top 10 places to visit in kyrgyzstan

It is one of my favourite places near Karakol, especially during autumn. Getting there with a public transport can be tricky as the trail begins just off the main highway connecting Bishkek to Issyk Kul. Being part of the Fergana valley it is a very multicultural city. Read more information in my guide about Sary Mogul and the Alay mountains. Or so the story goes and there are even two monuments put up to remember his visit. In this post I will share the best places to visit in Kyrgyzstan to help you plan your itinerary. Jeti Oguz is a small village famous for its sanatorium and red rock formations. We spent the day chatting and bathing on the southern shores and exploring life in these towns. The holy shrines on the Suleiman Too mountain are of the same age. Tuman means fog in Kyrgyz and as you guess it, you will find people dancing away their night to techno music in a smoke-covered dance floor. Hiking paths to the waterfall starts at the parking lot, opposite the boulder with a sculpture of Yurii Gagarin, a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut who became the first human to journey into outer space. For those with an interest in Soviet history you can also visit the Jeti Oguz Sanatorium. First of all, because the red bull rocks are at its most beautiful during sunset and sunrise. On top of that, Bokonbaevo has some of the best and most welcoming homestays in Kyrgyzstan. The main road from Bishkek to China, a part of the ancient Great Silk Road, passes through Balykchy before it starts its long and arduous way across the alpine ranges of Naryn Province in central Kyrgyzstan to the Chinese border at Torugart Pass. Its for example one of the best places to see the Kyrgyz practice of eagle hunting or to see what it takes to build a yurt. I am Pashmina. It is the best place to explore multiple routes from day trips to multi-day hikes. Located right by the Baan Baan Thai restaurant on the Tynystanov St, Save the Ales is a great place to sit outside with friends, have a nice craft beer and enjoy a relaxing evening. It is also a good place to go people-watching and have a peek into the more common lifestyle of the average Kyrgyz people unlike in the city center. Being in central Asia, Kyrgyzstan was also part of the famous Silk Road. For more information you can read my post on the best things to do in Bokonbaevo. There was a documentary of how this valley has regained its lost splendour and is on the verge of opening up itself to tourism and adventure activities such as mountain biking and skiing. It might be a long valley with multiple attractions, but waterfalls are one of the first few features youll see on the dirt road which was once built and used for gold mining. Here are a few tips on what to pack for your trip to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: See My Packing List: 60 Travel Essentials. Also nearby is the Issyk ata sanatorium with its natural hot springs and the green Alamedin valley. These two rock formations have become symbols of the Issyk-Kul region and are among the top spots to visit. Jyrgalan Valley is located 60 km east of Karakol it was once a Soviet mining village and the sudden burst in tourism has changed the character of this place making it a great place to experience community-based tourism and a different kind of rural setting in Kyrgyzstan. The views on the green alpine meadows welcome you as soon as you arrive as well as a number of very friendly homestays. I fall in love with the city so much so that I decided to use Bishkek as a base for my travel for the next 5 months. The city is an amalgamation of Soviet architecture with Kyrgyz buildings with tree-lined paths, that looks similar to Uzbekistans Fergana Valley. When I first arrived in Bishkek, I did not plan to spend much time in the city, as I was looking forward to spending more time in the mountainous region of Kyrgyzstan and its neighboring countries but on my first day in Bishkek, my ATM card got eaten by the machine right at the airport (do not use the Rosinbank () ATM machine!) For more information about how to get there and where to sleep you can read my post about Jeti Oguz. 21 Must-Read Inspirational Outdoor Adventure Books, The Beginner's Guide To Start Bike Touring, 2022 The Gone Goat.All rights reserved.About | Privacy Policy | Work With Me | Join The Newsletter.

