Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan - R&R at Song Kul

By Cubie - November 17, 2015

Kyrgyzstan is the first country we travelled to in Central Asia and rightly so as we want to fit in this yurt stay in Song Kul before the shepherds pack up to leave before it gets too cold. So we have fitted this rest & relax time at the beginning of our trip.

It hailed the first night we were at Song Kul. It was getting dark and sis and I thought we would do a quick run to the toilet before get comfortable in the bed. It is extra (x100) hard to get off the bed when it is cold. As we get out of the "door" (which is a layer of wool felt), ice started to pelt down on us. We didn't know how long it would last so we ran all the way to the toilet anyway. It is always located a little further away from any yurt for obvious reason. We woke up the next morning to see snow on the ground, just outside of the yurts.

Anyway, what do one do at Song Kul? When we reached the day before (day 1), it was already evening since we departed from Kochkor after lunch time and it was a 3 hours car ride. A little stroll around and it was dinner time and thereafter rained and hailed.

Most people only stay one night but we did two with plans to do a little trek. We decided to explore a little bit more around the lake before having an earlier lunch and start our way towards the mountains. If you do a little reading on Central Asia, one of the mountains that you would come across is Tian Shan mountains. We have initially thought since we are not going anywhere near the mountains, we have given up hopes on seeing the majestic mountains. However it turns out that the mountains we see around the lake are actually Tian Shan mountains.

People who ignore signs are everywhere...

As we approaching another row of yurts away from ours, we saw a couple of children chased after some chickens. Sis had a brilliant idea that she wanted to film the chickens run and decided to get me to chase after them too. = ="

One thing led to another and I was chasing after those chickens together with the kids. Haha.

Free range chooks
We lingered around and watched how shepherds' daily life and then caught sight of 2 shepherds leading a herd of horses (is it herd?) and we stood around to see them for a bit. They were saddling the horses for riding and let us helped.

It turned out that the family with kids (the ones chasing chickens earlier) booked these horse for riding but they were having a late breakfast. So it translates to we could do some horse riding if we wanted to and we thought, why not? We have never ridden a horse before so one of the shepherds came along with us, of course we needed to pay for this time. Due to some miscommunication which was obvious (he can't speak English and we can't speak either Russian or Kyrgyz language), we only found out about this after the ride. Prior to the ride, a lady from Romania (I think) assisted with the translation.

And so, I had my first horse ride (not the ones where someone hold the rein and guide the horse) and it wasn't as intimidating as I thought. However I am still hopeless in getting on and off a horse.

Taking a photos of us
After lunch, we make a start towards the mountains. After an hour or so into walking, we noticed grey clouds were gathering quickly especially at the mountains. Whilst we really wanted to continue further, we were warned of the rapid weather change and it probably wasn't the wisest decision to press on so we turned back.

When we started out...
After a while...
By the time we reached the yurt, it started to rain but it wasn't heavy... not too sure how it was up at the mountains though.

My verdict? This is absolutely beautiful place but to make the most of the time there definitely include a little trek. ^^

The setting sun changes the landscape into golden colour...

Side note: ♬ "Continents, continents, do you know your continents? Asia, Africa, North and South America, Antarctica, Australia, and Europe too."

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  1. Love that first photo ... it wouldn't look out of place on National Geographic!

    1. Thank you... better photos are most likely taken by sis. I shall let her know! ^^