Almaty the former capital of Kazakhstan is still its largest city having a population of 1,421,868 by August 2010 with 9% of the country’s population located in one city.Almaty means `city of apple tress’, and due to its relatively mild weather, it has a wide range of apple trees. Moreover, the Almaty area is considered to be the genetic home of a variety of apples which is often visited by scientists as well as researchers from all over the world, to get to know more above the complex system of genetic as well as to discover the origin of the domestic apple. Almaty is also a financial as well as a cultural centre of Central Asia and takes pride in its moderately sized tourist as well as expatriate communities. It is also one among the top 50 most expensive cities worldwide for expats according to Mercer Human Research, to live in.
Stock Exchange – Largest in Central Asia
This destination is an awesome gateway to distinctive and an undiscovered country where the Kazakh people are very pleasantly hospitable, kind and welcoming. Almaty still continues to be the centre of commerce for Kazakhstan with the stock exchange together with the largest banks that are located there, including Kazkommerts bank, the largest bank in Kazakhstan as well as one of the largest players in Central Asia. Its Stock exchange is one of the largest in Central Asia which is responsible for a major proportion of the economy of the country. New developments to increase the financial facilities are in the pipeline and presently Almaty Financial District and Esentai Park is under construction.
Centre for Asian Winter Games – January 2011
Almaty is a city with amazing beauty and is situated in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau towards the extreme south-east of Kazakhstan making the backdrop of mountains with the taller buildings a dramatic and an impressive sight. It was also the centre for the Asian Winter games in January 2011. On a clear weather, one will see the beautiful rugged snow-capped mountains at the city’s doorstep towards the south and since the city slopes from south to north, navigating the streets tends to get a lot easier. If one is travelling uphill, then they are heading towards the south. One will find a small mountain range which borders the city towards the east.
Kazakhstan’s Main Transport Hub
Almaty is also Kazakhstan’s main transport hub where most of the travellers pass through instead of lingering. Should one decide to stay on for some days, they can enjoy the various green parks with colourfully illuminated fountain, the excellent museums, theatres, markets and shops. Some of Central Asia’s best selections of restaurants, clubs and bars are available for eating, drinking as well as dancing. Besides this, it is also the starting point for great hikes, treks, drives as well as skiing in the Zailiysky Alatay and Kyrgyzstan and is a short distance for the central Tian Shan in Kazakhstan’s further south-eastern point. The most appropriate time to visit Almaty is during mid-April to late May and mid-August to mid-October where the climate is not too hot or too cold and is very pleasant.