (727) 328-62-46 Hours: Daily 7 am-11 pm Daily, weekly and monthly memberships available For Life Type: Banya In additional to Russian and Finnish banya, a swimming pool, spa therapy, karaoke and kalian, For Life offers tasty fusion cuisine.

Address: 208A Aimanov Street, on the corner of the Dzhandosov Street

096-099_LIST_Fitness_Banya.indd 99

Rixos Hotel

Phone: 8 (707) 333 88 84, 8 (705) 115 55 33 Hours: Daily 24 hours Price: 7000-10,000 tenge per hour Car Banya Complex Type: Banya Car Banya offers Russian banya, a swimming pool, spa therapy, billiards, karaoke and kalian.

Address: 32 Rymzhanov Street, Kalkaman Microdistrict Phone: 8 (727) 393 90 94, 381 86 86, 8 (777) 809 88 33 Hours: Daily 24 hours Price: 8,000 tenge per hour Body Dance Type: Fitness Center / Spa Body Dance offers a pleasant cafe, restaurant, spa and beauty salon to pamper yourself after using the facility’s gym, swimming pool and training programs. Body Dance also offers children’s programs and massage.

The saunas that the Russians introduced to Kazakhstan two centuries ago are now as much a part of the Kazakh psyche as horse milk and falconry. Kazakhs have such a love affair with banyas -- as steam rooms are known in Russian -- that even the humblest of villagers shell out a few tenge a month to patronize them. Dinmukhamed Kunayev, the longtime leader of the Kazakh Socialist Republic, believed banyas to be a necessity, not a luxury. So he built a palatial banya facility in Almaty in the mid-1970s. During Soviet days, the most splendid facilities were reserved for important officials and their families. But Kunayev opened the Arasan Banya to everyone, endearing him to Kazakhs. The Arasan, which is on Kunayev Street near the intersection of Ayteke Bi Avenue, has seen better days. It’s 35 years old, after all. But it’s still worth visiting, especially after a recent very decent renovation. One reason is that it offers a glimpse into how Kazakhs live. Another is because it’s an Almaty institution. And another is that it’s just plain fun. Bathing facilities in the Arasan -- as in all large banyas -- consist of showers, saunas and cold-water rinsing pools. Some customers shower before entering a sauna, others don’t. The sauna is a simple affair: benches to sit on, a tap and a coal- or electric-fired oven. Atop the stove are hot rocks. The room is hot but dry when you enter. After a few minutes, a bather will fill a bucket with tap water, then pour it on the rocks. The result is instantaneous steam. The next part of the adventure is seeing how long you can bear the steam. While you’re gritting your teeth, the sweat is pouring off you and you feel as if you’re inhaling super-heated air. At the end of your Arasan visit, you’re guaranteed to be as relaxed as a limp rope. You’ll need a few supplies when you visit Arasan: beach sandals, a towel, soap and shampoo. Many locals also wear felt caps to protect their heads from the steam. Sandals are a must because the floors of some of the Arasan saunas are hot enough to burn your feet. If you forget an item, you can buy it at a shop just inside the Arasan’s front door. After an hour or more in the saunas, many bathers are ready for a beer. International visitors will be glad to know that the Arasan offers it, along with other beverages. A day at Arasan not only revives the body, but provides a glimpse into Kazakh culture.

Address: 47B Mynbayev Street on the corner of Auezov Street Phone: 8 (727) 375 39 92 Hours: Daily 7 am-11 pm Daily, weekly and monthly memberships available Medved Type: Banya In addition to Russian and Turkish saunas, a swimming pool and spa therapy, Medved offers karaoke, kalian and billiards.

Address: 60 Makatayev Street, on the corner of Kunayev Street Phone: 8 (727) 297 00 00 Hours: Daily 24 hours Price: 3000-12,000 tenge per hour

Arasan Banya

6/6/11 6:32:07 PM




Mega Mall


lmaty’s shopping options range from traditional to modern to just plain interesting. Whether you want a three-story glass enclosed megamall with a rock climbing wall or a teeming local bazaar where you can bargain with the venders, you will be able to find it in Kazakhstan’s business capital. Starting with the more traditional options, you can head to the Green Bazaar. This is a huge outdoor and indoor traditional Kazakh bazaar which specializes in the foods of the region. You can watch butchers chop up chunks of horse meat and experienced workers hand-stuffing spicy Kazakh sausages. Colorful piles of fruits, vegetables and mixed dishes line the aisles and sampling is encouraged.

100-101_LIST_Shopping.indd 100

Among the city’s most modern malls is Mega Center where you’ll find more than 100 top designer boutiques such as Zara, Calvin Klein and Yves Rocher. Mega also includes a skating rink, rock climbing wall and bowling alley. And for an interesting slice of local flavor, head to Barakholka and Adem. Barakholka is a teeming crowded marketplace where you can find just about anything you could want. It can appear a bit chaotic but is certainly an experience. Nearby is Adem, which is a similar atmosphere only less crowded and with much appreciated air conditioning. And if you’re hungry, Almaty offers an excellent 24 hour food market with a large selection of imported items, a quality deli and lots of wine. From modern to traditional you can find it in the shops of Almaty.

6/6/11 6:36:38 PM

101 Mega Center Kazakhstan’s growing energy wealth is beginning to reach the pockets of Almaty’s middle and upper classes. And Mega Center is where they go to spend it. You’ll find the latest fashions at Mega Center’s more than 100 boutiques including Zara, Calvin Klein Jeans, Yves Rocher and Benetton. The center also offers a rock climbing wall, bowling alley, movie theater and skating rink.

Address: 247A Rozybakiyev Street Phone: +7 (727) 232 25 01 Hours: Daily 10 am-10 pm Ramstore Trade Center Ramstore is best known around Almaty as a high quality supermarket chain with one of the city’s best selections of imported items. But the Ramstore Trade Center is way more than a food shop. The Ramstore Center at the corner of Furmanov and Zholdasbekov Streets is a combination mega food store, entertainment complex and upscale mall. In addition to its quality supermarket, the center offers restaurants, cafes, a movie theater, skating rink and 56 stylish boutiques.

Address: 226 Furmanov Street Phone: +7 (717) 258 75 80, +7 (727) 258 75 81 Hours: Daily 9 am-11 pm Zangar, also known as Tsum It’s not flashy, but you’ll find what you need. Whether you’re searching for souvenirs, mobile phones or a new toaster, Tsum’s dozens of boutiques and small shops spread over three levels will have it. The first floor is the place for electronics, the second floor offers clothing, and footwear. And cosmetics are found on the third level. Tsum also features numerous souvenir shops where you can find traditional Kazakh swords, horse whips, felt hats and other kitsch for your friends back home. Immediately beside the mall is a pedestrian-only section of Zhibek Zholy Street featuring small venders selling their wares and local artists selling their works. Tsum is one of Almaty’s oldest and best known malls.

Zelyony Bazar, also known as Green Bazaar

Address: 62 Abylay Khan Street Phone: +7 (727) 273 29 51, +7 (727) 273 06 30 Hours: Daily 10 am-9 pm Barakholka and Adem If you like a little local flavor with your shopping this is the place to go. Barakholka is a huge, teeming and crowded flea market. It may seem a bit chaotic at first but you can find bargains on literally everything you could want – from household appliances, to shoes, to souvenirs. Just remember to keep a hand on your wallet as the jostling crowds are prime feeding grounds for pickpockets. Sunday mornings are the most crowded. Just before arriving at Barakholka you’ll notice three buildings on your right. These buildings make up another market called Adem, which is the better known and more modern partner to Barakholka. You’ll find pretty much the same selection of stuff here as Barakholka, but Adem is smaller, less crowded, offers better security, and – best of all – it’s air conditioned.

Address: Take a ‘Barakholka’ bus headed down Rozybakiyev Street from Raimbek Street Phone: Adem: +7 (727) 270 66 66, +7 (727) 270 66 22 Hours: Daily 10 am-6 pm. Closed Mondays.

The Green Bazaar is one of the best places in Almaty to find traditional Kazakh food. You can watch butchers chopping up chunks of horse meat and experienced workers hand-stuffing spicy Kazakh sausages. Fruits, salads, cheeses, meats and traditional mixed dishes line the aisles of the large indoor section. And the best part is that sampling is encouraged. So feel free to taste before you buy. The large bazaar includes indoor and outdoor sections and features clothing, shoes, appliances and other everyday items in addition to its food offerings. The vendors are friendly and the whole market has a welcoming vibe. It’s a great place to spend some time getting a real cultural taste of Kazakhstan.

