Ala Kul Lake

Itinerary map
See itinerary here
(Continued from Kazakhstan)
September 11th, 10:30am. I am on the Kyrgyzstan border after crossing one of the most remote border I have seen in my life. I am waiting for a ride. No bus, no taxi here.... The next village is 28km away. Approximately 30 cars go through this border on busy days. A polish guy shows up, walking like me across the border. He speaks some Russian.
We wait for for 2 hours before seing a vehicle coming from Kazakhstan.
A group of Kazakh people on holidays traveling in 2 Prados have some room for us!
house hiking mountains house mountain
horse We leave for Karakol, driving through amazing landscapes, but incredibly difficult roads. Karakol was more more touristy than anticipated. In Kazakhstan, I saw some odd tourists here and there, but here, Oh My God! Where is everyone coming from?

Karakol is a prime destination for some great multi day hikes into the Tian Shian mountains. I hiked 58km in 3 days to Ala Kul lake and over a 4000m pass where it was snowing! On my last hiking night, I slept in Atyn Arashan, a beautiful, but rustic camp located in a valley with amazing hot springs. With a cold beer, a great meal served by local people and 40 degree hot springs, this was a great way to end a strenuous hike. On my way back to Karakol, I visited the Sunday morning animal market, one of the biggest in central Asia. Hundreds of horses, cows and sheep are brought to Karakol every week by farmers in the hope to sell them to local people. It was an amazing experience, especially considering the skills needed to avoid the poo and pee by all these animals!

I was looking for an authentic stay in a yurt with a local family, so I traveled to Ton (Tong), close to Bokenbayevo to sleep at Alamu Yurt camp, located directly on the Isyyk-Kol lake.


sign I love Biskek

snow peak people Russians border crossing

I visited Koshkor for two days before slowly coming back to Bishkek by stopping at Burana Tower near Tokmok. A nice lady gave me a free ride from Tokmok to Bishkek.
Kyrgyz people are so nice!

Although many books and blogs write negatively about Bishkek, I really enjoyed the city with it's many parks, great fountains, interesting Soviet architecture buildings and art scene.
The philharmonic concert was a super cultural event!

Continue reading, because Georgia was my next destination!

You can check more of my pictures from Kyrgyzstan on flickr.

kid playing