ASTANA – The phrase “Endless Summer” can be used to describe some of the Kazakh capital’s entertainment spots for residents and guests. While certain ones are only open in warm weather, others offer a touch of summer during long, cold days the rest of the year.
Above Oasis Beach Club Photo Credit: weproject.kz
One summer-only option is Sun Fountain, which opened just last year. It is not a simple fountain, but a laser show which creates a giant ring on the water visible from the Yessil River bank near Central Park and Kenessary Monument. The fountain is a great place to stroll on warm nights and probably one of the most popular walking destinations in the city.
The 3,600-square metre fountain measures 180 metres long, 20 metres wide and 22 metres above the water. It has 836 high pressure pumps, 909 water jets and 70 gas injectors and is equipped with water cannons that can lift jets up to 80 metres into the air.
The name “Sun Fountain” was not chosen by accident. Hydraulic engineering structures in the form of a ring are located on pontoons parallel to the shore, symbolising the sun and creating an interior water screen. It incorporates video presentations and laser fire shows, with more than 2,800 spotlight rays illuminating the flow of water and fire in ten different colours.
Movable injector bases create different water and fire jet streams, allowing the ring’s contours to form the sun’s rays, which, as they gradually melt, form a watery dust. Periodically replacing each other, the jets produce a mesmerising atmosphere.
The display is shown every 30 minutes Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 p.m., with the last show at 10.30 p.m.
The first two shows are 10 minutes long and pass without the use of the water screen. The third and fourth shows, lasting 15 minutes, add the screen with sights of the capital and an animated movie about the nation’s history. All shows are accompanied by music, including classical Kazakh kuis (instrumental musical compositions), broadcast from speakers placed along the entire embankment.
“I came from Aktau for a vacation. My friends told me about this laser show, so I decided to see what it looks like,” said GulnaraAshikbayeva, who witnessed a recent display, adding she liked it a lot.
“I watched the whole show without blinking. That giant ring mesmerises and I see people are liking it, too,” she added.
The new fountain follows the tradition of the old laser show, presented at the same time and place when the city had just become the capital. The previous display was not as large or entertaining, but still gave the audience a feeling of something unreal and beautiful.
Aqua Park in Oasis Beach Club is another summer-only option for residents and guests. The giant pool under the sky, located not far from Sun Fountain, also opened in 2016.
The attraction is the only open air water park in the city. The complex has three swimming pools. – one for small children with a depth of 20 centimetres, a second for older children measuring 1.5 metres in depth and a 2.5-metre-deep adult pool.
“Despite the fact that the water park is under the open sky, swimming in the pools will be comfortable even if the sun hides behind the clouds, since the water in the pools is heated. Adult guests will be pleased with the warm and clean water (the filters work constantly and once a day the pools are also cleaned of small debris and objects left by visitors) and children will be pleased with the mushroom fountains right in the pool and a variety of slides,” according to the management.
Visitors are free to use sun loungers, inflatable circles, mattresses, towels and glasses. Oasis also has a beach volleyball court and café.
The waterpark is located in Central Park, 8/1a Turan Avenue, and is open daily until 8 p.m. Adult passes are 5,000 tenge (US$15) on weekdays and 7,000 tenge (US$22) on weekends; children under 12 are 3,000 tenge (US$9) on weekdays and 4,000 (US$12) on weekends and entrance for toddlers under three is free.
“I have visited it with my family several times. On sunny days, it is a perfect place to spend a day. Well, in my opinion it is a little pricey. But overall, it is good, even though there are a few things I did not like, but they are not so crucial,” said Arman Ospanov, one of the visitors.
The city administration recently announced a new waterpark will be opened at Duman Entertainment Centre. A management spokesperson said the target date is in August, adding the facility will probably be open year round. It promises to be a huge water park that can welcome more than 1,000 visitors at a time.
The famous Sky Beach Club, located in Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre, is another all-season attraction. Known for its sand brought from the Maldives, the club is a great option for those who dream of seeing the sea.
Guests can rest on warm sand under the palms and even experience waves, which are created every two hours starting at 1 p.m. On dark evenings, the backlight on the waterpark creates amazing effects.
The tropical climate is the result of special sensors and the facility was constructed to give the full feeling of a real beach holiday. Like the sand, both pools are heated and visitors can even sunbathe.
The adult pool measures 1.4 metres deep; the children’s pool, 0.1 – 1.4 metres, and the pool with slides, 1.2 metres.
Sky Beach Club also has special sites for mini-football and beach volleyball, a Finnish sauna, Jacuzzi, café and bar. The waterpark is open daily 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tickets are a little pricier than other attractions. On weekdays, adult tickets are 10,000 tenge (US$30); on weekends, 15,000 tenge (US$45). Children’s tickets are 6,000 tenge (US$18) and youngsters under five enter for free. Membership cards are also available. The club offers weekday happy hours from 10.30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.-9 p.m. when tickets are half price.
For more information, one can call +7 7172 577787 or visit www.skybeach.kz.
“I love Sky Beach Club; I usually go there during winter. Sometimes you need that feeling of the sea and beach. I love it. It’s been a while since it was actually constructed. I guess soon it will be renovated,” said a visitor named Sultan.
Several other waterparks once existed in Astana, but unfortunately were closed. With the upcoming one, it may become one the most popular ways for locals and tourists to spend their free time.
In addition to waterparks, the city also offers a number of public swimming pools, as well those located in fitness clubs.