It’s a well known truth that Kyrgyzstan is a must-visit country for those who love untouched nature, wild life, unique traditions and culture. Its people, mountains and lakes beckon travellers to explore and see something very different from the rest of the world. Kyrgyzstan has so much to discover, hence we recommend you hire a guide or make friends with locals who can lead you and show you the true colours of this beautiful, mysterious country.
Experience the traditional way of life
Camping in a tent is quite western style but staying a night at Yurta is truly nomadic style. When you are in a Yurta you can’t stop feeling that you’ve been transported back in time a hundred years. All your essence suddenly feels home, the home provided by nature, the home that feels so right. Drink kumiss, eat freshly baked bread with home made butter and jam, drink hot tea made of water from the purest mountain river, boiled over a fire.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Kyrgyzstan is a country of horses and rams. Every village you go to, you’ll see a kid riding a horse to get to school or a shop. Every mountain you discover, you’ll see a young shepherd lazily riding his horse around his flock of sheep or a group of horses enjoying the sun and playing around. Don’t go to a racetrack around the city where they will ask you a ridiculous price for an hour of horse riding, but go to the mountains, ride a horse to a waterfall across the mountain river, enjoy fresh air, occasionally stop by a Yurta to drink fresh and delicious Kumiss (fermented dairy product made from mare’s milk, but don’t drink too much, you might have a light hangover).
Watch National Games
Horses used to play an important role in Kyrgyz Nomadic culture, and they remain central to Kyrgyz identity. If you are in Kyrgyzstan you must try to see a traditional game called “Ulak Tartysh”, the sport in which horse-mounted players attempt to drag a goat or calf carcass toward a goal. Another tradition you might want to explore is called “Kyz Kuumai”, which exhibits elements of horse racing but is often referred to as a “kissing game”:
“A game is usually conducted as follows. A young man on horseback waits at a starting line. A young woman, also mounted, starts her horse galloping from a given distance behind the young man. When the young woman passes the young man, he may start his horse galloping. The two race towards a finish line some distance ahead. If the young man is able to catch up to the young woman before they reach the finish line, he may reach out to her and steal a kiss, which constitutes victory. However, if the young man has not caught up to the young woman by the time they reach the finish line, the young woman turns around and chases the young man back to the starting line. If she is in range of the young man, she may use her whip to beat him, which signifies a victory for her.” (wikipedia). As you can see, almost every Kyrgyz (from childhood!) learns to ride a horse and quite often girls can be much better than boys.
The list of interesting cultural events in 2019 you can find in the following article.
Experience adrenaline sports
The gorgeous mountains of Kyrgyzstan as well as perfect weather make this country one of the best places to paraglide. The options are quite wide, flights are available for beginners and advanced paragliders and can last up to several hours. You can choose the area of the country you want to paraglide in, the height of the mountain and see Kyrgyzstan from an absolutely different and breathtaking perspective.