Good Reads in the ‘Stans’

Sami’s Choice: In Search of Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared by Christopher Robbins

This is an informative and interesting collection of facts strung together in a masterfully written travel log. The book covers topics including nuclear testing, the disappearance of the Aral Sea, the lives of famous deportees (Dostoevsky, Trotsky and Solzhenitsyn), and many other interesting stories. Continue reading

The City of Apples

We really thought that 10 days in Almaty would be plenty from reading reviews but it turns out we could have spent much longer just enjoying every day life here.  Our apartment is in a great part of town, right next to some of the main attractions. The apartment itself is also great – you can check it out here. It is styled with interesting brown velvet brocade, paintings of Kazakhstan’s mountains and wild horses, and probably 100 LED ceiling lights in the shape of diamonds. Nu’s favourite part of the apartment is the spa shower, which looks a lot like a spaceship. It has a phone, radio, CD player, steamer, mood lighting and way too many jets to know what to do with.  Continue reading

A Bit of Kazakh History

We came to Almaty expecting to experience some serious culture shock, but so far the most shocking thing about this place is the absence of that shock. This place could not be more different from the Kazakhstan which most westerners have come to know through Sasha Baron Cohen’s BoratContinue reading