Ak Örgö Yurt Workshop

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This workshop became famous after one of its products won the 'most beautiful yurt' competition at the 1997 'Manas 1000' festival and had its work exhibited six times in the US at several museums and cultural centres across the country. However, it was almost bankrupted when a luxurious US$50,000 yurt ordered for President Bakiev was never paid for given the president's sudden ousting in the 2010 revolution. If you speak Russian, it's fascinating to hear more of these stories.

If there are orders on ongoing, watch the workshop's machines for felt-cutting and wood-bending. Coming from Karakol, take the first Barskoön turn and the workshop (just before a turn signed 'Tegirmen') is 1km up the main road on the right. Ask for Mekenbek Osmonaliev. One-hour tours of the operation are available, but they also offer carpet-making and yurt-construction classes for visitors who want a hands-on experience.