A cultural tour from Tajikistan following the great road M41 till Bishkek
If you're arriving from Murgab in Tajikistan, this program offers you a way to reach Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan.
In the morning, we drive to Kyrgyzstan. The road goes up to the highest road pass of Central Asia : Ak-Baital pass 4655 m. altitude, then the road goes down to the endorheic lake of Karakul, the biggest lake of Tajikistan. After lunch on the shore of the lake at Karaat village, we drive ahead to the Kyzyl-Art pass marking the border with Kyrgyzstan. After passing the Tajik border post, we drive down to Kyrgyzstan and pass the Kyrgyz border post, in the wide Kyzyl Suu valley, also named Chong Alay. Arrival in Sary-Tash, installation in a homestay, dinner.
We leave the high valley of the Kyrgyz Pamir through the pass Taldyk 3640 m. alt. and drive into the gorge till Gulsho (1543 m. alt.), the main village of the Kichi Alay district. The road is today completely repaired an covered with asphalt. After a small pass 2240m. alt., the road goes down slowly in the middle of fields of the Ferghana valley. Arrival in Osh for the lunch. Visit of the bazar and the Throne of the King Salomon. Overnight in local homestay. (Options : bath in mineral water near Gulsho; visit of lakes in the gorge Taldyk)
Morning transfer to Jalal Abad. Visit the mausoleums and Minaret Uzgen on road. After lunch, transfer to the village of Arslanbob. The road follows first the border with Uzbekistan and the Arslanbob mountains. The village Arslanbob has a typical architecture and the center of the largest walnut forest in the world. It is said that Alexander the Great came to have a rest there with his army and would have brought Macedonia to Arslanbob nuts. Possibility to walk to a sacred waterfall or discover kyrgyz cuisine. Overnight in guest house.
In the morning we walk to the waterfall and forests. Lunch in Arslanbob. Then drive to Toktogul lake. We drive through canyon of the Naryn River and barages. Taking several pictures at the edge of the cliffs and the lake stops. Then we go round the artificial lake of Toktogul. Arrival in the gorge of the Chychkhan river. Overnight in the guesthouse.
Transfer to the Kyrgyz's capital by the Chychkhan gorge and the high valley of Suusamyr. The Too-Ashuu tunnel permits to cross the Kyrgyz Alatoo range and reach the valley of Chuy. Arrival in Bishkek, visit of the city. Night in guesthouse.
I went on a great winter trip to Son Kol with Nomad's Land. It was well organized, guides were great, and left enough freedom for a real sense of adventure that group tours aren't always able to offer. I'd happily recommend them to others for trips around KG.
1 week of exploration around Kel-Suu at the top, despite the vagaries of the weather. We can only salute the seriousness and professionalism of the agency. Easy contact, team attentive. In addition to being able to discover a place that is difficult to access for independent hikers - and absolutely superb - we also took a real pleasure in getting into Kyrgyz culture more deeply. A big thank you to our great guide for having motivated us whatever the circumstances, inventing new recipes based on kurut and allowing us to better understand the country. We hope to be able to leave with Nomad’s Land as soon as possible!
On your way
Small village of yak breeders, located at the crossroads with China and Tajikistan on the Silk Roads. Sary Tash means in Kyrgyz "the yellow stone". From the village, there is a panoramic view of the Zalaïskiy mountain range. To the west where the waters of the Kyzyl-Suu river flow towards Djirgatal in Tajikistan, we can see the Lenin peak rising to 7134 meters above sea level. To the east, the road leads to Kashgar, following the Zalayskiy chain and dozens of peaks over 5,000 meters, and peaks over 6,000 meters, such as Zaraya Vostoka, which marks the border with Kyrgyzstan, China and the Tajikistan, and culminates at 6349. But in front of you, you find the reason why the river is called Kyzyl-Suu or "red water", the peak Korumdu culminating at 6614 meters of altitude lets flow from its massif of red waters.
