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Shymbulak is the biggest ski resort in Central Asia together with Karakol in Kyrgyzstan. It is definitely the most modern, most comfortable, poshest and most expensive ski resort in Central Asia. The standard is international. You can find all the usual conveniences here you know from your skiing adventures back home: a hotel, a restaurant, coffee shop, wifi and an apres-ski bar. There are many things to do at Shymbulak for your holiday.
The Kitchen of almaty: Shymbulak
Her first thing to do at Shymbulak is of course skiing! There are three ski lifts, which cumulatively reach Talgar pass (3,200 meters above the sea level), the highest point of the ski resort. The total length of the lifts is 3,620 meters. There are 3 stations of them; the first one is Intersection Station (2,260 meters above the sea level) (9 minute trip), then 20th Prop Station (2,630 meters above the sea level) (16.5 minutes) and Talgar pass Station (3,200 meters above the sea level). There is also Snow-Park for the fans of snowboarding.
Located at the Shymbulak Ski Resort, the main restaurant Assorti is a foodie's paradise as it serves yummy pizzas and good drinks. Open from 10 am to 9 pm on weekdays and 10am to 11pm on weekends, Assorti serves local, European and Japanese Cuisines as well. With their huge collection of wines and kebabs, one can spend an entire evening there with family and friends. And the cherry on the top is the delicious desserts that they serve. So, when you are at the ski resort don't miss going to Assorti and you would surely not regret.
The Alpine club attached to Shymbulak organises buggy tours, paragliding and hiking tours. The gondola from Medeu continues in summer and some of the lifts stay in operation as well. Shymbulak is a popular outing for locals who are keen on mountain air but not on physical exercise, although this is changing.
How to Get Tickets?
Find entrance prices and buy tickets online on their website (the Russian version is most complete). Buying tickets online is better so you can skip the line. There are ticket booths on site as well. You pay 3 times to enter Shymbulak: Gondola Medeu – Shymbulak: for adults, it's 2500 tenge for the gondola round trip, entrance: weekends 8000 tenge for adults; week days 5500 tenge, and badge: you need to buy a badge the first time you go to Shymbulak. Price is 1500 tenge.
How To Get Around?
Getting around at Shymbulak can be tricky, you need to be able to ski. The beautiful mountain area can be explored by skiing, you are not allowed to walk in the snow. You can also take the cable car or gondola.
What Should I Wear?
Dress warm, it's very cold up there. Be sure to take along warm clothes. Your warmest coat, boots, hat and gloves will keep you toasty and ready for a magical winter experience. Bring a trusted pair of hiking boots to explore the mountains in any season.
Best Time to Visit
Winter is the best time to visit Shymbulak, since you'll be able to ski and snowboard.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, there will be maps to help you and it's easy to get around. You can find anything you need on this website.
How To Get There?
If you don't have your own transport and don't want to hire a car, buses 6 and 12 leave every half hour in front of the Hotel Kazakhstan and go up all the way to Medeu along Dostyk avenue. Taxis will cost around 2000 tenge one way. From Medeu, you pay for entrance (show some ID) and take the gondola up to the Shymbulak resort (15$ round-trip). From there, the ski lifts start.
Equipment rental costs 5000 tenge/day. If you rent it in the city you can get a better deal. You have to drag it up there first, but you don't lose time waiting in the rental shack at Shymbulak. You can also rent out ski clothes at Shymbulak. Depending on what you need, it will cost you 2000-5000 tenge. Lockers cost 500 tenge per day with a 2000 tenge deposit.