It is unfortunate that there is no transportation between Song Kul and Arslanbob/Osh. We tried to ask a few agency and the price is crazy to hire a private car due to the bad road condition. We had to go back to Bishkek again.. When you are on the main street in Kochkor, there will be many drivers asking if you are going to Bishkek, so we found a seat easily with the price of 500 som.
因為從頌湖到Arslanbob/Osh的路況不好, 沒有大眾交通工具, 計程車又開了天價, 所以我們只好回Bishkek休息再出發. 從Kochkor回Bishkek的車子很好找, 除了小巴, 站在主街上都有人問你要不要去Bishkek, 我們搭了一台計程車, 一個位子是500.
It is the longest journey from Bishkek to Arslanbob – 10 hours. We only had a quick 20 min lunch break and drove non stop to the destination. Our driver is a super young 21 year old boy and he drove super fast with very loud pop music. The view on the way is fantastic, especially it snows a bit and one part of the road and mountain was full of snow. The CBT office in Arslanbob is super small without a sign. There are many homestay there, with different distance from city and language ability. We chose the one closest to center with lovely garden. The room is nice, but the bathroom and toilet are outside. The days we were in Arslanbob were soooo cold that we decided to leave earlier to Osh.
從Bishkek 到 Arslanbob 是會暈車的我最大的挑戰，因為有將近十小時的車程。我們的司機是一個21歲的年輕小伙子，從頭到尾開車時速不低於80公里，還把收音機的搖滾樂開到最大聲，整個車子都在震動，只要音樂一旦不夠嗨，他就立刻轉換頻道，我們就在夜店的環境中以最快速度抵達目的地。中途的風景好美麗，尤其是有一段山路下雪了，整個禿禿的山就像是撒上糖粉一樣，好像巧克力蛋糕!
Arslanbob的CBT辦公室甚麼招牌都沒有 (左下圖)，這裡很多間homestay，工作人員介紹了每間的環境、距離市中心的地點、會不會講英文等等，我們選了距離市中心最近的一間，有一個美麗的花園 (右下圖)，房間滿溫馨的，只是廁所和洗澡都要跑到外面，我們待的時間都在下雨又好冷，所以比較不方便。對了! 這個村莊是完全沒有wifi的喔!
The city center in Arslanbob is really small and there is a very famous cafe just next to the mosque. Almost all local go there during lunch time and the food was great and cheap! Don’t forget to try the BBQ there, it’s delicious! We hired a CBT guide to take us to the walnut forest with the price of 900 som.
說是市中心呢，其實只是一個十字路口加上幾間商店，這裡是一個很小的村莊，當地人推薦了在清真寺旁邊的小吃店吃午餐，果然好吃又便宜 (必吃BBQ)，中午的時候幾乎客滿。這裡的餐廳只有中午營業，晚上所有人都會在家裡吃，也因此我們必須要跟民宿訂晚餐，要不然絕對餓肚子! 這邊有幾個健行步道可以走，我們請了一個CBT導遊帶我們逛核桃森林，價錢是900 som.
It was a short ride from Karakol to Kochkor via marshrutka, around 3 hours. Kochkor is a really small city, with only a few cafe and shops. After we arrived, we directly went to CBT to look for homestay. Both CBT and Shephered’s Life are close to the bus station, around 2 min walk. CBT homestay is around 500 – 700 som per person depends on the distance to city center. We chose the nearest homestay and the room is warm and nice with the bathroom inside the house. CBT can also help to arrange a car to Song Kul and yurt accommodation. The yurt is 500 som per person, excluding lunch and dinner. The car to Song Kul cost around 1,000 som but it’s too expensive if the driver stay one night with us and take us down the next day, so we decided to find a car around Song Kul the next day.
從Karakol 到 Kochkor 搭乘小巴大概需要三小時，Kochkor 真的是超小的小鎮，而且我們到的時候一直下雨，又凍又冷! 一下小巴我們就直奔CBT 找住宿，CBT 和 Shephere’s Life 都在公車站的附近，非常方便! CBT Homestay 價位都在500-700之間，我們選了一個最近的，另外請他安排明天到頌湖的蒙古包住宿和車，住宿一人500 餐費另計，一趟車上去1,000 但如果要包司機兩天費用太高，我們決定到時候再想辦法下山。
It is estimated to be a 3 hours drive from Kochkor to Song Kul, but our driver was really good and we arrived within 2 hours! On our way up, we saw many horses, sheep, cows. The view was nice and we felt excited when we finally see the lake in front of us. There were many yurts around the lake and the driver dropped us in one of them and left. We had a walk around the lake in the morning and the weather was pretty good.
One of the most popular to do lists near Karakol is to visit the trekking route to Altyn Arashan. There is a village in the mountain at around altitude of 2300 meters and it is also famous for its hot spring! It is 14 km trekking up to the village, so usually people will stay in the guest house or yurt in the village and come back the next day. If you are advanced mountain climber, you can do 3 day trekking and visit the beautiful Ala kul. Unfortunately we are at beginner level, so we had a two day trekking to Altyn Arashan which becomes the most difficult tour during my visit in the country.
大部分來到Karakol的遊客都是為了欣賞Altyn Arashan的美景，它位在2300公尺高山上的一個小村莊，要看到它還不容易，需要辛苦的爬14公里的山，歷經6-7小時才得以相見!! 通常都是安排2天1夜的行程，晚上可以住在村莊裡的民宿或是蒙古包。厲害的登山客如果有自備帳篷，可以選擇3天2夜，爬上更高的Ala Kul 欣賞美麗的湖泊。我們當然不可能爬三天啦! 而且大家都說爬上那個湖滿辛苦的，如果只是到村莊的話非常簡單，所以我們準備好簡單午餐、水和糧食就出發了! 沒想到… 這竟是我在吉爾吉斯最苦的一段旅程~~~~
小巴士停的站，從這裡往前就可以開始爬山囉! The start point to Altyn Arashan
We are here in Kyrgyzstan, the country famous for its natural scenery.
We didn’t plan to stay in Bishkek (the capital) for many days, so after we completed the “registration”, we directly headed to Karakol by marshrutka (mini bus). The registration process is only for some countries, which of course Taiwan is included. It’s a long story about this registration but I will just skip it for now.
The trip from Bishkek to Karakol is around 5 – 6 hours, and we passed the north side of Issyk Kul. This lake is so big that it can be seen for more than 2 hours drive! We hired a taxi the next day to visit this never frozen lake.