Almaty, Kazakhstan May Not Have The Winter Olympics, But They Have Steam Rooms, Apples and a New Metro

Almaty Apples

Poor Kazakhstan. The Asian country is still a punch line thanks to being the homeland of the fictional Borat. Sacha Baron Cohen picked the right country to pick on, because we know little about it. “It’s one of the -stan countries, right?” is the common refrain.

Having lost the 2022 Winter Olympic to Beijing, it could had been a boon to the region. They could know crippling debt like past host cities. I root for the underdog city when it comes to Olympic bids. If anything, it generates interest and curiosity in the city. I’m curious now about the city.

Which brings us to Kazakhstan’s capital Almaty. It’s hot in the summer and snowy in the winter. It’s to the west of China, south of Russia, north of Uzbekistan and east of Caspian Sea.

It may not have a Hard Rock Cafe, but Almaty attracts 7 million visitors a year. I looked into what there’s to do in town. This video gives us a few pointers such as a steam bath, eating apples at the market and riding the new metro system. Almaty does translate to City of Apples and it’s believed the first apples were discovered in Almaty. They can have one bitchin’ apple festival.

Out of curiosity, I did a Kayak search for flights to Almaty from New York. A one way flight with one stop over for a total of 17 hours in September can be bought for $565 on Ukraine Airlines.  Not shabby even with a stop over in Kiev. I suggest using those Ukraine Airlines miles you’ve been hoarding.

Point being, they may have lost hosting duties, but they got a bushel of apples.

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