DESCRIPTION: Visit a Kyrgyz summer camp (jailoo) to experience traditional nomadic life. Join in as your Kyrgyz host milks the mares for the essential ingredient of Kyrgyz’s national beverage, kymyz. Taste national dishes in an authentic yurt. Spend a day walking or riding among the fragrant juniper forests, valued for their medicinal benefits. Relax near the cool springs and streams. Join the shepherds herding their flocks. Conquer the high rocky slopes of the Alay mountains.
ITINERARY: Osh city – Kum Bell Pass 3150 m – Saryoi summer camp - Osh city
Day 1. Osh city –Chyyrchyck Pass 2400 m – Kumbell Pass 3150 m - Saryoi summer camp
Departure from Osh city. One hour drive on Pamir Highway takes you to the Chyyrchyck Pass. Start trekking. Trek three hours to get to the Kum Bell pass. See shepherds busy with making bread and milking mares. Have lunch at the top of the pass. Enjoy the stunning beauty of great Alay valley. Descend through the pass amongst dense junipers. Arrive at locals’ camp and be accommodated in your yurt. Participate in shepherds’ life. Overnight and dinner are in a shepherd’s yurt.
Day 2. Asankorgon mountains – Donguzbulak gorge – Osh city
Breakfast. Morning life seems to be busy with milking cows and making creams. Walk up to the next pass at the foot of Asankorgon mountain range, 2700 m. Have lunch on the top of the pass. Enjoy the beauty of rocky mountains. Descend the pass and arrive at an unpaved road. Two hours walking takes you to the main road. Meet your driver and return to Osh city.
DESCRIPTION: Camp with Kyrgyz families who spend their summers tending and protecting their herds of sheep. Follow ancient trails as you move from jailoo to jailoo. As you approach the summit of Kumbell Pass, the air becomes cold and fresh. At the top, you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the sweeping expanse of the Alay valley.
ITINERARY: Osh city – Kum Bell Pass 3150 m – Saryoi summer camp –Airybell Pass 3000 m – Tepshi summer camp - Osh city
Day 1. Osh city –Chyyrchyck Pass 2400 m – Kumbell Pass 3150 m - Saryoi summer camp
Departure from Osh city. One hour drive on the Pamir Highway takes you to the Chyyrchyck Pass where you start trekking. Trek three hours to get to the Kum Bell pass. On the way you can see shepherds busy with making bread and milking mares. Have lunch at the top of the pass. Enjoy the stunning beauty of great Alay valley. Descend the pass amongst dense junipers. Arrive at locals’ camp and be accommodated in your yurt. Participate in shepherds’ life. Overnight and dinner are in a shepherd’s yurt.
Day 2. Airybll Pass 3000 m - down to Tepshi summer camp
Breakfast. Head up to the breathtaking Aiyrybell pass through ancient trails. Crossing the small streams and walking amongst bushes make it special. Lunch at the top. Descend toward summer camp Tepshi. In the afternoon, help your host to milk cows and make kymyz, fermented and slightly alcoholic mare’s milk. Overnight and dinner are in a shepherd’s yurt.
Day 3. Karabulak village - down to Osh city.
Breakfast. Three hours trek down the pass takes you to the main road. Enjoy walking down through the yurts of nomads and experiencing the Kyrgyz life in these gorgeous mountains around Karabulak village. Meet your driver to return to Osh.
DESCRIPTION: Observe wildlife in a protected natural park. Escape the summer heat of the Ferghana Valley. Relax in solitude surrounded by the cool juniper forests of the Kyrgyz Ata National Reserve. The sound of flowing water and birdsong provides a serene environment for hiking along ancient nomadic trails. Keen eyes may spot furry marmots, soaring eagles and other birdlife. Walk in the cool dawn around the summer camps of local Kyrgyz herdsmen busy with milking cows and mares. Spend one (or more) evenings under the wide starry sky and sleep soundly after hours of fun in the fresh mountain air.
ITINERARY: Osh city – Nookat village – Kyrgyzata (national park) - Karagoi summer camp – Nookat village – Osh city.
