Kyrgyzstan Off The Beaten Path

  • Mountain view
    Mountain view
    by Tobbelkp
  • Lots of horses everywhere
    Lots of horses everywhere
    by Tobbelkp
  • Lake Issuk Kul
    Lake Issuk Kul
    by Tobbelkp

Kyrgyzstan Off The Beaten Path

  • The Torugart Pass, road to China and...

    Being the first Westerners, or Capitalists as our reluctanthost Dr.Bek regarded us as, did cause even more suspicionswhen I spent a long time oogling the detailed Soviet maphe had of the area, and asked him all sorts of questions aboutborder crossings and which border crossings were open.I was dreaming of maybe coming back and making thetrek...

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  • Barskoon, the reason we came to...

    It all started some months before Yeltsin stood on a tank,before Kirgiztan gained independence, in the kitchen ofmy Russian girlfriend in Leningrad where I was living when chattingto a Kirgiz boy who was studying there in the city.The USSR was such a vaste nation and I wanted to seeplaces not yet seen by other westerners, hidden in thefar corners...

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  • Ak-Shyrak. on the road from Barskoon.

    We stayed in Barskoon several nights, we were the first ever Westerners tovisit this town. We stayed in the house of Dr.Bek and his wife was a school teacherin the local school in Barskoon. There were only Kirgiz people in the town/village,but up on a nearby hill, some Russians in some sort of scientific station.We visited many places surrounding...

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  • At-Bashi & ruins of a small citadel at...

    Although we spent 6 weeks in and around the Issik Kul Lake, because it was winter, we didn't make many places because the roads are blocked by snow and ice in the winter, or just darn dangereous.At-Bashi. a town, which stands on the site of settlements that date from the 8th to 14th centuries.The main road from Naryn to Torugart takes you over the...

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  • Ala-Bash valley

    Ala-Bash, valley - (southern shore of the Issyk-Kul). Ala-Bash is a small mountain, dotted with sharp black and red cliffs, which proudly stands in the center of the valley. By the south - eastern foot of the Ala-Bash was once a medieval village, the ruins of which are clearly visible from the slopes. Many Petroglyphs with hunting scenes and images...

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  • The Chinese mosque in Karakol

    I guess not so many mosques around the world have such a distinct Chinese style. This is because the border with China is so near. The Mosque is located 600 meters from the Main Bazaar in direction of Ak Suu; it was build without nails by architects and artisans belonging to the local Dungan community (Dunga: term used in the former Soviet People...

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  • At Bashi in Naryn

    At Bashi is pretty far off the normal beaten path, but well worth the visit just to see the majestic mountains here that seperate Kyrgyzstan from China. Shepherd's Life runs a program to let tourists stay with locals in their Yurts in this area, so be sure to look them up when you're in Naryn.

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  • Jety Oguz Valley

    Meaning "7 bulls" in the local language, this valley is famous for the 7 red sandstone cliffs that local legend gives an interesting history to. On the other side of these cliffs is Broken Heart Rock, which has an entirely different legend to go with it. Even besides the interesting local legendry, the valley is beautiful and fully worth the effort...

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  • Mountains

    The Tien-shan mountains are really majestic and panoramic with very different and amazingly strange landscape. Look very mysterious in evening and in the moonlight.

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  • Amazing little waterfall

    Follow the Road From Song Kul to Naryn south. After an impossible number of switchbacks lead you down from the high vally the raod looks to level off as a mountian stream begins to parralel the road. Take a break, you'll need one after the hairraising downhill drive, and walk up stream a bit, maybe a 1/4 mile. Hidden from the raod is a beautiful...

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  • Lenin at the Resoviour

    Near Talas(ask directions in the town) there is a resoviour held into a valy by a large dam. Carved into the wall of the mountian, right over the dam, is a huge Lenin head. With his slightly asian looks he watches over the dam built by communist forces and watches a world very different from Lenins stomping grounds in St. Petersburg.

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  • Karkara Valley: remote border with...

    This ride is really fantastic as you will enjoy amazing mountain scenery, interesting birdlife, tiny remote villages and -in summer- yurts and cattle everywhere in the lush and quiet valley! An interesting option for the more adventurous, If you want to travel to/from Kazachstan or just do some sightseeing or hiking in the Valley.Arriving from...

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  • Torugart Pass: exciting overland route...

    This 700km trip over the 3752m Torugart Pass between Bishkek and Kashgar (China) is one of the most exciting road trips I undertook during my travelsThe scenery is breathtaking on both sides of the border. At the Kyrgyz side mostly uninhabited wilderness and icy mountains, on the Chinese side it's dry, with steep, red coloured canyons, a red...

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  • Osh: important gateway and friendly...

    Osh is Kyrgyzstan’s 2nd biggest city, located in the Islamic Fergana valley and gateway to China (via Irkeshtam), Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as a base for trekking the Pamirs. I stayed in Osh for only 2 days on my way to Uzbekistan, and spend my time mostly in the Park, hanging around the open air Choykana’s (teahouses), where jobless and...

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  • An exciting road trip to Osh

    Just having lost $100 on the “militsa”-check **, I was really annoyed when sitting on the back seat of the shared taxi to Osh. But this 22 hour journey soon did me forget everything that had happened before! The road to Toktogul, over high mountainpasses and through dark tunnels, was covered in mist and mostly under construction, and traffic jams...

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  • Bishkek: a bit of luxury between tough...

    As I’m not a citylover, I didn’t explore Biskhek very well during my 9 days stay. Still I can say that it’s a pleasant and useful stopover to relax and do your formalities within a bit of luxury between tough travels.The highlights to me included enjoying the wide variety of restaurants with it’s nice terraces, hanging around the Ala-Too Square...

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  • Altyn Arashan: Hiking, Hot Springs &...

    Once in the beautiful Altyn Arashan Valley you can do a lot of outdoor activities, have a bath in the hot springs and -if you dare-, jump in the ice cold river afterwards!It's amazing to see how the Kyrgyz nomads control their horses. When I came back from the springs one day I was lucky enough to witness a traditional game of Ulak Tartysh , in...

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  • Cholpon Ata: beaches and snowcapped...

    Cholpon Ata, on the shores of Lake Issyk Kul, is a popular resort place where you can have a swim, burn in the sun at the beach or -if you have more days- hike up some snowcapped mountains around.As soon as I stepped off the bus, a young girl offered me room at their family home. For $5, incl. bf and diner. A really lovely family. And great food....

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  • Karakol: base for trips into the...

    From Karakol you can arrange a lot of superb trips such as trekking in the Tian Shan or Alatau Mountains, but it’s very hard to do this independently and cheap. An easier option is Altyn Arashan, a few yurts and basic guesthouses around a hot spring set in a beautiful valley (2600m), surrounded by some snowcapped peaks!You can choose various...

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  • Karakol: backpackers paradise but still...

    In the fairly nondescript –but friendly and scenically located- town of Karakol I had myself dropped at Yak Tours, the business of Valentin who runs a backpackers hostel here .I was quite happy to stay at Valentins’, as since my start in Moscow 3 weeks before, I didn’t meet any English speaking traveller. The Hostel was full of backpackers, bikers...

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  • It would give you a lot,...

    It would give you a lot, actually, if while you wander about in the mountains you could visit a local family. They do really like to see people outside of their circle - so they will be glad to hear your tales as well!

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  • Seeing a local family milking...

    Seeing a local family milking their horses. With that milk they prepare a kind of fermented sour milk. To be honest I tried it, and I did not like it.

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Kyrgyzstan Off The Beaten Path

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