Chon-Kemin Valley

Known as one of Kyrgystan's most beautiful locales, the Chon-Kemin valley is popular with those who enjoy extreme sports. Its eponymous river flows across the Kungei-Ala-Too and Iliysky Ala-Too mountain ranges, stretching over 70 miles, with seven lakes in its basin. Here also lies a specially-protected region, Chon-Kemin National Park, a lush natural area brimming with diverse flora and fauna. Forming the sides of the valley are conifer forests, which are home to many varieties of herbs, berries, and mushrooms.

The Chon-Kemin valley is a popular spot amongst those who truly appreciate natural beauty, as it remains - many say - in its virgin state. Visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities here, from hiking, to fishing, and horseback riding. Guesthouses are simple but comfortable, something that adds to the area's back-to-basics charm.


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Ancient Burial Mounds

Throughout the valley, there are several ancient barrows - or burial mounds. Near the village of Shabdan, the mounds date back to the 4th century BC, while those near the mouth of the valley date back to between the 6th and 11th centuries AD.


The Chon-Kemin valley is a popular camping destination. Guests may choose from setting up their own tent and sleeping under the star-blanketed sky, or bedding down in a traditional Yurt tent.


The Chon-Kemin river is a popular fishing destination, dominated by the Amudarya trout. Fishing here takes extra skill, due to the river’s rocky bottom and the thorny bushes that line the riverside, but that’s all part of the fun.


A hike through Chon-Kemin’s national park, rising as high as 9,000 feet in elevation, takes hikers through an area of incredible natural beauty. Hikers will have the opportunity to spot some of the park’s rare inhabitants, including Snow Leopards, Marals, and even the Golden Eagle.

Horseback Riding

There is an old saying in Kyrgyzstan that horses are a man’s wings. As such, horseback riding is a popular activity amongst both locals and visitors alike, particularly in the picturesque surroundings of the Chon-Kemin valley.


Rafting down the Chon-Kemin is a great activity for adventure-seekers. With its challenging 4 - 5 class rapids through the gorges, the river guarantees an adrenaline-fuelled ride. It also boasts picturesque surroundings, with green mountains and snowcapped peaks encasing the deep blue waters.

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