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I had heard of MEGA from my friend before going there that it was a really nice mall. And he was right. It was Super nice and clean. In fact I think the mall would do well even in Los Angeles, CA, USA. It was spotless, bright, and not as crowded.
There are all kinds of shops here including the usual and plus a toy store. There's a ice skating rink at the ground level.
What to buy: There are all kinds of shops in the building. Just like in US, there is a food court at the top floor of the building.
What to pay: A lot if you really want to go shopping here. I just went for a meal at the food court.
Written Jul 8, 2010
The concessions in the National Museum and Art Museum are as good a place as any to start looking at rugs in Almaty. Their prices are fair (a bit of bargaining is in order), they have a good range in stock of both Kazakh and other Central Asian rugs and they handle the paperwork necessary for the exportation of your rug efficiently.
What to buy: Kazakh carpets can seem rather crude in comparison to examples from Turkmenistan. It all comes down to personal choice however, so look at as many carpets as you feel you need to before deciding on the one you want, and even then, it's not a bad idea to go away and give it some more thought.
What to pay: Although rugs and carpets are much cheaper here than they would be at home, don't expect to get one for next to nothing. The better the quality, the dearer the rug.
Updated May 6, 2005
Almaty's main shopping street is an attractive pedestrian mall, lined with trees and drink and snack stands. Fountains play at intervals and the paving is clean and spacious.
TsUM is a large department store on several levels, with a good selection of gifts and crafts on the top floor.
Further afield, on the other side of Republic Square, Ramstor is a modern shopping mall, with a good supermarket , lots of shops, a movie theatre, indoor skating rink and several restaurants. This is where Alamaty's mall rats love to hang out.
Updated May 6, 2005
Seeing caviar, so outrageously expensive in the west, for sale in Almaty just on a market stall is a quite a surprise. Some of it is commercially packaged in glass jars and tins of varying sizes, Sevruga, Beluga, all very reasonably priced It makes a wonderful gift -if your home country allows its importation. Not everywhere does, some countries observe a very strict interpretation of the CITES treaty.
What to buy: If you intend to eat your caviar immediately, you can buy it "fresh", by weight and packed into a plastic takeaway box. Now all you need is some good bread, sour cream and chopped hard-boiled egg - a feast for a king at about the cost of a burger back home.
What to pay: $3-4 dollars will buy you a good-sized snack portion of the stuff - about $200 worth in Europe.
Written May 4, 2005
Address: Ulitsas Zhibek Zholu
Some of the handicraft/gift shops on the third floor of the Tsum department store stock interesting old embroideries, yurt hangings and straps, etc
What to buy: Traditional hand-embroidered yurt hangings, long woven yurt straps, gossamer fine knitted shawls.
What to pay: I paid US$40 for a beautiful bedhanging (the bottom edge is always unfinished on these works), signed and dated 1960, faded and worn a bit now - it took weeks to get the musty smell out of it - but lovely. Our Kazakh friend assured me it was a very good one , and a very good price.
Posted by leyle
Updated Apr 4, 2005
Address: Zhibek Jholi and Ablai Khan, enter from Ablai Khan
What to buy: It was so in times of Soviet Union, it remains so now. In those shops (there are several of them all around the town) you can still find some rare editions of books, rare and not.
That will be of much help to those who speak Russian, and of less help to those who speak English (only few of them, I am afraid). Still, some good albums on the local architecture are also an option.
What to pay: Well, much less than you would in Moscow, let alone any major Western city!
Written Sep 6, 2002
Simply the best selection of western goods in 1,000 miles (except baked beans, bacon, and sausages)
What to pay: Very expensive for Kazakhtsan, so slightly cheaper than the west.
Written Feb 19, 2003
Address: Almaty - on gogol
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