Have you ever dreamed about going up to highlands and discover a new new world, just like in fairy tales? I did! And there is a chance to make this come true…
In Kyrgyz “Saimaluu-Tash” means “patterned or embroidered stone”. This is the name of the place and it is situated in a narrow canyon on Fergansky range, in the region of Kugart pass. Crossing this pass from the agricultural Fergana Valley, you will find yourself in the valleys of the Inner Tien Shan. In the region, at an altitude of 3,000 – 3,200m, is the largest concentration of petroglyphs in Central Asia!
The paintings on rock have survived on stones and rocks at many sites throughout the globe. Unique monuments of our ancestors which have come from the ages, they signal the beginning of the history of fine art. Although people have been studying petroglyphs for 200 years, some of them still remain a mystery to us. Saimaluu-Tash is the largest gallery of petroglyphs in Central Asia and consists of about 90 thousand individual specimens.
Multi-image compositions depict scenes of hunting, domestication of wild animals, migrating along mountain paths, ritual dances of masked people, sun and moon shaped men driving on harnessed chariots and carriages, etc. Authors with high academic credentials regard Saimaluu-Tash as monument of culture of universal importance.
Among the great amount of treasures, Kyrgyzstan is very famous for its beautiful lakes. Among them is the special one that stands out the most and it is Issyk-Kul (literally “The Warm Lake”). The lake is never frozen even in winter and this is the reason why it got this interesting name.
Issyk-Kul is the second biggest alpine lake in the world after Titikaka lake in Peru (with 1600 meters above sea level). Transparency of water is pretty amazing – 20 meters. With 700 meters of depth, the lake includes about 50 types of sea animals.
Nowadays, the lake is surrounded with different resorts and is one of the most visited touristic spots of the country. They say that the lake’s water is very useful for health. So, some visit it for annual therapies and others come with family and friends to truly enjoy their holidays.
Among amazing sides, with which Kyrgyzstan stands out, is the fact that the biggest walnut forest on Earth belongs to this country! The forest is a real treasure of not only our country, but also the whole Asia. The trees that have been existing for thousands of years are still rich with fruit and adds pretty much effort to the economy of the region as well. So, what is that lucky area which includes this unique forest? Dear friends, please meet – Arslanbob!
Situated in the southern part of the country, Arslanbob is rich with not only walnut trees, but also regular visitors for its beautiful and peaceful nature. The forests are spread on the mountains and this is the reason for its perfect atmosphere. Couple of gracious waterfalls add even more sparkles to the beauty of Arslanbob. So, it is definitely worth adding to your “must see places” list!
To my country-mate, who sees nothing good in his or her homeland and prefers leaving abroad without looking back:
Dear, did you have any idea that there are tons of treasures you can be proud of about your country? What if I tell you that Kyrgyzstan is greater even than the U.S.?! In what way? Well, literally! It’s Peak Pobeda (Victory) is much higher than the highest peak in Rocky Mountains in Colorado! For you to compare: 7,439 metres (24,406 ft) vs.4,401 metres (14,440 ft).
And now I invite my foreign friends to take a look at our celestial mountains and enjoy the view!
There is no doubt that every other person in this small country of Central Asia dreams about visiting the United States. For them, it is the land of opportunities, the place which will make them forget all hardships of the world, in one phrase, it is the bed of roses… These expectations came true for some lucky ones, but wouldn’t that be unlike a real world then if it worked for everyone?
People of Kyrgyzstan are always surprised to see American tourists in their country, thinking what can this be, which makes them come all the way from abroad just to see our boring little places. They just have no idea…
They have no idea that the skyscrapers, which they are dreaming about, are actually making foreigners runaway to the untouched mountains with purest air.
They do not want to believe that technology, which they are following without distraction, is actually making its first users tired of artificial world and bringing them closer to the real world.
There may be some exceptions as well, for which I ask forgiveness, but I tried to make it as general as possible. There are many more contrasts to make between these two worlds, which will appear later on!