Next to the village is the world's largest walnut forest which in total spans around 60,000 hectares of up to 1,000 year old trees. It is now only on the path to the tourist sites of the lake, but largely overlooked. Make sure to ask the driver when the last marshrutka leaves that day so you do not miss it. How to get there: There is no public transport to Song kol lake and basically there are three options. I spent time in the Southern shores where it was often visited by locals and it remains near to Bokonbaevo, home to Kyrgyz Eagle Breeders who often demonstrate their craft with Falconry. In most cases, you can simply just walk but if you want to go further, buses and marshrutkas (minivan) are available and covers most of the places you want to go in the city. Host Restaurant is a great place to indulge yourself in the spices of Indian cuisine, something I really miss after being in Central Asia for a while. Through CBT Bokonbaevo you can arrange a taxi to get you there and wait for you. Save this page on Pinterest for later and don't forget to follow us on Pinterest. It developed as a Russian outpost before becoming the capital of the Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan. Part Travel, Part Misadventures, Part Documentary. 3 weeks is a good amount of time to explore this country, but Kyrgyzstan has so much to offer that the more time you have, the better. Are you interested in the history of the Silk Road in this part of the world? I can't remember how many times I crave the good old Thai food when I was based in Bishkek and right about the time I was there, a new Thai restaurant opened by a Thai chef and I had a chance to be a lab rat and tasted their meals. Otherwise go to the Bokonbaevo bus station that is next to the cbt office and the bazaar. Brewster is the perfect place to stop by and cozy up during Spring, Autumn or Winter when it gets too cold outside. You can even stay the night to sleep in a yurt on the beach. Tosor is one of my favourite places to visit in Kyrgyzstan for taking a dip in the lake. Central Asian food can be quite bland so if you are seeking to spice your life a little, here is the place. If so, then Burana Tower is a must-visit as it is one of the last remnants of the ancient city of Balasagun established at the end of the 9th century. New adventures, guides, videos, inspiring tales and more. They also serve cheap "menu of the day" western-style lunch if you are interested. The fertile marshlands attract the nomadic Kyrgyz herdsmen as it is the perfect place to let their livestock graze in summer. There is a daily marshrutka at 2 pm from Osh to Daroot Korgon stopping in most settlements in the Alay valley. Things to do: Suleiman too mountain, Osh bazaar, Things to see nearby: Sary Mogul and the Alay mountains, Arslanbob, Where to sleep: Guesthouse VIP, Konok Center hostel & Park hostel. A post shared by ( It is also a great introduction to the wilderness in Kyrgyzstan. For more information about how to get there and where to sleep you can read my Tosor travel guide.

Try all the Foreign Food in Bishkek, and don't forget to follow us on Pinterest. Tash Rabat literally means stone yard in Kyrgyz the 15th century inn was meant to serve as a Silk Road station between Chatyr Kul and the mountains towards China. Furthermore, it is a young and dynamic city that is now more Kyrgyz than ever. Like all bad things that happen, good things always come out of it and as I spent weeks getting my ATM card back, I made friends, got to discover all the cool places in the city.

Only an hour away is the beautiful Ala Archa National park with its waterfalls and forested mountain slopes.

Lenin Peak is located in the Trans-Alay Range of the Pamir Mountains between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. an organized day trip to Ala Archa National Park, complete 3 weeks itinerary travel guide to Kyrgyzstan, travel guide for trekking the Ala Kul trail and how you can do it in 2 days, complete guide on how to plan your Pamir Highway road trip, 2 weeks itinerary and a travel guide in Uzbekistan, complete travel guide with a one week itinerary for Turkmenistan. For the locals, Manjyly Ata is a spiritual and holy place known as the valley of sacred springs. There are frequent mini buses from Karakol to the start of the trail, so this is perfect for a do it yourself trip without a guide. All you need to do is click on the Celestial Mountain Trips and explore their itinerary. For a region that has been inhabited by nomadic populations for a long time, youll find monuments that are of significant importance including a vast number of medieval objects. The Ala-Too Square is my favorite place to go walk around in the evening in Bishkek as this is where the locals like to gather to relax and enjoy the sunset. Also Read: Community Based Tourism in Arslanbob, Kyrgyzstan: What To Do In Walnut Haven, A post shared by WONDERFUL KYRGYZSTAN (@wonderful_kyrgyzstan). Nature in Kyrgyzstan is everywhere and its culture and history is equally interesting. The Issyk Kul lake is not only one of the world's few remaining ancient lakes, but it is estimated to be an incredible 25 million years old.