Address: Intersection of Zhibek Zholy Street and Zenkov Street – one street down from the St. Ascension Cathedral (also known as Zenkov Cathedral) Hours: Daily 10 am-6 pm. Closed Sundays. Stolichny If you’re hungry at 4 am, this is where you go. It’s a 24-hour supermarket that is way more than a late night convenience store. It offers an ample selection of imported food and beverages, a well-stocked deli and lots of wines. It’s also right in the center of Almaty. So if you can’t sleep or just want some good cheese at midnight, head to Stolichny.

Address: 121 Abylay Khan Avenue Phone: +7 (727) 266 55 05, +7 (266) 55 15 Hours: Daily 24 hours

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

100-101_LIST_Shopping.indd 101

6/6/11 6:36:39 PM



Guide to Astana

Restaurants Austeria Cuisine: European Address: 8 Vodno-Zelenyi Boulevard in the Keruen Shopping Center Phone: 8 (7172) 79 55 13 Hours: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm Price Range: $$ Website: Alasha Restaurant 29, Turan Avenue, Left Bank of the Yessil River, Astana Phone: 8 (7172) 73 17 73 Web site: Hours: 12:00 – 24.00 Price range: $$ Al Fresco Cuisine: Italian Address: 14 Kunayeva Street Phone: 8 (7172) 50-83-85 Hours: 10:00 am – 12:00 am Business lunch: 12:00 pm – 04:00 pm Price range: $$ Arbalet Cuisine: European Address: 16 Beibitshilik Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 32 40 60 Price: $$$ Arystan Restaurant Cuisine: European Address: 2 Aykayryn Street Phone: 8 (7172) 29 20 36 Price range: $ Assorti Cuisine: Russian, Italian, Japanese Address: 9 Dostyk Street (right behind Ramstore) Phone: 8 (7172) 79 53 97 Price range: $$ Astana Nury Cuisine: Caucasian, European Address: 3/2 Respublika Avenue

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

102_106_ASTANA_LIST_ALL.indd 102

Phone: 8 (7172) 43 93 38/39 Price range: $$$ Website: Beerhoff Cuisine: European Address: 44 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 21 00 10, 8 (7172) 21 00 40 Hours: 11am - 2am Price Range: $ Bochonok Brewery Cuisine: European, mixed Address: 75 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 37 16 66 Price range: $$ Website: Capital Music and Pub Restaurant Cuisine: European, Kazakh Address: 14 Tauelydzyk Street Phone: 8 (7172) 24 46 71 Price range: $$ Chilli Peppers Cuisine: Pizza, European, Italian Address: 33 Sarayshik Street Phone: 8 (7172) 50 37 73 Price range: $ East West Cuisine: Indian, International Address: 2/2 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 24 40 34 Price range: $$ Egorkino Derevnya Cuisine: Russian Address: 33 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 21 81 Price range: $$$ Epoch Cuisine: European, Kazakh, Russian Address: 9 Valikhanov Street Phone: 8 (7172) 21 01 57 Price range: $$ Europe-Asia Cuisine: European, Kazakh Address: 30 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 62 87 43 Price range: $$

Farkhi/ Ali Baba Cuisine: Caucasian, Kazakh, Middle Eastern Address: 3 Bukeykhan Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 04 06 Price range: $$$ French Brasserie Capri Cuisine: Mediterranean Address: 4 Sary Arka Avenue, Radisson Hotel Phone: 8 (7172) 99 00 00 Price range: $$$ Fusion Cuisine: American, Italian, Japanese Address: 4B Mailina Street Phone: 8 (7172) 22 27 77 Price range: $$ Grilliage Restaurant Cuisine: European, Kazakh, Russian Address: 1 Zhenis Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 52 22 Price range: $$ Il Patio and Planet Sushi Cuisine: Pizza, Italian Address: 24 Turan Avenue (Saryarka Shopping Center) and 10 Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 79 22 03 Price range: $$ Jet Set Cuisine: European Address: 2/1 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 24 29 04 Price range: $$ Kausar Restaurant Cuisine: Halal Address: 5th Microdistrict, 20/1 Phone: 8 (7172) 34 34 70 Price range: $ Kishlak Cuisine: Uzbek, European Address: 22/2 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue, Kruglaya Ploshad Phone: 8 (7172) 974 161 or 974 142 Hours: Daily, 12:00 pm to 2:00 am Price range: $ Korean House Cuisine: Korean Address: 19/1 Sary Arka Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 20 99 Price range: $$ La Riviere Cuisine: French Address: 2 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue (near Quay Park) Phone: 8 (7172) 24 22 60 Price range: $$$ Line Brew Cuisine: European, Caucasian Address: 20 Kenessary Street

6/6/11 8:20:52 PM

103 Phone: 8 (7172) 23 63 73 Price range: $$$ Medved Cuisine: Russian Address: 46 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 21 28 75 Price range: $$ Melnica “The Windmill” Cuisine: Ukrainian Address: 31 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 21 68 Price range: $$ Muller Music: wallpaper music, jazz, alive Cuisine: German & European Address: 12/1 Gabdulina Phone: 7(7172) 41 19 30, 41 19 32 Opening hours: Mon.-Fri: 11am-midnight, Sat:11am-2am Average price: $ Pivovaroff Cuisine: German Address: 1 Beibitshilik Avenue Phone: 8 (7212) 41 15 62 Price: $$ Portofino Cuisine: Italian, Japanese Address: 27 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 20 34 Price range: $$$ Princess Turandot Cuisine: Chinese Address: 40 Sary Arka Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 23 70 55 Price range: $$ Regine’s Cuisine: French, European, Kazakh Address: Astanalyk Business Centre, Left Bank Phone: 8 (7172) 50 21 33 Price range: $$ Samovar Cuisine: Russian Traditional Address: 22/2 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue, Kruglaya Ploshad, as well as 24 Kenessary Street (near the Sine Tempore Shopping Mall) Phone: 8 (7172) 974 171 Hours: Daily, 12:00 pm to 2:00 am Satti Cuisine: Kazakh, International Address: 32 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 24 28 48 Price range: $$$ Sbarro Cuisine: Pizza and pasta Address: 1 Kurgaldzhinskoe Highway (Mega Centre) Phone: 8 (7172) 79 14 97 Price range: $

102_106_ASTANA_LIST_ALL.indd 103

Thank God It’s Friday (T.G.I. Friday’s) Cuisine: American Address: 10 Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 79 30 30 Price range: $$ Tiflis Cuisine: Georgian Address: 14 Imanova Street Phone: 8 (7172) 22 12 26 Price range: $$ Tre Kronor Cuisine: European Address: 17 Sary Arka Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 20 50 Price range: $$$ Vaquero Cuisine: Mexican, Italian Address: 5 Beibitshilik Street Phone: 8 (7172) 39 01 21 Price range: $$ Venice Cuisine: Italian Address: 9 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 75 39 06 Price range: $$ Zhybek Zholy Cuisine: Kazakh, European, Eastern and Chinese Address: 102 Abay Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 21 05 07, 8 (7172) 21 66 56 Hours: 11.00 am - 03.00 am Price range: $$

Arts & Culture American Corners and Cultural Centres in Kazakhstan Address: The National Academic Library (near Baiterek) Phone: 8 (7172) 44 62 39 Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am – 08:00 pm; Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am – 06:00 pm; closed on Mondays and the last Friday of every month. Website: Alzhir Memorial Museum of Victims of Political Repressions and Totalitarianism Address: Kurgalzhin Highway, 37 km from Astana in village Malinovka Phone: 8 (7172) 49 94 55, 8 (7172) 54 26 69 Hours: 10:00 am – 06:00 pm Website: “Atameken: A Walking Map of Kazakhstan Address: 6 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue

Phone: 8 (7172) 24 04 97, 8 (7172) 24 52 72 Hours: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm Opened from the May till November Has Sanat Gallery Address: 47 Abai Avenue and 14 Kunaev Street (Nursaya-1 residential complex) Phone: 8 (7172) 39 12 68, 8 (7172) 97 85 44 Website: Kulanshi Modern Art Center Address: 57 Tauelsizdik Street, Palace of Peace and Harmony (6th floor) Phone: 8 (7172) 74 47 17 Hours: Mon. – Fri. : 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Sat.: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Modern Art Gallery Address: 57 Tauelsizdik Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 70 03 83 Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (Closed Mondays) Shezhyre Gallery Address: 57 Tauelsizdik Street, Palace of Peace and Harmony Phone: 8 (7172) 74 47 27 The Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall Address: 10/1 Orynbor Street Phones: 8 (7172) 70 53 02 The Museum of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Address: 11 Beibitshilik Street Phones: 8 (7172) 75 12 14/92 The Museum of Modern Art in Astana Address: 3 Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 21 54 33 Website: The National Theater of Opera and Ballet Named after Kulyash Baiseitova Address: 10 Akzhaiyk Street Phones: 8 (7172) 39 27 60/61 Website: The Palace of Independence Address: 52 Manas Street Phones: 8 (7172) 70 03 80/95/89 Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (Closed Mondays) Website: The Presidential Center of Culture of the Republic of Kazakhstan Address: 1 Respublika Avenue Phones: 8 (7172) 44 32 33/76 The Russian Drama Theater named after Maxim Gorky Address: 11 Jeltoksan Street Phones: 8 (7172) 32 40 53 8 (7172) 32 05 70 8 (7172) 32 24 49

