Winter Escape

Silkway is versatile… Its busy cities, bazaars in them keep the road alive, full of energy and noises. Even the resorts are always full of people, which make them not that peaceful either.

For instance, Issyk Kul lake in Kyrgyzstan is always full of visitors and it gets difficult to find a free hotel number! Karakol ski resort at the same place is also too famous to be peaceful and with only a few people.

However, there can be found an escape. In our case, in winter, I would like to present an alternative to super busy ski bases. Why not to visit Kashka Suu, for example? It is no less fun zone for winter sports! Take a look at the shots taken from there!

Ice Skating in KG


Let me make you glad with following information: you know that Kyrgyzstan is the land of mountains and therefore it has pretty great amount of ski bases. And except for skiing, it provides wonderful chances for ice skating as well.

Unlike usual indoor skating rinks, there are some cool places, where you can see no limit in the area! It is of course the rink in the open air! As an example to such awesome place, I can now call “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, a nice recreational area with a huge open-air-skating rink, cosy cafe to sip hot chocolatea nd beautiful view of the little river flowing by the side.

Visit site, in order to find out more information about that place.

Skiing Season in Silk Road

Since the Silkway of Kyrgyzstan is mountainous, it is more comfortable to travel through it in summer, under the sunshine. In winter those mountains are very hard to walk on, so what you can do there is only skiing! By the way, what else can be more fun during winter vacations!

There are so many places to go and have the best skiing experience in the country. Whatever region you go, it is surrounded with mountains. However, the professional and widely visited skiing resorts are not that many. One of the most famous ones is the Karakol ski base in Issyk Kul province.

The ski base offers a huge variety of activities, except for skiing. It includes snowboarding, paragliding, heli-skiing and even nice rides on the cable cars. The prices are pretty affordable and for the visitors’comfort, there are enough amount of hotels and guest houses, which keep the guests warm and in coziness during vacations!

Astronaut from Uzgen


The city of Uzgen played an important role in the ancient history and even in our times has not stopped amazing others by its wonderful people. No one probably would not even have an idea that it is the mother town of a great man, which made his country famous all around the world. He is the proud of not only Kyrgyzstan, but also former Soviet countries, including Russia and Uzbekistan. He is a fantastic astronaut – Salijan Sharipov.

He was born in the Uzbek family of Uzgen, which is why Uzbekistan also feels proud for such man. The dream of that simple boy from a small country came true after his hard works during difficult trainings of astronauts in Russia and Ukraine. He was able to make it to the space on 1998 for the first time.

His second flight happened 6 years later and this time he was selected as a commander of the cruise. In 2008 he retired and now lives in the capital of Russia with his family of two children and his wife.

He is the true hero of the country and a proof that if only you can dream, you can make it come true as well!

Uzgen City

Today I would like to share another link to the ancient Silk Road, which is also situated in Kyrgyzstan. This place is rich with heritage from centuries back and is said to be the most eastern city of Davan kingdom. Chinese historical scripts say that this is the very place, where the city of Ju-Chen was located in 104-99 BC. The modern name of the city is now Uzgen.

The ancient city went through a lot of great periods, including mongolian invasion, Timurids and Karakhanid empires. The develpoment of the city continued with those empires. Thanks to the great architects of those times, some of the buildings still remain in the city, including mausoleum and minarets. Besides them, there were found the ruins of old schools of those times. Therefore, visiting the city can give the taste of ancient Silk Road. This is how one of those beautiful mausoleums look:

San Tash


I am sure that not everyone has heard about this interesting site, even some people of Kyrgyzstan. The place is called “San-Tash”, which means, “counting stones” from Kyrgyz language. It is located in Issyk Kul province of Kyrgyzstan.

You may not understand what the San-Tash complex is famous for, since all you can see there is the large mound of stones with almost the same size. The thing is one of the legends about Tamerlane is connected with San Tash. The following event, which is really touching, is said to have taken in this place:

Before leaving for the next battle, Tamerlan told his soldiers to get one stone each and put in one place. After the war finished, they returned to the same place and Tamerlane told each soldier to take one stone from that bunch. Unfortunately, the number of soldiers were less than the amount of stones. The rest of stones remained there as the memory of soldiers, who died during the battle. . .

Saimaluu Tash


I would advise anyone finding himself in Jalal-Abad not to hurry to leave the place so soon. In our case, we just checked out the first treasure, which was the world’s biggest walnut forest in Arslanbab. There is another hidden pearl in the region, perfect heritage from our ancient ancestors, the great representatives of ancient arts – the rock paintings!

The largest collection of amazing patterned stones or petroglyphs in the world is located in Jalal-Abad and is called by the name of Saimaluu Tash (“embroided/patterned stone” in Kyrgyz). There are more than ten thousand of rock paintings in that open-air museum. Dating back to the 2nd century B.C. – 8th century A.D., the black and white paintings represent the culture, traditions, beliefs and values of ancient civilizations. The one-of-a-kind masterpieces were studied by a lot of historians and scientists and yet there are so many mysteries to be solved…

The steps of Alexander the Great

c_anders_wikstrom_2

The Great Silk Road seems to have started much earlier than we imagined… The thing is, what they call the Greek nuts are originally from the territories of Kyrgyzstan. The fact that Kyrgyzstan hides the biggest on Earth walnut forest can be the proof of that theory. The forest is located in one of seven regions in Kyrgyzstan, called Jalal-Abad. They call it Arslanbab…

There are some stories and legends that connect the Greek nuts and Arslanbob. One of them say that Alexander the Great once came  to those places and discovered the walnut tree. He took some branches of it back to Greece and it got popular from there… With the great history behind, the forest still is rich with fruit and visitors, that are excited every time they come.

Modern Silkway Inns

galerry_grand-hotel-el-mirador-introduction-hotels-image-3

Last time talking about the ancient Tash Rabat, I also started thinking about our modern hotels around. It is incredible how various they are from each other and have absolutely everything that can satisfy the guests during their stays in foreign countries.

Kyrgyzstan is also getting pretty rich with hotels and guest houses. There are some 5-star hotels, although not that luxurious as the ones in Dubai or Europe. Definitely, supply works according to the demand. The prices are not that high, however, the service and conditions can be as satisfying as in much more expensive places out there.

For the budget travels there are nice little guest houses that also get warm comments from the visitors. One of the tourists was wondering what kind of a room he would get for just about $20 and once entered and realized that a king size bed and separate shower were only for him, he almost cried from happiness, remembering what he would get in foreign countries for this price!

We can do nothing but stay in awe looking at the progress for just a few centuries. However, here comes a question: will our modern hotels remain as long as Tash Rabat did?

Silk Road Hotel

tash-rabat1-1

At the times when Silk Road prospered and extended, the tradespeople had to travel for months to reach their destinations, since there were no planes or trains. They definitely needed a place where they could go and have rest after long days of walking and leading caravans of camels.

The hotels or inns in our modern world start serving people from those very times and were called as “caravanserai”s. They were always huge, busy filled with people. Thanks to the perfect architects of those times, some of those caravanserais still remain in almost perfect condition, despite natural disasters through thousands of years. One of them is famous to whole Central Asia – Tash Rabat.

The literal meaning of it is “The stone door” because of the fact that it was built only with stone, not bricks. It was a welcoming door to foreign businessmen on the Silk Road. It is situated in Naryn region of Kyrgyzstan in the very inside of valleys, which makes it a bit hard to reach. Despite this, tourists keep visiting and enjoying its ancient atmosphere.

 

1 2