Uyghur-style-pilaf

8D/7N Culture and Cuisines of Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is a multinational country. There are representatives of about 80 different nations and ethnic groups living on the territory of the country. They all are different in language, culture, traditions and cuisines: Uzbeks, Kyrgyzs, Tadjiks, Russians, Uighurs, Dungans, Koreans, etc.

Historically the Kyrgyz nomads used meat and dairy, as well as flour. There were a few spices in their food. It changed a lot when new ethnic groups arrived to the territory of Kyrgyzstan. We invite you to join our “Culinary tour”. Travelling 8 days along the Northern Kyrgyzstan you learn about the history of the region, meet the local people, discover their culture and traditions. We travel and cook with different ethnic groups their national dishes. When you return home you will be able to make something special and amaze your friends and family with unusual culinary.

TOUR ITINERARY

DAY 1: Arrival to Bishkek city
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Meeting at the airport, transfer to the hotel, check in. Free time. After a short rest and breakfast you meet with the guide. Transfer to the city center for a walking tour around Ala Too square to see the White House, Parliament, Lenin Statue, Manas Monument, etc.

Transfer to a local cafe for learning about Korean cuisine and culture.

The Koreans used to come to Kyrgyzstan for many reasons, mainly in search of a new better life. The first ones came in the 30s during the repressions. Nowadays there are about 18 thousand Kreans living in Kyrgyzstan. The majority arrived from Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan. Despite the fact that there are only 0.30% of Koreans in the population, their cuisine is extremely popular among the locals. This is why there are many restaurants and cafes that offer Korean food in the national interior.

You taste one of the main dishes of the Korean cuisine – Kuksi – and before that you can participate in the master class. Transfer to the hotel after the dinner.

Accomodation: Shah Palace /Asia Mountains /Baikhan 3*

DAY 2: Bishkek city
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

After breakfast you leave for the house of Dinara Chochunbaeva. She is the leader of CACSA – the association of women who do various handicrafts. You meet the women, see their products, talk about the Kyrgyz culture and try summer dessert – ice cream and fruit. After the visit you leave for an oriental market where you purchase the ingredients necessary for cooking our dinner. You learn how to make Uzbek pilaf (rice with meat and spices).

Uzbeks used to live in the southern-western part of Fergana valley before Kokand Khanate. They settled at the territory on the border with Osh and Jalal Abad regions. The Uzbeks in the Northern part of Kyrgyzstan are decendands of Kokand Khanate fortress citizens.

After the masterclass you taste the dish. Dinner together with the Uzbek family in their usual style, and transfer to the hotel.

Accomodation: Shah Palace /Asia Mountains /Baikhan 3*

DAY 3: Bishkek city – Chon Kemin valley
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

After breakfast you leave for the National Nature park Chon Kemin. It lies at the altitude of 1400-2800 m and covers about 500hectars. En route you stop for an excursion at Burana tower  cal complex. It is enlisted to the World Heritage list of UNESCO. The lunch is set on the territory of the complex with the veiw of the tower. It is a fish lunch today. The fish is cooked on the open fire. After the lunch you are transferred to Chon Kemin valley. There is a special procedure of sheep preparation that you watch here. You also participate in the master-class of bread baking (boorsoks, Kattama, and Chak-Chak). We taste it with herbal tea gathered on the territory of the park.

The Kyrgyz is one of the most ancient Turkic nations in Central Asia. According to the census held in 1897 there were only 600 thousand Kyrgyzs living on the territory of Russian Empire. Their language is the state language of Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz live all over the territory of Kyrgyz republic.

Kuurdak – the traditional Kyrgyz dish is cooked on the open fire. You taste it and have dinner with the local Kyrgyz family. You also try the national drinks: Kumis and Bozo.

Return to the guest house for overnight.

Accomodation: Ashuu Tor guest house/home stay

DAY 4: Chon Kemin valley – Cholpon Ata town at Issyk Kul Lake
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Morning departure to Issyk Kul lake through Boom gorge. In the town you visit open air museum of Petroglyphs that dates back to the 8th century BC. You drive to a Russian family to try the national dishes, home-made wine and honey.

The Russians arrived to Northern Kyrgyzstan in the 60s in the 19th century. They arrived to the Southern part of the country in 1893. The Russian Empire was colonising territories and started mass resettlement. The second stage of the resettlement was registered in 1941—1945 during the Great Patriotic war. They evacuated the largest factories and works, as well as high professional staff. Russians live all over the territory of Kyrgyzstan.

DAY 5: Cholpon Ata town – Karakol town
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

You go to a bazaar for purchasing berries and watch jam cooking. Accommodation in a hotel on the lake shore some 10-15km from Cholpon Ata town. You have some free time to walk down to the beach.

Optional: It is possible to organize a short boat cruise on the lake. Please consult your guide in advance.

Accomodation: Karven / Ak Maral/ Caprice 4*

Morning transfer to Karakol town – the largest town at Issyk Kul region. En route you visit Grigorievskoe gorge. After a short easy hike you have a lunch – picnic with barbeque. Before entering Karakol town you visit Przhevalskii museum, grave and memorial complex.  It is located 10km from the town. Upon arrival to Karakol town you get accommodated in the guest house. Check in and rest. Transfer to the main sights of the town: Dungan mosque and Orthodox church, central bazaar and Victory park.

