Archive sections: ‘Issyk Kul’

One Christmas, when I was in the sixth form at school – that would be in about 1969 or 1970, the senior pupils decided to go Carol Singing – collecting money for charity. This time, instead of going ‘door-to-door’ in a particular district, or attempting a ‘pub crawl’, we decided it would be fun to pay a […]

Monday, April 3rd, 2017 at 06:00 Comments Off on Little known regions

There are lots of jokes about the spelling of Kyrgyzstan … about Scrabble scores and alphabet soup … but there are other words in Russian that caused me problems … and still do. Take, for example, the Russian word for Hello – Zdravstvuyte – with the strange letter combinations that it is difficult for English speakers to […]

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on The Przhevalsky Museum – Karakol

We got a pleasant surprise during the week, when it was reported that National Geographic Traveler Magazine had named Issyk Kul as one of the “top ten destinations” in the CIS: “From Peter to Kamchatka“. For the record: “Peter” is the affectionate nickname given by Russians to St. Petersburg – in the same way as […]

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 at 06:00 Comments Off on A Top Destination

Today marks the anniversary of the death of the Russian explorer Pyotr ‘Tianshansky’ Semenov in 1914. In all he made six forays into the Tien Shan and I have already written postcards describing his first and second forays into the Issyk Kul basin in 1856, and the start of his journey into the heart of the range the following […]

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 at 06:00 Comments Off on Into the heart of the Tien Shan

About a year ago I was invited by Victor Kadyrov, the General Director of the Rarity Book Shop in Dom Druzhba – Friendship House – at the side of the main Ala Too Square to visit the shop. I think it’s the largest bookshop on Bishkek, (I don’t know the actual figures), but it could […]

Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 06:00 1 comments. »

One of the places that often top of the list that tourists want included on their itinerary is Karakol in the Issyk Kul oblast. One reason for this is that it is the natural starting off point for treks into the Terskey Ala Too Mountains to the south of Lake Issyk Kul – with the […]

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 06:00 Comments Off on Colonial Karakol

On one occasion about ten years ago I was traveling up from Bishkek up to Lake Issyk Kul.  As we drove along the Northern shore towards Chalpon Ata I was busy taking in the view to out right, of the sky blue waters of the lake when one of my companions told me took to […]

Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 06:00 Comments Off on Over the Kungei Ala Too

Although the territory that we now know as Kyrgyzstan has a long and colourful history, unfortunately, there are not that many places where it is visibly evident.  The great Silk Road cities have virtually disappeared and all that remains are archaeological excavations.

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 06:00 Comments Off on Sites of Historical and Cultural Importance in Issyk Kul

Kadji Sai is a village on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul, about 20 kilometers East of Bokonbaeva, , surrounded by low, cabyons carved by the action of wind and water. The village itself actually lies a few kilometers from the shore. There is a bus stop on the main road between Balykchy and […]

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 at 06:00 Comments Off on Kadji Sai

At the Eastern end of Lake Issyk Kul, at San Tash, there is what is thought to be a haunting “monument” to the fallen of a war fought long ago between the armies of Tamerlane and the Chinese Empire. Legend has it that Tamerlane ordered his soldiers to each pick up a stone from the […]

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 at 07:00 Comments Off on Why did they do it?