Have you been craving for a destination offering a unique escape? Then fly to Kyrgyzstan, a genuine nomadic country!
If its name still evokes memories of the imposing USSR, this country deserves a special attention: Three quarters of its surface is mountainous, half of it sitting at an altitude over 3000 meters, with peaks 7000 meters high on its borders. The ocean that once was at the heart of its mountains has since turned into many lakes.
Kyrgyzstan is a perfect spot for a recovery retreat, spending time among its semi-nomadic people, its shepherds and its horses, the country’s symbol. On top of its marvelous natural parks, Kyrgyzstan is also filled with unexpected landmark treasures, a heritage from its Russian, Chinese and Muslim influences.
Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital, has some nice assets it would be pity to miss. Known to be one of the greenest capitals in the world, its museums and theaters are also worth spending your time. And you won’t regret attending an opera or a ballet. The famous Osh bazaar, as colorful as it is busy, is a good way to get acquainted with the Kyrgyz lifestyle and culture.
In Karakol, a very distinctive mosque is still standing: It was built between 1907 and 1910 by the Chinese architect Ejoï Si, with the use of a single nail.
Should you decide to get away from the city buzz, the choice is yours between the country's mountainous regions, gorges, lakes, pastures, and archaeological sites. If you are looking for a change of scenery, sleeping for a couple of nights under a yurt in the wilderness is the best way to mingle into local life, and an experience never to be forgotten.
Waking up in front of the Pamir and Tian Shan “celestial mountains” whose peaks reach over 7000 meters will leave you speechless.
The region is also home to the Tcholpon Ata site, the largest seaside resort in Central Asia. Not to be missed are the white sand beaches, and a visit to the “stone garden”, a 42-hectare open-air museum with petroglyphs from 2000 B.C and funerary monuments.
The pearl of Kyrgyzstan remains the Issyk-kul, the “hot lake”, whose turquoise and salty waters are famous for their healing properties. Standing at an altitude above 1600 meters, it is one of its kind worldwide. Among the many other significant lakes in the country are the Ala Kul and the Sound Kul - second largest lake, at an altitude of 3013 meters.
Kyrgyzstan is also a land of legends and history. Gengis Khan and Marco Polo came across the country on their way through the Silk Road. The most significant remain of this period is the Tach Rabat caravanserai, “the stone fortress”, built at an altitude of 3500 meters, which is regarded as the largest and best preserved caravanserai in the whole central Asia.
Jayma’s Bazaar, in Och, is one of the largest markets in the region. Stretching over a few kilometers along the river, its history goes back to the Silk Road.
Osh - the second largest city in the country, was according to a legend, founded by King Solomon. And its neighboring mountain, the Soulaiman-Too, has been revered as a sacred mountain for at least a millennium. It is now listed a UNESCO World Heritage worship site.
In Kyrgyzstan, you will experience much more than visiting a new country. You will discover a unique way of life.