euronews Life - Almaty: Kazakhstan's Garden City

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Trade and economy are still at the heart of Almaty which was once the country's capital. It is the financial centre of central Asia and attracted some six million tourists last year. History, hot summers and a raft of winter sports on tap are among the top attractions.

In the hustle and bustle of modern development Almaty has not forgotten long held traditions like the famous steam baths, the Russian Banya.

Some like it hot first thing. Bagdat Yermagambedov has been taking the steam for 30 years.

"Its a tradition here and everyone likes to start the week with a Banya to gather energy for the rest of the week, but what is a Russian bath without the steam - its not a bath! It's a great pleasure to come here to the steam rooms to re-charge our energy," he explained.

The vast Arasan complex was opened in 1982 and has been hailed as the best 'Banya' in central Asia. If a massage is not for you there are many other ways of ending your visit.

Some people like to start the day with a good thrashing; birch leaves pummel the skin and its supposed to stimulate the circulation to take the stress out of the day before you have even started. It doesn't so much hurt as it stings.

A morning in the Banya is perhaps the perfect preparation for a visit to the busy Green Bazaar. On the Silk Road it is Kazakhstan's biggest market and brings to life all the finest traditions of the Asian bazaar, buying selling and meeting people.

The word Almaty means city of apples and the region is believed to be the ancestral home of the apple as one stallholder pointed out: "The apples from Almaty are considered to be top quality and we have many different varieties, and of those the most appetising, the most popular and well known, is this one here - the Aport."

Underground for the commuter its all less crowded where you can get a seat at any time of the day on the new metro.

Opened just six months ago the metro was 23 years in the planning and finished at an estimated cost of 900 million euros. The platforms and seven stations on the 8.5 kilometre stretch have gleaming marble floors.

Two more stations are set to open. Soon they will be buzzing with more passengers.

Beyond the city boundary you will hear the motto of a group of children echo in the mountain air. "We don't take the easiest path," they chant.

Local climber Maxut Zhumayev started this childrens' camp. He is one of only 12 mountaineers to scale the 14 peaks over 8,000 metres without oxygen, a remarkable feat.

Not quite the heights which 11-year-old Iskander Temirtas is aiming for. At the summit he wants to take an easier route down but is told he can't. Maxut has banned mobile phones, iPads and computer games.

"I want children to believe in themselves, in their power, their force. Its very important for me that they use me as an example so that they can see that you can climb Everest, you can be the strongest and win Olympic medals. There is nothing too difficult in this life," he said.

Maxut is hoping his philosophy will catch the imagination of a new generation and his mountain camps will grow to become an integral part of life in Almaty.

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💬 Comments on the video
Author

kazakhstan is the next big thing. A lot of potential hope one i'll be able of doing business there

Author — Hassan Jawad

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I don't know much about Kazakhstan but I'd love to visit this country... Salam Manis (from Indonesia)!

Author — Rony Ramdan

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My first city in central Asia.
From Islamabad to Almaty.
I can't forget the ABAYA MUTZALQA, the apartment, where, I lived.
June 1998 to August 1998.
I miss you in chicago USA.

Author — MIRZA SHAHID KHAN FERGANI

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Just posting here to give a shoutout to Kazakhstan from America. Peace!

Author — polyrhythmatics

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I love Kazakiztan From Turkey Istanbul

Author — Art

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Spectacular people here, i wanna go visit my love

Author — Casper Ablij

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Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place.

Author — AstrumEltanin

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There is no such things as Russian banya are you crazy? this baths called Monsha on Kazakh and came to all other nations from Kazakhs! Russians have banya from us Kazakhs not vice versa? All this custom came from Tyurks, the first monsha was in Kazakhstan and Turkish baths is that descendant. Please be more politically correct?

Author — Alina Suleyman

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I'm from India and I would love to visit kazhakstan...I'm ashamed to say that I had an extremely wrong impression of your country after watching Borat...Infact the only reason I searched for your country on youtube was to see how it was like and if it was anything like how it was portrayed in that film

and I'm pleasantly surprised by what I see :)

Author — Anshuman Tripathy

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I read few comment talking about BORAT, what it mean? What wrong with that movie, it basic view down on Kazakh or what?
I'm from Southeast Asia, honestly I don't know much about Far East & Eurasia country. I really impress about it.
I saw few video about Kazakh people, they look beautiful too. They look like half Asian (Mongol) half euro (white). I mean it beautiful look.
So there can grow almost fruits, veggies? Cause base from what I look at map, there many mountain & long cold winter in year.
How life in Kazakh?

Author — love n sweet2008

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You obviously you shouldnt think too much yourself.Thinking is is not for everybody.In your case let others think for you.greeting from a white central asian

Author — phantom123806

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have no idea what you are talking about. GO DIE

Author — Mira Batyrkhanova

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People who eat allot of chicken and beef should eat carrots then.in the far east around their.

Author — joe biden

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Eat allot of carrots around their thats why everything is made round because people who eat pork eat carrots i think and that grows the front of your brian, so you can use your working memory.

Author — joe biden

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I like Kazakhsthan and I would like to visit Kazakhsthan.

Author — sal jak

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Ну да уж... Показали Алмату какая она есть да? Да вы ох*ели?

Author — armanb12366

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how the currency of this country is called?

Author — MegaAbsolute22

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If you want to go to Kazakhstan it's great for studying Russian Kazakh and you can try new stuff so I'm Kazakh Kazakhs are not bad at all

Author — SantoTV

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The only thing it boosted are silly comments on evey video related to Kazakhstan. I wonder what would you say if such "film" was made about your country.

Author — amatysten

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Borat would wanna be in your ass. Oh... looks like he already has.

Author — amatysten