The Turkish sunshine was warm, so the first break we got from the Gallipoli tour, Pat and I ventured over to the souvenir and tourist trap side of the road to pick up a couple scoops of ice cream. As we lapped up the pistachio flavored treat, it was the perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation or two with one of several Aussies in the mix.
One couple, from Sydney, had been traveling for some 7 months together, venturing to the Middle East and Turkey among several other hot spots, but when they heard our future travel plans to head to Kyrgyzstan, the first question was:
“What’s there in Kyrgyzstan?”I get this question a lot, and it is not the easiest to answer… because Kyrgyzstan is a different place. You don’t really go there to see a huge, popular monument, and you don’t go to walk around all day in a famous museum. Kyrgyzstan doesn’t have that sort of draw — let alone the tourist infrastructure to cater to the foreigner’s needs beyond CBT.
It’s a place you go to see, overall.
So, I usually struggle when answering. There are tons of beautiful mountains circling valleys or rolling hills. You can hike, bike, or sleep in a yurt. In the summer, Lake Issyk Kul makes the perfect place to relax next to the cooling waters. There are mountain passes to nearby Central Asian countries to follow, but if K-stan deserves more of your time then you can explore the food culture, either on your own or by staying in a guesthouse provided by CBT. Russian language lessons are quite affordable, so students and wanna-be polyglots will find the country enticing.
And this is the point where either the person’s eyes glaze over, or they become intrigued and want to add it to their future travel list. It’s a tale of two travelers and why Kyrgyzstan might not be a place for everyone.
But, hey, that’s ok! More for me and you, right!