Kolsay Lakes

Hi!!!!!! I want to say you more information about Kolsay Lakes. Last summer I was at Kolsay Lakes. For me at was a great time with my friend. We got their buy jeeps, it was very fascinating. When we a arrived there I saw a beautiful nature and I feel that I’am a part of this beatiful piece of nature.

The sky-blue Kolasy lakes are located in the Kazakh part of the Kungey Alatau Range of the Central Tien-Shan in the far south-east the country some 250 km from Almaty. There are excellent trekking and hiking option around and between these fascinating mountain lakes.

About 3-4 hours from Almaty the first Kolsay lake is accessible by road with any normal vehicle. A small fee is applicable for vehicles and passengers to the local Zakaznik staff. Zhibek Zholy runs a very nice but pricey guesthouse and sauna on the Eastern slopes of the first lake, there are simple huts, guides and horses available from the local staff, but wekends should be avoided.
The relatively tough hike to the 2nd lake takes about 3-5 hours depending on the weather conditions. Season to visit for hiking is Mid May through October. Lake Kolsay is the starting point for most Kazakhstan-based organised horseback riding across the passes to lake Issyk Kul in Kyrgyzstan.


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My weekend for me was very interesting and fascinating. On saturday I woke up at 7.00 a.m. and went with my mom, grandma, and grandpa to the dacha. When we came there it was may be 8.00 and I was very hungry,so I decided to have breakfast. So I look at nearest apple trees and found some, they were delicious and sweet. First of all I need to explain why we came there, no not just to rest, we came to cut down some old trees and make collect fruits and vegetables. That was great time, maybe for some people it’s boring, but in my opinion it’s awesome, cause it’s located near mountains, and while city was covered with hot air, we have some nice fresh wind.

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Katutau and Aktau Mountains

Katutau and Aktau Mountains

The final stage of the trip is the Katutau and Aktau Mountains. Active volcanoes used to create uproars in the Katutau Mountains once upon a time and the remains of lava streams subjected to the sun, frosts, rains and winds appear lo be wonderful images carved on rocks. The Aktau are the splendid cretaceous mountains. It is a breathtaking land winning the hearts of tourists with its grandeur and lifelessness. However, that plants of great vitality on Earth grow and arhars astonish everyone with their beauty.

Many species of herons, wood-cocks, dicks.and other wader live in the water and marghy lands in the Park, The Ili river and the Kapchagay reservoir abound in Ash.

Carp, white amur-fish, bream, sheat-fish, sandre, and other species of fish which are a trophy long wished for amateur angler.

We’d like to inform you that four European standard hotels for 50 persons, a camping for 10 persons and a yurt have been built in the Park all the routes and tourist places are equipped with pavilions, urns, public conveniences built from local materials to be in harmony with nature. Services of guides, car hire, making shubat and kumys are provided on preliminary order as well as riding camels and horses. Hunters have a chance to get a trophy of Siberian mountain goat, wild boar, pheasant, mountain partridge. They are accommodated with hunting-houses with shower-rooms.


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The necropolis of Bes-Shatyr (Five Tents) used to be a place of worship for the ancient Scythians dwelling on the territory of the nowadays Kazakhstan in the 1st century BC. Here, on the territory of 2 sq. km, 18 imperial mounds of about 9 m. in diameter and about 2.5 m. in altitude are situated. Under the mounds one can see crypts made of logs of the Tyan-Shan fur-tree. This unique monument of the early nomads is in Semirechye, in the head waters of the Ili River. To the west of the imperial mounds, the circuit of 45 stone stoves with pictures of animals carved on them extends from the north to the south. Scientists consider this place the ritual part of the necropolis.

