/ KYRGYZSTAN Trekking
I was planning to fly to Bishkek and set off from there. Apart from looking like a very interesting region, the best time for going coincides with school holidays, unlike Nepal.
Thanks do you have any personal experience with them. Their site is a bit lacking on information about the company and parts of it have been infected with a Russian Trojan.
> I was planning to fly to Bishkek and set off from there. Apart from looking like a very interesting region, the best time for going coincides with school holidays, unlike Nepal.
Adventure Peaks [www.adventurepeaks.com] in Ambleside run trips to Kirgizstan; why not ask them who their agent out their is? You could then contact them.
It partially depends on how adventurous you want to be. Do you want to have everything arranged before you set off or are you happy to make arrangements on the spot? Are you happy to do a standard trek or do you want to get off the beaten track (keeping in mind that even the most popular treks are still pretty quiet)?
Personally, I like CBT (www.cbtkyrgyzstan.kg) as they are committed to sustainable tourism principles and try to ensure that most of the financial benefits go to the local population rather than to Bishkek or abroad. I don't have any experience with their treks though, as I have only organised accommodation through them. However, in Karakol there are at least half a dozen tour operators, all of whom will be able to organise trekking trips. Again, the more standardised your trip is, the easier to arrange it while you're there.
If you want to be more organised or do a trip that is tailored for you then you'll probably want to organise something with one of the larger tour operators before you go.
Finally, I'd recommend spending a few days on the south shore of Lake Issyk Kul. It's fairly quiet, there are several places where you can stay in yurts on/near the beach and it's a nice place to recover after a long trek.
> Thanks do you have any personal experience with them. Their site is a bit lacking on information about the company and parts of it have been infected with a Russian Trojan.
They are very reputable company who have been around for a long time and understand the western way of doing business (that you actually get what you pay for). I found them very good, and I am sure others will vouch for them too. If you look up reports from BMC / MEF / MCofS websites you will hopefully see that expeditions to Kyrgyzstan have been using them for many years. They have English-speaking staff in office in Bishkek. Generally their guides / drivers are Russian speaking but I am sure they could organise an English speaking guide if you asked for one.
Thanks for all the replies, lots of useful information. What I want is something between a DIY trip and a completely organized tour. I am pleased to hear that there several trekking companies, Googling didn't give much information.
I have organized trips to Nepal and Pakistan myself in the past, so have an understanding of what's required. From my basic research it seems that not many people speak English and Russian is the most common language, so we would need someone who could speak both languages.
I am also assuming that once outside any centres of population there is nothing equivalent to a Nepalese tea house, so we would need to carry our own supplies. Three of the five of us wouldn't be capable of carrying huge rucksacks. Having done it myself in the past, I would rather avoid it this time:) So we are going to need porters. I presume we could hire these through one of the trekking companies.
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