s a vast country of steppes and mountains rich in natural beauty. For thousands of years it was also a natural bridge between East and West, with a northern spur of The Silk Road running through parts of southern Kazakhstan. Archaeological finds from the Kazakh region, show early trade ties with Europe, China, and Persia.Almaty is located in the southeast of Kazakhstan. Its population is 1.5 million. Although it has lost the status of capital, Almaty remains the largest financial, economic and cultural center of Central Asia. It accommodates numerous business centers, theaters, museums, art galleries, exhibition halls and countless modern entertainment complexes (ultramodern movie theaters, nightclubs, parks, restaurants, cafes and others.) Almaty is also a wonderful garden city sprung up among heavenly groves of the northern spurs of Tien Shan. For many centuries, the snowy peaks of the silent and wise Zaili Alatau, stretching deep in the skies, have been over looking the city at its foothills with that protective and majestic attitude of father.Fragrance of rose gardens, emerald cover of famous Alatau spruces and poplars, rapid mountain streams, abundance at bustling oriental bazaars, reviving freshness of city fountains splendor of its palaces and squares leave an unforgettable impression in the hearts of AImaty visitors. Almaty is a booming cosmopolitan city of tourism.Mountains are the visiting card of Almaty. You can start your acquaintance with them with a ride by cable car to the city’s highest point Kok-Tobe (Blue Hill). It is 1,130 m above sea level. From here you can view a splendid panorama of the mountain ranges and the city. It is especially beautiful at nights when Almaty is illuminated with glimmering lights. The cableway runs over the old part of the city buried in gardens. While riding the cable up the hill you can watch the life style of local people almost like an ethnographic museum. The Kok-Tobe hillside is topped with a 350m TV tower. If counted from sea level, this tower is the world’s tallest one. Two big rivers Bolshaya and Malaya Almatinka run down mountains supplying the city with fresh water, filling reservoirs and fountains with cool and freshness. The entire basin of these rivers located in the most picturesque mountain areas is the favorite spot of recreation for both the city residents and visitors. Almaty has become a honey-pot to Kazakh citizens and a mixed bunch of foreign traders, diplomats,and financiers jockeying for position in the race to carve up Kazakhstan’s mineral resources.Sudden exposure to the outside world turned this provincial out post into Central Asia’s most cosmopolitan city with shops, restaurants, hotels, that would make the place unrecognisable to anyone who had been away since 1990. But since the government moved the capital to the northern city of Astana, Almaty became a business and financial centre of Kazakhstan. Almaty is a clean and beautiful city with long straight avenues and low-rise architecture. The Alatau Mountains rise like a wall along Almaty’s southern fringe and form a superb backdrop to the city. Almaty is translated from Kazakh as an apple city and it attracts by its gardens of apple trees. The city acquires a gorgeous view especially in spring time with blossoming trees and charming scent of their flowers. Almaty is a welcoming city waiting for tourists to enjoy its beauties.