Day 1. Nookat village - Kyrgyz Ata National Park
Drive to Kyrgyzata (national reserve) by car (2 hours). Walk up to the summit of the mountain (3400 m) and down to the shepherd’s yurts (4 hours). Set up your tents near the yurts. Participate in the shepherd’s daily activities. Overnight and dinner are in tents.
Day 2. Morning walking around – Osh city
Get up at dawn and have a breakfast. Morning life is the busiest time for locals. Enjoy walking around the yurts to experience a true Kyrgyz traditional life. Return to the car and drive to Osh city.
DESCRIPTION: Tulparkul lake lays at the foot of Lenin Peak, the highest peak in Pamir mountainsat 7134 meters.The peak can be climbed through professional companies, but just getting to the yurt camp at the lake and hiking around gets you close to the peak, the glacier, and the surrounding valleys. Spend a sunny day relaxing at this alpine lake and enjoying warm yak milk inside the comfortable yurts. The area offers activities for all types of travelers, whether trekking, horseback riding, playing traditional Kyrgyz games or just enjoying traditional Kyrgyz hospitality. Do your best to hike up to ever frozen glaciers and leave the heat of Fergana valley behind.
ITINERARY:Osh city – Sarymogol village – Tulparkol lake near the Lenin Peak base camp– Osh city.
Day 1. Osh city – Sarymogol village – Tulparkul lake
The four hour drive from Osh takes you to Sarymogol village. Arrival in the village. Lunch at CBT guesthouse. Drive about an hour to get to the yurt camp at Tulparkul lake. Be accommodated in a yurt and enjoy walking around the lake.
Day 2. Tulparkol lake – to the foot of the Lenin Peak
Breakfast. The walk from the lake towards Peak Lenin glacier takes you straight up the valley into the Pamirs. You are in sight of the peak the whole time with the river on your right. You will pass Peak Lenin Base Camp about 30 minutes in, and then continue, crossing several run off streams. Avoid marmot holes. Get back to the camp the same way you went. Dinner and overnight are in a yurt.
Day 3. Tulparkul lake – Osh city.
Breakfast. Experience morning life of locals busy with milking yaks and making creams. Drive back to Osh city (4 hours).
Horses, cows and sheep are the main part of Kyrgyz people due to the mountainous relief of the Kyrgyz land. It influenced Kyrgyz cuisine as well. Traditional Kyrgyz food to the great extent comes from mutton, beefand horse meat, as well as various dairy products. The preparation techniques and major ingredients have been strongly influenced by the historically nomadic way of life. Moreover, Kyrgyzstan is home to many different nationalities and their various cuisines. Non-Kyrgyz cuisines that are particularly common and popular in Kyrgyzstan include Uyghur, Dungan, Uzbek, and Russian cuisines.
The common meals in Alay region are:
Oromo - once finished, it comes out as layers of dough that have been filled with finely cut chunks of meat, fat, and whatever else the cook feels like adding – carrots, onion, potato, or pumpkin. It’s steamed in a special multi-layered pot and is excellent when eaten with a side of ketchup. You’re more likely to see it served in Kyrgyz homes.
Borsokis dough that is cut into little squares and then fried so that they’re airy inside. Borsok is a staple food served during holidays.
Montyis meat, onion, and fat filled dumplings that are usually steamed.
Plovis originally Uzbek dish, but it became a main dish to welcome guests at your house. It’s fried onions and carrots mixed into spiced rice served with chunks of tender, boiled meat on top.
Bread– there many types of breads in the country difereing with their size, mixtures inside. It is baked in tandoor (a clay oven) in the villages.
Kuimak – liquid dough is fried in warm oil – and is eaten with sour cream.
Meat - The most common form of meat is mutton, beef and horse meat. Almost every meal is cooked with meat. Kyrgyz people cann’t image their lifw without this.
Honeyis also common in Kyrgyz culture. Many families make it in their homes.
Kuurdak- small pieces fried lamb or mutton with onion and spices.
