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May itinerary for Kyrgyzstan

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:00 am
by HsingWei
Thanks to everyone for all the great information posted on this website.
My husband and I are planning a trip to Kyrgyzstan in May and really looking forward to it! We have a basic itinerary planned out, but are fairly flexible on the locations and could add a couple more days.
The main things we would like to do are some kind of hiking or horse trekking, stay in a yurt, visit one of the alpine lakes, and hopefully see the eagle hunters. We also have a friend who lives in Jalal Abad, so we will definitely be travelling there or at least going to Osh. Could people give some feedback as to how practical this plan is? Many thanks!
Day 1 and 2 - in Bishkek
Day 3 - travel to Karakol
Day 4 and 5 - near Karakol (hiking in Jyrgalan valley?)
Day 6 - south side of Lake Issyk Kul to see eagle hunters
Day 7 - back to Bishkek
Day 8 - travel to Toktogul
Day 9 - trek to Lake Sary Chelek
Day 10 - travel to Jalal Abad
Day 11 - travel to Osh
Day 12 - fly back to Bishkek

Re: May itinerary for Kyrgyzstan

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:44 am
by steven
I think it is reasonable. Could probably do with a day less in Bishkek. Do you have a plan to see eagle hunters, or are you just planning to hop by? They aren't always out hunting so you need to have some kind of event or organiser to make that happen.

Re: May itinerary for Kyrgyzstan

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:55 am
by HsingWei
Thanks so much for the reply, and that's good to know we should arrange the eagle hunters visit in advance. Could I ask a couple more questions? We are decent hikers and very inexperienced horse riders. Are Jyrgalan valley and Lake Sary Chelek good options for us or would you recommend somewhere else? Because of work, we cannot travel later than May so might be limited by the weather.

Re: May itinerary for Kyrgyzstan

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:12 am
by steven
Weather conditions in May are difficult to predict. When you arrive in Kyrgyzstan, visit CBT or Trekking Union to find out latest news on which trails are possible.

Physically it will be fine to hike if you say you are a decent hiker.

Re: May itinerary for Kyrgyzstan

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:45 am
by HsingWei
Thanks again! Will update when we decide and hopefully provide a trip report.

Re: May itinerary for Kyrgyzstan

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:48 am
by HsingWei
Just got back from a wonderful two weeks in Kyrgyzstan. Many thanks for all the great advice on this website, I'll post where we went and what we did in case there is useful information for anyone.

We flew to Bishkek via Almaty and Hong Kong (flying from Taiwan). I am from the UK so did not need a visa. My husband is Taiwanese and did the e-visa online. If you are from Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau, you need to write on the e-visa form that you are from China, as Kyrgyzstan does not recognise Taiwan's government. He also did OVIR in Bishkek with a tour company (Kyrgyz Concept), but no-one ever asked to see this form.

We spent a couple of days in Bishkek, staying at the Futuro Hotel, which I highly recommend. Then we took a shared taxi down to Toktogul, and the next day a couple of marshrutka to Arkit, where we stayed at a CBT hostel. We went up to Lake Sary Chelek, which was beautiful. Look out for the tame deer, who will eat from your hand! Also best to arrange a ride up and down to the lake if you can. We drove up and walked down, and it poured with rain during the walk. We were very lucky to get picked up by a friendly bus full of local tourists.

We then shared a taxi down to Osh with people we met at the CBT, flew back to Bishkek and did a horse trek to Song Kul with Kyrgyz riders, followed by an overnight trip to Bokonbaevo, then back to Bishkek with a stop at Burana Tower, and the birthplace of Li Bai. This time we stayed at Compass Hostel, which I also recommend - great central location.

Song Kul was very cold, and weather near the lakes changes all the time. I had a waterproof jacket, but wished I had brought waterproof trousers, as well as some tracksuit trousers to wear under my jeans. If you drink, a bottle of whisky or vodka is a nice addition! Very grateful to the French people who shared with us.

We are both beginner horse riders, but the tour company looked after us very well and made sure we were safe. They also provided helmets,which did the added job of protecting me from getting too burned. My only regret is that I didn't do any riding before I went as the other tourists staying with us were able to take their horses out themselves for rides around the lake.

Re: May itinerary for Kyrgyzstan

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:17 am
by steven
I did not know about Li Bai! Thank you for sharing your experience!