The area around Almaty city is unique and gives an opportunity to visit snowy tops of the mountains, wonder through coniferous forests and find yourself among dunes and sands of endless prairies, weird curves of most ancient canyons and woods right at the same day.
Plateau Assy is located 2800 meters above the sea level. The climate is very severe in winter but due to abundant summer rains the space turns into an ideal place for cattle grazing. Tents of sheep herders are well combined with meadows and mountain ridges.
An under-built observatory that looks like a giant mushroom is seen on the way to the Assy plateau. Its construction stopped in the beginning of 1990.
If you pass the plateau and climb the mountain ridge a beautiful view of the mountain chain called Kungey Alatau will be obtained. From the south the chain encircles the northern hollow of Issyk Kul lake.
Enjoy the view opened from the Kyzyl-Aus pass. Transparency of air amazes and it seems that it is easy to reach the mountain with a hand though in fact the ridge is located 70 km away the pass.
The mystique Chilik is a very fast and exciting river with many great rapids. Some are eight kilometers long. The river has several impressive canyons and many beautiful lakes with transparent water.
Taban Karagay Valley embraces summer grazing lands located to the south from Assy.
Some tents are situated right next to the mountain roots while light observed from the running clouds is changing every minute.
The Singing Sand Dune is located 100 km to the north of Alatau. This is a unique accumulation of sand which is 90 meters high and several km long. During strong wind grains of sand are changing their position and produce a sound that resembles the roar.
In the early morning or at sunset the Sand Dune acquires the reddish colour whereas shadows along the relief produce volume images.
And now welcome to the Altyn-Emel National Park. In October the leaves of Asiatic poplar turns bright yellow or almost orange. At dawn it seems that trees are endeavored with flame.
White mountains of the National Park look like another planet against the background of cyclone.
The Ili river that flows along the southern border of the National Park and enters the beautiful Kapchagai reservoir is brown in color before the entering. Having left the reservoir the water becomes more transparent and clean.
The area around the Ili river is covered by numerous lakes and rivers. The lake would be totally deprived of fish if there was no ecological system consisting of water and canes. The river is still abundant with fish, birds and animals many of which are listed in the Red Book.
Kaindy Lake appeared as a result of earthquake happened in 1910. Today the area surrounding the lake has the status of Kazakhstan national park. The water of the lake is cold but it is especially popular among the divers because of the picturesque views of underwater trees. Water filled in the small cave covering the coniferous trees. Their crowns are seen from above constituting a mysterious forest.
Kulsai Lakes are located in a cave and consist of two big lakes, one lake of a medium size and two small lakes united in a chain.
The landscape is supplemented by gracious horses, endless fields and high-tension power lines.
Charyn Canyon is a very large canyon in southeastern Kazakhstan, a couple of hundred kilometers east of Almaty, near the Chinese border. The eighty kilometer-long canyon is sometimes referred to “Valley of the Castles” because some of the oddly shaped rock formations look like battlements and towers.
Ush-Konyr is located very close to the city. In winter the climate is softer than in the adjacent fields. A wide top on the northern edge of the plateau is used by hang gliders.
Medeo is the most famous sight of Almaty located next to the souther capital. It is a perfect place for short walks in winter e specially after the snowfall.