Southern Kyrgyzstan: Boundaries and Borders Lake Song-Kuul, Naryn, Tash Rabat and the Chinese Border

After spending a few days in the Issyk-Kul region, we left Kaji-Say and drove westwards towards the end of the lake, then southwards to Naryn. There, we’d have dinner, relax and start early the next day. That was the plan. Lake Song-Kuul (or: The Road to Song-Kuul) Some 80 km before Naryn, there’s a turnoff…

Kyrgyzstan: Higher and Higher From Lake Issyk-Kul to the Seouk Pass

Barskoon Valley From the small town of Barskoon on the southern shore of lake Issyk-Kul, a road leads away from the lake and into the mountains, following the river through the beautiful valley. Barskoon was once an important trading post on the Silk Road. Crossing several mountain passes, the route connected the region with China….

Issyk-Kul: The Big Mountain Lake Kyrgyzstan: Karakol & Issyk-Kul Region

The Karkara border crossing between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan is only open during the summer months. This is not surprising considering its remote location in the mountains. There are no facilities, shops, or money changers, and the road on both sides of the border is unpaved and at times in bad shape. Thanks to this place’s…

Kazakhstan: Land of Landscapes & Lakes Kolsay, Kaindy & Tuzkol Lakes

We left the Charyn Canyon when the sun was already setting over the orange-red cliffs of the canyon, intensifying the colors even more. That night, we planned to stay in Saty, a small village close to Kolsai Lakes National Park. The drive there took us through a steppe plain of rare beauty. In the distance,…

Almaty: The Big Apple Almaty, Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is the largest Central Asian country as well as the world’s largest landlocked country – it’s the size of western Europe. It’s also Central Asia’s richest nation, generating 60% of the region’s GDP, thanks to its oil and gas reserves. The country’s official language is Kazakh, a Turkic language currently written in Cyrillic script…