The traditional Silk Highway hooked up China and India with the West and Kyrgyzstan used to be bang within the centre, a big preventing level for travellers and investors.

Folks right here historically led a nomadic lifestyles, travelling on horseback as they drove their flocks searching for new pasture. This all got here to an finish when Soviet rule inspired agreement in cities and towns.

Nonetheless, the spirit lives on, and this unquestionably a rustic for individuals who love the outside.


I get started in Bishkek, the capital, identified all the way through Soviet instances as Frunze, a contemporary town with vast streets specified by a grid trend. In contrast to the remainder of the rustic, it sits at a modest 800m and the local weather is pleasantly Mediterranean.

There are few high-rises right here and it’s unusually inexperienced with parks dotted all through the town. That is where to do your buying groceries with Dordoi Bazaar, the biggest bazaar in Central Asia, at the outskirts.

Issyk-Kul Lake

Issyk-Kul Lake

Issyk-Kul Lake

From right here, I trip east to Issyk-Kul Lake, the second-highest navigable lake on this planet after Lake Titicaca.

Sandwiched between two mountain levels, the microclimate manner it’s heat and iciness and funky in summer time. Silk Highway investors stopped right here to chill out after crossing the mountain passes and it’s nonetheless a well-liked spot for vacationers.

Eagle Looking

Ruslan and Eagle

Ruslan and Eagle

Because the solar units at the shores of the lake, I’m looking ahead to an indication of eagle looking. Ruslan, their instructor, tells me that he‘s been concerned on this game for over 30 years and right now is the proud proprietor of 2 eagles. He took them from their nests within the wild, sooner than they have been in a position to fly, and patiently established a bond, coaching them over 4 years.

Those are women, larger than the men, and so they make the most productive hunters. The custom is going again one thousand years, the birds crucial for catching meals and guarding flocks. Soviet rule put an finish to nomadic lifestyles and at the present time looking with eagles is principally for game and entertaining vacationers. Nonetheless, there’s no scarcity of younger apprentices to hold at the custom.

I watch as considered one of them, with the eagle perched on his arm, trudges to the highest of a close-by rock outcrop and waits. Ruslan drops a useless rabbit at his toes and emits a excessive pitched whistle. The eagle rises from the height, swoops down, grabs the carcass and begins to tear it to items.

Because it munches the uncooked flesh, her proprietor calms it by way of stroking its head. This dating is not going to closing ceaselessly. At 15, the eagle will likely be launched again into the wild to discover a mate and hunt for any other 25 or 30 years. Ruslan will then have to search out any other chick and get started far and wide once more. For now, although, he’s having a look ahead to competing within the Global Nomad Video games, held subsequent 12 months in Turkey.



Yurt camp

For hundreds of years, the Kyrgyz other folks have been nomads, residing in Yurts which they transported on horseback. At Kyzyl-Tuu village, the place they nonetheless cause them to, I’m given a handy guide a rough lesson on the right way to compile any such, an crucial talent while you’re shifting house on a daily basis.

First, they shape the body with wood struts, produced from willow, then lattice sections are inserted within the gaps. Subsequent, the construction is crowned with a round association after which the whole thing is roofed in felt. It takes not up to an hour if you recognize what you’re doing.



Arslanbob stunning panorama

From right here I set out at the street west. The panorama is surprising. Stunning snow-capped peaks on one facet, sparse white clouds piercing the deep blue sky, distinction with the azure waters of the lake.  Small shacks, roofed with corrugated iron and surrounded by way of neat fenced-off compounds, dot the parched terrain.

I’m quickly hiking as much as over 2500m into rocky treeless terrain, sooner than losing right down to greener pastures and clusters of woods.

I’m aiming for Arslanbob, a unending pressure on a protracted dust street, reputedly in the midst of nowhere. It lies in a fertile valley, the city planted with poplar timber and the slopes containing one of the vital greatest walnut forests on this planet. It’s been right here for over one thousand years and spreads over 60,000 hectares.

The walnuts listed here are of top quality and have been one of the vital many items transported alongside the Silk Highway. Now’s harvest time and households are tenting out within the woods to assemble the nuts. Young children rush as much as me, thrust their treasure into my arms, after which shyly run away. In a just right 12 months the woodland yields over 200 lots of nuts.


Within the south of the rustic, Osh is likely one of the oldest towns in Kyrgyzstan and used to be based over 3000 years in the past. Within the eighth century, it used to be necessary for silk manufacturing and a big industry centre at the Silk Highway. 

Woman in Jayma Bazaar

Girl in Jayma Bazaar

In this day and age there are few indicators of its illustrious historical past however a discuss with to the Jayma Bazaar, one of the vital greatest in Central Asia, will provide you with a way of its significance. It’s extremely smartly organised, divided up into obviously outlined zones, and the one trouble are the boys pushing carts who shout “Bosh Bosh!” as they make their method during the crowds.

Overlooking the town is a steep rocky outcrop, the place King Solomon apparently spent the evening. That’s just a legend however a descendant of Tamerlane the Nice, Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, took safe haven right here in fifteenth century, sooner than happening to India and founding the Moghul dynasty.

The mosque he constructed on the best continues to be referred to as Babur’s Area, even though the unique used to be destroyed by way of an earthquake in 1853. The perspectives of the mountains in opposition to Tajikistan are super.


READ: The Bradt Information to Kyrgyzstan is indispensable.

FLY: Turkish Airways flies from London to Bishkek by the use of Istanbul.

Notice: No visa is needed to discuss with Kyrgyzstan.


The Hyatt Regency Bishkek supplies luxurious within the capital.

Learn our evaluation of the Hyatt Regency Bishkek

The Vintage Resort makes a comfy base in Osh.

The Kyrgyz Group Based totally Tourism Affiliation (KCBTA) lists homestays around the nation, preferrred for experiencing conventional Kyrgyz hospitality.

Trip Data / Access Necessities

All passengers travelling to Kyrgyzstan, together with electorate of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, kids from the age of six and transit passengers, should provide a PCR certificates with a detrimental consequence, with a check undertaken inside 72 hours previous to departure. Totally vaccinated passengers exempt from this requirement. 

Supply Via https://www.thetravelmagazine.web/at-the-crossroads-of-the-silk-road-in-kyrgyzstan/