The Besshatyr necropolis is considered, as a relic of the ancient Sakis living on the territory of Kazakhstan in the I millennium B.C. 18 royal burrows from 8 up to 70 meters in diameter and from 2 up to 20 meters in height are concentrated therein an area of 2 sq. km. The chain of 45 immovable stone fences lies to the West of the royal tombs from the North to the South, on which drawings of animals are stamped. The scientists assume, that it is a ritual necropolis site. The complex under the burial-vaults is built tip of Tien-Shan fir-trees under the embankments. The area of the funerary wooden “house” is 20 sq. m. and the height is 3 m.

Ancient people are believed to produce bullets from this wood. You’ll also have a chance to visit an impressive group of tumuli, the so-called king’s burial mounds Besshatyr (bes=five).

The huge hills of which the largest is 17 m high with the diameter of 104 m are the burial-ground of Saxon leaders and generals of the VII th- lll rd centuries B.C. The tumuli are surrounded by the rings of menhirs – metal constructions that are similar to those of Stonehenge erected in Great Britain.

The River Ili along which numerous caravans of the Great Silk Road used to take these routes lows near these tumuli nowadays the tourists have an opportunity to swim in the river, to enjoy its beaches and admire a huge cliff of the red stone rising 100 m above the river.


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Altyn-Emel State National Park.

The Altyn-Emel State National Park, the largest in Kazakhstan, is located among the southern spurs of the Zhungar Alatau Ridge on an area of 520 thousands ha. The unique natural formations and monuments from ancient cultures, being the eco-tourism features, are located in the park; the Singing dunes, the Aktau Mountains, forming a “lunar” landscape, and also five Besshatyr Barrows. Ancient rock drawings can be found in the gorges. Animal species, entered into the red Book of Kazakhstan, are found in the park. They are dzheiran and kulan, and also black stork, berkut, the bearded-eagle and others.

The Altyn-Emel SNNP

Here one can drink in the peerless beauty of multi-colored mountains of Aktau and sand mountains of Katutau. On the territory of the Park some historical monuments, like Scythian burial mounds of Bes-Shatir dated the 1st century BC and Tamgali-Tas with ancient rock drawings the earliest of which can be attributed to XVI-XIV centuries BC. Here, on the right bank of the Ili River, the famous Singing Dune is situated. On a safari trip, you will meet many animal: the Siberian mountain goats – teke, desert deer – jeran, kulan, mountain rams, wolves, foxes, such as birds as a golden eagle, mountain partridge – keklik and many others, the majority of which are included into the World and Kazakhstani Red Book.

The largest State Preserve “Altyn Emel” is located 150 km from Almaty (the biggest city in Kazakhstan). The sights of “Altyn Emel” the natural memorial “Singing Dunes”, reserved Katutau Mountains and Aktau Mountains and many other historical and archeological monuments of the VIIIth -lllrd centuries B.C.

The National Park covers the total area of 460 thousand hectares it is a unique place in which large mammals such as arhars, kulans, Middle Asian gazelles and other rare species entered in the international Red Book and the Red Book of Kazakhstan are found.

One can find great carvings on petroglyphs containing scenes of hunting and everyday life of the people who lives there thousands of years ago on black stones in the Terekti-Sai Gorge. In the Kyzyl-Auyz Gorge you can go on an excursion to the waterfall and the immense cave in which ancient cattle-breeders used to keep the entire flick of sheep. It is in this place that a unique “stone” tree grows its wood is so strong that it resists even to an axe.

Untouched, completely uninhabited places can be found in Altyn-Emel: Aktau (the White Mountains) an unprecedented beautiful land of amazing colors, with ancient marine deposits from the former Tethys Ocean. A fantastic landscape! Among these vast waterless places, there is an oasis, where, according to legends, groups of wild (snow) people lived; there is a cave, amongst the rocks, on the Floor of which

a cross is cut, to appearances, it is a Christian hermit’s shelter (traces of the Nestorian Christians can be found all over Central Asia, Mongolia and China).

Excursions can be arranged to: the Singing Barkhans, the Besshatyr Harrows, caves and rock drawings, the White Mountains, walk through the National Park and observe over the wildlife.

