On the steppe of eastern Kazakhstan, close to the Tien Shan mountains that straddle the border with China and Kyrgyzstan, is the beautiful Kolsai lake.
Kolsai is a lush spot in the wilderness, where Kazakhs come to hike in the surrounding forest, fish, or rest by the water.
The lake is 300km east of Kazakhstan’s second city, Almaty. A trip to this part of Almaty region could take in hikes to the nearby Kaindy lake and Charyn canyon, with an overnight stay – or two – at a homestay with a Kazakh family in the villages of Saty and Kurmety.
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