When you think of Kyrgyzstan, you probably imagine wide and flat landscapes in between mountains. Well this is exactly where you will land. An immense steppe in which horses, sheep and cows can wander around.
Tuura Suu is a small village, at 2600 meters altitude, isolated from everything, which adds a lot to its charm. It is crossed by the Kara Kudzhur river which brings fresh water down from the mountains.
Here you will feel welcomed by Chyngyz, his wife and their three children. Although they do not speak English, the language barrier is clearly not a barrier to hospitality.
The house you will be staying in, is located 3 km away from Tuura Suu village. You will dispose of a separate bedroom and will have access to a fully equipped bathroom and a kitchen. Around the house, you will find two dogs, a horse, a few cows and many sheep.
Before you even know, you will be sharing a delicious traditional Kyrgyz tea in the living room with the family. Your hosts may prepare all the meals for you, allowing you to taste traditional dishes. Note that vegetarian food is also available on request.
The immensity of the area can either be inspirational or overwhelming. You could take any direction and walk for enough time to keep you busy until dawn. However, some places may be more strategic to aim for.
After arriving, you will probably quickly want to gain some height, for a better view. A good start would be to go up the hill behind the house. To do so, head towards the village and turn left as soon as you can. Once on the hill, take some time to breath the fresh air and contemplate the openness of the landscape.
For more serious hiking, a nice option is a 15 to 20 kilometers walk which crosses the village and ends in a valley. With a cumulated elevation of around 300 meters, such a hike should take up to 4 hours walk, without breaks.
From the house, walk to the village and cross it diagonally. Take advantage of the curious looks towards you to engage into a conversation with the locals. Once you reach the top right end of the village, you can enter the valley which is home to the river. By doing so, you will be heading towards the summer pastures used for the animals of the village.
Although there is very little vegetation, do keep an eye open for the animals which surround you. Marmots can be seen on all sides, impressive birds will fly over your head and a fox may be hiding on the way. You will also cross several people from the village walking along the river or riding on their horse to fetch their animals.
Chyngyz will be glad to advise you on many other potential hikes in the area.
As surprising as it may seem, Tuura Suu village is perfectly connected to electric, water and phone services. With a local sim card, you will therefore have access to good quality internet.
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.
Note that the closest city is Kochkor, one hour drive away, with its vibrant city life and pleasant and quiet parks.