Please do not use your business name to comment. Here are a selection of travel guides and itineraries for traveling in Central Asia: Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Hiking and horse back riding is possible too. Things to do: hike to Ak Sai waterfall, the Ala Archa river trail, pik Komsomolets, Adygene valley. Because of the unusual lay out archeologists believe it might have been used for religious purposes too. Osh is also a great city from where you can explore the nature in Southern Kyrgyzstan that receives much less tourists than other places even though it is just as spectacular. For more information you can read my Arslanbob travel guide. Since it is located in the Naryn region, it is worth a stop just for its sheer remoteness and understanding of its place before heading to Chinas Torugart Pass. Today, I am a content creator who spends most of my time chasing the great outdoors instead of somebody elses life. Song kul lake is a very peaceful spot and totally worth all the effort of getting there. It's a little expensive but they serve authentic Japanese food from the delicious eel dish to fresh sushi. For more information you can read my Manjyly Ata travel guide. Whatever you do, you will be surrounded with incredible surroundings. The thriving bazaar in Osh has been there on the exact same place for more than 2000 years. Song kul lake is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Kyrgyzstan. Where to sleep: Chinar Apart hotel, Apple hostel & Sakura guesthouseFor more information you can read my post on the best things to do in Bishkek. For places further away like Ala-Archa, Burana, and Konorchek, you can get a marshrutka from the bus station any time of the day as they operate under the "leave when it's full" mindset. Osh is not only the gateway to Southern Kyrgyzstan, but also one of the oldest cities in the country with a history of more than 3000 years.

Within this guide, you will find top 10 cool things you can do in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. There is a hiking trail through the hills that will take you along the springs. It is one of the most important historic sites in Kyrgyzstan and a reminder of the glory of the silk road days. Although its glory days are clearly over and the building looks like it is about to fall apart, it is still open for business. Another one is Navat Restaurant on the Togolok Moldo street. Here is a bonus tip for you in case you are already sick of Central Asian food. Most people visit as a daytrip from Karakol just to see the iconic red bull rocks and the broken heart. In the middle of nowhere with a fantastic mountainous backdrop lies the 15th century stone caravan serai.

Looking for more Kyrgyzstan articles? The scenic valley and the short hikes to the Barskoon waterfalls make it the perfect getaway for an easy going day trip from Karakol or Bokonbaevo if you have your own transport. Around the main area of Sary Chelek consists of a number of smaller lakes making it the perfect trek to explore off endless green meadows and valleys far away from the usual path in Kyrgyzstan. Heres a, Last but not least, one of the hardest country to visit in Central Asia is Turkmenistan and you will require to do a lot of planning before you can visit. Old mythical legends state that the broken heart was a result of two suitors who killed each other fighting over a woman. It may seem like an impossible task to visit all these places in Kyrgyzstan. Situated at 3,061 meters high, Song Kul is the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan and one of the main touristic attractions in the country. Although more and more people now live a settled life, the legacy of its nomadic past is still very visible in the Kyrgyz culture. Hello, I am Ellis. From there take a minibus or shared taxi heading in the direction of Karakol. There are so many things to do in Kyrgyzstan that there is something for everyone. Mountains are definitely the reason to visit Sary Mogul if youre heading towards Lenin Peak Base Camp. A post shared by Adilet Abylov (@graffixtation). They also include some other destinations like Iran, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Siberia places completely under the radar! Things to do: hiking in the dragon gorge for curious red rock formations, hiking to the valley of flowers, visit the sanatorium, enjoy the sunset over the red bull rock formations. How to get there: Tash Rabat is 2 hours from Naryn. The most popular way to travel to Song kul lake is on the back of a horse and this is possible all year long. There are several mountain towns to visit and each of them are very different. Thinking of their garlic naan, butter chicken, and tikka masala is already making me drool. Heres a, Kyrgyzstan is known for its mountains and one of the best trek you can do is the Ala Kul trek.

How to get there: From Bishkek you can take a minivan or shared taxi that takes around 7 hours.

Try Proper Kyrgyz Food at Navat or Cafe Faiza, 7. How to get there: From Osh take a shared taxi or bus to Bazar Korgon. If you have one month or just 2 weeks, I would break it down according to these spots so its easier to visit. Be sure to check out my guide on How To Plan A Backpacking Trip here. Enjoy a Couple of Beers at No Name Bar, Brewster or Save the Ales, 9. Come during sunset when the landscape is at its most beautiful. Arirang Restaurant is a Korean restaurant I would recommend if you are craving a proper Korean barbeque. One leads to a watefall and the second runs parallel to the ala archa river. The Skazka canyon is a place unlike any other place in Kyrgyzstan. The other option is by road and requires your own mode of transport. In Jyrgalan you can either go horse back riding or hiking with a choice of different trails. Even my local friend got her purse pickpocketed when she was there so please keep your belonging safe and in front of you at all time! It towers over the city and still attracts thousands of pilgrims. However, the further you get in the park, the more quiet it gets. There are two waterfalls that you can visit and you can combine it in a loop with the shaded walnut forests. The criteria I used for the best places to visit in Kyrgyzstan that I discuss in this post were its accesibility and its beauty. How to get there: From Bishkek you can take a shared taxi that takes around 12 14 hours. Looking for a complete one month itinerary and a travel guide for Central Asia? You can climb up the tower and witness the beauty of the surrounding landscape. For more information you can read my Skazka Canyon travel guide. It was difficult to choose and obviously, this list is far from complete. From the hot springs in Altyn Arashan to the the red rock formations in Jeti Oguz and the alpine meadows of Jyrgalan. Also Read: Lenin Peak Base Camp Trek: With Yurts, Mountains and Marmots. The alpine lake lies in a remote valley above 3000 meters. Enjoy Friday Live Music at Chicken Star, Bonus. The fact that it happened during the Tsarist and Soviet era, youll find a lot of architectural gems and Russian homes. From Altyn Arashan, Jeti Oguz or Jyrgalan you can go on easy day hikes or treks to high altitude mountain lakes that can take multiple days. Here are some of the best storied and beautiful places to visit in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan really has a lot to offer. Baan Baan Thai Cafe is a Thai restaurant. Bustling bazaars are still the center of the few cities in the country. With most of their residents, about 16,000 being Uzbek, it is easy to see why this is a conservative town. There are two hiking trails. Bishkek might not be the nicest city you see. Its not just that but the key highlights are the valleys, panoramic views and a taste of the nomadic life led by the Kyrgyz people. Nothing suggests the strange world of geological rock formations and rich colours that is just a short 2 kilometer hike from the main road. A great country to start your journey in Central Asia is Kyrgyzstan since they are the easiest country to enter the region. You could take an old Soviet train from Bishkek for less than 2 USD and hop on a daily slow train from Bishkek that goes through a very beautiful mountain pass to an underused station to the south of the city.

The hiking opportunities here are one of the best in Kyrgyzstan and you are likely to have the trails for yourself. There are plenty of flights by Aeroflot and Air Astana that fly into Bishkek from Europe and Asia. It is almost everyones highlight whenever they come to Kyrgyzstan. Thankfully, Bishkek is an excellent place to find delicious foreign food and here are some of my favorite: Furusato is a Japanese restaurant run by a Japanese chef who moved to Bishkek with his wife a long time ago. For more information you can read my post on the best things to do in Osh. From here you can begin your way towards Lenin Peak Base Camp.

The beauty of Bishkek is that if you are craving nature, you are not too far off from one of the best national park in the country, the Ala-Archa national park. Its easy to spend weeks in Karakol exploring the area. Its scenic location in the Baba Atash mountains, its walnut forests and waterfalss are its major attractions as well as the friendly Uzbek people. You will find plenty more under our Kyrgyzstan Travel Guide section where you will find suggested itineraries, things to do, and everything you need to plan your Kyrgyzstan trip. The waters of lake issyk kul are icy cold, but where else can you swim with such beautiful mountain views. One tip, if you are looking for the real spicy taste, tell them you want Thai spicy level, not the one from their menu. Nothing beats No Name Bar, a popular local gathering place with garage-style decor and cozy atmosphere. A cultural anthropologist from the Netherlands who has travelled for more than 20 years to over 50 countries along the ancient Silk Road.

