Discovery Kyrgyzstan
Discovery Kyrgyzstan travel guide #10/2008

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Kyrgyzstan, a country of youth tourism

Kyrgyzstan - is a country of youth tourism! During the period from August 2 till August 11,2006, our republic could with good reason be called a country of youth tourism. That was the time during which in the territory of Kyrgyzstan the first International Kyrgyz-Norwegian students' mountain camp took place. With the assistance of the Norwegian Hikers Association, twelve of its members, high school students from Norway, came into Kyrgyzstan. On our part, there were twelve participants, members of «Union of Hikers of Kyrgyzstan», students of high schools of the Chui and Issyk-Kul regions. The Kyrgyz party presented a comprehensive and interesting program including visits to different places of historical interest. But the deepest impressions that the participants received were those of the «Zhety-Oguz» yurt camp, where they stayed for five days, bravely facing all difficulties of life in the mountains.
The guys were provided with the opportunity to try their strength in mountain-biking, and get the sensation of being real nomads during horse tours. Surely, a real endurance test were two-day tracks to the Oguz-Bashi glacier, where the camp participants could enjoy the unique beauty of Kyrgyzstan mountains in full. The camp program included an information exchange on both the nature and history of Norway and Kyrgyzstan, discussions about natural and man-made values of our countries, as well as importance of careful attitude towards them. The guys were sharing knowledge on culture, traditions, customs of two countries with enthusiasm, played national games, sang songs in English, Russian, and Kyrgyz languages. The Norwegian and Kyrgyz students had an opportunity to be closely acquainted with the applied art of Kyrgyzstan. They learned how the national carpet shirdak is made, and even took part in working on it. There, in the main camp, the guys helped to raise a yurt, which will unconditionally remain one of the brightest memories for good. And, certainly, the national cuisine of Kyrgyzstan was fabulous and beyond praise. The skillful instructors of mountain and horse tourism, as well as mountain-biking, were always beside and helped the guys to unite and feel a cohesive team. In the camp, a good rapport was established, and there was an atmosphere of mutual understanding. Everyone was ready to give a helping hand to his camp-mate and share a heavy burden. The hard conditions of high-mountain land were for the guys a good test of mutual aid and support which all of them have passed with honor.
The international youth camp project was carried out in Kyrgyzstan for the first time, but much has been already done for accustoming the youth to tourism, as well as for saving and popularization of the cultural and natural inheritance in mountain regions. We hope that this experience presents the beginning of a long-term and mutually advantageous cooperation, within the framework of which carrying out such international tourist camp programs will become a good tradition and a part of activities on development of mountain tourism of Kyrgyzstan.

Julia Kaleyeva

Discovery Kyrgyzstan #8

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