While it may be easy to claim Issyk-Ata as the most accessible hike, though, it would be a much harder task to choose the most beautiful! It seems like every little valley has some imposing mountain face or hidden lake or a couple of yurts situated picturesquely in a meadow overlooking the horizon. How, then, to decide which is the most amazing?!
Even in winter, the mountains surrounding Bishkek are great for snowshoe trips or skiing. I’ve heard a lot about heli-skiing deeper into the Tian Shan as well, but so far my skills on skis aren’t quite up to the challenge! I’ve actually never even made it out to Karakol Ski Base, widely acclaimed as the best in the country. This is pretty representative of my time in Kyrgyzstan more generally, with a lot of it spent near Bishkek but only very rarely venturing out far beyond. I’m hoping that as I spend more time here, though, I’ll have a chance to Travel In Kyrgyzstan more widely to see all the beauty the country has to offer!
Stephen Lioy is a photographer and writer with a focus on exploring Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia.
Visit his photography portfolioor travel blogto see more, or follow him on Twitter and Google+.