Ignore Borat

Jan 17, 2007
Outside Magazine

Along with the expected consequences of this film—lawsuits, the popularization of the term "sexy time"—there was one surprise: a surge of traveler interest in Kazakhstan. Seriously. Following Borat's release, Kazakhstan's D.C. embassy was flooded with tourist inquiries (and questions about "the running of the Jews"). More surprising: The country is one of the world's best-kept adventure travel secrets. Home to just 15.2 million people, it boasts a vast landscape—four times the size of Texas—of rolling steppes, 6,000-meter peaks, and gnarled gorges. Get over there before everyone else. Fly into cosmopolitan Almaty ($1,350 round-trip out of JFK via Lufthansa; lufthansa.com). Just 15 miles out of town is the Chimbulak Ski Resort, with 2,900-foot vertical runs and a 55-room hotel (lift tickets, $30–$45; doubles, $98; chimbulak.com). In summer, make a 15-day trek to Kazakhstan's highest peak, 22,949-foot Khan Tengri (from $2,080; adventurecenter.com).

Filed To: Snow Sports

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