In addition to magnificent mountains, alpine lakes and forests, Kyrgyzstan, and in particular the city of Karakol, is a gathering of a cultural community that is on the verge of extinction. You have a unique chance to get acquainted with the culture of small ethnic groups, plunge into the depths of the most interesting history with full immersion, while receiving unforgettable authentic impressions and many interesting photographs as a keepsake!
We will explore the city through cuisine, culture, food and flavors.
Our excursion for those who:
• wants to explore the city of Karakol through taste and national cuisine
• looking for gastronomic discoveries
• wants to visit non-tourist places of the city of Karakol, which are not listed in guides and reference books
• has an interest in a variety of foods
• wants to take part in a master class on cooking national dishes
• wants to diversify everyday life and broaden his horizons
We will tell and show you about:
• history and culture of small ethnic groups of the city of Karakol;
• differences in dishes and ingredients;
• preparation of meals;
• traditional way of life of small peoples of Karakol;
• about what is hidden from prying eyes; fields, housekeeping, pastures,
• where and what do Karakol residents eat every day;
• folklore concert with traditional songs and dances.
Average tour duration: 4-5 hours
In 1881, after the suppression of the Dungan uprising in Xinjiang (China), many Uighurs and Dungans moved to Central Asia, including some Oirat clans of the Torguds and Khoshuds. Many Oirats settled compactly in the Issyk-Kul Lake area. This is how the history of Kalmyks, Dungans and Uighurs in Kyrgyzstan began. Throughout their life together, surrounded by Turkic-speaking peoples, these ethnic groups adopted Islam, mixed with neighboring Kyrgyz clans, and recently began to forget their language. We can say that they are on the verge of extinction, but nevertheless they have not lost their national identity.
Kalmyk Culture and Horseback scenery
The national cuisine of the Kalmyk people is very simple and satisfying. Eat during the day - you don't need to have supper in the evening. The cuisine of the Kamyks reflects their traditional cattle-breeding lifestyle. Mostly the dishes consist of milk, meat, lamb and beef. There is a lot of meat in all dishes. And local tea is always with milk, like in England.
Kalmyk tea, jomba, is not to everyone's taste, but it is extremely interesting to try it. It quenches thirst well. Jomba is prepared from tiled tea, water and cream, with the addition of butter, pepper, salt and cinnamon.
Your cultural excursion begins with a transfer from Karakol to the home of Beyshbay and Koshulkhan. Here you will spend about half an hour being introduced to the Kalmyk way of life. After tea, you will be taken by horseback to the top of Boru-Bash hill at 1811m. From here you can see the spectacular views of the Terskey and Kungey Ala-Too ranges and of Tyup and Mikhailovsky bays on Lake Issyk-Kul. It is an easy descent down the hill to an area of clay and sandy canyons (resembling Kandagar in Afghanistan).
After riding through these canyons you will come to a traditional sheep farm where you can meet local shepherds and learn about their customs and lifestyle.
After a hearty hot dinner of national Kalmyk dishes you will be driven back to Karakol. Duration of excursion approx 5 hours. From April to October.
Meet Dungan culture in Karakol
We will start this wonderful day with a tour of the famous Dungan mosque in the city of Karakol, built in the style of a Chinese Buddhist temple, which is one of the architectural monuments of the Dungan culture of the late 19th century. All the colors of the mosque also personify various Dungan cultural concepts, red - protects from evil spirits, yellow - contributes to the accumulation of wealth and brings prosperity to the house, and green - personifies happiness.
An interesting story, told by our guide about the appearance of the Dungans in the city of Karakol and the construction of the Dungan mosque, awaits you.
Then we will go to the village, where the main settlers are the Dungans, directly to the Dungan family with a demonstration of the dwelling and economy, tasting delicious and varied dishes.
To cook tasty and nutritious, Dungan cooks believe, you have to do everything with your heart. In this matter, every detail is important, starting with the preparation of products, their processing and ending with serving the finished dish on the table.
After a hearty lunch with an abundance of delicious and varied Dungan family dishes, we offer you a short trip to the fields where the Dungans grow vegetables both for the city of Karakol and beyond.
After that, you will be taken to the hotel with pleasant impressions of what you have seen and tasted!
Uyghur culture in Karakol
Uyghur culinary art is a kind of monument to the material culture of the people. It synthesizes in itself the mutual influences of the West and the East, antiquity and modernity, moreover, it is a great skill, fantasy, beauty and harmony of taste.
Uyghur cuisine is so varied and varied that it is not possible to cover everything. Let's touch on only some of them, adhering to the traditional classification.
During the tour, you will visit Uyghur family, get acquainted with the traditions of the Uyghur, you will have an unforgettable tasting of various Uyghur dishes and, in addition to everything, a folklore concert of Uyghur songs and dances
Russian culture in Karakol
Russians in Kyrgyzstan are one of the largest officially recognized Russian diasporas outside of modern Russia. Since the middle of the 20th century, the relative number of Russians has decreased, which is associated with a slightly lower birth rate compared to the birth rate among the local population, and since the early 1990s, the absolute number of the Russian population has also sharply decreased due to the high migration outflow after the collapse of the USSR.
Russian cuisine is very versatile and varied. It has evolved over many centuries, enriched by borrowing from the culinary traditions of other peoples. The basis of Russian cuisine is a variety of cereals, pies, meat, game, fish and mushroom dishes.
This interesting tour will start with a visit to the main Orthodox attraction of the city of Karakol - the Old Church. The temple without a single nail was erected in the 19th century, right after the city itself was founded by the Russian general Kaulbars.
Next, we will head to a village near the city of Karakol, where traditional Russian families still have their own households. Here you will get acquainted with the life of a Russian family and taste Russian dishes.
Kyrgyz culture and cuisine
This tour will start out of the box: namely, you will go to the pasture, where the nomad lives with his family. Together with a Kyrgyz family, you will try to graze sheep, cook a traditional Kyrgyz dinner, chop wood, and milk a cow / mare. Together with the head of the Kyrgyz family, you will taste the dishes where you took a direct part.
You will spend the whole day in the pasture, have an unforgettable experience of being a nomad for one day!