The Saken Seifullin Museum Address: 20A Ayezov Street Phone: 8 (7172)323563 Fax: 8 (7172) 32 84 67 Hours: 10am-6pm The Zhastar Palace Address: 34 Republic Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 32 80 91

Hotels The Beijing Palace Soluxe Hotel Astana H H H H H Address: 27 Syganak Street Phone: 8 (7172) 70 15 15 E-mail: Website: Comfort Hotel Astana H H H Address: 60 Kosmonavtov Street Phone: 8 (7172) 24 44 44 Website: Daniyar Hotel H H H Address: 11 Tauelsizdik Phone: 8 (7172) 35 02 15 Diplomat Hotel H H H H Address: 29/1, D. Kunaev Street Phone: 8 (7172) 55 00 01 Website: Duman Hotel H H H H Address: 2A Kurgalzhin Road Phone: 8 (7172) 79 15 00 Grand Park Esil H H H H Address: 8 Beibitshilik Phone: 8 (7172) 591901 Website: Imperia G Hotel H H H H Address: 63 Abay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 40 55 01 Website:

6/6/11 8:26:59 PM

104 Kaspiy Astana Hotel H H H Address: 9 Takha Husien Street Phone: 8 (7172) 22 43 54 Website:


Katon-Karagay Hotel H H Address: 18 Kuyshi Dina Street Phone: 8 (7172) 40 06 33 King Hotel Astana H H H H Address: 7 Valikhanova Street Phone: 8 (7172) 70 57 05 Website: Mukammal Hotel H H H H Address: 53/1 Pobeda Avenue Phones: 8 (7172) 30 29 06 8 (7172) 30 29 07 Website: Prestige Hotel H H H Address: 1 Zheltoksan Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 51 81 Radisson SAS Hotel H H H H H Address: 4 Sary Arka Street Phone: 8 (7172) 99 00 00 Website: Ramada Plaza Hotel H H H H H Address: 47 Abay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 39 10 00 Website: Rixos President H H H H H Address: 7 B Kunayev Street Phone: 8 (7172) 24 50 50 Website: Tengri Hotel H H H Address: 1a, Vavilov Street Phone: 8 (7172)413838 Website: Zhasamir Hotel H H H Address: 17 Kenesary Street Phones: 8 (7172) 32 30 95 8 (7172) 32 33 97 Website: *Hotel star rating provided by the Ministry of Tourism and Sport

Fitness & Banya Daulet Type: Sports complex and tennis courts Address: 6/3 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 44-56-24 Hours: 8:00 am-11:00 pm Emir Type: Banya Address: 2 Sary Arka Avenue (Left Bank) Phone: 8 (7172) 55 63 33 Hours: Around the clock URL:

102_106_ASTANA_LIST_ALL.indd 104

Fitnation Network Type: Fitness centre Address: 4/1 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 23 05 95 Hours: 7:00 am-11:00 pm URL: Highvill Cultural and Community Centre Type: Fitness centre Address: 1, 23-21 Street Phone: 8 (7172) 51 32 69 Hours: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm Zhety Kazyna Type: Sauna complex Address: 18 Bogenbai Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 23 65 09 Hours: Around the clock Website: Keremet Type: Banya complex Address: 19 Turan Avenue (Left Bank, opposite Mega Centre) Phones: 8 (7172) 79 18 00 8 (7172) 79 18 03 Hours: 10:00 am-10:00 pm

Phone: 8 (7172) 39 13 69 8 (701) 222 90 90 Hours: Weekdays: 7:00 am - 12:00 am Weekends 9:00 am - 12:00 am URL: The Apriori Sport Club Address: The Duman Hotel is conveniently located at 2A Kurgalzhin Highway, on the Left Bank of the Yessil River, very close to the Mega Centre shopping and supermarket complex. It is about a 15-minute drive from the airport. Phone: 8 (7172) 79 15 56 Website: www.

Night Clubs

Oscar Lounge Bar & Night Club Cuisine: Eastern, European, Japanese and Kazakh Web: Address: 2A Kurgalzhinskoe Highway, Hotel Duman Phone: 8 (7172) 79 15 67 Hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 12:00 pm - 02:00 am Friday –Saturday 12:00 pm - 05:00 am Price range: $$

Azhur Cuisine: Italian, Japanese Address: 27 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 20 34 Hours: 12:00 pm to last visitor

Life Fitness Astana Type: Fitness centre Address: 2 Turkestan Street Phone: 8 (7172) 79 73 73 Hours: Weekdays 7:00 am-12:00 am Weekends 9:00 am-12:00 am Website:

Chocolate Cuisine: Japanese Address: 2 Sary Arka Avenue Phone: 8 (701) 550 0017

Sharoban Type: Entertainment centre Address: 38 Seifullin Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 67 70 8 (7172)32 67 68 Hours: 3:00 pm – 3:00 am

Phone: 8 (7172) 22 27 77 Hours: Fri. & Sat. 10:00 pm to last visitor Website:

World Class Type: Fitness centre and spa Address: 1 Pobeda Avenue (Next to the Radisson Hotel)

Jimmy’z Cuisine: European, Kazakh, French Address: Astanalyk Business centre Phone: 8 (7172) 50 20 33 8 (7172) 50 21 33 Hours: Around the clock

Fashion Cuisine: Italian, American, Japanese Address: 4 Mailin Street

Insomnia Night Club Cuisine: Mixed Address: 3 Dostyk Street Phone: 8 701 511 4740 Hours: 10.00 pm - 04.00 am, Sun - Mon is closed Price range: $$

6/6/11 6:07:28 PM


Bars 8 Drops music club Address: 29 Abai Street and 6/4 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 46 70 18 Hours: 8:00 pm – 4:00 am Albion Address: 6 Korgalzhinsky Highway Phone: 8 (7172) 79 69 90, 8 (7172) 79 69 91 Hours: 12:00 pm to last visitor Balkan Address: 33A Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (701) 517 38 86 Hours: 12:00 pm – 2:00 am Beermac Bar (Khan Shatyr) Address: 37 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 73-47-68 (Khan Shatyr main number) Hours: 10:00 am- 11:00 pm Bar Boss Cuisine: Mixed Address: 8/2 Ryskulbekov Street in the Ak Kaiyn Hotel Phone: 8 (7172) 29 00 90 Hours: 4:00 pm – 4:00 am Price range: $$ Boulevard Grill Bar Address: 14 Kunayev Street (Nursaya Residential complex)

Phone: 8 (7172) 24 45 31, 8 (7172) 24 45 32 Hours: 10:00 am – 1:00 am Che Guevara Address: 33A Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (702) 723 39 79 Hours: Fri 8:00 pm – 4:00 am Sat 8:00 pm – 4:00 am Sun 8.00 pm – 4.00 am Chelsea English Pub Address: 7 Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 21 77 27 Hours: 12:00 pm to last visitor Cigar Bar-Radisson Astana Address: 4 Sary Arka Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 99 00 00 Hours: 8:00 am – 4:00 am Comfort Hotel Astana Bar Address: 60 Kosmonatov Street Phones: 8 (7172) 24 44 44 8 (7172) 24 54 44 Hours: Around the clock Website:

day 7:00 pm - 4:00 am Hotel and saunas – around the clock Price range: $$ Website: Guns n’ Roses Address: 11 Samal Microdistrict Phone: 8 (7172) 59 18 09 Hours: 11:00 am – 3:00 am Kazbar Address: 18 Mirzoyan Street Phone: 8 (7172) 92 88 49 Hours: 8:00 pm – 4:30 am (Tue-Sat) Restaurant - 11:00 am – 2:00 am Kega Sports Bar Address: 11/1 Kuyshi Dina Street Phone: 8 (7172) 36 89 99 Hours: Mon- Tue 4:00 pm – 2:00 am Fri – Sat 4:00 pm – 4:00 am Sun 4:00 pm – 2:00 am Krushovitsa Address: 8 Abai Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 72 52 Hours: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am

Contrabass Address: 25/3a Ablai Khan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 56 15 01 Hours: Mon – Tue 5:00 pm – 4:00 am Fri-Sat 5:00 pm – 5:00 am

