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Adventour invites you to a once in a lifetime culinary heritage tour focusing on flavorful traditional and modern Kyrgyz recipes, designed for food lovers and cooking adventure enthusiasts. Get involved in exciting historical cities tours while indulging in their unique dishes at some of the best restaurants. Learn to cook delicious Kyrgyz meal and enjoy the exquisite cuisine that would enrich your food knowledge. Book the tour now, this wonderful and exciting tour is only a click away.
During this trip, taste Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Russian, and Ukrainian food in cities and best dishes of Uygurs and Dungans in cozy candle-lit yurts. Not just tasting genuine Kyrgyz dishes, get involved also in cooking class and learn to prepare traditional meals of the country: Shorpo and Dymlyama.
Learn preparing Manti as well, a unique dish of a Dungan family; Muslim people of Chinese origin and savor this unique meal in delight. Your culinary adventure will be complete by tasting Kourdak, a traditional shepherd dinner where you spend nomadic-style nights in a Yurt, amid an epic landscpae.
You will also take part in a tea party in a yurt. Tea tradition in Central Asia, particularly Kyrgyzstan has many nuances, people drink various varieties of black, green teas adding fresh milk and salt to it. They have tea with boorsok, pieces of dough overcooked in hot oil, dried fruits and honey in the morning, afternoon and evening. There is an endearing ritual of tea served by the youngest adult in the house in a tea bowl piyala to the senior among the guests.
Join memorable visits to majestic Issyk Kul, a lake with its ever-changing waters and Cholpon Ata, to Burana Tower and ruins of Balasagun, the capital of Karakhanid dynasty, to Jety Oguz gorge, one of the most scenic spots in Kyrgyzstan, and to a stone garden with rock paintings dating back the 8th century AD that will complete this journey of discovery at the Land of Tien Shan, Celestial Mountains.
Arrival in Bishkek, transfer to hotel.
Start the tour of Bishkek to visit History Museum and in the center of the city and Osh Bazaar.
Lunch will feature Kazakh national food and we will try Besh Barmak which means five fingers, as traditionally you would eat it by hand. The dish is usually served in a big round dish. Treating to Besh Barmak is accompanied with an original ritual narrated by our hosts with our guide serving as a translator. Amen is usually said at the end of the meal to give thanks to God.
Our target today is Ashuu village in Chon Kemin Valley where we will stay in a private home and participate in our first cooking class.
We start the day with a drive to Chon Kemin, the birthplace of Askar Akayev, once the president of the country. This picturesque valley at altitudes of 1400 - 2800 meters has verdant pastures, woods of elegant Tien Shan fir lining the mountains, lakes and stunning views of mighty 4000+ meters mountain peaks Kichi Kemin and Teke Tor.
We will take a light hike up a hill in this scenic setting walking through fields that were part of a soviet collective farm. Reaching the hilltop we will capture the views of the mountains and panoramic views of cozy Kalmak Ashuu village on our cameras and go down to Ashu.
Our treats today feature Kyrgyz cuisine and we will make Shorpo, fresh lamb or beef bouillon with vegetables and Dymlyama, meat with stewed vegetables cooked on open-air fire stove.
Today we drive to Issyk Kul, the second largest alpine lake in the world nestled among the stunning peaks of Nothern Tien Shan.
Lake Issyk Kul was a stopover on the Silk Road, a land route for travelers from the Far East to Europe. Subject to many local legends, this stunning lake with colors changing during the day from soft blue to sapphire, are said to hide ancient civilizations and majestic towns long gone and covered by the smooth blue surface of this amazing creation of nature. And indeed divers have found the remains of submerged settlements in shallow areas around the lake.
In 2007, a team of Kyrgyz archeologists has discovered the remains of a 2500-year-old city at the bottom of the lake with formidable walls, Scythian burial mounds eroded over the centuries by waves and well-preserved artifacts including bronze battle axes, arrowheads and daggers. Surrounded by snowy peaks, the lake never freezes, hence its name Hot Lake in Kyrgyz language.
En route we have a stop in Tamchy village to visit a local felt-making family workshop practicing the centuries-old Kyrgyz tradition. We will see the process and ready products including warm and colorful felt rugs shyrdak, a hallmark of Kyrgyz culture. We spend the night at Cholpon Ata, a tourist resort.
We are on the northern shore of Issyk Kul and will not miss the chance to try fresh fish. Our dinner today is at a Russian fish restaurant where we will enjoy famous Ukha, fresh fish soup with root vegetables, parsley, leek, potato, bay leaf, lime, dill and amply spiced with black pepper, cinnamon and cloves.
After breakfast we see the rock paintings of Cholpon Ata, a sacred site under open sky were ancient people worshiped celestial bodies and performed mysteries around thousands of petroglyths dating from the II millennium BC up to the 6th century AD.
