Kyrgyzstan is one of the small and beautiful countries in Central Asia that people almost forget about. Almost 95% of the country is covered in mountains. Spectacular nature, traditions, welcoming people. Kyrgyzstan has so much to offer and everything is so incredibly cheap.

But why people got surprised and somehow scared when we told them we would travel to Kyrgyzstan? And where are all the tourists? Those questions we asked ourself, coming to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, by plane from Bangkok via Novosibirsk in Russia. Where are all the backapckers we met in Southeast Asia? Is it the "evil" ending -stan that evokes a "dangerous" country, or is it because 80% of people are Muslim? Or is it the Soviet history and the fact that most of the people don't speak English? We have no idea, but we know that Kyrgyzstan is a amazing and safe country that will amaze you with stunning nature and incredibly friendly and hospitable people.

The legend says that when God created the world, he gave all people a piece of land to live. He forgot the Kyrgyz people, so in the end they got a piece of land so beautiful that God wanted to keep it for Himself at first. It is a legend, but when you are finally in Kyrgyzstan and you get to the mountains so beautiful that you could never imagine, you will believe it!

Do you want to know the prices in Kyrgyzstan? Check out our Kyrgyzstan budget guide.


Map Places from the photo journey on the map


Horses - Lake Issyk-Kul
Horses - Lake Issyk-Kul
Once a nomadic nation, Kyrgyz people lived in the mountains in yurts. Horses are still very important part of Kyrgyz culture that you can meet everywhere.
 Yurt
Yurt
Sleeping in a yurt is a must in Kyrgyzstan. It is a portable dwelling of nomadic people in Central Asia used for at least three thousand years. The yurt has a round wooden constructions, covered with skins or felt. It is a very important national symbol. The crown of the yurt is used as the main symbol on the flag of Kyrgyzstan.
Mountains near Karakol
Mountains near Karakol
If you haven't been to Kyrgyzstan before, don't waste your time in Bishkek and get to Lake Issyk-Kul, the second largest mountain lake in the world (an altitude of 1,600 metres).
Russian Orthodox Church - Karakol
Russian Orthodox Church - Karakol
Go to Karakol - a good base for the mountain trips. It is a small city surrounded by mountains. Visit the Karakol market or Russian Orthodox Church. Otherwise there is not much to see, so buy your food supplies there and get off to the mountains.
Altyn-Arashan
Altyn-Arashan
Hike to Altyn-Arashan (Golden Spa). It is a valley with hot springs and views of 5000m mountain tops. There are cabins that offer accommodation and hot springs pools or saunas. Don't expect any luxury, but a great experience!
Hot springs - Altyn-Arashan
Hot springs - Altyn-Arashan
We prefered the "more natural" hot springs next to Altyn-Arashan river. Do it if you like adventure, don't try that if you like luxury (we had to clean it first and throw out all the frogs :).
For us it has been an unforgettable experience to sit in the warm pool, surrounded by mountain tops, listen to the river and watch the stars in cold weather in May.
Altyn-Arashan
Altyn-Arashan and treks around
Go for a short trek to see the view or start the mountain crossing there. Everything depends on the time of the year, weather and your plan and abilities. There are plenty of possibilities to choose from.
Altyn-Arashan
Altyn-Arashan and treks around
The views are breathtaking if you climb just a little bit up....
Jeti-Oguz
Jeti-Oguz
Get to Jeti-Oguz village to see the rock formation Jeti-Oguz (Seven Bulls).
Jeti-Oguz village
Jeti-Oguz village
Jeti-Oguz village is a small place with accommodation, nice people and a starting point for the Jeti-Oguz valley. We recommend to stay at a lady with two small kids who runs a new "hotel" with a yurt in front of the building. She is super nice and speaks good English.
Jeti-Oguz village
Jeti-Oguz village
There are great views if you climb a small hill above the village.
Jeti-Oguz
Jeti-Oguz
The combination of the nomadic life and the Soviet times is somehow interesting....
Horse ride in Jeti-Oguz
Horse ride in Jeti-Oguz
In the Jeti-Oguz valley you can ask locals for a horse ride. There are 5 year olds who ride a horse like a pro.
Horse ride in Jeti-Oguz
Horse ride in Jeti-Oguz
We haven't been riding a horse much before, so it was fun when my horse decided to take me on a tour away, probably somewhere to Kazachstan....
Ala Archa Canyon
Ala Archa Canyon
If you want to go to the mountains near Bishkek (40km), go to Ala Archa Canyon. The region is popular for climbing, hiking and weekend picnics. You can find what suits you.
Ala Archa Canyon
Ala Archa Canyon
There is a short trek to waterfall that can be prolonged to Ratsek Hut where you can see the Aksai glacier.

Map Places from the photo journey on the map

Read more
cambodia photo journey top things to see in china laos photo journey top things to see in philippines top things to see in samoa top things to see in vietnam
Booking.com Booking.com Uber
Promo code: se7mwtdtue
Airbnb - Save $35 off your first booking!