Mindal Address: 25/1 Kuishi Dina Street Phone: 8 (7172) 41 08 11 Hours: Mon – Tue 2:00 pm – 3:00 am Fri – Sun 2:00 pm – 5:00 am

Graff lounge bar Cuisine: Eastern, European, Japanese and Kazakh Address: 2 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 55 63 33, 8 777 115 34 25 Hours: Lounge bar on Friday and Satur-

Orioke Address: 9 Aliyev Street Phones: 8 (7172) 34 20 59 8 (7172) 34 22 59 Hours: Mon – Tue 5:00 pm – 7 pm Fri – Sun 5:00 pm – 3:00 am Prime Address: 6 Kurgalzhinskiy Highway Phone: 8 (7172) 79 69 95, 8 (702) 338 21 13 Hours: Fri 6.00 pm – 4.00 am Sat 6:00 pm – 4:00 am Q Night Bar Address: 10 Sagynak Street (Nomad Residential Complex) Phone: 8 (7172) 66 14 14 Hours: 6:00 pm – 3:00 am Rixos Irish Bar Address: 7 Kunayev Street Phone: 8 (7172) 24 50 50 Hours: Around the clock

Sunday – Monday: 1:00 pm – 2:00 am Stolichny Pub Address: 47 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 21 91 21 Hours: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am Sun 6:00 pm – 1:00 am Triumph pub Address: 11 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue (residential complex Triumph Astana) Phone: 8 (7172) 68 91 04 Hours: 12:00 pm – 2:00 am Why Not? Cuisine: European, Kazakh Address: 102 Abai Avenue (on the corner with Valikhanov Street) Phone: 8 (7172) 21 05 07, 8 (7172) 21 66 56 Hours: 12:00 pm - 03:00 am daily Price range: $$

Cafés & Coffee Houses Bar Fontan Address: Kenessary Street, Sine Tempore Shopping Mall, 1st Floor, Phone: 8 (7172) 753 906 Hours: Daily, 10:00 am–10:00 pm Bon Bon Address: 14/1 Tauelsyzdyk Street Phone: 8 (7172) 50 87 00 Hours: 10:00 pm - 1:00 am Sat – Sun: 10:00 - 2:00 Bukhara Address: 7, 3rd Microdistrict Phones: 8 (7172) 35 19 32 8 (7172) 36 57 32 Hours: 12:00 pm - 2:00 am Cafe La Address: 9 Dostyk Street, Keruen and Sary Arka shopping centers, Astana International Airport Phone: 8 (7172) 79 55 73 Hours: Mon – Fri, 9:00 am – 1:00 am, Sat – Sun, 9:00 am – 2:00 am

Sky Bar Address: Kabanbai Batyr Avenue (Asia Park shopping center) Phone: 8 (7172) 97 87 70 Hours: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am


102_106_ASTANA_LIST_ALL.indd 105

Sligo Irish pub Address: 45 Abai Avenue (close to the Ramada Hotel) Phone: 8 (7172) 39 01 82 Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 am Friday-Saturday: 1:00 pm – 4:00 am

6/6/11 6:07:30 PM

106 Shambala Address: 30 Republic Avenue Phone: +7(7172) 33 32 2

Café Marzipan Address: 1 Magistralnii Street (by the Singing Fountains Square) Phone: 8 701 551 4897 Hours: Daily, 10am–2am

The “Rafe Coffee & Food” Coffee house Cuisine: Italian, Halal Turkish (but with a big emphasis on Italian).

Cafestar Address: 13 Dostyk Street (Nursaya-2 Residential complex) Phone: 8 (7172) 79 54 12 Hours: 9:00 am until the last visitor leaves

Rafe serves breakfast from 9am to 12pm

Address: 14 Tauelsizdik Street Phone: 8 (7172) 24 49 00 Hours: 08:00 am -12:00 pm Price range: $

Caramel Address: 10A Imanov Street Phone: 8 (7172) 53 73 88 Hours: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm


Coffe Nova Cuisine: European Address: 15 Sagynak Street Phone: 8 (7172) 79 52 55, 8 (7172) 56 69 34 Hours: 09:00 am – 12:00 am Price range: $ Coral Reef Café Address: 171 Abay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 21 83 93 Hours: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am Corso Address: 12 Imanov Street (between Respublika Avenue and Valikhanov Street) Phone: 8 (7172) 53 73 00, 22 12 49 Hours: 9:00 am – 1:00 am


Demalys Complex Address: Central Park of Astana Phone: 8 (7172) 32 80 29 Hours: 11:00 am – 2:00 am Éclair Cuisine: French Address: 14 Kunayeva Street. Phone: 8 (7172) 50 83 85, 8 (7172) 50 83 81 Hours: 08:00 am - 12:00 am Price range: $ Website: www:é Indiana Address: 22 Sary Arka Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 34 63 Hours: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am Kvartal (Quarter) Address: 24, 3rd Microdistrict Phones: 8 (7172) 34 11 25 8 (7172) 21 44 90 Hours: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am Fri – Sat 12:00 – 2:00 am La Belle Address: 12 Irchenko Street Phone: 8 (7172) 23 06 00 Hours: 12:00 pm - 2:00 am Library Café Address: 61/1 Kenessary Street Phones: 8 (7172) 20 08 01 8 (702) 6822877 Hours: Tue – Fri 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm Sat 10:00 am – 7:00 pm Sun 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm (Closed on Mondays)

102_106_ASTANA_LIST_ALL.indd 106

Madlen Address: 12/1 Tauelsyzdyk Street Phone: 8 (7172) 68 96 79 Hours: 10:00 am – 2:00 am Website: Mister Coffee Address: 15 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 90 10 33 Hours: 10:00 am – last visitor News Café Address: 34 12th Street, Diplomat Complex Phone: 8 (7172) 50 35 67 Hours: 10:00 am – 2:00 am Fri – Sun 11:00 am – 3:00 am Oasis Address: 7 Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 21 44 90 Hours: 11:00 am – 1:00 am Pizza City Address: 17 Imanov Street (between Respublika Avenue and Valikhanov Street) Phone: 8 (7172) 20 09 65 Hours: Daily, 8:00 am–2:00 am Red & White Address: 2, 4th Microdistrict Phone: 8 (7172) 34 10 58 Hours: 6:00 pm – 4:00 am Redford Address: 43 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 82 36 Hours: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am

Asia Park Address: 24 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phones: 8 (7172) 97 87 67 8 (7172) 97 86 00 Hours: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm Website: Keruen Address: 9 Dostyk Street Phone: 8 (7172) 79 55 20 8 (7172) 79 55 22 Hours: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm Website: Khan Shatyr Address: Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 73 47 68 Hours: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm Website: Mega Address: Kurgaldzhinskoe Highway Phone: 8 (7172) 79 18 51 Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm Website: Sary Arka Address: 24 Turan Avenue Phones: 8 (7172) 51 56 06 8 (7172) 51 55 99 Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm Website: Sine Tempore Address: 9 Beybitshilik Street Phone: 8 (7172) 75 38 07 Hours: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm Empire Casa Address: 11 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue (Triumph Building, Section 2—for corporate clients) Phone: 8 (7172) 68 88 00 (corporate clients/office) Boutiques are also located in the Astana International Airport and the following malls: Mega, Keruen, Sine Tempore.

6/6/11 6:07:31 PM

Useful Information i




6/6/11 6:08:07 PM






Climate Kazakhstan’s distance from the ocean and its vast territory affect the country’s climate. The weather and temperature can vary dramatically based on geography and time of year. Also beware of the wind from the steppe, which can make a huge difference in how the temperature feels. Average temperatures for the two main cities are:

Astana January, -17°C (1°F) July, 20°C (68°F)

Almaty January, -6°C (21°F) July, 24°C (75°F)


Making Telephone Calls in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan cell phone companies operate on a prepaid system. A SIM card can be purchased (GSM network) providing a local cell number. As credit runs out, it can be replenished easily by purchasing more via electronic dispensers throughout the city. They are located mainly in supermarkets, convenience stores and major shopping centers. Credit can also be purchased on scratch cards and loaded onto a cell phone by entering the code. No monthly billing plans exist in Kazakhstan at this time.

Local Calls If you are calling locally how you dial will depend on whether you are using a land line or a cellular phone.

Cellular Communications Companies

Making telephone calls in Kazakhstan can be a little confusing for the new visitor. Here are some instructions that will, hopefully, make it a little easier.