The various layers identified by archaeologists include Arian tribes who gave the first artists to create this peculiar art gallery. Later the Saka tribes made their contribution in the Saka-Scythian animal style of art with amazingly realistic and dynamic images and the latest petroglyphs are of Turkic period.
Drive to Karakol at the eastern tip of Issyk Kul, one of the oldest towns in Kyrgyzstan hosting more than 20 ethnicities. We will be hosted for dinner by a Dungan family. Dungan is a Russian term referring to Muslim people of Chinese origin, members of this ethnic group still call themselves Hui. We will be treated to Manti with vegetables.
It takes time to prepare Manti, but it is fun and easy if we make it with team work, we offer our help and it is highly appreciated. Later we enjoy the creation of our hands, steaming Manti topped with butter and served with sour cream sprinkled with vinegar and black pepper. Warm farewell to our hosts and on to our hotel.
We have short tour of Karakol to see the 19th century Russian Ortodox church and Przhevalski Memorial Museum named after Nikolay Przhevalski, renowned explorer who contributed significantly to European knowledge of Central Asia and was the first known European to describe the only extant species of wild horse, named after him.
Proceed to Jety Oguz, one of the most scenic spots in Kyrgyzstan. Jeti Oguz means Seven Bulls and a local legend about the areas plentiful resources that caused these bulls to grow where they now, and watch over the valley. The bulls are actually a series of red rock formations lined up in a row overlooking the village.
Another rock ensemble called Broken Hearts is popular among lovers, there is another local legend attached to its history. For almost 25 kilometers on both sides of the gorge, huge fir trees are standing as the silent guardians of this beautiful place. Higher up at about 3000 meters, in a 15-kilometer-wide valley, beautiful sub-alpine and alpine meadows jailoos dressed in a fabulous carpet of edelweisses, alpine chamomiles and asters are found.
Back to Karakol and dinner when we enjoy Laghman with Uigurs, another ethnic group from Northwestern China. Laghman is a typical noodle delight which you will commonly find along the Silk Road. It exists in countless varieties and is always a fantastic treat.
Drive to Son-Kul, the second largest lake in Kyrgyzstan. En-route we stop at Kochkor village to visit a small ethnography center where we will see souvenirs handmade local women.
We continue on the road to Son Kul that winds through mountainous terrain until it seems to disappear into the skies. This is probably why Son Kul is translated from Kyrgyz as the Last Lake.
Soak up the scenery before visiting a local nomadic family for a tea party in a traditional Yurt.
Arrive at Son Kul and enjoy the magic beauty of the Lake whose color changes from violet to dark blue to pink, depending on the time of day and weather. Situated on an elevated, treeless mountain plateau at 3,000 metres, its verdant meadows are used by shepherds in the summer months.
We will enjoy a traditional shepherd dinner, Kourdak from fresh meat with onions and potatoes. There are no solid buildings in the area, only Yurts so we will spend two nomad-style nights in a Yurt amid this epic landscape, under a deep, starry sky, listening to the legends and enjoying the camaraderie of a blazing campfire.
Another day at Son Kul to relax and explore the pastoral life high up in the Kyrgyz highland. For dinner we have fresh fish from the lake. Another night under the sky full of stars, a real treasure trove to the amateur astrologist.
Today we return to Bishkek and visit an important historical site, Burana famous for Burana Tower, one of the first minarets in Central Asia and ruins of Balasagun, the capital of Karakhanid dynasty in the 9th century.
Lunch at Burana, we enjoy traditional meal Pilaf, meat cooked in oil with carrots, onions and steamed rice in a large cooking pot on open air fireplace.
We reach Biskek in the afternoon, free time and farewell dinner in traditional Ukrainian restaurant where we will enjoy Borsh served with sour cream and other savory dishes. A toast to our fantastic gastronomy adventure is in order now.
Breakfast and departure
You will travel among powerful mountains covered by eternal snow and alpine meadows with flower carpets, impetuous mountain rivers with foaming waterfalls and steppes smelling sagebrush, turquoise lakes, and some of the largest glaciers on earth. Kyrgyzstan is an excellent place to escape from bustling traffic, urban life, and crowds.
Travelling through rural areas is a perfect feast for the eyes, surreal aqua-blue skies and fluffy white clouds with distinct shadows cast upon the barren hills and snow-capped glaciers on one day and pastoral pictures of hordes of sheep grazing on the lush green mountains on another.
Being home to many nationalities and their distinct cultures and cuisines makes Kyrgyzstan an ideal place to explore the rich cultural patchwork and pamper your taste. Between exploring the natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan and tasting the food of its peoples in an authentic setting is a treat for every faithful Epicurean.