The Singing Barkhans

Another unique wonder of nature is the Singing Dunes, 182-km northeast of Almaty, on the right bank of the Ili river. In dry weather this sand dune emits a sound like an organ playing. The Singing Dunes make an unforgettable impression. The scarcely perceptible movement of sand sliding down the slope causes the humming and vibration. The friction caused by the movement of dry grains of sand, combined with the dry air, electrifies them, causing the vibration. Because of the surrounding favorable resonant conditions, powerful sound waves are produced which bouncing off the solid ground also cause the dune to vibrate. The sound can be heard from several kilometers away.

A very rare phenomenon in a landscape is located on a right Ili River bank, 182 km from Almaty, and is included in the Altyn-Emel SNNR. The sand makes sounds reminiscent of organ music, it is caused by motion on a sandy dune surface. The length of a sandy ridge exceeds 3 km, width – about 500 m, and the height is over 100 m. The singing sands usually happen in dry weather with a western wind. There are other such places on the Earth, but the Kazakh dune is the highest amongst all with similar properties.

The unique phenomena, the so-called Singing crescent-shaped sand dune is situated near this cliff between the Mount Big Kalkan and Small Kalkan. This sand dune is about 3 km long and 80 m high and is characterized by some specific features.

In summer under the influence of strong wind or caused by tourists sliding down its slopes the mount utters a powerful vibrating rumbling.

One can see various trees such as flat wracks, dzhighida, different bushes: willows, honeysuckles, Ili barberries. Nearby there is a spring where Chokan Valikhanov, the outstanding Kazakh educationalist and traveler stayed in 1856 on his way to Kashgaria.

Black saxaul grows in the steppes and there are thickets of white saxaul on the slopes of the Singing crescent-shaped sand dune.

One can observe a wonderful phenomenon taking place in the park: entire streams of the purest spring water flow out of the ground and feed the groves and riparian woodlands in the area. It is here that ancient elms which witnessed Chingiskhan’s warriors who drank water from the elms is over 700 years old.

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Khan Tengri Mountain.

This famous peak is the highest point in Kazakhstan (7010 m) and the most northerly in the world. The mountain sits on the border of three states – China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The summit of Khan-Tengri is difficult to reach and therefore extremely interesting to both mountaineers and lovers of adventure holidays. The northern part of the mountain is situated in Kazakhstan. The dream of many mountaineers is to climb the north face of Khan-Tengri.

The Khan Tengri Peak is the most northern peak over seven thousands meters height in the world. Khan Tengri is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world because of its perfect marble peak, 1200 years passed since Khan Tengri had been mentioned in the Chinese chronicles for the first time. M. Pogrebetskiy, a Ukrainian mountain climber conquered it for the fist lime in 1931, having traversed the southern side of the peak. This route considered to be classical even today.

Khan Tengri is located in the far region on the boundaries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and China. Most climbers reach the base camp at the fool of Khan Tengri by helicopter. Ascending to its peak is the goal of many climbers all over the world. It requires a minimum of fourteen days to reach its top. The region around the mountain includes many peaks of 6000m in height: the Marble Wall (6400 m) is among them. It is an area of the alpine valleys with the most beautiful lakes and rivers.

Due to the proximity of the Chinese border, this region require special permission to enter (a permit).

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Zenkov Cathedral

                                          The Zenkov cathedral is one of the few Tzarist-era buildings that survived the earthquakes of 1911. Built entirely of wood and without nails in 1904, it is a prime example of Orthodox Church architecture. Add in vibrant walls of blue, green and red and it has to be one of the most unique wooden buildings in the world.

After the revolution, the cathedral was used as historical museum and cultural centre. Since 1990, it has enjoyed its restored status as a Russian Orthodox cathedral, set against snow-capped mountains and surrounded by the greenery of Panfilov Park.

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