As compared to “Switzerland”, Kyrgyzstan is a sour place with its mountain ranges, vertiginous pine forests and glistening glaciers. But it is one of the unique place in Central Asia, situated along the Silk Road. I can say it might be one of the most beautiful spots in the world. A lot of people fear to go to the place which involves “stan”, such as Tajikistan and Afghanistan. These regions are mostly unpopular due to their uneventful history. No one thinks about their beauty.
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On the other hand, Kyrgyzstan is a very stable country. Its people are incredibly hospitable, the political situation is stable, and the criminality is also very low. The country misses an excellent tourist infrastructure. But it is the best place for adventurous people. You can do many amazing things in Kyrgyzstan. Do enjoy the list of top things to do in Kyrgyzstan that has been especially aligned for you.
Swim in the Lake of Issyk-Kul: The Pearl of Central Asia
Issyk-Kul is the best highlight of any vacation in Kyrgyzstan. As the best place to relax is the beach and resort. This place provides the same relaxation along with spa treatments and mineral springs. For a refreshing swim, take a dip into the turquoise waters of Issyk-Kul, or just lay on the warm, sandy beach. This place is also best for the history lovers. As the petroglyphs around Issyk-Kul are very famous for their interesting history.
Visit the best open-air petroglyph museum in Kyrgyzstan. This museum is filled with some fantastic images of mountain sheep, horses, deer and bulls. Another picture shows hunters using tame snow leopards to hunt deer, is an interesting one. Its artistry has inspired shyrdaks and art to this day. Also discover the only example of Tibetan religious inscription, “The Tamga Tash”. This place is the reminder of the history in this region that is deep and complex.
Horse riding through the valleys of Jeti-Oguz
There is a unique and nomadic tradition, followed by the people of Kyrgyzstan. Vehicles are a little bit difficult to find there, but I bet there are twice as many horses in the country as people. Ride on the beautiful Kyrgyz horse through canyons in the Jeti-Oguz Valley. Also take a ride to Lake Song-Kol, a jewel in the crown of Kyrgyzstan’s mountain scenery. Try to visit in the summer when horse treks can be arranged from Koschkor. For a complete experience, stay in a yurt.
Jeti Oguz provides some external adventures for adventure seekers. This place is known as Kyrgyzstan’s most famous red sandstone figure. The story about how the rocks came to be where they are, is reflected through its name. Another amazing place to explore is Altyn Arashan. It is a gorgeous place with hot springs. A perfect place to relax the muscles of any hiker. For some adventurous experience, head deeper into the mountains and glaciers of Khan Tengri and Pobeda Peak. These two peaks are two of the highest peaks in Kyrgyzstan.
Stay in a Yurt
Staying in a traditional yurt is one the best thing to do in Kyrgyzstan. Especially in summer, many of the yurts pop up like mushrooms. This yurt can get an experience to get in contact with the nomadic traditions. History shows that the yurt camps were used to cater to the whims and wishes of western people. So, it is going to be a little challenging to find one, where you sleep and dine on the ground.
This yurt can give an amazing experience of waking up in the cradle, feeling the crisp mountain air on the skin and smelling the astonishing, aromatic pine trees. What could be better than this?
Hear the amazing noise of waterfalls in Arslanbob
A trip to Kyrgyzstan will be incomplete without stopping at Arslanbob to try the walnuts and visit the waterfalls. The Walnut Forests in Kyrgyzstan are one of the largest and most diverse in the world. Even, walnut was the first export to Europe and then taken by to Greece by Alexander the Great. Due to this reason, Russian are called Greek nuts. Explore these fascinating religious sites in the mountains, or the amazing caves, next to the smaller of the two waterfalls. These two waterfalls drop right in the middle of the village. One waterfall is short about 75 feet, and the more massive waterfall is about 260 feet.
Climb Burana Tower: A massive Minaret in the Chuy Valley
One of the things to do in Kyrgyzstan is climbing the Burana Tower. Burana tower is an enormous Minaret in the Chuy Valley of Northern Kyrgyzstan. This beautiful tower allows many visitors to climb to the top through its external staircase. This architectural element is one the famous monument in Kyrgyzstan. Explore a glorious view of surrounding valleys and mountains by climbing to the top of the tower. You can discover some impressive outlines of buildings in Balasagun.
Visit the nearby museums to see the artefacts from the region. A collection of ancient coins from different empires on the Silk Road are worth seeing. Do not forget to take a snap of stones in which have cravings of a human being in it, and are known as “balbals”.
Visit Kyzyl-Oi: The Red Valley
This amazing little town is located at the bottom of a breath-taking gorge towering. “Red Valley” has something unique according to its name. The clay of this town is sometimes browner and sometimes yellow. You are going to see some serious crowd here, due to the hues that create an amazing surreal feeling.
This place is quite different from the other villages of Kyrgyzstan. Kyzyl-Oi existed even before the Great Socialist Revolution kept its distinct Central Asian character with its reddish clay houses. This place is best for those who want to relax in the very heart of the Kyrgyz Ala-Too mountain range. This place offers a variety of locations to go for a hike or horse ride. There are many beautiful peaks in the village of Sary-Kamysh. The villagers itself take you up the summer high-altitude pastures to see some wildlife and pristine flora.
