Discovery Kyrgyzstan
Discovery Kyrgyzstan travel guide #10/2008

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The south and the north are the two sides of the Kyrgyz land beauty

The South of Kyrgyzstan is a marvelous region, it is beautiful, unique, and absolutely different from the other regions of our country. Warm climate, wonderful nature, snow-white mountain's peaks, bright colors of the Eastern market, history accounting more that tree thousand years, wonderful hospitable people, this is by no means full list characterizing the South of Kyrgystan. Alaysk ridge always attracts attention of the scientists and tourists. Each step is hiding opening of something new and unique. One of such mysterious places is the village Kojokelen (2200 м over the sea level), which is situated 95 km away to the south-west from the city of Osh.
Kojokelen is a miraculous land. Attentive look by almost each step can see much interesting, unique and original. Even travelers with a great experience get surprised with the beauty of this hidden little village on the south of Kyrgystan.
Taking a walk in the summer one can try during a day all delights of all seasons of the year: caressing spring at the foothills, hot summer in the valleys, chilly of the fall in the subalpine meadows, winter invigorative cold at the glaciers.
This place is considered to be one of the beautiful places all over the Republic. Severity of the mountain scenery... Involuntary you transport yourself to the remote past of our planet. Bright red cliffs of sandstone, shady dense coniferous forests, green lawns with the circles of bushes, pure water jumping from one stone to another. Local salubrious sources attract local tourists. Nature calm is beautiful. Infused on the flowers odor silences is now and then broken by the birds piping and tender bees buzzing. Forest cover of Kojokelen is diverse. It is attracting man by its mystery, low-key beauty, and silence, this very silence that sets a man to a specific, romantic way. Fantastic forms of the juniper is a true nature mystery.
Fauna of Kojokelen is also remarkable for its diversity. In this land there are animals included in the Red Book of the Kyrgyz Republic. Mountain wild sheep, badgers, golden eagles, hawk eagles, wild boars, marmots, and yaks: all of them freely inhabit tremendous pastures and thick forest of the region. However, despite such plenty of animals and fowls local inhabitants, as a rule, do not go in for hunting.
Striking beauty of the Kojokelen land provides favorable possibilities for the adventure tourism development, and since the greater part of Kojokelen is occupied by the mountains, they are the most attractive resource for the foreign tourists. Adventure tourism is in a great favor at the world tourism market, and for the "extreme" fans here there is everything they can dream about, namely: the highest peaks, glaciers, caves, lakes, and wild rivers, - all these allow gathering in one place fans of Alpinism, and speleology, and mountain-skiers' tourism, and rafting, and tracking. Prospect of the ecological tourism development in Kyrgystan is not less interesting, since it enjoys more and more popularity among tourists, and not only foreign ones. With every coming year a number of tourists who prefer to spend their vacations on the mountain jailoo, enjoy pure mountain air of alpine meadows and restore their health by the ages tried remedy of ancestry, that is fragrant and sour beverage -kumis (fermented mare's milk). It should be noted that Kyrgystan has already had some experience of ecotourism development. In many ayils (villages) there are guests' houses, where foreign and local tourists are provided with a wide range of tourist services. Not less important factor is that it partially settles unemployment problem in the village since local inhabitants are being involved into the sphere of service. Thus, in Kojokelen area a tour group "Kojokel-Ata" is functioning, consisting of some local inhabitants, who can offer to the tourist's attention many different tours, both horsed and hiking, as well as interesting programs  that allow familiarizing with every day life, culture and traditions of the local residents including folklore. If you wish to plunge into the world of fairy tails and legends than you are strongly recommended visiting Talas region in the north of Kyrgystan. Since in the blessed Talas valley the most popular hero of the most famous epic poem "Manas" was born; this poem has become a world folklore masterpiece. And this is the very place where in the ancient times nomads' tribes were settled first. Each corner of this land is for sure connected with some legend or story.

Till nowadays images of the long ago disappeared warriors come to us in the form of the stone idols, so called "balbals" cut from the stone by the ancient artists. According to the ancient story one of such balbals" is standing on the burial place of Aykol, one of the numerous wives of Chingizkhan got by him after making an ordinary raid. Ancient story also says that at the order of the "Universe Shaker", how Chingizkhan is also called, roads were built, which have been preserved till today. Moreover, the land of Talas has given to the world not only ancient heroes, but also contemporary ones. Talas people are proud of their countryman, famous all over the world writer Chingiz Aytmatov, who was born in the village of Sheker, inhabitants of which he described in his works, and who became known later on throughout the world. Fans of the great writer creative activity can visit places described in the writer's books and even get acquainted with the people served as prototypes for his stories and novels' heroes. The tour all over the small Motherland of the prominent writer is offered by the tourist group "Chingiz Aytmatov's Motherland" from the village Sheker of the Kara-Buurinsk region. Visiting of Karakol land rich in balbals", and also in the ancient petroglyphs, called "Saymaluu-Tash", and a great many other interesting tours are offered by the tourist group "Bakay-Tash Travel" from the village Kopuro-Bazar of the Talas region. Not less interesting tours can be also offered by the tourist groups "Kumushtor Travel" and "Following Camels' Mirage Steps" from Karabuurin and Manas regions as well as a number of the other tourist groups set up in Talas region for the ecotourism development at the initiative of the Social Fund "RDC-Elet", within the frame of the project "Development of the Mountain Villages" under support of the Great Britain Department for Foreign International Development (DFID). The Social Fund is engaged with development of the rural communities and helps inhabitants of the mountain areas to improve their well-being by means of the profitable activity development.
The staff of these tourist groups includes local inhabitants who have undergone special training in tourist meeting and their complex servicing, organized by the Fund "RDC-Elet", which also helped guests' houses to pass accreditation and get membership in the Organization of CBT (Community Based Tourism). One of the result of the Fund's activity on ecotourism development in the Talas region was the establishment of the Social Union for the Tour Service Providers of the Talas region "Elet-Travel". All these measures have been undertaken by the Fund to provide high quality services to the tourists.

Detailed and updated information available at
"RDC-Elet" in Bishkek:
#286, Abdymomunov Str.,
Tel.:+996-312-610071, 611521, 611522

"RDC-Elet" in Osh: #5,302, Lenin Str., 714003 Tel.:+996-3222-74671 Fax:+996-3222-22355

"RDC-Elet" in Talas: #208, Frunze Str., Tel.:+996-3422-52836
Fax: +996-3422-53893


Discovery Kyrgyzstan #8

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