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Kyrgyzstan

Nomad's Yurt in Kyrgyzstan
 
Sandstone cliffs of Jety Oguz, Kyrgyzstan
 
Golden eagle in woods of Tien Shan range, Kyrgyzstan
 

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Andrea Godfrey
Andrea Godfrey An early morning excursion to Karakol Livestock Market. Every Sunday, several drab-looking blocks on Karakol's northern outskirts are transformed into a vibrant spectacle, alive with energy and colour. The livestock market (mal bazaar in Kyrgyz) attracts an array of thousands of smallholders and nomads from all over the Issyk-Kul region. Jammed tightly together amongst the animals, this huge, jostling swarm of people barter over sheep, pigs and cattle, scatter the crowds by 'test driving' powerful stallions and stock up on feed for their new purchases. By dawn, the market is already underway with groups of white bearded men in fur-trimmed caps bargaining animatedly, hawkers pushing through the crowds proclaiming their wares and women in bright headscarves patting and prodding ewes to assess their rump fat. This is an unmissable Kyrgyz cultural experience.
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Kyrgyzstan Holidays

Make sure you pack your walking shoes when you head off on one of our Kyrgyzstan holidays as once you see this stunning mountainous country you will want to head for the hills. This sparsely populated country, rich in nomadic traditions, has a wild beauty with vast lakes and alpine valleys.

Bishkek with its leafy streets, parks and its backdrop of mountains, is a capital city struggling to establish its identity but still worth a stop here even if just to track down the statue of Lenin which has been demoted to a small square location.

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Vast Lake Issuk-Kol is the place to head for with its emerald-green water flanked by red desert on one side and snow-capped mountains on the other. Trek into Karakol Canyon with its panoramic views, discover prehistoric petroglyphs and try Kyrgyz-style treatments in a sanatorium.

Get close to the people and get involved in community initiatives and stay with a family in a traditional yurt where you must try a glass of fermented horse's milk. Throw yourself into the tumult of the daily bazaar at Osh, haggle for souvenirs or just sit back and people watch.

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