Wednesday, March 23, 2016

RUSSIA: Dombay, Karachay-Cherkess Republic (Домбай).

photo credits: Dr. Golden Molling
1st thing 1st, Apple, stop changing my "Dombay" to "Bombay"!

Woke up to the most picturesque view, snow-capped mountains, fresh cold air, and we knew an amazing autumn day awaited. ~ Aisswaria Anandha 
This wanderlust-provoking statement from Aishu pretty much spikes up my interest to set foot in Dombay. If you are planning to go for the first time, these are some advices from Malaysian students in Volgograd! 10 things to do in Dombay: 

1. Nature Trips

photo credits: Dr. Jonah Seeni
Dombay is blessed with beautiful lakes, waterfalls, hills, canyons and mountains, making it a perfect destination to escape the hustle and bustle in cities. I imagine this place to be a great meditation retreat to find your inner Zen too, however, with so many things to do in Dombay, I doubt that I can even keep still for 10 seconds!   
Recommended hikes: Badutskoe Ozera, Usheliye Alibek, Vodopad Shumka, Tumanskoe Ozera.

2. Russian Banya (Russian Sauna)

Classic Banya is something everyone must experience at least once on a trip to Russia. For as low as 1000 Rubles per hour, up to 10 people is allowed to share a sauna room. That makes it 100 Rubles per head!  

3. Winter Sport

Photo credits: Dr. Jonah Seeni
Mount Musa Achitara is divided into 3 levels, with roughly 20 km of trails for all levels of experience. The highest peak standing proud at 4,046m can be reached either by cable car or on foot. Journey to the 2nd Peak costs 900+ Rubles while 3rd Peak costs 1000+ Rubles. The ski equipments rental costs approximately 500 Rubles per head (whole day), a personal trainer can be hired for 1000 Rubles. If you are an adrenaline junkie, There is also the possibility for Heli-skiing. With just 400 Rubles you can also hire a snow mobile with a driver. It only lasts up to 10 mins though it was a fun ride.
What to experience here: skiing, snowboarding, ATV, paragliding, hang gliding, snowmobiling. 

4. Horse-back Riding

Horseback riding session in Dombayhcan be booked directly in the outskirts or book through tour agency in the city center. Price ranges from 500-650rubs per hour per head.
Photo Credits: Dr. Golden Molling
Photo credits: Dr Jonah Seeni

5. ATV rides

An ATV rental cost approximately 2000 rubles (for 2 ) for a 1 hour 30 minutes ride. You can combine the ride with a hike up to Alibek, a place described as "an absolute feast to the eyes" by my dear friend, Aisswaria.

6. Barbecue party

Marinated meat can easily be found in groceries shop like EKSPRESS, usually every hotels provide a free barbecue site for their guest. It is totally a good way to have fun and save cost!

7. Fishing

Trout Fishing can be done for free in Форельное озеро. You can even ask the kitchen to cook your catch the way you like it, costing only 500-700 Rubles per kg. 

8. Winter Zoo

Photo credits: Dr Jonah Seeni
Teberdski Nature Park is the place to go if you'd like some introduction to Dombay's wildlife. With only 100 rubles, visitors will be thrilled to see an array of animals including Canis Lupus, lynx, wild cat, bisons, yak and BEARS!

9. Food Paradise

Halal restaurants are everywhere in Dombay, all animals are slaughtered with Bismillah, due to the fact that most of the residents are practicing Muslims. Prices are reasonable, with Hichin being the must-try of the region (150-200 Rubles). There is a wide range of choices when it comes to Hichin: with meat, with butter, with cheese and so many more! Other food like Lagman and Shashlik are highly recommended too, and don't forget to flush them all down with a refreshing cup of Mountain tea!

10. Abkhazia border

For those who are a bit more adventurous, you can hire a small van ( Marshutka) to bring you to the Abkhazia border where Russian Military is on patrol. Georgia claims that there is no such thing as an Abkhazia–Russia border, forever according to my friends who had been there, that is not the case. 

Photo credits: Dr. Golden Molling

 Thank You for Reading! This post is produced based on personal experience of Malaysian students studying in Volgograd. 
Special Thanks to Dr. Thi Liana, Dr Jonah Seeni, Dr. Golden Molling and Aisswaria Anandha.   
Feel free to share your thoughts with us by commenting below!

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