My Remote Lands guide was excellent in every sense. She was truly sensitive and instructive on local customs and their meanings and applications.
Nestled into the foothills of Naryn-Too, Naryn city is home to around 40,000 people, as well as museums, institutes, and several administrative buildings. The city was once a small fortification on a trade route running from Kashgar to Central Asia, and it didn't actually become a city until the 19th century. Being just slightly over 100 miles from the Chinese border, Naryn is an important trade center and a free economic zone.
Naryn is known for being a scenic city, with the Naryn river - the longest in the country - running through it, surrounded by majestic mountains. It is, however, quite cold, with temperatures reaching as low as -104 degrees fahrenheit (-40 degrees celsius). Still, it is a popular stopping point for travelers on their way to and from Kashgar.
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Victoria was struck by the stunning landscapes of Kyrgyzstan, as well as the fresh, clean air and the amazing hospitality of its people.
Just 56 miles from Naryn, Son-Kul Lake dominates as the second-largest lake in Kyrgyzstan. It boasts some wonderful natural beauty, while also being home to many rare animals and birds. As such, it is a popular destination both with locals and visitors.
People come from far and wide to explore the unspoiled lands of Naryn, in the Central Tian Shan. Here, it’s possible to see a variety of wildlife, for those intrepid hikers wanting to truly explore, they can search for the caves near Naryn town where early settlements have been found, suggesting the town is much older than originally thought.
Due to the fact that Naryn was founded over a century ago as a Russian garrison town, much of the town contains post-war Soviet-style architecture. Visitors can spend some time taking in this unique style, learning about the history of the town.
The vast majority of Naryn’s populace is made up of Kyrgyz, known for their friendly, welcoming nature. Though it may be necessary to have a guide translate - since most speak only Kyrgyz and Russian - having a chat with some of these locals will provide visitors with wonderful insight into their local culture.
As in many popular Kyrgyzstan spots, horseback riding is a must-do in Naryn. The best routes plod along the banks of the mighty Naryn river, making light weight of what would be a long, challenging route on foot.
Rafting down the Naryn river is an exhilarating experience. This river is formed by the congruence of the Smaller and Greater Naryn, and although a large portion of the river has flat and tranquil waters, the lower gorges have quick and bouncy rapids. The canyon also boasts breathtaking scenery, making it a popular location for white-water rafting.
Enjoy this week-long trek through Kyrgyzstan, as you explore the sights and sounds of capital city Bishkek, the natural beauty of the Suusamyr valley and Sary-Chelek Biosphere Reserve, and the exciting traditions of Jalal-Abad and Osh. For an awakening of your senses, this trip combines adventure with culture.
Northern Kyrgyzstan is full of extremes: from the rugged mountains to the peaceful lakes, the hot spring pools to the wild beaches, there is something for everyone in this beautiful, untouched part of the world. This week-long itinerary will take you through the culture and natural beauty this unique place has to offer.
With its rushing streams, freshwater lakes, and impressive mountains, Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian jewel. On this nine-day trip, you will journey from the bright lights and bustle of Bishkek to the peaceful mountain air in Chunkurchak, the small village of Kyzyl-Oi, the expansive Song-Kul Lake, and Chon-Kemin National Park.
From urban centers to rugged wilderness, Kyrgyzstan is full of extremes. On this nine-day adventure through this Central Asian country, you will travel from the capital of Bishkek to the beautiful Köl-Ükök Lake, the Naryn River, and several small villages, meeting local people and experiencing their way of life.
In the pretty Kyrgyz town of Naryn, at the quiet, eastern end, guests bed down in the comfortable Celestial Mountains Guesthouse. Surrounded on all sides with breathtakingly dramatic scenery, from snow-peaked mountains to the flowing Naryn River, the town is a great base from which to explore the nearby areas. While Celestial Mountains Guesthouse may have a functional-looking exterior, inside it’s cozy with homey decor and a welcoming atmosphere. Guests can choose from double, twin or triple rooms or, in the summer months, opt to stay in a traditional yurt. Every effort is made to make guests feel at home, with a comfortable television room stocked with movies to enjoy on lazy days; the guesthouse restaurant serves up breakfast and dinner every day and picnic lunches are available on request - perfect for day-trips in the country. What’s more, traditional performances and craft demonstrations can be arranged for a taste of the local culture.
Khan Tengri Hotel
A stay in the Khan Tengri Hotel is an experience of traditional Kyrgyz hospitality and style coupled with modern conveniences and features. In a safe and friendly district in quiet and pretty Naryn, the small, comfortable hotel enjoys sweeping views of the soaring mountains beyond. Guests can choose from double, twin or triple rooms, all of which are equipped with television and hair dryer, with en-suite bathrooms. The hotel has a sunny terrace on the second floor to take in the view and has ample parking for guests with vehicles, using Naryn as a base to explore the surrounding area. Business guests can book the conference hall which can accommodate up to 35 delegates. There’s a pleasant cafe/restaurant which serves up delicious local dishes as well as international cuisine and seminars or demonstrations of local culture and traditions can be arranged by the friendly, English-speaking staff.
The Yurt Camp of Roza & Ishen
Set up camp alongside the spectacular alpine Song-Kul lake in northern Kyrgyzstan, in a traditional yurt - a round, portable tent. This lake, which sits at an altitude of nearly 10,000 feet, is the largest freshwater lake in the country and features spectacular views. Spending the night under the stars in a traditional yurt provides great insight into local nomadic lifestyle, while also allowing guests to get back in touch with nature and the area’s stunning surroundings. Though the interiors may be rustic, the luxury of this splendid, remote outdoor location makes it oh-so-worthwhile.