Osh, the second largest city of the Kyrgyz republic, is one of the oldest settlements of Central Asia. It is located in southwestern Kyrgyzstan near the Uzbekistan border in the eastern section of the Fergana Valley. This one of the Central Asia's most interesting cities because of its long history, dating back as least to the 5th century BC - its position as an important crossroads for Silk Road trade and its huge market. For centuries it was a major silk-production center, strategically situated on a trade route to India.
Sights are: the huge bazaar, Sulaimans Throne (a 200 m hill called Takht-i-Suleyman (Solomon's Throne), where the Prophet Muhammad is thought to have prayed and where Muslim pilgrims began visiting in the tenth century), Baburs House (at the top of Sulaimans Throne), several monuments (especially the one of Kurmanjan Datka – Kyrgyz feminine ruler and engaged warrior against the Russian invasion), the Russian-orthodox church, the biggest mosque of the country (situated right beside the bazaar) and the Rabat Abdul Khan Mosque (16 th century).
The population of Osh is mostly Uzbek. Osh has two universities, a sanatorium, and an airport. Economic activity has been aided by beneficial reforms and consists of the Jayma bazaar; silk trade; mining of zinc, lead, and coal; food processing; and the production of silk, cotton, and wool.
Arslanbob village KG
Arslanbob (written also Arstanpap or Arslanbap) is a wide village in the mountain, north of the city of Jalal Abad. Mainly populated by people of Uzbek ethnicity, the village count about 15'000 inhabitants. Most of the population are Uzbek, and less than 5% is Kyrgyz, Russian, Tatar, Tajik, Chechen etc… The village is situated at an altitude of 1350 metres up to 1800 metres.
Kyrgyzstan's first known export to Europe was the Arslanbob walnut. Nuts forest are legendary because there are certainly originel forest of nuts, and maybe Alexander the Great bring back these nuts to Greece. Two waterfalls are located in the area which attract tourists, expats and pilgrims, skiers and other whole year round.
Arslanbob is named after an 11th-century figure, Arslanbob-Ata (alternate: Arstanbap-Ata). He may have been of Arab descent as in that language, Arslan translates to "lion" and bab to "gate", while in Turkic languages, ata means "father of". ergo "father of the lion gate". 'Bob', used as a suffix, is a traditional practice used in the Arslanbob which denotes "a traveler and explorer.
Muslims consider picturesque forest gardens sacred. According to legend, in ancient times there was an extremely hardworking man called Arstanbap who served the prophet Muhammad. Pilgrims come from far away to see the mausoleum of Arsantbap. And those who visit the forest bring with them a bit of paradise.
The walnut forest is within the 60,000 hectares (150,000 acres) forest situated between the Fergana and Chatkal Mountains. The walnut forest is located at altitudes varying between 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) and 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) above sea level on the Fergana range's south-facing slopes. At 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres), the Arslanbob woodland is the largest walnut grove on Earth.
Behind the village of Arslanbob are the Babash-Ata Mountains. There are two waterfalls nearby. One measures 80 metres (260 ft) high and has a slippery scree slope; it is situated in a cliff face north of the village. Another, to the east, is 23 metres (75 ft) in height and has two prayer caves, one of which is known as the Cave of the 40 Angels.
NGO "Forest relics" is our lodging provider. In Summer or in Winter, they organise sports and cultural events :
In May : Bike Challenge of Arslanbob
Toktogul water reservoir KG
The Toktogul hydroelectric power station, built in 1975, is the largest and most important power station in the country, producing up to 40% of its electricity. In addition, the dam of its dam produces a volume of 19 billion cubic meters of water that flows through the largest Toktogul reservoir in Central Asia and governs the irrigation and energy regimes. Visits are prohibited to the public, and entrances are monitored by the military. Access to the dam is from the small town of Kara-Kël (or Karakul, Kara-Kul, Kara-Kol).
The Toktogul hydropower plant is rightly regarded as the flagship of Kyrgyzstan's hydropower industry. The station project was developed by the Central Asian branch of the "Hydroproject" Institute. S. Ya Zhuk with the participation of Soyuzgidroproekt, Gidrostalproekt, etc. The dam is a complex construction intended to regulate the flow of the Naryn River and the production of energy in the long term.
