We spent three nice days with arman in the mountain side (Saty). The organisational, support, accomodation and all other things were good. Arman is a nice funny guy with really good general knowledge. Kasachstan is an amazing country with beautyfull landscape. I can recommend Arman 100% to other travellers. It is important to agree the main points in advance (before booking), to have no misunderstanding due route and price.
This was a mixed experience, and things didn't go quite as we'd hoped.
On the positive side, Arman was a very good communicator before the trip, responding to messages promptly and fully. During the short trip, he was attentive and keen to please, and his English was satisfactory. We also appreciated that he notified us in advance that the hot springs we were planning to stay at would be closed due to maintenance issues, and so arranged an alternative venue ahead of time. He also hired a very good driver and vehicle, with whom we felt safe in lots of off-road driving.
However, there were a couple of serious issues that were challenging during the trip. The most concerning is that we had specifically asked and stated in early messages that we wished to visit several of the different canyons in the Charyn region (not just the typical 'Castle' canyon that everyone visits). He acknowledged this and we felt confident we would be in good hands.
It turned out that Arman had never visited any of the other canyons in the Charyn region, nor had the driver he hired, and it was actually left to us with a Map app on our phone to direct him to the other canyons (such as Moon Canyon, Clay canyon, etc.). This is not the job of the guest - and is irresponsible for a tour guide to not even do research about a place before the trip.
Arman's strengths perhaps lie more in being a 'travel planner' back in the office in Almaty rather than being an actual tour guide out in the field.
Arman was a great guide , we had a great day with him! He knows a lot about the country's history and was able to provide us with lots of information about Almaty.
We were initially unable to go to the BAL as planned as the car was not a jeep and the roads were too snowy so he took us to another place that we wanted to go to. Whilst we were there he arranged for us to go with another driver who had a jeep! We were so happy that we got to see the Big Almaty Lake- this would not have been possible had it not been for the kindness of our new friend Arman. Thank you for giving up your whole day to show us some of the great places around Almaty. If we were here for longer we would have taken all more tours with you! - Great tour guide/driver who speaks great English.
As for BAL- I wouldn't recommend going to visit it in February! (It was covered in snow!)
We had much luck and enjoyed having Arman for guided tour in Almaty this summer during five days. First of all, Arman talks perfectly english and is always on time. He is full of humor and he is very kind. He has a solar character and was always attentive for our confort in order to make our stay in Almaty unforgettable. He was able to adapt to our demanding and difficult tour request. The excursions were beautiful adventures in unforgettable landscapes: singing dunes, red and white rocks at Altyn-Emel National parc. Almaty region, Charyn Canyon, Big Almaty Lake and Lake Kaindy with good conditions (4-wheel-drive and lodge). Arman made us discover his country from within giving us plenty of interesting informations about his country. He helped us as well to make shopping for good value. When we had to leave him, we had the impression to get separated from a friend because the common experinece had been so beautiful and rich.
Nous avons eu beaucoup de chance et de bonheur d'avoir comme guide et chauffeur Arman à Almaty cet été durant 5 jours. Tout d'abord Arman parle un anglais impeccable et est toujours très ponctuel. il est une personne pleine d^humour et de bienveillance, chaleureuse et toujours prêt à se mettre en 4 pour notre confort et que notre séjour soit inoubliable. Il a su s'adapter à notre programme exigent et difficile dans un court séjour. Les excusions étaient de belles aventures dans des paysages à couper le souffle: dunes chantantes , parc national altyn-emel des roches rouges et blanches, Almaty, Charyn canyon, Big Almaty Lake, Kaindy Lake dans de bonnes conditions (voiture tout terrain et logement) Arman nous a fait découvrir son pays de l'intérieur en nous donnant plein d'intéressantes informations sur son pays. Il nous a aussi de faire des achats à bon prix. quand nous nous sommes quitté , nous avons eu l'impression de quitter un ami tellement cette expérience a été belle riche et amicale.