During the 2018 Central Asia trip, I had a 6 hours stopover at Almaty, and so here I am roaming the city centre of Almaty, the former capital of the Kazakhstan from 1929 to 1997.

Arbat (the street). Almaty’s major pedestrian shopping street, whose real name is Zhybek-Zholy (silk road). The shops I recognized were Mark & Spenser and Gap. 

Caxton and I spent 3 hours at the Arasan baths/sauna center. (Since we arrived Almaty at 5pm, most shops were closed). As it's usually cold and windy, visiting saunas with friends is very popular in Kazakhstan. The facility separates into male and female sections with each section has massage chambers, Russian banyas (sauna), Finnish saunas, Turkish steam rooms, and circular pool right under the green dome. Swim wear is not recommended in the pool. It's my first time being so liberating in a swimming pool setting. However, the water was not heated... Entrance fee is charged inproportionally by the hour, and mine was around US$30 for 3 hours.

Dialin Residential Complex on Nazarbayev Avenue. Top luxurious apartments at Almaty.

Buildings at the city centre.

Buildings at the city centre.

Buildings at the city centre.

TsUM. The Russian signature designer department store. Yet we shopped for snacks at the basement supermarket.

The capital of Kazakhstan since 1997. "Astana" means "the capital"; how innovative... We only had 3 hours of stopover, so did not venture to the city centre, which mainly contains newly constructed administrative buildings.