The location of the station was chosen in the mountains of the central Tien Shan, at the entrance of the Naryn river, in the Ketmen-Tyube valley, in a narrow gorge reaching a depth of 1500 m. The slope is 65 - 70 °. The configuration of the station facilities was determined by the topographical and geological characteristics of the construction site, mainly by the seismicity, which is 9-10 points.
The hydroelectric complex includes a reservoir, a dam, two deep weirs, a surface weir, 4 turbine water pipes.
The station's reservoir is the largest in Central Asia, located in the Ketmen-Tyube valley and has the following dimensions: 65 km long, 284.3 km2 in area, maximum depth of 120 m, for a total capacity of 195 billion m3, useful - 14 billion m3.
The Toktogul Hydroelectric Power Plant Dam design parameters are a unique concrete structure designed to operate under exceptionally high seismic conditions. Its height is 215 m, its length along the ridge is 292.5 m, and the total concrete volume of the dam is 3.2 million m3.
The construction of a hydroelectric power station with a two-row arrangement of four hydraulic units is directly adjacent to the dam from downstream. PO-170/505-B-535 radial-axial turbines with a power of 307 MW each were installed in the building of the hydroelectric power station.
The turbines are supplied with water by four pressure pipes 7.5 m in diameter located in the central part of the dam.
Technical and economic indicators of the station:
* installed capacity - 1200 MkW;
* guaranteed power - 260,000 kW;
* average annual electricity production - 4,400 million kW / h;
* water flow through the turbine - 245m3 / s;
* number of hydraulic units - 4.
The town of Toktogul is located in the district of Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan, along the dam Toktogul. The Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, is 280 km north and Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan, 400km south. Located in west of the chain of the Tian Shan, the Toktogul valley has a long history. Its location along the river Naryn and surrounded by mountains allowed to easily defend against attacks and withstand natural disasters. With its abundant nature, the 7-4 centuries BC, the valley was home on his land Scythian warrior tribes. At that time, the Scythian believed in the existence of an underground world, and buried the kings and prominent warriors with their household utensils, their slaves, their horses, their arms so that they can use during their second life underground. Thus, the Toktogul Valley was one of the most populated areas of Central Asia. During the Soviet period, the archaeologist Alexendre Bernshtam began to seek and explore the tombs of Scythian. There was a lot of wealth and also, in a tomb, he found the whole body of a horse and hunting weapons of a leader. In the 1960s, the dam Toktogul forced to stop exploring all the graves remained in the artificial lake. In late 18th and early 19th century, the empire had Kokand invaded the Ferghana Valley and the territory of modern Uzbekistan. In order to expand its territory, they began to attack the people of the Celestial Mountains. The conquest began with the Toktogul valley because it was always one of the most populated valleys of Tien-Shan at that time. The invaders found themselves facing strong resistance from local people, although they had no army. Their situation in the middle of Tien-Shan allowed to defend themselves easily and without wasting much force. Because there was only one entrance into the valley where the amount of the warriors did not play a big role. But finally, because of a betrayal, Toktogul residents were defeated. The USSR had promised the people of Toktogul, 223.8 million som compensation for the dam construction. Unfortunately, people have never touched the money. From 1975, the new city was built on the north shore of the lake. Today, this city is fertile and shady.
What is included
All transportation in a private vehicle
All airport transfers
Accommodation as described in the program
Meals (3 per day)
Bottled water & tea
All the activities listed in the program
Entry fees at national parks and/or border zones listed in the program
Entry fees at museums and historical sites listed in the program
Domestic flights mentioned in the program
A contribution to our sustainable development projects
Organisation of the trip & local taxes
What is not included
International banking fees (PayPal, ...)
Travel & repatriation insurance
Visas / LOI (if applicable)
Alcoholic and soft drinks
Additional costs due to unexpected personal events (health, loss of luggage, ...)
Tips for guide & driver (always optional, always appreciated)
May we help you?
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