The village of Chak is located in the Alay mountains. This range of mountains is the furthest south you may go to in Kyrgyzstan. It is surrounded closely both by Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which makes it a unique place.
The Alay valley in which the village is located, is at 2500 meters altitude which explains the extreme climate it faces. Indeed, in winter temperatures may drop to -40 degrees celsius, whilst in summer temperatures may rise to 35 degrees celsius.
Here, you will experience typical rural Kyrgyz life. The village is composed of 200 houses, in which each family has numerous animals. All children go to the local school, in which their teachers are also their neighbors, which creates strong ties in between kids and families.
You will feel welcomed by Jyrgal and his family. Although they do not speak English, the language barrier is clearly not a barrier to hospitality.
As you may know, yurts are one of the symbols of Kyrgyzstan. It is therefore a must, during your travel, to spend at least one night in this unusual habitat.
Isolated from everything, far out in the Alay valley, you will find a small yurt camp for your stay. An ideal place for those seeking for nature and calm. A few minutes by foot away, can be found a waterfall as well as the Kok-Suu river. You will be able to light a campfire to keep yourselves warm, relax in the evening or cook your food.
As very often in Kyrgyzstan, hikes are not what is missing. Lost in the middle of nature, there are a thousand paths you could take. As Jyrgal, your host, works in environmental protection, it may be wise to follow his tips on nice places to go to.
On your own, there are several places you can visit. Near the yurt camp, take a walk along the river to enjoy the landscape and spot the animals around you. Marmots, deers, birds are some of the animals you can observe in the area.
Further away, you may walk and lose yourself in the beauty of untouched nature. Go to the valley of the Nichke Suu river, in which you will be surrounded by high mountains, red rock, green nature and impressive viewpoints. To get the best views, make sure to climb up a hill. Although getting to the valley will bring you onto bumpy roads, it is definitely worth a visit and is ideal for a nice picnic.
Do not miss out on visiting the village of Chak. After having walked through the main roads, head towards Daroot Korgon and take the first bridge which crosses the river. Once on the other side, follow the river upstream until you reach another bridge, which will bring you back, as a loop, to the village.
At some point, you may want a nice rest. Luckily, Chak has exactly the right place for that. Head towards the fish farm, where you can taste freshly cooked fish and have a warm cup of tea. Once there, you will quickly notice that there is much more to do. Jumping on a trampoline or riding a pedal boat are some of the activities you can probably only find here.
Heading down towards the village of Chak will undoubtedly bring you through Osh, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan. From there, you will find direct public transport. Hop on to marshrutka #966. The ride should cost 300 soms and last around 5 hours.
If you are looking to buy a few essentials, you will find a number of small shops in the village. Two of them are located right next to the school.
Except if you speak Kyrgyz your only chance to communicate with the family will be by using an online translator, such as Google Translate. Although it may seem as a potential struggle, finding other ways to communicate adds to the charm of the experience.