Karakol is a very special Place to ski. It is rather small and to reach the slopes you have to ride in a 4x4 on bumpy roads for almost half an hour.Up in the slopes there is a ski rental shop, a hotel and a couple of places to eat.There are both groomed slopes and several opportunities to ski off pist.There were no lift lines and no crowding in the...more
When we arrived in the winter of 1991, we were the first western tourists to visit the area, well there were some western Alpine climbers arrive the year before, but we were the first bona fide tourists!This highest and mightiest part of the Tian Shan system – the name means Celestial Mountains in Chinese – is at the eastern end of Kyrgyzstan,...more
See the Kyrgyz countryside at its best and like the local herdsmen by riding high into the mountains and galloping across summer pastures. If your not used to riding, then take it easy, or you will get to know the meaning of 'saddle sore', you will feel musclesthat you never knew you had in your legs..But the feeling you have as climbing on the...more
These are beautiful red sandstone formations, called Jeti Oguz which means "7 bulls". Again, the Kyrgyz nation of story-tellers have a legend for this place: a man had a beautiful wife who was stolen by another man. The husband decided that if he could not have her, nobody could. He organised a feast for her and her new hubbie, where he slaughtered...more
The church is beautiful - it has a magnificent facade, and an ornate and gaudy altar inside. Like the mosque, it is built without any nails. It was built in the 19th century.My daughter was wearing a bracelet given to her by one the ladies in the bazaar: it was a beaded bracelet meant to protect her in a Shamanistic tradition. While in the church,...more
This is a beautiful building with wonderful wooden carvings, including dragons. It was designed by a Chinese Muslim and built in 1910 by the Chinese and Kyrgyz people, without the use of any nails. The Imam described the place to us, but the only person allowed inside was my son, who was shown the intricate writings and carvings while we stood...more
With exhibits in both Russian and English, it is easy to discover quite a bit about this Russian explorer. He asked to be buried next to the lake. The old Russian lady who took us around the exhibits and memorial is as much a reason to see the museum as the museum itself - she seemed to be in love with Nikolai Przhevalsky, his handsome face, his...more
Visit and stay at the Chong Kizul Suu valley yurt camp located near the town of Kizul Suu which itself is near Karakol. It's arguably the best yurt camp in Kyrgyzstan with incredible views of the massive Tien Shaan mountains. Most of the other yurt camps are located in the Naryn oblast outside the village of Kochkor. While these yurt camps are also...more
This mosque was built by the Dungans (Chinese muslims) in 1910 completely without nails. What makes this mosque so unique is the obvious Chineses Buddhist influence on the design of the building, and could easily be mistaken as a Buddhist temple if no one were to tell you it was a mosque.more
The restaurant is situated in the center of karakolThe food is good and original.Sometimes the music and dancing is included, quite a nice place to meet local peopleThe evening we were there, russian people were dancing and kirghize were watching some dishes with potatoesalso the laghman was goodmore
Despite the interesting name, this cafe is popular among locals and foreign aid workers because of it's good food and clean environment. The menu is currently only in Russian, but the owners plan on creating an English version soon. Brizol - I don't know where this dish originates, but its like a thin slice of beef fried in eggs and then wrapped...more
Located in the center of Karakol, you can hear the live music (karaoke style) from blocks away and see people dancing away from the street, since all this action happens from the balcony of this cafe. Most of the music is Turkish or Arabic, but a few Russian songs will also be heard.Food and beer are also available.The balcony area is only open...more
This is one of the most popular disco techs in Karakol with one of the largest dance floors. The only problem is they don't serve alcohol, so if you want to get tipsy, drink before you go, or just step outside (like the locals) to chug a few shots of vodka before heading back in. Whatever you want - but "cool" is always best.more
Every hour during day time , the yellow bus brings you to the beach at ysikul lake , also at the
prevalsky museum, it is quite a nice and very cheap ride.
The buzz and the vibe were great. We shopped for fresh food, and chinese toys for the children. I loved the chinese flasks with big bold roses on them - we used one every day for our chai picnics out in the mountains. Shopping with children is a wonderful experience - people engaged with us so readily. An old lady gave us bracelet charms to protect my little girl. People grinned at us, and wanted us to take photos with them.
This was 19 years ago, so remember that.Since then everything has changed.Being stuck at KaraKol airport because the Russiansstopped the fuel and wanted hard currency.Then a Russian Army brass chap, needed toget to Moscow in a hurry so the plane was fueled.Watching the fantastic view below of the lake, thenafter circling Bishkek Airport for 20...more
A friend of mine living in Karakol went skiing last year and said the equipment was so ancient, that his skis shattered on his first run down the mountain. However, this year a large Russian/Kyrgyz construction company has poured tons of money to revamp the entire resort, buy new equipment, and modernize its facilities. I went up this year with a friend to go snowboarding, and the equipment was so new that I had to take the plastic wrap off the board, show the technician how to put the bindings on, and use my pocket knife to cut off all the tags from the boots.
Equipment: The equipment they have now is top of the line, but they haven’t finished all their construction yet, so there is only a t-bar to get to the top of the mountain – a new lift is expected for next year. Ski rentals are 400 som.
There is no sports shop there yet, so make sure you bring your own goggles, gloves, snow gear, etc.
eating caviar from a bucketeating a typical 'Dungan' meal at at a Dunganfamily. Chinese muslims who fled from China and settledthere.visiting small ethnic german villages.Meeting a Russian hunter and his family,he used to be dropped by helicopter in themountains. He would hunt mountain goat andother animals. On the 3rd day he would light a fire ata...more
travelling by army jeep up into the mountainsto see a herd of 400 yak, being invited toa sheeps head dinner by the herdsmen.visiting the market at 5am seeing the livestock.Eating ploff with a Krygyz for breakfast.Horseback ride up into the mountainsand forest reserve.Renting a helicopter and flying over the glaciersto a smal lsettlement with a...more