It'd be really hard to make the entire national Altyn Emel in one day. That's why I split the route to 2 days and made a stop in Basshi. The old name is Kalinino. Do they have at least something they didn't rename recently? (:
Even though the village is quite far away from big cities and isn't big itself, they have everything in here, even a fitness center.
To enter back in a park, you have to list yourself in gamekeeper notepad. On the way back he will delete your entry from the list.
By the way, it's pretty hot already. Nevertheless all gamekeepers are dressed in extremely warm clothes. I really don't understand how they survive this way.
The main park sight: Singing Sand Dune. There are mass bus tours to this (and only this) place in the entire park. People won't see any other parts (e.g. Aktau and Katutau mountains).
Well, "mass" is a sound word. There are just 15000 visitors to the park throughout entire year. Even if high season is just 100 days a year, it's 150 people a day (!) for the entire park. Most of the are bus visitors.
One of such buses arrived right after us. Fortunately there was enough place for all of us.
The dune is quite long and about 200 meters high. There's a steep rise and then it's flat. I was surprised, that noone from the bus went to the other side of the dune. They got up to the beginning and then went back down.
The most coolest views are on the other side (:
To be honest, that was the first time ever I even didn't want to take pictures at all. It was absolutely clear to me that the photo won't reflect even a small part of the landscape.
A couple of words about "singing": the sand is very dry and small and it produces a pleasant sound when it's pouring. It literally sound like pipe organ. If it's windy, the sound is strong enough to hear on the dune. If it's not, one can simply start walking down and the sound will appear.
This is how it looks like when it's windy:
Even though there's a river Ili right after the dune, there is still a desert-like steppe before it. Thus trees are only around water springs like this one.
Stop sign in steppe looks very cool. Well, they also have normal signs as well. That's something you don't expect there at all.
These three stones (according to legend) is a fireplace from ancient Genghis Khan stop. The Khan (according to the very same legend) also gave a name to the area, cause he called the Signing Sand Dune as Altyn Emel (which is translated as Golden Saddle). The legend was told by local gamekeeper, but I didn't find any prove (or disproof) online.
There is local entertainment: make a wish and try to put a coin to one of the holes in a stone. If you're lucky and managed to put it there, the wish will come true.
Panorama view from the stop.
A bus stop. I couldn't just pass by (:
In general it's a very picturesque place.
Litter-bin in steppe. It's really interesting how often they clean it (: