Kyrgyzstan, or the Kyrgyz Republic to give it its official identify, is sort of merely one of the crucial attention-grabbing, pristine and exquisite international locations in Asia, providing the adventurous traveller a wealthy and rewarding vacation spot. My identify is Jonny Bealby, I based Wild Frontiers, and on this quick movie I’m going to speak about tourism in Kyrgyzstan.
Although small, Kyrgyzstan is completely shaped. The Tien Shan – or Mountains of Heaven – that stretch throughout its size and breadth are lush and inexperienced, excessive and wild, dissected by sweeping steppe lands, primal forests, crystal streams, turquoise lakes and lofty snow-capped peaks. I first rode by way of right here on horseback in 1999 whereas writing a e-book and making a Discovery Channel movie, and I believed then it actually was one of the crucial lovely international locations I had ever visited.
The nation is primarily a mountainous land rising in altitude from 400 metres within the Ferghana Valley to over 7,400 metre on the summit of Peak Pobeda. More than half of the nation is over 3,000 metres excessive, whereas a 3rd is completely coated in snow. But regardless of the immense pure great thing about this landlocked Central Asian, Silk Road republic, it’s the folks themselves that carry Kyrgyzstan to life, and on lots of our excursions to the nation you’ll stick with native households with whom we’ve developed particular friendships.
So to the nation and the primary websites you’ll see. Heading east out of the leafy, tree-lined streets of the capital Bishkek – a spot famend for its markets, monuments and wonderful museum – you’ll first cross the imposing eleventh century Borana Tower, earlier than skirting the sting of Lake Izzy Kul. Here, within the far northeast of the nation, you possibly can spend a few days on the lake, go to the attention-grabbing city of Karakol or head to Karkara Mountain Camp for a little bit of helicopter assisted glacier trekking, obtainable yearly on our Celestial Mountain Action Adventure.
From right here you’ll most likely transfer on across the southern shores of the lake, visiting one of many well-known eagle hunters, and probably trek over the one of many many magnificent passes, earlier than hitting the primary highway south in the direction of China, and one of many final remaining historic Silk Road caravanserais at Tash Rabat. Here you possibly can go for walks, or trip one of many native’s horses, all of the whereas staying in one of many conventional yurts whereas Nazira and her household take care of you. People typically ask me, the place is my favorite place on the planet – effectively, that is proper up there; sitting on the hills above the valley is among the most peaceable settings I do know.
From right here most will both head over the border to China and the well-known Silk Road crossroads city of Kashgar or west throughout the mountains to one other jewel within the Kyrgyz crown, Lake Son Kul. A 3,000 metre excessive glacial lake, some 40 kilometres in size, once more it presents an awesome place to stroll or trip among the many hills and meet extra of the locals.
As you head additional west so you possibly can cross the sensational Ferghana vary and go to the area across the Tajik border – significantly travelling up to Peak Lenin base camp – or head down into the Ferghana Valley and the traditional Silk Road city of Osh. Many of our journeys come this fashion as they head into neighbouring Uzbekistan, however persevering with on the circuit again spherical in the direction of Bishkek and also you come to yet one more fantastic area of pure magnificence, Sary Chelek National Park.
At Wild Frontiers we run each small group excursions and tailored holidays to Kyrgyzstan. While some journeys focus solely on this nation, others soak up Kyrgyzstan on longer journeys by way of this Silk Road area. It’s additionally the place that we run one in all our greatest horse driving adventures; loosely following the route I took again in 1999, for these desirous about equine holidays, this journey is solely sensational.
As you possibly can see, so far as pure mountain magnificence is worried Kyrgyzstan is unrivalled within the area. It is a rustic with few political points, a spot with good vacationer infrastructure and but comparatively few vacationer. It’s a spot the place you possibly can stroll, trip, mountain bike, raft or heli-trek – with us, all on a single journey! – and as of 2012 there aren’t any visa necessities for British and lots of different nationalities.
As I say after I rode by way of the nation 15 years in the past, I knew I had found a gem…and so it’s right now. Kyrgyzstan actually is one in all journey travels greatest stored secrets and techniques.