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Introducing Central Kyrgyzstan

The mountainous heart of Kyrgyzstan offers travellers unrivalled opportunities to explore jailoos on foot, horseback or by 4WD. At every turn you will find a family offering to put you up for the night or a group of herdsmen who will eagerly invite you into their yurt for a cup of tea and a bowl of fresh yogurt. Add this to some of the world’s most glorious alpine lakes and it is easy to see why central Kyrgyzstan now rivals Lake Issyk-Köl in the hearts and minds of travellers.

Until the opening of the Irkeshtam Pass in 2002 the only way eastward to China was via the problematic Torugart Pass. The Torugart still remains a hit-and-miss undertaking; frequent border closures, un­predictable weather and the Chinese requirement for expensive prearranged transport deters many overlanders from tackling this stunning route.