I arrived early morning into the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan after what had been a pretty intense few weeks of travel (I toured Chernobyl and Auschwitz in consecutive weeks). It was Christmas Eve, there was snow in the air and I needed a place to stay. Step in, the cosy, family run Almaty Backpackers, which is also known as the Silk Road Hostel. Here are their details:
I was welcomed by the lovely Dinara on reception and I was very tired after a long journey.
She showed me to my cool dorm room for the next four nights and offered me a cup of tea. After a spot of blogging, a shower and even getting my clothes washed, I was ready and settled here at Almaty Backpackers. Long term travel takes its toll, but there was not even a toll here to remove. It was so chilled out! If you are visiting Almaty and backpacking through the city, this is the best budget option for you.
Here are my favourite five things about this particular hostel.
The staff are welcoming, homely and willing to spend time with you. I spoke at length to Dinara over the 4/5 day stay. She was very helpful to everyone and hard working.
Owners Rahat and Aibek made sure I enjoyed my stay here providing me with tips and information about the city and region.
Kazakhstan is a huge shock to the system. The array of things to see and do here astounded me. Canyons, waterfalls, mountains, city life, ski-ing, trains and border buses all easy to reach and organise on a day trip. From Almaty Backpackers, you can get everything organised very easily, without the need to speak Kazak or Russian. A huge bonus for a lazy language learner like myself.
I was off to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan to source some visas so I didn’t have time for every tour, but a huge highlight (and one which I hope to write about sometime) was my day tour to Ile Alatua National Park.
Breakfast is included and when the hostel isn’t too busy, it is all home cooked! Good tea and home made pancakes or porridge.
I was there over Christmas time as well and this meant an extra treat of Lagman for us all, courtesy of our welcoming hosts. Hospitality at its best in Central Asia. I’m forever inspired by the people I meet on my journey. Also in this photo is English backpacker Oliver, whose parents Jessica and Mark joined us over Christmas!
4.Cool Fellow Travellers
I met some cool other travellers here to see the city with day and night. It was a busy time though, but I had time for some drinks with Bolmira a local lady before we both headed travelling again.
Again WiFi was fast and this lounge was relaxed. I probably should also say that at times I took over the lounge with my laptop, travel folders etc. trying to get blogging up to date and plan ahead for future visas. A good vibe in the relaxed lounge here.
Finally, here are some other photos from around the hostel, where I have fond memories.
Here are some cool videos I made at the Almaty Backpackers and Silk Road Hostel in Almaty, Kazakhstan. My thanks to Dinara, Aibek and Rahat for truly excellent hospitality: