Ak Suu – water, botanics and house-specialities



Issyk Kul is flat and very big. Karakol is also flat and on its edge. The surrounding area is also flat. But then you only have to drive 5-10 km in the direction of the surrounding mountains and suddenly you’re right in the middle of it and the flat seems far away.


I had made a mistake in my planning. After the day of hiking, I thought a visit to a thermal bath would be a good idea. There was also supposed to be a restaurant there, so I started late in the morning. What I didn’t realise was that the spa was quite far into the mountains and that I should have started earlier to walk around before the spa and lunch. Well then.


The thermal baths were fantastic! I have never sat or stood in water in such a beautiful ambience. The idea with the thick stones feels great. There are several pools with different temperatures. I didn’t manage to get quite hot. Here’s a view from above:


Ak-Suu Kench


There was very very little going on. The ice pool was not filled, but you could go to the river, there was a footbridge with a bucket: fill it up, tip it over you and snort. Then back into the warm water.


Warm water


Everything very clean, very nice, very cheap. The only disadvantage: the restaurant was not open. And there was no other one for miles around. But they had my emergency solution ready for such cases: Chips & Chocolate – not with Coke, but Pepsi. Because a bath can be a bit exhausting.

Then I was awake again and thought I’d just walk down the little-used street until I didn’t feel like it any more and a minibus (they drove relatively often) would come along. I usually find walking around somewhere quite rewarding, you always discover something. First we went along the river above. Here is the road:




I like the landscape very much. The botanics was willing to bloom soon, but not quite there yet


bare botanics


rocks as wall


The waterways are always interesting. I suspect that it gets very cold here in winter. In any case, the pipe was well encased:




Soon there were houses from a village. There was this interesting reuse of plastic bottles (yes, Kyrgyzstan is also a country where there is plastic en masse – as bottles and you are offered a plastic bag with every purchase. At least: in the tourist accommodations they have these bigger water dispensers and sometimes also special filter taps).


Upcycling plastic bottles


There were also other interesting buildings. Here, a yurt is protected from getting wet:




What this building was supposed to be, I don’t know. The closest thing I could think of was haystacks. But why this shape and this material – no idea.




I find the Kyrgyz flag quite present – but maybe it just seems that way to me because I don’t see ours that often. The entablature in the middle is the design of a yurt roof end. The 40 rays around it represent the 40 tribes that make up the Kyrgyz. One should avoid marrying someone from the same tribe and so it is best to quickly find out if one could be related to the potential relationship person.


House with flag


Then I had looked enough, sat down at a bus stop and about 10-15 minutes later a minibus arrived. Here is another house with a landscape behind it.


House with person in front and landscape behind


And so a rather quiet day came to an end. And I waited for the things that would await me the next day. At least a short-term change in the weather was in the offing.