Hey! Hi! SUP. Yo. You’re reading about a trip that took place 6 months ago (May – June 2015), which means that I am sadly no longer in Central Asia. However, that trip was awesome enough that I feel compelled to write about it in a series of blog posts, because it’s unsurprisingly … kind of difficult to talk about three different countries’ worth of text and photos and consolidate that sucker into one blog entry. Also, I’m likely a) nostalgic, b) itching to travel again, c) guilty about having so many orphaned photos on my HD, or d) all of the above. Anyway, let’s do this, before I start getting random plov cravings.
Also, larger versions of all the photos can be found in my Kyrgyzstan photoset.
Yo, listen. Before I descend into gratuitous wordvom about the awesomeness of my Kyrgyzstan leg of the trip, I’m going to cut to the chase and give you the key takeaway:
I CAMPED IN A YURT.
Awwwww yeah, das right. I was in a yurt, and it was every bit as awesome as it sounds. I love camping in the traditional “let’s camp out in the woods!” sense, but goddamn if it isn’t annoying to pitch a tent every time. Plus, given the choice between a flimsily-built tent in the middle of the woods and A MOTHERFUCKING YURT SURROUNDED BY MOUNTAINS IN KYRGYZSTAN, it’s pretty obvious which one’s the superior choice.
Okay, micdrop done.
Anyway! For those wanting to travel to Central Asia like that bitchin’ landscape above, Kyrgyzstan’s a solid gateway into the area. In most cases, you can easily get a visa on arrival, because the entrance requirements in Kyrgyzstan have the most chill compared to all the other -stans.
I arrived into Kyrgyzstan via marshrutka, from good ol’ Almaty into Bishkek. Marshrutkas are shared taxicabs, but unlike Lyft Line or Uberpool, they’re older vans and the route is pretty fixed, seeing as it doesn’t get more straightforward than Almaty → Bishkek. Overall, it took about 3 hours, though there was no way I was keeping track, having been jetlagged to the ends of the earth and running on a grand total of one cup of coffee. In all my sleep deprivation, I vaguely remember getting dropped off at the Kazakhstan exit border, communicating back and forth between Rebekah and the border guard about my passport, and having to repeat the same process as we crossed the no-man’s land and officially entered Krygzystan. I also remember drizzle and rain, which is irrelevant in the big picture, but seemed kinda relevant at the time, as we were trying to locate our marshrutka and not look like drowned rats.
Some small amount of paperwork later and another taxi ride to Rebekah’s place, and we were settled in Bishkek! Huzzah!
Cue hallelujah music.
Read More Central Asia, Part 2: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan