Ever come across something awesome that no one else seems to have discovered yet? A great sale? A fantastic business opportunity? Well in the world of tourism, that’s exactly what the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan is: an undiscovered treasure-trove of opportunity for travelers! Never heard about tourism in Kyrgyzstan? Let’s rectify that.
Kyrgyzstan is an almost entirely mountainous paradise elevated amongst its surrounding neighbors (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China). It’s got snowcapped peaks supported by grass and flower filled mountainsides, powerful rivers, serene alpine lakes, devastating gorges, reposed hot springs, roaming horses, and untamed beauty. Much of the country is open wilderness expanses as there are only a few large cities in the country that contain a large percentage of the population. Movement around the country isn’t restricted and the people are very friendly. It also holds one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges, the Tien Shan “Celestial” Mountains, the world’s second largest alpine lake, Lake Issyk Kul, and the world’s largest naturally growing walnut forests.
Tours in Kyrgyzstan are gaining popularity with international travelers due to the country’s natural beauty and the variety of tours being offered, but as a whole the country is still off the proverbial beaten path. There are several different ways you can tour Kyrgyzstan.
ACTIVITY ORIENTED KYRGYZSTAN TOURS
Due to the fact that Kyrgyzstan’s natural beauty is the main draw for people to travel in Kyrgyzstan, there are numerous tours available that revolve around outdoor activities: trekking, cycling, horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding, climbing, and parasailing. Some tours also offer activities such as fishing, diving, hunting, off-roading, and white water rafting.
CULTURE ORIENTED TOURS IN KYRGYZSTAN
Having a traditional nomadic background of herding in the steppes and mountains of Central Asia, Kyrgyz people practice many ancient traditions and nomadic customs to this day, allowing travelers to see the perpetuation of a simple, time-tested way of life.
Taking a trip to Kyrgyzstan can include a tour that allows you the chance to stay with a nomadic family or even sign up to take hands-on classes from them where they teach you everyday skills necessary to every Kyrgyz nomad’s life: herding livestock, milking horses, weaving felt carpets, cooking traditional Kyrgyz dishes, etc.
HISTORY ORIENTED KYRGYZSTAN TOURS
When you visit Kyrgyzstan, you enter the realm of the ancient Silk Road. Kyrgyzstan was a major stopping point on these trade routes and contains several historic Silk Road sites including a caravanserai once used by merchants and weary travelers.
LEISURE ORIENTED TOURS IN KYRGYZSTAN
When in Kyrgyzstan tour options that allow you to relax and rejuvenate yourself from the stresses of everyday life are plentiful. There are many tours that take you to peaceful alpine lakes, cascading waterfalls, quiet resorts, or steaming hot springs where you can let your worries drift away into the celestial mountains. Lake Issyk Kul is the most famous spot for travelers looking for some R&R. It offers spas, resorts, golden beaches, and crystal clear waters. Travelers looking for a bit more seclusion can try a less crowded area and go camping on the edge of a remote alpine lake that probably sees only a few dozen people a year.
For the safety conscious thinking, “is it safe to travel to Kyrgyzstan?,” there are no worries there. Kyrgyzstan is a very peaceful country with a low crime rate. Just take basic safety precautions (having people know where you are, not walking around alone at night, etc.) and you’ll be fine. Another bonus besides safety is accessibility. Kyrgyzstan is visa free for tourists of 44 countries including citizens of the USA, Canada, and most of the European Union. So as you contemplate the next stop on your international travels, try Kyrgyzstan, the home of wandering nomads, fascinating history, and unrivaled natural beauty!
Photo from source: www.mountpix.livejournal.com, photo by Kallisto08, photo by Alexander Sac, photo by Zsa-zsa30, photo from source: www.cycling4cancer.wordpress.com