Kazakhstan souvenirs: Where/what to buy?

All about Kazakhstan. Experts: Julia, walkingalmaty
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steven
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Kazakhstan souvenirs: Where/what to buy?

Post by steven »

All your questions and tips on buying souvenirs in Kazakhstan are welcome below.
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steven
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Re: Where to buy souvenirs in Almaty?

Post by steven »

Adding in an old article that got deleted:

The most popular souvenirs from Central Asia are felt, silk and ceramics handicrafts. Although Kazakhstan also has similar cottage industries, most of the products sold in Almaty come from Kyrgyzstan (felt) and Uzbekistan (silk, ceramics).

In felt, pointy-toed slippers, hats and handbags are currently popular. Ceramics dishes and silk scarfs are perennially and justly popular. More expensive are felt carpets called syrmak in Kazakh (more famously shyrdak in Kyrgyz) or regular carpets (mostly coming from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan).

What Kazakhs do do very well is wood carving and leather craft. Faithfully reproduced weaponry from ancient times like shields, daggers and flails are not cheap, but do look nice on any wall, and are sure to impress your little nephew. Northern Kazakhstan has some amazing craftspeople, especially wood carvers. Try to find their cups from birch wood - exquisite shape and tone, and no built-in obsolescence!

If you are looking for something cheap yet interesting from the duty-free shop, take home a bottle of kymys (fermented mare milk) and shubat (fermented camel milk). Bring an additional bottle of vodka to dowse the taste and get the party started. If your friends aren't drinkers, grab some Kazakhstan chocolate. Attractive wrapper, palm oil chocolate.

Where to buy in Almaty

Every shopping mall in Almaty has at least one souvenir shop. Empire.kz is the most expensive, high quality outlet. Almaly shopping mall underneath Republic Square has an attractive collection of souvenirs in about 5 shops altogether.

The Kasteev museum of Fine Arts and the History Museum both have souvenir shops attached to them as well. On Kok-Tobe hill, you can find some decently-priced souvenirs as well. InterContinental and Hyatt Regency also have souvenir shops, but they are overpriced.

If you are on your way out through Sairan bus station, you can do some great bargains at the military bazaar. Get a complete outfit of the Kazakh army or just a few medals, the choice is yours!
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rumolddo
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Where can I buy a picture of the president/weird souvenirs in Almaty?

Post by rumolddo »

Hoping someone (probably Saule or Steven!) can answer this weird question!

I try to collect portraits, pictures, holographic posters of leaders of countries I visit. I know this is odd, but my holographic portraits of Ataturk, Aung San Suu Kyu and Islam Karimov are quite something.

So far I have not found anything of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, all the souvenir shops in almaty are too "tastefull" (felt, carvings etc). I'm looking for far more tacky items! Where could I go to find these? Green Bazaar? I feel the old barakholka bazaar would have been a good place.

I actually met two girls from Astana who mentioned that it was very odd to see pictures of the president on the roads in the south, so maybe my collection ends here!
Thanks all!
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Re: Where can I buy a picture of the president/weird souvenirs in Almaty?

Post by steven »

It must definitely exist.

Barakholka still exists, you know. It is still huge as well. It's mostly clothes and washing machines and building equipment, but perhaps also a shop with holographic Nursultans? I would definitely not rule it out.

Green bazaar definitely not. TsUM is perhaps another option, on the corner of Arbat in the center.
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rumolddo
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Re: Where can I buy a picture of the president/weird souvenirs in Almaty?

Post by rumolddo »

Thanks Steven, I will look at Barakholka. I looked for Tsum but only found a building with a Marks and Spencer's
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Re: Where can I buy a picture of the president/weird souvenirs in Almaty?

Post by steven »

Here are 2 other options:

Asem (central)
http://www.wikicity.kz/biz/asem-almaty

Abdi (very big one, a bit further from the center. but there is a direct bus going there)
http://www.wikicity.kz/biz/abdi-almaty

They sell office supplies and school stuff. Could very well hold presidential photography.
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PlaysForFun
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Kalkan shield & similar souvenirs

Post by PlaysForFun »

Good day everyone. I recently came from Almaty and wasn't able to get this kalkan shield souvenir I saw in Koktebe park. Primarily because the lady emphasized she was unable to sell it until she received a new shipment. I would like to go back this year and get one because they look really amazing but . Does anyone know any other stores in Almaty specifically that sells such items. I just don;t want to be limited to one location.
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Re: Kalkan shield & similar souvenirs

Post by steven »

Hi Playsforfun,

sorry I could not be of use here. I would like to know more about it, though. Did you find out anything useful?
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