Almaty is a place you don’t hear much about from those who live the expat life. Sadly, it’s kind of the forgotten child of Kazakhstan. With that being said, the place has a lot to offer and today I’m going to share my impressions about Almaty, Kazakhstan.
But first, a quick history:
Almaty is still the largest city in Kazakhstan, and was the capital of the country until 1997.
That’s when Astana took over as the capital of the country, although obviously, Almaty is still a huge economic and cultural hub.
A lot of travelers really enjoy Almaty because it’s got a rich history, culture, and “life” to it.
Many people compare Astana to Dubai – glitzy glamour with plenty of fake sprinkled in. Ironically, they actually import sand from Dubai for the “indoor beaches” in Astana…
…this is why I mentioned the issue about being the “lost child” earlier. Sadly, Astana is the new puppy that everyone wants to play with. Almatay is left in the dark, to an extent. Which is a real shame, because it has character and beauty in it’s own right.
But, maybe that’s a good thing for the traveler. In any case, let’s dive into the Life Around Asia Almaty city guide.
Life Around Asia’s Guide to Almaty
Overview: If you’re looking to meet some great Kazakhstan women, and have a fascinating cultural experience, Almaty is your place.
Keep in mind that Kazakhstan is a bit “rough around the edges”, so to speak. Much like Mongolia. Keep your wits about you, and don’t piss people off.
If you’re traveling to Kazakhstan, you should know the drill by now.
Population: 1.7 million
Weather: Almaty is in the southern part of Kazakhstan, and in the mountains. It’s definitely warmer than in the north as you near Siberia, but it’s not Bali, either.
Safety: So-so. Kazakh men may not be all that happy about a Westerner going to Kazakhstan to seduce their women. It’s not South America levels of dangerous, but it’s also not Disneyland.
Taxis: Do be cautious with taxis. There really are no rules to them. I would recommend having your logistics well handled. Splurge on the good apartment where you can walk everywhere you need (food, dates, clubs, etc.). It will make your life much easier overall.
Prices: Above average compared to say, Thailand, but cheap in the grand scheme of things. Definitely not as expensive as a place like Russia.
You can expect to find an AirBNB for a weekly rental around $25 to $35 a night at the low to medium range of things. Obviously the price goes down significantly for a month.
Getting it on with Kazakh Girls
Like I’ve said before, it’s not Thailand. But it’s worth the hustle, because all women here are very impressive. You can read my full article about the girls in Kazakhstan, but here’s a quick summary.
English Levels: Girls are generally pretty friendly and speak good English. You will find a lot of girls in the 7-8-9 range but the higher tiers are not as prevalent as you would hope, nor are they easily accessible (as in most places in the world).
Unless you are really good, you can’t really dream to date a 10.
Daygame: Girls tend to be very receptive in general.
Nightgame: Hit or miss. It’s definitely better than clubbing in a place like Des Moines, Iowa, but it’s certainly not as good as say, Jakarta.
Online Game: It’s becoming more and more popular in Almaty, much like the rest of Asia. You should definitely utilize Tinder, and especially Russian Cupid is worth taking a look at.
Chance of Hooking Up: If you’ve got three days in Almaty, I’d peg your chances at 4/10.
If you have at least ten days, they increase significantly (7.5/10). It’s a place where the one night stand is going to take a lot of time and effort, but with some extra time you should be able to.
This is when sites like Russian Cupid become really helpful: you can create an account and start talking to girls some 2 weeks before actually getting there and get an impressive head start. This way, your chances of hooking up increase to maximum.
More Info About Almaty
Work Available: Kazakhstan does have a decent technical industry, and I’ve met a few people who got visas to work here. The pay is above average, so if you have a technical background it might be worth a look.
Budget Needed: You could get by with $1,000-$1,200 if you were smart but that is on the low end of things. You’d have much more fun on $1,500, for sure.
Conclusion: I think Almaty is a fascinating place, but Kazakhstan as a whole burns me out quick.
For truly long-term living, I think I would have a tough time of it. It’s great as a one month or so trip though, and it’s a place not many people go.