I spent close to a month in Kyrgyzstan and yet I could not get enough of the endless towns at the foot of the mountains and the seemingly unending glaciers, valleys and hospitality. If youre a first-timer and youre still not ready to go alone and would like a reputable company thats focused on taking you to the remote parts of Kyrgyzstan with a lot of trekking, culture, nature and well, its people - the guys at Epic Backpacker Tours are pretty amazing. It is the silk road caravanserais that hold importance to the Silk Road routes during ancient times. It is the perfect picture of mountains, yurts and horses where you can experience the life and culture of the Kyrgyz nomads. However, hiking to the Lenin Peak Basecamp is a relatively easy day hike from the nearby Tulpar kol lake where you can sleep in a yurt. Another trail and the one I did is called Ala-Archa valley trail. Wherever you go you will find yourself in absolutely stunning landscapes. If you like to end your trek with more than a sight-seeing event, head deeper and trek around Kok Jayik Valley (The Valley of Flowers Trek), where you can stay at a yurt, horse trek in the surrounding meadows and relax at the hot spring sanatorium. Here are some resources to help you get your trip going: Are you planning to travel to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan independently? It was perfect to walk around the town and see what local life is for them in Tong! The yurts, the storied fables about the steppes and home to surrounding mountains and parks with freshwater makes it one of the best places to visit in Central Asia. Looking for a nice local atmospheric place with good music to enjoy a pint of beer at night? From there you can either organize a taxi for the next 12 kilometers to the Alplager or try to hitchhike. From th US, Emirates do have a route to Bishkek via Dubai. The views are gloriously stunning and the park has several tributaries such as the Ak-Sai, Top Karagai, Teke-Terre, Tuy-Suu Adygine and Jindi-Suu. In summer you can also hike or cycle independently to the lake. I felt like at every corner I turned there was interesting history, myths and legends that belonged to the Silk Road era and accounts from nomadic herdsmen that made me want to revisit my history books again and again. Its likely that as a traveler you will end up there at some point in your journey. This former mining town has changed in the best place around Karakol for outdoor activities. It makes Bishkek a pleasant place to wander around. As you know, I am a light traveler and packing light for a trip like this is an art in and of itself. For a more convenient journey, I would recommend you go with an organized tour to Konorchek Canyon instead. Are you looking to dive deeper into Central Asia? The Gone Goat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. There are some spaces that are roaring out our intentions to belong here and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia is exactly that spot. You can watch my all my travel videos from Central Asia here: Looking for more travel guides for Central Asia? Did you know that in Kyrgyzstan it is even possible to go to the beach? With several ancient Silk Road cities, there is a ton to see in Uzbekistan. Read more about how to travel from Bishkek to Karakol. 18 Best Storied & Beautiful Places To Visit in Kyrgyzstan. One is the waterfall trail that goes left along the Ak-Sai river and ended in Ratsek base camp which should take you around 5 hours up from Alplager hut and 3 hours down, perfect for a long day hike. Week 1: Bishkek & surrounding areas (Ala Archa National Park, Kol Tor Lake and Burana Tower), Week 2: Tong District Isyk Kul Lake & surrounding areas (Jeti Orguz, Barksoon Gorge, Jeti Orguz), Week 3: Naryn & Kochkor (Song Kul Lake, Tash Rabat), Week 4: Karakol & Jyrgalan (Ala Kul Trek & Altyn Arashan), Week 5: Osh & Alay Mountains (Lenin Peak, Arslanbob, Sary Chelek).

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Its a great place for outdoor lovers with its majestic mountains and outstanding nature. Also read: A Day Trip Hike To Ala Archa National Park: Intro To Kyrgyzstan Wilderness. You can either walk back to Karakol the next day or do some more hiking in the Altyn Arashan valley. There is no public transport, but you can arrange a car with driver through cbt Naryn. These are not your average tours they are catered for individuals who want real adventures where you get to discover a side of a country which many people simply cannot imagine. The high altitude lake of Issyk kul has several beaches with powdery sands and clear blue waters. You can also stay overnight to climb local peaks the next day if you have your own tent and food. It is the easier one of the two. It is one of the most beautiful places along the southern road from Bishkek to Karakol. Some people think Kyrgyzstan is only for professional hikers, but that is not true. The city itself has few attractions, but with the spectacular nature on its doorsteps and a great community based tourism network it is very well worth a visit. Just 90km out of Bishkek (approximately 1.5 hours) to Kegety Gorge, lies a 7.5km trekking trail with an elevation of 900m that takes you to part of the Kygyz Ala too Mountain range, considered one of Kyrgyzstan most beautiful places with green meadows, and coniferous trees whistling in the wind.
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