This place is full of amazing things to do for a passionate hiker. These rock formation over the aeons are created due to rains and winds. From my experience, Kyzyl-Oi is one of the best tourist attractions in Kyrgyzstan.
Discover the beautiful and picture-perfect lake of Sary-Chelek
I’ve already told that Issyk-Kul is one of the famous lakes in Kyrgyzstan, but Sary-Celek is the most tucked-away and picture-perfect lake in Kyrgyzstan. This beautiful lake, located on the southern side of the Chatkal Mountains range offers an awesome view for visitors. Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve covers 23,868 hectares.
This reserve is home to many bears, foxes, deer, boars, lynx, porcupines and even a few snow leopards. This place is perfect to slip away from the world for a bit to experience the quiet nature and hike up into the mountains.
Touch the sky at Son Kul Lake
This lake with a length of 29 kilometres, is one of the highest mountains lakes in the world. This charming lake is located at an altitude of more than three thousand meters. This place is usually filled with yurt camps and grazing animals, especially in the summer season. This place is very well-known for its rich birdlife, which makes this place a paradise for the ornithologist.
Discovering Son Kul is one of the top things to do in Kyrgyzstan. This is a vacation at the top of the world, with nothing between you and the sky. This place is only accessible in June, July, August and September. During the other months of the year, the snow makes the road impossible to drive. Because, buildings are not available on the meadows, just plains, yurts and animals. The bright blue water of Son Kul makes you feel like touching a sky. Travellers enjoy this place through swimming or horse riding.
Visit famous Karakol: Best spots in Central Asia for trekking
This is the fourth largest city in Kyrgyzstan and one the teeming city. Karakol is the best spot for trekking with a fascinating gateway to the region’s diverse history. Like other cities in Kyrgyzstan, it is not very old. The Russian military discovered Karakol as an outpost in 1869. On your visit to Karakol, do not forget to explore the amazing Orthodox Church.
Do some shopping in the bazaar of Osh
Even before the malls were built in Central Asia, bazaars were the best places to buy anything. Osh is one of the best and oldest main markets in the world. It is located along the Ak-Bura River in Osh, for over 2,000 years. A thousand years before, this was the famous place for merchants to sell their goods to the visitors passing through to cross the continent.
This place is the legacy of the Silk Road where some hustling bazaars make fantastic places to discover the gems of the city. You should not leave the region without experiencing the bustle and hum of activity at a local mart. Buy bag nuts or dried fruits, the perfect souvenir for you to take home. These markets offer a very friendly environment.
Also, visit the central Asian animal market for some incredible experience. This is a place where farmers, shepherds or other citizens gather to buy, trade or sell cattle. These negotiations are entertaining to witness. The languages, opinions and cultures collide between the locals; this negotiation ends with a vigorous and hard-won handshake that seals the deal. This can be one of the memorable experience if visited before midday.
Some of the incredible souvenirs shops in Osh are Museum shop, Saimaluu Tash Art Gallery and Saltanat Gallery. For fashion seekers, visit Ikat Fabrics that sell some incredible and traditional fabrics.
Follow the steps of pilgrims up Suleiman Too
Different mountains connect different religious and historical figures of the country. Legends tell about the powers of the various caves and shrines in the mountains. One of them is Babur’s mosque, built in 1510. He built this mosque on his way from Fergana to India.
He also found his Mughal Dynasty at the same place. Discover this incredible place to learn about an amazing history of Suleiman Too’s holy sites. You cannot miss its beautiful carves and shrines. There are other two mosques at the bottom of the mountain. Explore these mosques to get the full experience of the only UNESCO site completely in Kyrgyzstan.
Experience the World Nomad Games
To experience the full richness of nomadic culture, visit the World Nomad Games. This is one of the amazing ways to experience the nomadic culture. These games are only held after every two years. Try to plan the trip accordingly, to gain this most amazing experience. Different athletes from all around the world take part in different traditional sports. These sports like archery, horse races, wrestling and other intellectual games. Pick up your favourite team and cheer for them in Kok-born. This is a game that features teams of men on horses try to get a score by landing a dead sheep in a goal.
Other than sports, some amazing cultural events are also organized. These events include concerts, cooking competitions, fashion shows and plenty of crafts and souvenirs. Nomad Games is one the amazing thing offered by Kyrgyzstan. These games offer some daring athletes, warm hospitality and expert artisans, all in one place.
Nomad game is a unique one, and you should not miss it on any condition!!
Explore some interesting facts about Kyrgyzstan
Here are some of the interesting facts to help you get to know Kyrgyzstan.
- About 88 major ranges of mountains cover 70% land of Kyrgyzstan.
- The national drink of Kyrgyzstan is horse milk.
- Kyrgyzstan welcomes the spring season with the traditional New Year festival Nowruz. It is a festival where different people play such as Ulak Tartysh or Buzkashi.
- Bolsheviks to Frunze rename the capital Bishkek.
- There are forty prints of the sun rays on the flag of Kyrgyzstan. These sun rays represent the country’s original forty tribes.
Now that you know everything about Kyrgyzstan and also what to do in here. Plan an unforgettable trip to this spectacular country.