In the morning your guide and driver will meet you at your Bishkek hotel and drive to Chon-Kemin Village (130km, 2hrs). Stop to explore the Burana Museum Complex on the way, which encompasses the following remnants from the ancient city of Balasagun:
- Burana Tower, a 25-meter-high minaret that impresses with its intricately chiseled exterior. It affords a memorable climb up its dark and winding stairwell, with a spectacular view at the top to reward you for your efforts.
- Balbals (6th century), round stone figures used as grave markers and memorial stones of the deceased. Their roughly carved features remain visible even today and give us hints into the lives of ancient local tribes.
- Small museum containing various artefacts from Balasagun including jewelry, pottery and objects from the Zoroastrian, Christian, Buddhist and Islamic faiths.
- Petroglyphs (2nd century), not original to the site but discovered in the greater Chuy region.
Continue the drive to Chon-Kemin Village. Arrive to the guesthouse for lunch and the start of your horseback riding adventure. Before setting out, the guide will teach you how to control your horse and give it commands so you’ll be well-prepared for the ride ahead. Guided by a skilled local horseman, you’ll trot up the Chon-Kemin Valley along lush green slopes, open fields and alpine spruces (2-3hrs riding, 2500m above sea level). Pass through a locally renowned meadow teeming with flowers in the spring and ride to picturesque overlooks before returning to the village.
In the evening, get in touch with Kyrgyz village life and culture as you stay in a local guesthouse, enjoying a traditional dinner and kumus (horse milk).
Overnight in the Chon-Kemin guesthouse.
Meals provided: lunch, dinner