NOMADS AND YURTS

Spending the day among shepherds at yurt camp is the unique opportunity to see the life of ancient nomads, who lived in the yurt camps for the thousands of years. Spending the night in the yurt is one of the main goals for tourists who visit Kyrgyzstan. And indeed, observing the scenery of grouped yurts, with horsemen herding their horses on the hills, women working around the yurts and kids playing around is a pretty unique experience.

The yurt is the traditional adobe of Central-Asia nomads. In Kyrgyzstan this tradition is still alive and goes through a renaissance, as the tourists and shepherds keep wandering around the country. Yurts, a moveable and protective shelter, were built on wooden construction, covered by layers of felt covering. The dominant part of the yurt is tunduk – the circle element, which unites and hold together the wooden rays of the construction. This element is so important, that it is displayed honourably on the flag of the Kyrgyz Republic. Nicely decorated interior makes you feel comfortable during the cold nights at mountain pastures.

Traditionaly, the mountaiouns regions of the country were inhabited by nomads, who wandered from pastures to pastures, to feed their cattle.

Now, the most visited yurt locations are in Naryn region – Song Kol lake, Tashrabat, Issyk Kul region – Bokonbaevo, Jeti Oguz, Jyrgalan, Osh region – Alay Valley, Chui region – Suusamyr. Small yurt camps or separate yurts can be found all over the country.

The quality of yurt furnishing varies at yurt camps. Some camps are well equipped, with comfortable beds to satisfy the manners of tourists, while others may be simpler, with simple years of matrasses, which are closer to the traditional way of sleeping. In the majority of cases, you can expect to sleep on the layers of warm matrasses. Some yurts may be equipped with a small stove. This keeps you warm during the cold nights in the early and late season. It’s recommended to take your sleeping bag with yourself.

Once at yurt camp, don’t miss the opportunity to ride the horse, taste fresh kumys and other dairy products, become the active part of the local community and do the activities, which they do at summer pastures. Active interaction with locals is the way to get to know local culture and have experience on your trip to Kyrgyzstan.