To drive From Jalal-Abad to Bishkek, the famous Central Asia Pamir Highway follows at first the maginificent Naryn river before reaching the Toktogul reservoir. Discover the colours and mountains making this one of the most beautiful drive in the world.
Note: The second part of the drive is also spectacular. It is covered in the other article Through the Talas Ala-Too mountains range.
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The Naryn River South of Toktogul
The Naryn river is the longest in Kyrgyzstan (between 535 and 807 kilometres long, depending on what is included). It flows west from the town of Naryn into the Toktogul reservoir and then South West towards Uzbekistan.
The water comes from the glaciers of the central Tien Shan mountains. It is used extensively for hydroelectric power generation
Here are some photos where the Highway follows the river. Sadly most of the road was driving east of the river and I was sitting on the wrong side of the bus. So sorry for the quailty of the pictures
There is a possibility to stop at a viewpoint of a power station before entering a tunnel
It was so beautiful, I am really sad I was not able to capture it during our drive:
Here we were able to get out of the bus as there was a bus stop:
The Toktogul reservoir
Then the highway took us around the Toktogul reservoir, on the east coast.
It is the largest water reservoir in central Asia with a surface of 284 sq km and an average depth of 215 meters. It was created in 1976 with the construction of a dam.
It is one of the locals' favorite destinations with fishing, birds and nice swimming conditions.
I wish I had had more time to discover its shore. The surrounding mountains have different colors, shapes and altitude. Just what I love...
The water being from glaciers is quite blue. However the day I visited, the sky was stormy and I could not capture the intense color (as you can see in the photo of the reservoir on the Kyrgyztan tourist website)
Want to see more incredible landscapes? Check out the 30 photos to make you fall in love with Kyrgyzstan.
Do you understand why it made it on my top 7 places to visit in Kyrgyzstan?
From River to Reservoir
The road continues on the west side before crossing the river and continuing up North towards Bishkek.
Where the river transition to the reservoir, the sight is quite surprising, with the large dry area of the flat river bed
Want to see more of Kyrgyzstan's beauty?
Discover more planning information, things to do and places to see in my online Kyrgyzstan Travel Guide.
Wouldn't you love to spend a couple of days exploring the area?