Kaindy Lake – Kazakhstan’s underwater forest

In the wilderness to the east of Almaty, between the lush Tien Shan mountains and the dry steppe, are some of Kazakhstan’s ethereal natural wonders. The most tranquil of them is Kaindy Lake.

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In 1911 there was an earthquake at Kaindy. A huge landslide created a sunken basin in the forest, and when the snows melted, the water flowed down the Tien Shan mountains and formed a lake. The spruce pines that had sunk in the landslide were submerged underwater, but continued to grow from the bottom of the lake.

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Over a century later, Kaindy lake is a stunning sight, with pine trunks rising out of the bright turquoise water.

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Kaindy is only a few hours’ drive from Almaty, and is a popular spot for Kazakh and foreign adventurers, who come to hike or ride horses on the trails between Kaindy and Kolsai lakes, and breathe in the clean forest air.

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The journey into the foothills of the Kazakh Tien Shan, passing the town of Saty, is an adventure in itself.

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