If you are calling a land line from a land line, it is easy. Simply dial the local number (last six digits). If you are calling a land line from a cell phone, you must dial the prefix: 8 + the city code (7172 for Astana) and then the local number. If you are calling a cell phone from a land line or another cell phone, you must also dial the prefix: 8 + the cell company code + the number International calls If you are calling abroad from Kazakhstan: Dial for international access (810) + the country code + the regional code (if any) + the local telephone number. To call Kazakhstan from abroad: Dial the code for international access + Kazakhstan’s country code (7) + the Kazakhstan city code + the Kazakhstan local telephone number. Kazakhstan Dialing Codes: Almaty region: 727, 728 Astana city dial code: 717

108_109_KAZ_Practical Information.indd 108

6/6/11 8:34:11 PM




PRACTICAL INFORMATION WHEN IN KAZAKHSTAN 109 News About Kazakhstan and the region

There are a variety of websites in Kazakh, Russian and English with information on Kazakhstan. We have listed many of the websites that include an English language version here. If the site does not immediately open into an English language version, look for the “Eng” button. Not all the websites will have everything translated into English, but most have sufficient information to make the sites useful. (ENG) Leading English language newswire covering Central Asia

General Information: Edge Magazine International Information Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan Official Tourism website of the Committee of Tourism Industry Kazakh Government Websites: (ENG) Official site of the President of the Republic Official site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

http : / / w w w.

Useful Websites (ENG) Official site of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport (ENG) Official site of Parliament (ENG) Official site of the government (ENG) Official site of the city of Almaty (ENG) Official site of the city of Astana (ENG) Official site of the Astana-Almaty 2011 Asia Winter Games

Tourism and Leisure: (ENG) Restaurant information for Astana and Almaty (ENG) Cities, hotels, restaurants in Kazakhstan (RUS) Kazakhstan Tourist Association (ENG) Central Asia Travel guide (ENG) Kazakhstan Ecotourism

108_109_KAZ_Practical Information.indd 109 (ENG) Official site of KazInform Information agency Official site of Khabar News Agency (ENG) Official site of the “KazPravda” daily newspaper Official site of the Englishlanguage monthly newspaper The Astana Times out of Astana, updated regularly.


TENGE 145,43 209,45 5,20 155,41 240,00 0,03 0,79 28,10 39,60 145,43 209,45 149,73 22,45 529,61 3,18 295,47 60,68 12,54 27,07 52,97 38,78 231,67 117,96 91,22 0,09 18,22 8,57 23,60 31,87 170,69 21,14 13,48 1,78

6/6/11 8:34:12 PM


Weather Essentials ALMATY

Month Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct

High Low 78°F / 26°C 54°F /12°C 84°F / 28°C 58°F / 14°C 84°F / 28°C 56°F / 13°C 76°F / 24°C 46°F / 7°C 62°F / 16°C 36°F / 2°C







Almaty International Airport Address: 2 Beimbet Mailin Street, Almaty 050039 Phone: 8 (727) 270 33 33

Air Astana Phone: 8( 727) 258 41 35, 258 41 36, 244 44 77, 259 87 03 Hours: 9 am-8:30 pm

Almaty - 2 Train Station Address: 1 Abilai Khana Prospekt Phone: +7 (727) 296 15 44

Air Travel System Phone: 8 (727) 272 27 02, 272 26 99 Hours: 9 am-7 pm

Almaty - 1 Train Station Address: 1 Seifullin Street Phone: +7 (727) 296 33 92 Almaty Bus Station Address: 73 Mate Salki Street Phone: 8 (727) 226 26 44, 226 14 91, 225 08 87 Almaty Sayran Bus Station Address: 294 Tole bi Phone: 8 (727) 276 26 44, 276 26 77

Taxis AZIA Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 299 49 49 Hours: 24 hours Garage Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 276 29 07, 299 90 00 Hours: 24 hours Hertz Taxi and Car Rental Phone: +7 (727) 245 88 03 Hours: 24 hours Mega Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 233 31 11 Hours: 24 hours Almaty Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 255 53 33 Hours: 24 hours Service-Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 230 22 03 Hours: Around the clock Taxi Profi Phone: +7 (727) 270 70 70 Hours: 24 hours Ekipazh Plus Phone: +7 (727) 270 08 88 Hours: 24 Hours Express Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 260 06 00 Hours: 24 hours Elit Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 278 03 33 Hours: 24 hours

110_111_ALMATY_PRACTICAL_INFO.indd 110


Air Control Phone: 8 (727) 244 15 90 Hours: 9 am-7 pm Asiana Airlines Phone: 8 (727) 270 32 34, 270 32 35 Hours: 9 am-7 pm Brauch Office of Lufthansa Cargo Ag in Kz Phone: 8 (727) 388 89 32 Hours: 9 am- 8 pm

BMI Phone: 8 (727) 25 050 52, 272 40 40 Hours: 9 am-6 pm East Wing Phone: 8(727) 250 55 42 Hours: 9am- 6pm

CAR RENTAL COMPANIES Dimal Car Rental – Almaty Address: 6 Rozybakiev street 125/1 office 15, Pushkin street 23 office 6 Phone: 8 (727) 275 11 73 Dixie Travel Address: 29 Zheltoksan Street, office 3 Phone: 8 (727) 279 28 08, 327 10 10

British Midland Airways Phone: 8 (727) 272 40 40 Hours: 3am-8 pm

ASAP Car Address: 92 Panfilov, office 60 Phone: 8 (727) 234 78 39, 8 (777) 270 91 87

Carlson Wagonlit Travel Kazakhstan Phone: 8 (727) 377 88 77 Hours: 9 am-7 pm

Autodom Address: 273A Furmanova Phone: 8 (727) 244 34 81

China Southern Airlines Phone: 8 (727) 250 94 85 Hours: 9 am-7 pm Clintondale Aviation Phone: 8 (727) 257 45 14, 383 83 96 Hours: 9 am-6 pm Etihad Airways Phone: 8 (727) 330 30 00 Hours: 9 am-7 pm KlM Royal Dutch Airlines Phone: 8 (727) 250 77 47, 330 21 42 Hours: 9 am-7 pm Branch Office of Lufthansa Cargo Ag in Kz Phone: 8 (727) 388 89 32 Hours: 9 am-8 pm Turkish Airlines Phone: 8(727) 250 62 20, 333 38 49, 250 62 19 Hours: 9am-8pm

Dilizhans Address: 185 Baizakova Phone: 8 (327) 268 37 22, 8 (333) 216 55 26 Almaty International Airport Address: 2 Beimbet Mailin Street, the 1st level Phone: 8 (727) 270 33 33 ARD Kazkhstan Address: 208 Zharokova Phone: 8 (727) 329 43 49 Prestige Taxi Address: 262 Kazybayeva Street, Kulager district Phone: 8 (727) 270 70 70 Hertz Address: 42 Timiryazeva, 15/3B office Phone: 8 (727) 245 88 03, 245 88 51, 8 (777) 355 66 55 Exotic Limo Address: 53 Dostyk Street Phone: 8 (727) 291 62 90

6/6/11 6:53:06 PM




Almaty cellular Communications Companies

Fire prevention - 101 Police - 102 Ambulance - 103 Gas service - 104 Rescue - 112 or 051

Kcell Address: Samal-2, 100 - K’cell Main Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9 am-8 pm, Sat 9 am-6 pm

Referral Services Almaty International Airport 006 or 155 Railroad Station Almaty one 105, 8 (727) 296 33 92 Railroad Station Almaty two 8 (727)296 15 44 Bus station Sayran 8 (727) 276 26 44 Bus station Sayakhat 8 (727) 230 25 29 Evacuator ( 8 (727) 233 13 42 Free phone referral service 8 (727) 327 00 98 Free phone referral service - 080 Address bureau - 8 (727) 254 46 96 Lost-property office 8 (727) 292 14 39, 8 (727) 328 22 33 Chargeable phone referral service 088 or 177

110_111_ALMATY_PRACTICAL_INFO.indd 111

Activ Address: 2G Timiryazev Street Phone: 8 (727) 258-80-00 Hours: 24 hours Mobile: 3030 Dalacom Address: 115/105 Kunayeva Street Phone: 8 (727) 259 77 00 Hours: Mon-Fri 9 am-7 pm Beeline Address: 55 Tole bi Street Phone: 8 (727) 350 05 00, 8 (727) 350 06 00 Hours: Daily 9 am-8 pm Mobile: 0611




Courier Services BaidEx Address: 12 Momushuly Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 45 79 16, 8 (700) 459 87 47, 8 (707) 323 50 25 Direct Delivery Address: 12a Kazhymukan Street 9th floor Phone: 8 (7172) 55 62 62 Mobile: 8 (707) 782 22 18 URL: FedEx Address: 38 Tulebaev Street Phone: 8 (7273) 56 38 00 URL: Garant Post Service Address: 9 Lomonosov Street, # 203 Phone: 8 (7172) 215-458 URL: Pony Express Tel.: 8 (727) 258 33 33, 8 (727) 317 26 26 URL:

