Son Kul Lake

KYRGYZSTAN

 

Me with Kyrgyz flagpole in Son Kul

Me with Kyrgyz flagpole in Son Kul

After my time in Kazakhstan it was time to go to Kyrgyzstan. I took a flight with Air Astana from Almaty to Bishkek, it was about 50 minutes before entering a new country.
In Bishkek I stayed at the Apple Hostel with Aigul who’s a smart and funny girl running the place. I was welcomed by her and the rest of the staff. She organised tours for me and one of the tours was to The Burana Tower and Son Kul Lake. A 2 day trip with overnight in a real Kyrgyz yurt. It was a first time experience for me to sleep in a Yurt and the night passed very quickly as I felt asleep immediately after a long day in the car driving over the mountain passes to get there.

First things first,
In the morning I left Bishkek and the first stop after 80km was in Tokmok where I visited the Burana Tower which is half a minaret overlooking the Chuy Valley. It used to be bigger centuries ago, but a few earthquakes later it shrunk in size, although it still stands out nicely in this open space valley which was once the now lost city of Balasagun.
On the site near the tower there is a graveyard with ancient stone sculptures called Balbals to mark the gravestones of Nomadic Turks dating back to the 6th-10th Centuries and also some petroglyphs.

Arriving in Tokmok

Arriving in Tokmok

Burana Tower

Burana Tower

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Graveyard

 

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Stone Sculptures with Nomadic faces

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Petroglyps

Petroglyph

 

On my way to Son Kul

Son Kul lies on 3016m altitude above sea level and only accessable in the summer period (June till september). In this mountain area the road is not fully paved so you need a 4×4 to get you there, be ready for a bumpy ride. Made a few stops on the way to enjoy the beauty of the mountains as the drive took me higher and higher over the mountain pass.
I saw alot of cattle on the way like cows, bulls, sheep’s, horses and donkeys grazing.

 

Bumpy roads

Bumpy roads

Mountain pass stop

Mountain pass stop

First animals I saw were Horses

First animals I saw were Horses

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First glimp of Yurts at the Lake

First glimpse of Yurts at the Lake

In the afternoon I arrived at Son Kul Lake the place I really wanted to see here in Kyrgyzstan. I stayed with a nomadic family and had dinner and breakfast with them.
Most of the time you spend taking pictures and making videos. You can also go on a horse ride but I decided to go for a walk and I met some animals on my way willing to pose for my camera while enjoying the wide space of grass with water and mountains in the background as much as I do.

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Cattle grazing

Cattle grazing

Forget the Chicago Bulls, here are the Son Kul Bulls

Forget the Chicago Bulls, here are the Son Kul Bulls

Son Kul Bulls

Son Kul Bulls đŸ™‚

swamp

swamp

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My stay for the night

My stay for the night

Nomadic Yurt

Nomadic Yurt

View from Yurt

View from Yurt

Inside the Yurt

Inside the Yurt

Local woman making dinner in the Yurt next to mine

Local woman making dinner in the Yurt next to mine

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The top of the Yurt, also the symbol on the Kyrgyz flag

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