Karakol, Kyrgyzstan

Karakol, a town of green avenues and wooden cottages, is located on the eastern edge of the Issyk-Kul lake. The Terskey Ala-Too Mountains to the east and the lake Issyk-Kul to the west is 10 km (6.2 miles).
Established as a Russian guard in 1869, Karakol expanded quickly as explorers crossed the city deeper into the Tian Shan. The city expanded when Dungans came to Karakol in the 1880’s to flee conflict in China. Then, Nikolai Przhevalsky, a Russian adventurer died of Karakol in 1888 and his name became the city of the region. The original name was returned to Karakol in 1921, only in 1939, when Stalin overturned the decision.

Since Karakol is so near to so many magnificent mountains, it’s an excellent base for walks and treks. From Karakol to every explorer, from day walks to long walks, there are walks. The nearby mountains, including the hidden lakes, the large glaciers and the two largest peaks of the island of Kyrgyzstan, are among the most dramatic in Kirghizstan (7,010 m or 23,000 ft). Altyn Arashan and Jeti Oguz, both perfect for rides or picnics, are the two most popular destinations close to Karakol.

For less energetic tourists, Karakol has as much to do. Visitors who want to encounter a traditional Cyrgyz bazaar can find the livestock market famous. Karakol has an orthodox church and Dungan Mosque, testimony to the diversity and the heritage of the city (and make sure to check out the many delicious restaurants around Karakol and try some local specialties). Moreover, in Karakol there are many museums, including a Przevalsky museum.