From Kyrgyzstan

Travelling by road between Bishkek and Syhmkent

You are travelling with your own vehicle and you want to reach Shymkent (Kazakhstan) from Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). So, you have three main roads to take:
– Through Lugovoe/Korday border
– Through Kara-Balta/Merke border
– Through Talas/Taraz border
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Going wild – Wildlife in Central Asia and Mongolia

Through all of your travels in Central Asia and Mongolia you will always come across wild animals. It might not be obvious but if you look close you will see it. On the lonesome roads you will be often followed by an eagle. They are nearly everywhere to be seen. In the mountain regions, the golden eagles are magnificent and truly beautiful. In Mongolia, where drives can be very long, we even made a sport out of it who could spot more eagles next to the road. On the road you spot anyway the most animals. There are lots of hares and foxes and of course different species of birds around. We spotted some nice owls as well.

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Travel Season Central Asia & Mongolia

Central Asia and Mongolia are areas which have an extreme continental and dry climate. In the south there are big deserts like Karakum, Kyzyklum, Taklamakan and the Gobi. In the north there are the treeless steppes including the Kazakh steppe, the Kuulanda steppe and the Mongolian Steppe. In the south and east are the big mountain ranges like the Tian Shan, the Altai and the Pamir mountains.

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What to bring for your trip to Mongolia & Central Asia

While planning your trip the big question what to pack always pops up at some point. The golden rule, as always, is not to pack too much but just enough to have everything. The difficulty to pack for Central Asia are the different seasons. Since most travelers visit this area in May until October, we will focus the packing list for the summer season. The summers in Central Asia can be quite hot so be prepared for some sweating. However the evenings in the mountains can be a bit chilly. Here are your recommendations for essentials.

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Making of a yurt

One of the world’s most practically and attractively designed habitations: The Mongolian yurt, or ger as it is known in Mongolia itself, has been used for thousands of years by the nomads of Central Asia and is still a common sight in many countries in the region.

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Hunting with eagles

Deep in the unforgiving wilds of far western Mongolia, the last remaining Kazakh eagle hunters harness a powerful force of nature.

The burkitshi, as they are known in Kazakh, are proud men whose faces reveal the harshness of the beautifully barren landscape they call home.

They have an extraordinary bond with the golden eagle, which to them represents the wind, the open space, the isolation and the freedom found at the edge of the world.

Australian photographer Palani Mohan has spent years documenting the noble hunters, culminating in a book available now from Merrell Publishers. Mohan says only 60 eagle hunters remain, and fears the ancient tradition could disappear within 20 years.

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