A meeting with Kazakhstan – for Open Central Asia magazine

The lady from the whisky company had told me to go to Shymbulak ski resort, in the mountains above Almaty. But I didn’t make it: I got on the wrong marshrutka bus on Al Farabi street and ended up 30km away, in the bedlam of the Altyn Orda bazaar… … More A meeting with Kazakhstan – for Open Central Asia magazine

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. … More Kaindy Lake – Kazakhstan’s underwater forest

Drinking camel’s milk (shubat) and horse’s milk (kumys) in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Kazakh nomads say that shubat and kumys lower blood pressure, and swear that they cure all sorts of illnesses and diseases. They are popular throughout Central Asia: on my first trip to Kazakhstan I tried a little bottle of supermarket-brand shubat. But the milks from the bazaar, in recycled plastic bottles, came straight from someone’s herd of camels and horses, somewhere on the steppe outside Almaty. … More Drinking camel’s milk (shubat) and horse’s milk (kumys) in Almaty, Kazakhstan