Although it is a bit early to talk about camping, it would not really hurt to make some plans for upcoming summer vacations as well! Thinking about the perfect nature of Kyrgyzstan, rich with mountains, lakes and rivers, what else could be better than being in harmony with it? How? By camping!
Just imagine escaping far far away from the chaos of urban life and staying alone with nature – just you and the enchanting beauty all around: crystal clear pristine water of the lake and the moons reflection on it, peaceful night sounds from the woods, the sky filled with stars,just like the sparkled showers from above…
All said above can only be felt there, on the mountains. All you need to do is get in touch with some tour agencies, which are so many around, take warms clothes and you are all ready! The equipments are often provided by the agencies themselves.
After some months of life in Kyrgyzstan, I found how the country is rich with natural beauty. The most part of it is mountains and the treasure inside them is even more. The pristine lakes, rivers and green woods are what make that treasure.
However, it is not yet everything which amazed me. When I explored Song Kul, which is also one of the most beautiful alpine lakes, I found that the inhabitants of that place are not only mountain animals and plants, but also the people! It is freezing cold even in summer there, which makes it hard to imagine how it is like in winter. Any idea now how those people survive there? Exactly, absolutely no idea!
On the other hand, Kyrgyz nation is said to be nomadic from the past. The modern day’s nomads must be those, who could not actually get used to the new world and they feel good on the mountains. Their bodies already got used to such conditions and that is the only place where they can be themselves, live the best way…
Building beautiful castles, high towers as Burana were pretty common in ancient times. We can still see them in many places around the world. But how about ancient “hotels”? Could you imagine any inn at all at those old times? If not, let me take you to one of them virtually first, then you decide, whether to realize it or not!
Somewhere far inside the valleys of Kyrgyzstan there is an interesting building. What draws attention is that the region itself is inhabited by nomads and it is just unbelievable that they built that building any time before. Thanks to the historical sources, it is said to be the ancient caravanserai of a Great Silk Road – Tash Rabat!
The condition of that ancient “inn” is pretty nice comparing to its century-mate heritages. You can still go inside,feel the atmosphere of Silk Road and caravans stopped by it.
Today we will go a little bit farther from the mountains, since there appeared something really worth attention. It is the famous tower Burana, situated in the city of Tokmok in Kyrgyzstan. The tower is the only whole thing remains from the ruins of ancient city.
The city is said to be built by the Karakhanids in 11th century. The tower itself used to be even taller than now, and today’s condition is apparently the result of natural disasters. There are some interesting legends about Burana as well:
They say the purpose of building the tower was to save the princess. When she was born, the soothsayers told the king that as soon as the girl turns 18, she will get bitten by the poisonous insect and die. The king, definitely, got scared and started the construction of the highest tower in the city for his daughter to live there. However, the height of the tower did not save the princess’s life…
South of Kyrgyzstan is famous for the valley, called Alay. It hides an unusual treasure inside, which is the God-given natural source of warm water…
People have researched so hard until they invented the system, by which we can now have an access to hot water even in the 10th floor of the building. It is incredible to see that what we have been searching for has already been existing for thousands of years somewhere among the valleys. Or maybe, this actually was the reason why people tried to invent the hot water system?
Therefore, the reason is clear why the place is worth visiting. By the way, the source is called “Jyluu Suu” – “Warm Water”. The local people have moderated the place and now they organize picnics, generally in summer. There are two separate swimming pools as well: one for men and another for women. The scenery around and nice swimming makes the weekends really fun and relaxing!
Today we will keep on going on the tour around Jalal-Abad, since there is one more very important site, which is really worthy of discovering. Except for the largest walnut forest in the world, Jalal-Abad hides another pearl. It is pretty famous among the citizens of Kyrgyzstan. We are talking about one of the best mineral springs of the country! Click here to see the whole list of other mineral sources in Kyrgyzstan.
Jalal-Abad mineral spring is highly appreciated for its healing effects. Thanks to its qualities, there are some nice sanatoriums that offer spa-procedures with the mineral water directly from the source. It is useful not only to take a mineral bath, but also to drink the water from springs regularly. They have healing effects for person’s digestive and nervous systems. For those, who have no direct access to the spring, the mineral water is sold in bottles and distributed across the country.
Next to Osh comes Jalal-Abad region. It is famous for some nice health-improving resorts with mineral water sources. 50km north of the city of Jalal-Abad, there is a real treasure of not only the country, but also the whole world! It is the biggest walnut forest on Earth, situated in one of the smallest countries!(10,000 hectares).
The walnut trees there are already centuries old and despite long years of existence, they still give so much fruit. There are some legends as well, connected to this great forest. It says that in 329 BC, Alexander the Great visited these places, extracted a walnut tree, and brought it to back to Greece. So, this is how they came to our Turkey as well and now serving as main ingredient for our baklava?!
Besides the forests and orchards, there are several other nice destinations in the Arslanbob Valley: the Sacred Lake (Lake Kol Mazar), Mount Babash Ata, caves, and 2 waterfalls appropriately named “Big Falls” and “Little Falls.”
It has always been interesting for me to know how the girls of ancient times used to go shopping… There was no such thing called shopping malls or boutiques, especially in Central Asia.. So how?
I found a little answer to my own question in Osh-second largest city of Kyrgyzstan in the south! There is a famous bazaar, which was able to keep the ancient atmosphere through decades. It is so crowded and busy every single day!
What I found very interesting is that there are almost no specific departments, such as clothes part or shoes part. Almost everything is situated in different places, all mixed up! So in order to shop successfully, the one has to be familiar with the bazaar very well and be able to find the way like a fish in the ocean!
Perfect option for budgeted students – bargaining is available! Sure, bazaar without bargainingis a no-no…
The market is situated in two sides of Ak-Buura river and there are some very nice “chayhanas” right by the river. It really is a great way to relieve tiredness and stress after long day of shopping!
There are some mountains on Earth, which give no chance to skiing or snowboarding, but yet, there are plenty of visitors every year. Sulaiman mountain in Osh city is one of those places.
They also call it a sacred mountain for being named after the prophet Sulaiman. Situated in the center of the city, mountain has got variety of attractions, which interest both tourists and local citizens.
As you go up the mountain, you will be able to see the signs of ancient rituals, such as trees, branches of which are filled with ribbons. People used to make wishes and leave them in ribbons on the trees, hoping they will come true. You may also see very smooth rocks, just like in a playgrounds. However, do not be surprised to see elders playing there! They are actually there in search of healing: they say the rock can heal the parts of the body…
They used a big cave and turned into a unique museum, which introduces visitors to the culture, history, flora and fauna of the country. If you go up even higher, you will discover a nice white building. It is said to have been built by the famous king and poet of India – Zahiriddin Muhammad Bobur. Now it is a small mosque, where the guests can listen to the recitations of Quran…
I guess it is the nature of person to want more than he has. A piece of chocolate cake makes him impatient until he gets another slice. The same happens to me when I run into awesome Travel Videos
! Especially after our trip to Ala Archa, I fell in love with mountains and have been longing for the same trip again!
On the other hand, similar trip may not bring as much joy as it did in the first time. So, it is time to look for new and more difficult challenges! This is what I am doing at the moment. Not only me, but also my friends are taking that huge responsibility.
One of the best offers from friends for now is climbing the highest mount in Kyrgyzstan. It does sound a bit too loud, since I’m not even a professional climber! However, I found that there are special helicopter tours to those high mounts of this country. I’m crossing fingers at the moment in order my next dream comes true!