Memos from Asia

The Highest Skating Rink in the World: Medeu in Kazakhstan

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The Medeo (or Medeu) is an outdoor speed skating and bandy rink located in a mountain valley on the south-eastern outskirts of Almaty, Kazakhstan. Captured during winter

Kazakhstan has the leading ice skating complexes in Central Asia. Medeu is the legendary sports complex, which is located about 26 km (16.2 miles) away from Almaty city.

Medeu, skating rink in a mountain valley

The Medeo is the world’s highest rink and is located at 1691 meters (5547.9 feet) above the sea level.

The complex was opened in 1972 and works 7 days a week. (Medey, https://medey.info/). Tickets for the Medeu is not expensive and can be bought online. The price of a ticket is 1800 Tenge ($4.3 US) for adults and 400 Tenge ($0.95 US) for 7-13 years old children. However, entrance is free for pensioners and children under 7.

Ski lifts and Medeo (or Medeu), Kazakhstan

Several restaurants and cafes exist in the territory of Medeu, so you can relax and have delicious meals.

Visitors will have an opportunity to see the beautiful landscapes of the surrounding area on a cable car in Medeu. The length of the cable car is 4.5 km (2.49 miles), and it takes 15 minutes to complete a one-way journey. (Tourister, https://www.tourister.ru/world/asia/kazakhstan/city/almaty/active/16696)

If you are absolutely beginner in ice skating, sport schools, sections, and experienced instructors are ready to help you.

Good news for music lovers. The sports complex regularly holds music events and shows, where you can meet famous DJ and hip-hop performers.

The natural beauty of mountains, clean air, mild climate, low pressure, and high-quality service in Medeu can make your travel memorable and pleasant. (Ticketon, https://ticketon.kz/place/vsk-medeu)

World Records

The rink opened in 1951 and has hosted the 2011 Asian Winter Games, 2012 Brandy World championship, and 2017 Winter Universiade. In summer the rink is used for go-cart races for locals and tourists.

Over the 120 records were set in Medeu in different ice sport such as speed racing and ice skating. The first two world records and six all-Union records were established on the opening day of Medeu. (World list Travel, http://worldlist.travel/eurasia/kazakhstan/medeu.phtml)

Interesting facts

As you already know, Medeu is number #1 rink in the world in terms of the altitude. Meanwhile, it is the biggest complex in the world. You cannot find another artificial ice field with 10,500 square meters (113,021 square feet) in other ice skating complexes.

One of the chief reasons for the building of the Medeu ice skating rink was more slippery ice. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, mainly in the 1950s, it was identified that skaters achieved higher results on Almaty than Siberia. (Almaty Zagranitsa, https://almaty.zagranitsa.com/article/4727/vysokovysoko-v-gorakh-top10-faktov-o-medeu-kotorye-vy-mogli-ne-znat)

Championships

The huge complex does not only serve as an ice skating field for guests and locals. The 2.3 meters (6.5 feet) thickness of the ice allows holding championships in hockey, speed skating, and figure skating.

Medeu was reconstructed in 2017 for the Winter Universiade.

How to get to Medeu?

Guests can get to the sports complex by bus, taxi, or renting a car.

If you go by bus, you should take a bus from the “Dostik – Kurman-Gazi” bus stop in Almaty. It usually costs 80-150 Tenge (0.19-0.35 USD).

Traveling by car takes about 35-40 minutes. The famous taxi brands: Yandex Taxi, Taxi Maksim and Lider are always ready to help you to get the Medeu. (Tourister, https://www.tourister.ru/world/asia/kazakhstan/city/almaty/active/16696)

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