Transfer to Dungan family house where you watch the master class – cooking traditional Dungan dishes.

Dungans arrivaed to Kyrgyzstan in the end of 19th century (1877—78) from Northern-Western part of China. They participated in Tsin uprising and had to flee.

You learn how to cook lagman. The procedure consists of sauce and noodle cooking. You have dinner with the family who tell about their roots and ancsestors. Return to the guest house.

Accomodation: Green Yard / Tagaitai/ Altamira Guest house

DAY 6: Karakol town – Kochkor village
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

In the morning we leave for Uighur family house. You watch Manty cooking (similar to dumplings or raviolli). This dish is called “the food of djigits”, who are young and strong men. There are many variations of the dish depending on the stuffing. You also try Laza sauce and tasty home made pie.

There were two waves of Uighur migration. The first – in the 20s of 19th century from Xin Dzian province of China, the second – after the Chinese “culture revolution” in the end of 50s of 20th century. Unlike the Dungans Uighur ethnic group is Turkic, like the Kyrgyz. They are differrent from the main mass of Chinese population in the religion, culture and language.  Today there are about 53 thousand Uighurs living on the territory of Kyrgyzstan.

After lunch in the Uighur family we leave for Kochkor village along the Southern shore of Issyk Kul lake. En route we stop in Djety Oguz gorge to watch Golden Eagle hunting demonstration and to see the famouse red rock formations – Broken Heart and Seven Bulls.

Upon arrival in Kochkor village you visit the local handicraft museum and see felt making master class. You stay overnight in the houses of the local people (very basic facilities).

Accomodation: Home stay in Kochkor village

DAY 7: Kochkor village – Bishkek city
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Transfer to Bishkek city. We pass by Orto Tokoi water reservoir and through narrow Boom gorge. Lunch is in Tokmok town in a local Kazakh family. You taste their traditional dishes. The main one is Beshbarmak which means “five fingers”. The nomad did not use any cutlery and ate with their hands.

There are about 43 thousand Kazakhs living in Talas and Chui regions. They are involved in trade and cattle breeding. Some of them are native population, others arrived to the territory of modern Kyrgyzstan in the 30s of 20th century during the forced collectivisation. There are stories when whole families came from Kazakhstan looking for food in Kyrgyzstan, asking for help. Some died of hunger, others settled down and still live here.

Upon arrival to Bishkek city we can visit “Bishkek Wine-Champaign” Factory and “Shoro and Toitalkan” factories to taste their products. The visit depends on the factories’ administration. The factories might be closed for visits and there is no possibility to know in advance.  A shopping tour in ZUM department store, where you can purchase souvenirs. Farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant in Bishkek city. Return to the hotel.

Accomodation: Shah Palace /Asia Mountains /Baikhan 3*

DAY 8: Depart Bishkek city
(Breakfast)

After breakfast you are transferred to the international airport “Manas”.

Tour Prices (in SGD, per person):

LAND PACKAGE DBL/TWIN SGL
on demand fr. 2658 fr. 2848
CITY HOTELS
Bishkek city Shah Palace /Asia Mountains /Baikhan 3*
Chon kemin valley Ashu Tor guest house\ home stay
Cholpon Ata town Karven/Ak Maral/ Caprice 4*
Karakol town Green Yard / Tagaitai /Altamira guest house
Kochkor village Home stay

Package Includes:

  • Accommodation –  7 nights
  • Meals – Full board
  • Transport per program (for group of 1-3 Pax: minivan Mitsubishi Delica or similar, or jeep Toyota Sequoia. For a group of 4-9 Pax: minibus Mercedes Sprinter or similar)
  • All shows and master classes per program
  • Entrance fees per program
  • Bottled water ( 1 liter per person per day)
  • Escort guide (Russian, English, German, Spanish or French)

Package Excludes:

  • International Air Tickets;
  • All services not indicated in the tour description
  • Personal expences
  • Tips for the guide and the driver
  • Alcohol drinks
  • Photo\video charges in the museums
  • Porter fee

Master classes and visits:

  • Cooking Kuksi in a Korean restaurant in Bishkek city
  • Pilav cooking in an Uzbek family in Bishkek city
  • A talk about Kyrgyz cuisine in CACSA house and demonstration of their production
  • Ice cream and fruit dessert in CACSA house
  • Sheep preparation in Chon Kemin, cooking the delicious dishes and national drinks, traditional bread baking (boorsok, kattama, chakchak, lepeshka), herbal tea.
  • Lunch in a Russian family with wine and honey. Jam cooking in Cholpon Ata town
  • Picnic in Grigorievskoe gorge with grilled meat and vegetables
  • Master class in Dungan family in Karakol town
  • Master class Manty in Uighur family in Karakol town
  • Master class Beshbarmak in a Kazakh family in Tokmok town
  • Visiting Shampaign-Wine factory in Bishkek city + wine tasting (if the factory is open)
  • Visit to Shoro factory in Bishkek city + tasting their drinks (if the factory is open)

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