Chuchvara- is meat dumplings of minced meat, onion and spices in dough. It is boiled in a broth with some meat.
Shorpo- is a hot oily soup with chunks of meat, potatoes and carrots
Kymyz- fermented mare’s milk, slightly alcoholic. Usualy made in summer time when people go to summer camps.
Airan(also known as Kefir) - is a milk drink that resembles drinking yogurt.
The yurt is a nomadic dwelling used among the Kazakh and Kyrgyz peoples. It has a wooden circular frame covered with felt and braided with ropes, and can be easily assembled and dismantled within a short period of time. The bearers of yurt-making knowledge are craftspeople, both men and women, who produce yurts and their interior decorations. Yurts are made from natural and renewable raw materials. Men make the wooden frames by hand, along with wooden, leather, bone and metal details. Women make the interior decorations and exterior coverings, ornamented with traditional patterns. As a rule, they work in community-based groups supervised by experienced women artisans, and employ weaving, spinning, braiding, felting, embroidering, sewing and other traditional handicraft techniques. Yurt creation involves the whole community of craftspeople, and fosters common human values, constructive cooperation and creative imagination. Traditionally, knowledge and skills are transmitted within families or from teachers to apprentices. All festivities, ceremonies, births, weddings and funeral rituals are held in a yurt. As such, the yurt remains a symbol of family and traditional hospitality, fundamental to the identity of the Kazakh and Kyrgyz peoples.
Hospitality is the key factor our nation holds on. Kyrgyz people is well known with it hospitality from ancient times. It may come from Islamic culture. Locals at anywhere in the region welcomes you to have a hot tea or mare’s milk in the mountains if you bump into any family even if it is accidently. Kyrgyz people still honours its guests. At least they bring out bread on a plate with a cream on it from his house and asks you to take it. That is reality you can see in remote regions of Alay valley.
The Kyrgyz folklore is about verbal poetry, sayings, and proverbs. The great poets lived in 1800s as Toktogul Satylganov and Jengijok. Their poetry were in a form of song about. The meaning of the poetry was about culture, slavery, nature and love. The poets used national instrument komuz for their poetry.
The komuz is generally made from a single piece of wood (usuallyfrom juniper) and has three strings traditionally made out of gut, and often from fishing line in modern times. The middle string is the highest in pitch in the most common tunings. Komuzchu (who play kmouz) frequently play it in different positions; over the shoulder, between the knees and upside down.
The epic Manas is rooted into the depth of ages and narrates about the life and heroic deeds of Kyrgyz batyrs and portentous events in history. There are other epics as “Er Tyushtyuk”, “Kodjodjash”, “Er Tabyldy”, “Oldjobaiy and Kishimjan”, “Sarynji - Byekei”, “Janyl Myrza”, “Kurmanbek”, “Janysh-Baiysh”, and “Kedeikan”.
The most famous epic amongst these epics is Manas epic called as the Kyrgyz encyclopedia. It tells about the history, geographic settlements of Kyrgyz people, harmony with nature, religious conception, and ethnic culture of the Kyrgyz people, customs, philosophic views, poetry and language of the Kyrgyz people.
The essential part of the epic is about the freedom and the call to unity. It depicts about the wars to unite Kyrgyz people held by Manas batyr and his patriotism to defend his state. That is why the ideology of current Kyrgyz people stems from this epic. These epic has been preserved in the poetry of kyryz people and recited orally. Later in Soviet period, it was written down from the telling of great manaschy (oral epic tellers) as Nooruz, Jaisan-yrchy, K. Barybosov, Ch. Omurov, T. Japiev, B. Kumarov, S. Orosbakov, Togolok Moldo, S. Karalaev
Ulak-Tartysh is the king of traditional games, dating from ancient times when horse-riding ability was an essential part of a nomad’s dignity and a swift horse was a sure sign of wealth. Like football with a goat instead of a ball, each team of up to 10 players tries to put a headless goat carcass into a goal, while the other team tries to prevent them. The winners give the goat to a village house of their choice, and are in turn invited in.