Gold onion domes on turquoise St. Nicholas church (Nikolsky Sobor) on Baytursynuly street.

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images


The leafy city of Almaty (Alma-Ata; Алматы), with a backdrop of the snowcapped Zailiysky Alatau, has always been among the more appealing Russian creations in Central Asia. Today Almaty's new rich have expensive suburban apartments, large SUVs, glitzy shopping malls, Western-style coffee lounges, expensive restaurants, dance-till-dawn nightclubs and new ski resorts to help them enjoy life to the full. Meanwhile, others from the city's outer districts and the countryside squeeze into packed buses and rickety marshrutkas around the Green Market (Zelyony Bazar) or Sayakhat bus station.


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