Have you ever thought about how it is like to visit the wonderland? If yes, welcome to the upside-down forest in the Lake Kaindy. It’s located 130 km from the Almaty city in the Tien-Shan mountain system, but be prepared for the off-road adventures, as in some parts, there’s simply no road.
Lake KaindyLac Kaindy, Kazakhstan
Kaindy Lake is about 100 years. Translated from the Kazakh, "Kaindy" means "full of birches." You might think that these are the trees that grow upside-down in the lake, but the answer is no. The lake was named Kaindy because of the large birch grove that is located five kilometers away. The trees that we see in the lake are the spruce trees. So, why it’s not called ‘full of spruce trees’? Nobody knows.
So, what happened there?
The lake was formed after a massive earthquake in the 20th century. As a result, a mountain fall blocked the river that was there. So, the small place with a spruce forest was quickly filled with the water. The explanation is simple, but the extraordinary result is surprising.
The magic of the wonderland doesn’t stop here because the water itself regularly changes the color from the greenish to extra blue. This strange effect is caused by the minerals that were in the river hundreds of years ago. The effect of the colors finishes as soon as you come closer, and the water becomes crystal-clear.
Many tourists come to the upside-down forest in the Lake Kaindy not just to admire it but also to dive in. Every year, a lot of divers descend into the water to swim among the branches of trees. If you love diving, here you can feel yourself what it’s like to be Alice in the Wonderland. Diving is not recommended without a wetsuit: the highest lake temperature is 6°C. So, the best month for diving is July. Officially, you must have a c-card (diving certification) and dive as a part of the organized group, but no one follows the rules as there's no control.
It is also worth knowing that the lake is located on the territory of a forestry enterprise, and there is a boom barrier near the forester's house. To enter, you must pay 300 tenges (70 cents) per car and 200 tenges (50 cents) per person. Anyway, those are just symbolic fees for a beautiful adventure that you won't forget.
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