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After leaving Burana Tower, we drive back to the city of Tokmok and turn east. On the way there we pass a cemetery. Later we will see more of them. We are surprised, whether more people than in other regions die here. But that is not the case. Here, one prefers the burial, while the cremation is popular in other regions.
We follow the course of the Chu river. The valley is fertile and gets enough water by the river for the irrigation. The Chu river flows to Kazakhstan and seeps there into the steppe. Here it forms the border with Kazakhstan. There are also places where the border crosses the river and the road passes through the territory of Kazakhstan. These areas are then declared as transit zones.
Our journey leads upstream the Chu river and through a mighty valley to the Kyrgyz mountains. It is one of the biggest valleys is Kyrgyzstan. Besides the river and the highway, a railroad line also runs through the valley. We are pleased with the good condition of the street. But, drivers must always be prepared to be stopped by a police control.
The valley widens again and opens the view onto the Tian Shan with its snow-capped peaks.
We leave the Chu river and make a short stop in the town of Balykchy to refuel. Then we drive to the south side of Issyk-Kul Lake. The Issyk-Kul is the second largest mountain lake on Earth and is located at 1607 m above sea level. On this evening, we can catch only a quick look at it.
We pass a series of villages that stretch along roads. They remind very much of Russian villages. In open terrain, you see more and more the desert-like sections, partly as rocky mountain foothills. More frequently we see yurts in the landscape.
Towards evening, also the cattle from the pasture is on the way home.
It is already dark when we reach the Almaluu Yurt Camp*. The nice hosts serve us a wonderful dinner in the yurt.
You are planning a trip to the south side of Lake Issyk-Kul?
Check Destination South Shore to get more information about activities, tours and accommodation.
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Disclosure: Our trip was organized in cooperation with Discover Kyrgyzstan, and made possible by the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). All opinions are our own.
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