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Kyrgyzstan is a nation as rich in natural beauty as it is poor in vowels, dominated by unspoiled mountain ranges, vast grassy pastures and a traditional yurt dwelling culture that’s remained unchanged for centuries.
Its position in central Asia and the ability to make visa free journeys here make it a great starting point for many travellers wanting to explore the region. That being said, many are captivated by this country and rarely make it much further beyond its borders.
It’s fair to say that little is known about Kyrgyzstan in the wider world but that just adds to its charm and allure. It is important to note that because much of the most beautiful parts of this country are rural and high altitude, the timing of your trip is important.
Visit in summer and there is a huge expanse of hiking trails and roads to explore that become impassable in winter, although there is some skiing to be enjoyed then. It’s also worth knowing that the high summer season can get busy, thanks to the many Russian tourists who have a greater knowledge of the beauty on offer here. Lake Issyk-Kol is one of the main destinations for the summer crowds hitting the beach.
The landscapes in Kyrgyzstan are surprisingly varied, which is perhaps not surprising given its vast size. You’re just as likely to come across Middle Eastern style deserts, as you are Swiss alpine pastures. In parts it has even been likened to the highlands of Scotland. Any country that can boast three such varied landscapes has to be worth visiting.
A big draw for many, however, is the chance to stay with the semi-nomadic herders that still populate the rural areas. These are tough people who have managed to survive and thrive in the often harsh, but beautiful, environment. This is a way of life that has long since died out in most other destinations in the world and represents one of just a handful of opportunities to see nomadic people in their truest sense.
Places of interest in Kyrgyzstan
Originally founded as a Russian military outpost in 1869, Karakol is the fourth largest city in Kyrgyzstan and the...