There is a small town named Talgar with a population of around 35 thousand. Beyond that town there is Akbulak ski resort which was built to host 2011 Winter Asian Olympic games. Unfortunately, the games were a total failure because of too much corruption involved but the infrastructure remained. So today the ski resort is open all year round and can be visited for skiing in winter and hiking. The area has fresh air from the mountains and beautiful nature. It serves as a plan B for more famous Shymbulak ski resort located in Almaty which is always crowded and a bit noisy. Akbulak is not. It is quiet and less visited by urban dwellers. Akbulak has less amount of modern amenities than Shymbulak but all the basic facilities are more than present - a hotel, restaurant, slopes, ropes, cable cars and so on.