Lake Markakol Travel Guide

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Markakol is a mounatin lake located in Eastern Kazakhstan. The easiest way to go there is by helicopter. A car trip might be a little dangerous because of the road conditions. However, if you like roller coasters, you will get the feeling. You will have a steep mountain slope on one side and an abyss on the other. Half way to the top you will see the Chinese border which is covered with sand and looks like a limitless desert.

Once you are on the top, you will see beautiful forests and will breath clean air drenched with the smell of pines and fur-trees. The plain that you left behind was dry and hot, and dusty. Here you have calm, moisture and cool air. From there, it is about an hour to the lake which looks like a beautiful pearl set among steep slopes of the high mountains.

The lake is really worth seeing even if you go there for a couple days. However, please make sure that you get a pass from the OVIR in Kazakhstan (there are offices in Ust-Kamenogorsk) to go to the lake. Even citizens are required to have a pass if they don’t reside in the villages close to the border. Also please avoid approaching the Chinese border and going beyond the barbed wire to the neutral territory if you don’t want trouble. You can make pictures of barbed wire in other parts of the world under much safer conditions.

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