Pathword Address: 115/105 Kunayeva Phone: 8 (727) 259 77 00, 8(727) 258 17 77 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-7 pm

6/6/11 6:53:08 PM






(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

Consulate of Australia

Consulate of Kyrgyzstan

Consulate of Ukraine

Address: 174B Furmanov Street, 3rd Floor, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 261 51 60 E-mail:

Address: 30A Lugansky Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 264 22 12 E-mail:

Address: 13a Makatayev Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 230 16 00

Consulate of Lithuanian

Address: 173Furmanov Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 258 25 04/08, 8 (727) 258 21 81 E-mail:

Consulate of Afghanistan Address: 2 Sholnik microdistrict, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 227 23 90

Consulate Belgium

Address: 15 Iskanderovo Street, Gorny Gygant Phone: 8 (727) 263 10 40

Embassy of Malaysia

Address: 117/86 Kazybek Bi Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 260 68 63 E-mail:

Address: 9A Rubinshtein Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 333 44 83/4/5

Consulate of Great Britain

Consulate of Netherlands

Address: Samal-2 microdistrict, 97 Zholdasbekov Street , building 2A, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 250 61 91/92 e-mail:

Address: 103 Nauryzbay batyr Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 250 37 73 E-mail:

Consulate of Hungary

Address: 9 Jarkentskaya Street, Gornyi Gigant Phone: 8 (727) 258 16 17; 8 (727) 258 15 51 E-mail:,

Address: 4 Musabayev Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 255 13 08, 8 (727) 258 18 36 E-mail:

Consulate of Germany Address: 62 Kosmonavtov Street Phone: 8 (727) 262 83 41 46/49 E-mail:

Address: 21 Koktem-3, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 270 45 61 E-mail:

Address: 20A Kazybek bi Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 293 02 40, 8 (727) 293 02 66 E-mail:

Consulate of Italian Address: 41 Kazybek bi Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 266 36 09

Consulate of Yemen Address: 20B Begalin Street Phone: 8 (727) 291 99 72 E-mail:

Consulate of China Address: 12 Baitasov Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 270 02 21

Consulate of Korea Address: 52a Ivanilov Street, Gornyi Gigant, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 263 26 60/91, 8 (727) 263 29 89, 8 (727) 263 62 28/29 E-mail:

112_113_ALMATY_CONSULATES.indd 112

Consulate of Japan Address: 41 Kazybek bi Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 298 06 00

Address: 4 Jandosov Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 274 50 87, 8 (727) 274 61 22 E-mail:

Consulate of Singapore

Consulate of Spain

Address: 5 Al-Fara bi Avenue, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 277 70 93 e-mail:

Consulate of the Russian Federation

Address: 15 Teplichnaya Street Phone: 8 (727) 263 96 95 Address: 71 Maulenov Street, 3rd floor, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 278 44 55/65 Email:

Consulate of Czech

Consulate of Poland

Consulate of Egypt

Consulate of India

Consulate of France

Consulate of Slovakia Address: Almaty region, Energetic village, 1A Tikhii, Phone: 8 (727) 297 74 43 E-mail:

Consulate of United States of America Address: 97 Zholdasbekov Street, Samal-2b district, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 250 76 12

Consulate of Tajikistan Address: 16 Sanatornaya Str eet, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 269 70 59 E-mail:

Consulate of Turkey Address: 29 Tole bi Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 278 41 65/77 E-mail:

Consulate of Turkmenistan Address: 137 Furmanov Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 272 69 44

Embassy of Uzbekistan Address: 36 Baribayev Street Phone: 8 (727) 291 78 86 Consulate phone: 8 (727) 291 02 35 E-mail:

6/6/11 8:25:16 PM

113_AD_TELECOM.indd 1

6/6/11 6:04:14 PM







Weather Essentials

CAR RENTAL COMPANIES Transport Company Riksha Address: 25 Bogenbay Street, office 29 Phone: 8 (7172) 62 72 60 8 (701) 441 75 57


Month Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct

High Low 77°F / 25°C 55°F/ 13°C 80°F / 27°C 59°F / 15°C 77°F / 25°C 55°F / 13°C 64°F / 18°C 44°F / 7°C 48°F / 9°C 32°F / 0°C

Hertz Caspian Project Supply Company Address: 6/1 Kabanbay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 58 00 56 8 (7172) 58 04 84



Astana International Airport Address: Airport 14 OS Phone: 8 (7172) 70 29 99 Website:

Lufthansa Phone: 8 (7172) 28 64 92 8 (7172) 28 64 93 Hours: Mon-Wed-Sat 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm Tue-Thurs-Sun 11:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Train Station Address: Privokzalnaya square Phone: 8 (7172) 105 8 (7172) 38 07 07 8 (7172) 38 33 33 Bus Station Address: Privokzalnaya square Phone: 8 (7172) 39 85 04 8 (7172) 30 35 49

Taxis Arba taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 31 57 13 Hours: Around the clock Green Eyed Taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 34 44 94 Hours: Around the clock Pegasus XXI taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 37 24 24, 8 (7172) 37 18 18 Hours: Around the clock Samal taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 22 22 22, 8 (7172) 22 18 82 Hours: Around the clock Metropolitan taxi LLP Phone: 8 (7172) 32 02 20, 8 (701) 785 57 37 Hours: Around the clock Transport company Riksha VIP taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 62 72 60 8 (701) 441 75 57 Hours: Around the clock Elite taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 34 10 10 8 (701) 610 23 23

114_115_ASTANA_PRACTICAL_INFO.indd 114

Turkish Airlines Phone: 8 (7172) 77 70 20 8 (7172) 77 70 21 Hours: 11:00 pm-7:00 am Transaero Phone: 8 (7172) 31 70 40 8 (7172) 31 83 50 Hours: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Pulkovo Phone: 8 (7172) 21 69 17 8 (7172) 21 69 18 Hours: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Weekend 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Aerosvit Phone: 8 (7172) 50 82 74 Hours: Round the clock Belavia Phone: 8 (7172) 23 98 48 8 (7172) 23 98 25 Hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Air Astana Phone: 8 (7172) 59 14 21 8 (7172) 59 14 22 Hours: 9:00 am – 8:30pm Austrian Airlines Phone: 8 (7172) 28 64 82 8 (7172) 39 00 00 Hours: Round the clock Address: 166 Omarov Street Phone: 8 (7172) 34 70 70 8 (7172) 34 70 68 8 (7172) 54 49 63 TANDAU ST Address: 16/1 Maylin Street Phone: 8 (7172) 34 46 65 8 (7172) 34 46 65 VIPCAR KZ Address: 13 Auezov Street Phone: 8 (7172) 47 81 87 8 701 777 93 53 DanZamir Address: 7 Seifullin Street, office 27 Phone: 8 (701) 918 69 17 8 (7172) 23 61 05 KazGPS Address: 19 Imanov Street, office 406B Phone: 8 (7172) 78 74 17 8 (7172) 78 74 18 8 (702) 46 74 538 OKAN Intercontinental Astana Address: 47 Abay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 39 10 00 Rent a Car Astana Address: 40 Auezov Street, office 211 Phone: 8 (7172) 77 96 90 8 (701) 933 26 80 Zhas Kala Address: 1A Mozhayskiy Street Phone: 8 (7172) 54 18 19 Green Spedition International Transport Company Phone: 8 (705) 118 49 18 OKAN Intercontinental Address: 113 Abay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 39 10 00

Berkut Phone: 8 (7172) 75 21 05 Hours: 9:00 am-6:00 pm Zhetyssu Phone: 8 (7172) 94 63 22 8 (7172) 94 62 96 Hours: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Saturday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

6/6/11 6:58:43 PM






Courier Services BaidEx Address: 12 Momushuly Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 45 79 16, 8 (700) 459 87 47, 8 (707) 323 50 25

Astana Cellular Communications Companies Active Locations: 2 Pervaya Street and 21 Barayeva Street Phone: 8 (727) 258 80 00, for mobile 7070 (free of charge) URL: Hours: 24 Beeline Phone: 8 (727) 350 05 00 URL: Dalacom Address: 5 Republic Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 59 17 00 URL: Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Sat 10:00 am-2:00 pm Kcell Location: Astana, Kabanbai-Batyr ave., 10 Phone: 8 (7172) 24 40 07 ext. 5007 URL: Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 am-8:00 pm Sat - 9:00 am-6:00 pm Sun - 11:00 am-6:00 pm Parthword Location: 30 Republic Avenue Phone 8 (7172) 59 17 00, 8(7172) 21 77 77 URL: Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 am-6:00 pm Sat 10:00 am-6:00 pm

