First Impressions: Almaty Kazakhstan

It’s interesting what our brain associates with certain words and phrases. We in our mind develop a clear image of what something we hear will look like only to be mildly irritated when the reality looks nothing like it.

When I thought of Kazakhstans City Almaty I always imagined a dry place with a nomadic flair ,throw in some bisons add men looking like Borat and his fellow villagers…finished.

The first thing I noticed, was the asian influence in physical appearance.

I knew the country was bordering on china but in my head the locals looked much more like russians from the west.

The weather was hot and the sky looked as though it was covered in a dusty haze.

Great mountain scenery surrounded the city promising a lot of nature to explore.

I walked through the town past the political buildings, the streets were wide, the traffic dense. Many block buildings, coloured in stone giving off a dusty unkept vibe.

Were the natives proud of their city? Many people have left the country to go west, but many have also stayed. I try to communicate and find directions. I have a hard time finding english-speakers. The answers are often matter-of-fact and not very communicative. That’s fine I’ve packed a map. It’s a place I wouldn’t like to be lost in.

I soon come across a shop so beautifully decorated. So colourful and alive. It just jumps out from the rest of the road. umbrellas in different colours giving that piece of street an Alice in Wonderland Feel.


A magical moment in a very down to earth, reality burdened city, where time has taken its toll on many buildings.

I feel motivated to find more positivity and beauty in contrast to my first impressions, feelings and judgements about this place.

Soon I notice green little parks and art. The big “Abay National Theatre and Opera” and some off broadway theatre joints.

I arrive at my planned destination for my day trip…


A lush,green park. Grounds of the Zenkov Cathedral.

“It’s a light shade of zesty Lemon and will look beautiful covered in snow” is my first thought.

pigeons landing and taking off… Family’s out and about enjoying this green patch among the hot, beige city.

I go back to my accommodation positively surprised at how many impressions I have taken in.

“Dull, conservative, dusty and unfamiliar  vs.  colourful, green, arty and inviting.”

I’m looking forward to another day, but also am looking forward to going home.

{Photos are my own}

2 thoughts on “First Impressions: Almaty Kazakhstan

  1. This is my hometown and I was really surprised to see someone post about it, since many people have no idea Almaty exists, to be honest, and I may be biased in saying this, but it’s my favorite place in the world. It can give off an unfriendly vibe but there are many parts of the city that are gorgeous, you just have to find them! I really hope you enjoy your time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Anna.Lovely to hear from you and thank you for reading.
      Some of my closest friends are also from Almaty. They are both artists and love their hometown.
      I have great respect for the acting and theatre institutions in Kazakhstan and Russia. Can’t wait to try out proper Kazakhan food as well.The post only reflects my impressions of the first day:)
      Warm regards

      Liked by 1 person

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