Assy Plateau & Assy Observatory
The Assy plateau is located in the Enbekshikazakh district of the Almaty region between the Turgen gorge and the Bartogai reservoir. It extends from east to west for about 40 km and its width is about 7 km. From the north, the plateau is bordered by the Karach ridge and the Bokaydyntau mountains and from the south by the Sarytau ridge.
In the west, Assy plateau reaches into the Turgen gorge, in the East it scratches the valley of the Bartogay reservoir. The area mainly serves as a cattle breeding pasture and some local tourism. The Assy (or Asy) river flows along the plateau and finally joins the river Shilik. The plateau is a part of the vast Ile-Alatau National Park.
The Assy observatory is an astronomical observatory standing on a mountain plateau called Assy-Turgen at an altitude of 2750 meters above the sea level. The architectural design of the observatory is pretty old as its construction started almost half a century ago. The observatory has an ideal Astro climate: High transparency of the atmosphere, no light pollution, and very small or average turbulence. Assy Turgen Observatory is used mainly for research purposes, it has symbiotic stars and binary systems with an X-ray component. It still operates, however, the entrance is restricted for tourists. The observatory is located about 115 km ride east from Almaty.
The plateau has a lot of pure nature and is filled with fresh grasses during the spring and summer periods. You can also hike there as are hills with magnificent views of the plateau. If you wish to camp here, they are pretty nice spots along the Assy river and also some yurt camps with meals.
How to get to Assy Plateau
There are two ways to get there and both options require jeeps or other rough road capable cars. Organized tours are most likely the best option but if you want to have more freedom the taxi drivers with suitable cars are more than happy to drop you here. Better to arrange the pick up also beforehand though as there are not always that many taxis moving around the area. First entrance point to the Assy plateau is through the Turgen gorge and second via the Bartogay reservoir.
The best time to visit plateau is between late May and late September. During the summertime, shepherds place yurts and live there for the summer with their animals. It is a great chance to experience the still existing true nomadic daily life of Kazakh people.
Page updated 27.4.2022