ASTANA Emergency Services Police Landline: 102 Mobile: 102 Rescue Service Landline: 112 Mobile: 112 Astana firefighting and accident rescue operations service Landline: 101 Mobile: 101 Astana City Medical Emergency Service Landline: 103 Mobile: 103

Direct Delivery Address: 12a Kazhymukan Street 9th floor Phone: 8 (7172) 55 62 62 Mobile: 8 (707) 782 22 18 URL: FedEx Address: 38 Tulebaev Street Phone: 8 (7273) 56 38 00 URL: Garant Post Service Address: 9 Lomonosov Street, # 203 Phone: 8 (7172) 215-458 URL: Pony Express Tel.: 8 (727) 258 33 33, 8 (727) 317 26 26 URL:

General Information for Astana Landline: 109 Mobile: 109 Service “051” (Directory Assistance) Landline: 051 Mobile: 109 Department for Emergency Situations (Astana) Landline: 32 31 98 Mobile: 8 (7172) 32 31 98 Fire Department of Astana City Landline: 37 41 74 Mobile: 8 (7172) 37 41 74 Astana City Telecommunication Center (Astanatelecom) Landline: 58 07 61 Mobile: 8 (7172) 58 0761 Astana City International Airport (information) Landline: 77 70 50 Mobile: 8 (7172) 77 70 50 Railway Station (information) Landline: 93 39 26 Mobile: 8 (7172) 93 39 26 Bus Station (information) Landline: 38 11 35, 39 85 04 Mobile: 8 (7172) 38 11 35

114_115_ASTANA_PRACTICAL_INFO.indd 115

6/6/11 6:58:45 PM






(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan� section.)

Embassy of Afghanistan 2,3 Karaotkel Microdistrict, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 57 14 42/43/44 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 04 54 E-mail: Website: Consular section: 21 Dubok, 2nd Microdistrict, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 255 6324 Fax: +7 (7272) 255 5663


Embassy of Austria 62 Kosmonavtov Street, 9th floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 97 78 69/78/79 Fax: +7 (7172) 97 78 50 E-mail:

116_117_DIPLOMATIC_MISSIONS.indd 116

30 Sarayshyk Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 28 60 67 +7 (7172) 24 18 30 Fax: +7 (7172) 28 60 50 E-mail: Cultural Centre: 15 Teplichnaya Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 63 96 95 Fax: +7 (7272) 56 98 02 Trade department: 51 Kaldayakov Street, Office 33 Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 291 8997 Fax: +7 (7272) 293 0391 E-mail:

Embassy of Finland Astana Tower 17th floor 12 Samal, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 44 21 21 Fax: +7 (7172) 44 21 16

B-7 Diplomatic town, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 25 11/12 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 15 37 E-mail:


62 Kosmonavtov Street Chubary Microdistrict, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 33 90 +7 (7172) 24 38 68 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 36 86 Email: Email: Consular Section: Tel/Fax: +7 (7172) 91 03 08 E-mail: Honorary Consulate: 40 Kazybek Bi Street, Almaty Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 266 36 09

Embassy of Japan

109 Karaotkel, 2nd Microdistrict Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 56 37 14 +7 (7172) 56 37 55 +7 (7172) 56 37 84 Fax: +7 (7172) 56 38 26 E-mail: 62 Kosmonavtov Street, 9th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 55 03 23 Fax: +7 (7172) 55 03 24 E-mail: General consulate: 4 Musabayev Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 255 1308 +7 (7272) 258 1836 Fax: +7 (7272) 258 1837 E-mail:

Embassy of India


5th floor, Kaskad Business Centre 6/1 Kabanbai Batyr Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 92 57 00/03 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 57 15 E-mail:


62 Kosmonavtov Street, Chubary, 5th Floor, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 97 78 43 Fax: +7 (7172) 97 78 42 Office in Almaty: 41 Kazybek Bi Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 98 06 00 Fax: +7 (7272) 98 06 01

Embassy of Greece

Embassy of Hungary

19 Konayev Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 28 60 92/93 E-mail:

Embassy of Italy

62, Kosmonavtov Street, 6th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 55 62 00/19 Fax: +7 (7172) 55 62 12 E-mail: Website: Office in Almaty: 97-2A Zholdasbekov Street Samal-2nd Microdistrict, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 250 61 91/92 Fax: +7 (7272) 250 71 12 E-mail:


Embassy of Iraq

Embassy of Israel 8 Auezov Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 68 87 39 Fax: +7 (7172) 68 87 35 E-mail:

Embassy of Great Britain

Arman Business Centre 6 Sary Arka Street, 13th Floor, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 66 04 72 Fax: +7 (7172) 66 01 42 E-mail: Office in Almaty: 2A Nurly Tau Business Centre 5 Al-Farabi Avenue 8th Floor Phone: +7 (7272) 77 70 93 Fax: +7 (7272) 77 70 92 E-mail:

Embassy of Egypt

Embassy of Iran

62 Kosmonavtov Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 79 12 00 +7 (7172) 79 12 80 Fax: +7 (7172) 79 12 13 E-mail: General Consulate: 2 Ivanilova Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 262 83 41/46/49 Fax: +7 (7272) 50 62 76 E-mail:

Embassy of Czech Republic


Office in Almaty: 71 Maulenov Street, 3rd Floor, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 278 44 55/65 Fax: +7 (7272) 278 46 85 E-mail:

Embassy of Germany

18 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue, Office 2 Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 24 67 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 26 38 E-mail: Website:

Diplomatic Town, B-6, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 15 81 +7 (7172) 24 10 97 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 15 32 E-mail: General Consulate: 12, 4th Microdistrict, Aktau Phone: +7 (7292) 33 67 06/07

6/1 Kabanbai Batyr Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 46 82/84 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 47 43 Website:

C-4 Diplomatic town, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 32 58 Tel/Fax: +7 (7172) 24 34 26 E-mail:

Embassy of Cuba

Embassy of Azerbaijan

Embassy of Brazil

Embassy of Georgia

28 Kabanbai Batyr Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 79 35 61 +7 (7172) 79 35 83 (consular section) Fax: +7 (7172) 79 35 65 Trade-Economic Department: B-2 Diplomatic town Phone: +7 (7172) 24 25 10 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 13 81 General Consulate: 12 Baitasov Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 270 02 21

174B Furmanov Street, 3rd Floor Almaty 050013, Kazakhstan Phone: +7 (727) 2615160 E-mail: Website:

62 Kosmonavtov Street, 3rd Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 97 44 85/86 Fax: +7 (7172) 97 78 49 E-mail: Trade-economic department: 5th floor office 501 2A 5 Al-Faraby Avenue, Almaty E-mail:


Embassy of China

Consulate of Australia

Embassy of Belgium

62 Kosmonavtov Street, 4th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 79 51 00 Fax: +7 (7172) 79 51 01 Office in Almaty: 173 Furmanov Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7273) 96 98 00 Fax: +7 (7273) 96 98 20 E-mail:

34 Karasay Batyr Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 250 11 51 Fax: +7 (7272) 258 24 93 E-mail: Office in Astana: 6 Sary Arka Street Phone: +7 (7172) 79 30 64 Fax: +7 (7172) 79 30 69

19 Kyz Zhibek Street Komsomolski Microdistrict, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 40 20 15/17 Fax: +7 (7172) 40 19 70 E-mail:

35 Kenesary Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 32 48 29 +7 (7172) 32 06 65 +7 (7172) 32 00 34 +7 (7172) 32 48 49 Fax: +7 (7172) 32 18 70 Consular section: Phone: +7 (7172) 32 48 49 E-mail: Diplomatic Mission in Almaty: 115/157 Zheltoksan Street Tel/Fax: +7 (7272) 272 9787 E-mail:

Embassy of France

Isker Business Centre 15 Sary Arka Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 90 15 15 Fax: +7 (7172) 90 18 19 E-mail:

Embassy of Canada

Embassy of Armenia

Embassy of Belarus

Embassy of Bulgaria

Embassy of Jordan 8/2 Novostroitelnaya Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 52 54/55 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 52 53 E-mail:

Embassy of Korea


6/1 Kabanbai Batyr Street, 9th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 92 55 91/92/93 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 55 96 Office in Almaty: 52a Ivanilov Street, Gornyi Gigant Phone: +7 (727) 263 26 60/91 +7 (727) 263 29 89 +7 (727) 263 62 28/29 Fax: +7 (727) 264 33 51 E-mail:


Embassy of Kyrgyzstan


B-5 Diplomatic Town, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 20 24 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 24 14 Consular Section: Phone: +7 (7172) 24 20 40 E-mail:

6/6/11 6:09:00 PM

i +7 (7172) 55 11 00 Fax: +7 (7172) 58 00 87 E-mail:

General Consulate: 30A Lugansky Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (727) 264 22 12 Fax: +7 (7272) 64 22 11 E-mail:

Embassy of Latvia 6/1 Kabanbai Batyr Street, Office 122 Astana Phone/fax: +7 (7172) 92 53 17 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 53 19 E-mail: Email:

Embassy of Oman


Embassy of Pakistan Beijing Palace Business Centre 27 Syganak, Astana E-mail:

2 Tauelsizdik Street, 13th Floor, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 79 35 15 Fax: +7 (7172) 79 35 16 E-mail:

Embassy of Libya

15 Iskanderov Street, Gornyi Gigant Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 63 10 40 Fax: +7 (7272) 63 19 75 Consular Section: Phone: +7 (7272) 63 25 05 Military Attaché: Phone: +8 (702) 215 7051 Fax: +7 (7272) 24 03 40 E-mail: Website: Consulate: 15 Ploshad Respubliki, Office 544 Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 67 25 08 Fax: +7 (7272) 50 65 49


28 Sarayshyk Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 28 62 03 Fax: +7 (7172) 28 62 03 E-mail:

1 Musabayev Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 69 35 36 Fax: +7 (7272) 58 17 27 Consulate: +7 (7272) 229 37 90 E-mail:

Embassy of Norway 17th floor, Astana Tower, 12 Samal Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 59 18 30

116_117_DIPLOMATIC_MISSIONS.indd 117

20A Saraishyk Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 28 61 23 Fax: +7 (7172) 28 61 33 E-mail:

Embassy of Romania

Embassy of Mongolia

62 Kosmonavtov Street, Office 801 Astana Phone: +7 (7272) 55 54 50 Fax: +7 (7272) 55 54 74 E-mail: E-mail: Office in Almaty: 103 Nauryzbay Batyr Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 50 37 73 Fax: +7 (7272) 50 37 72 E-mail:

37 Kabanbay Batyr Street, Block 4 Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 28 75 57/62 Fax: +7 (7172) 28 75 55 E-mail:

Embassy of Qatar


DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS 117 Embassy of Turkey

Consulate: 78 Mukhit Street, Uralsk Phone: 8 (7112) 51 16 26 Fax: 8 (7112) 24 24 86 Trade Missions: 39 Kenesary Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 32 77 89 Fax: +7 (7172) 32 81 51

6/1 Kabanbay Batyr Street, Office 23, 101, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 92 58 70/73 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 58 74 E-mail: Office in Almaty: 29 Tole Bi Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 78 41 65/77 Fax: +7 (7272) 78 41 68 E-mail:

4 Jandosov Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 75 49 55 Fax: +7 (7272) 75 46 06 E-mail: 19 Akyn Sara Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 92 57 52/53/54/55 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 57 62 E-mail:

Embassy of Turkmenistan


Embassy of Slovakia 5 Karaotkel – 2nd Microdistrict, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 56 37 90 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 20 48 Defense Attaché: Phone: +7 (7172) 24 40 55 E-mail: Trade Mission: 1A Tikhii, Energetic vil. Almatinskaya Oblast Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 97 74 43 E-mail:

Embassy of South Africa 6/1 Kabanbay Batyr Street, 17th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 92 53 27/28/29 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 53 29 E-mail: Email:

Embassy of Spain



Embassy of the Russian Federation 4 Barayev Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 44 08 06 +7 (7172) 44 07 93/83/86/92/89 +7 (7172) 44 08 01 Fax: +7 (7172) 44 08 07 +7 (7172) 32 22 09 E-mail: Website: Consular section: Phone: +7 (7172) 44 07 83 +7 (7172) 44 04 80 Fax: +7 (7172) 44 07 84 General Consulate: 4 Jandosov Street Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 74 50 87, 274 61 22 Fax: +7 (7272) 74 71 68/72 E-mail:


Embassy of Saudi Arabia

Isker Business Centre, 15 Sary Arka Street, 6th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 90 10 11/14 Fax: +7 (7172) 90 10 12 Email: General Consulate: 9 Jarkentskaya Street, Gornyi Gigant Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 58 16 17 +7 (7272) 58 15 51 Fax: +7 (7272) 58 15 50 E-mail: E-mail: Trade Mission: 72 Zatayevich Street Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 64 79 11 +7 (7272) 63 44 27 E-mail:

Embassy of Lithuania

Embassy of Netherlands


Embassy of Poland

6, 36-8 Street, Karaotkel, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 56 37 64/5/6 Fax: +7 (7172) 56 37 23

9A Rubinshtein Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7273) 33 44 83/4/5 Fax: +7 (7273) 87 28 25


Embassy of Palestine

Embassy of Lebanon

Embassy of Malaysia

3 Novostroitelnaya Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 18 61/62/64 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 18 63


47-25 Kenesary Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 20 15 35/6/7/8/9/0 Fax: +7 (7172) 20 03 17 +7 (7172) 20 02 24 (consular section) E-mail: Trade-Economic Department: 20 A, Kazybek Bi Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 93 02 40 +7 (7172) 293 02 66 Fax: +7 (7272) 93 02 59 E-mail:

8/1 Otyrar Street, Astana Phone/Fax: +7 (7172) 21 08 82 +7 (7172) 21-08-23 Military Attaché: +7 7172 20-12-95 E-mail: Consular section: 6/109, Abay Street, Almaty Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 50 96 04

Embassy of Ukraine


41 Kenesary Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 32 60 42 Fax: +7 (7172) 32 68 11 Consulate: Phone/Fax: +7 (7172) 32 43 25 E-mail: General Consulate 13a Makatayev Street , Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 30 16 00 Fax: +7 (7272) 30 26 01 E-mail: Trade Mission: Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 32 74 80 E-mail:

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates C-15 Diplomatic Town, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 36 75 +7 (7172) 28 60 47 +7 (7172) 28 60 75 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 36 76 E-mail:

Embassy of the United States

12 Samal District, 17th Floor, Astana

3, 22-23 Street, Ak Bulak 4, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 70 21 00 Fax: +7 (7172) 34 08 90 Consular Section: Phone: 70 21 00 Fax: +7 (7172) 70 22 80 E-mail:

Embassy of Switzerland

Embassy of Uzbekistan

8th floor Kosmonavtov Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 97 98 92/93 Fax: +7 (7172) 97 98 94 Visa section: Phone: +7 (7172) 97 98 95 Fax: +7 (7172) 97 98 96

36 Baribayev Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 91 78 86 Fax: +7 (7272) 91 10 55 Consulate Phone: +7 (7272) 91 02 35 E-mail:

Embassy of the Vatican

Embassy of Tajikistan

20 Zelenaya Alleya Street Chubary Microdistrict, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 16 03, +7 (7172) 24 12 69 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 16 04 E-mail:

Embassy of Sweden

15 Marsovaya Street, T Chubary Aicrodistrict, Astana Phone/Fax: +7 (7172) 24 09 29 E-mail: Office in Almaty: 16 Sanatornaya Street, Baganashyl vil. Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 69 70 59 E-mail:


Embassy of Vietnam 6 Sary Arka Avenue, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 66 03 75 Fax: +7 (7172) 66 03 79

6/6/11 6:09:00 PM


118_Map Astana.indd 118

6/6/11 6:40:52 PM

K A Z A K H S T A N Learn more about Astana’s bid to host EXPO 2017 at

C E L E B R A T I N G O ur 20 th A nnive rsar y o f I nd ep e nd e nce How far can a country travel in the first 20 years of its independence? It depends on where it is heading and how fast it is moving. Kazakhstan, which has seen much hardship in the 20th century, regained its independence in December 1991, and has moved in the right direction—going further than most people thought possible. Under its President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan has made a remarkable journey going from one of the least known and least developed republics of the former Soviet Union to a dynamic, developing democratic state with a robust market economy. Thanks to wide ranging social, political and economic reforms, today’s Kazakhstan is politically stable and is, in fact, the pillar of stability in Central Asia. A worthy partner of the international community, Kazakhstan has effectively addressed issues from nuclear disarmament and safety to food security, to promoting dialogue and better understanding between cultures, religions and civilisations. Kazakhstan has achieved substantial success in every arena during the past 20 years, and we celebrate those achievements this year— with the understanding that for all of the promises fulfilled, much more work awaits. JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE OUR FIRST 20 YEARS AND LOOK FORWARD TO AN EVEN BRIGHTER FUTURE.

03_final_INSIDEcover_spead.indd 1

6/6/11 8:44:32 PM

July 2011 03_final_cover_spead.indd 1

6/6/11 6:10:08 PM


Kazakhstan, Travel