I had always imagined my first stay in a nomadic yurt would be in Mongolia. But it happened in Kyrgyzstan! Until the Valley of Flowers, we had stayed in guesthouses. I was excited for this unusual accomodation and I found that yurt life experience awesome: the feeling inside, the people, the food...
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INFO & PLANNING TIPS - The valley of flowers
After the Jeti Oguz 7 bulls standstone formation, the valley widens into what is known as the Valley of flowers. It is also sometimes called the Blue valley because the grass can be covered in blue flowers. It was not when I visited but it was still a beautiful place to visit.
In the summer weekends, the valley gets busy with local families coming for the day and enjoying a picnic next to the river.
TIPS FOR TRAVEL PLANNING ADDICTS - Valley of Flowers
Getting to the Valley of Flowers
- 6 to 8 km from the Jeti Oguz Seven Bulls - The unpaved path is bumpy and climbs quite a bit a some times. The river is crossed 5 times on rustic wood bridges
Visiting the Valley of flowers
- Many families have set up yurts for tourists - check with the CBTs (Community based tourism) for options
- Do not go swimming in the river - it is freezing and the current is very strong
- Never approach the cows or horses from behind!
Driving to the valley
The drive from Seven Bulls of Jeti-Oguz was quite short but the road was very bumpy and difficult at time. I think we saw 5 or 6 families stopped on the way looking at their car's engine. Well, their cars are very old so they stopped working more often.
We did not have any difficulties with the vehicle, however I was not a big fan of the old wood bridges we are force to cross without any fences. The river under it was rushing full force, and I really did not want us to fall into it.
The valley of flowers
And once we passed the last bridge, we discover a wide circus surrounded by tall mountains. Not many flowers but the landscape was still amazing: a cow here, some snow there plus dense patches of trees.
Our camp was not in the main wide area. It was where the valley starts narrowing again and close to the river. However we did not know that when arriving. You know you have booked with a family in this valley, but the exact location is not given (they are nomads after all). So we went from camp to camp asking if they knew where they had established their camp. We finally found them, and could not be happier with the location: far from anybody else and very close to the river!
Nomads own groups of horses and cows which are slowly moving up and down along the river. It is peaceful to watch them eat, take a step, eat more, take another step... One even went for a drink...
I was fascinated by this horse which looks like the baby of a sheep and horse. Don't you think?
At one point I felt brave enough to put my feet in the rushing water. Oh that was freezing! Not a good idea when you cannot take a hot shower after to feel warm again...
The yurt camp
As I wrote before, after trying several paths and asking many people we finally found our cosy yurt camp isolated and close to the river. There were several sleeping yurts for the tourists and one dining yurt but we were the only guests as it was the beginning of the season.
This family has slowly build a good set up for tourists with yurts closing with wooden doors, good mattresses and covers as well as western style toilets and a small shower. Although I love authentic experiences, I must admit I quite enjoyed the extra comfort.
Before diner we had fun with the kids, teaching each others languages and playing ball
At night, we were kept warm with beautiful and thick blankets. I wish I had an extra luggage to carry one home back with me!
If you are wondering how those yurts are made, check out my article on the Kyrgyz Nomadic Culture.
We savoured 3 meals at this place. I really enjoyed the feeling from inside the yurt, especially when some horses appeared in the door frame 🙂 The only difficulty for me was sitting on the floor the whole meal. I am not good at it and keep changing position. I hope I did not annoy too much my co-travelers.
The whole day there was biscuits, jam, dried fruits, lollies and nuts. Yummy
Lunch was noodles with vegies and beef - very tasty and colorful!
Diner was soup and dumplings
For breakfast I had chosen crepes (which they call pancakes)
At night I tried capturing the starts. However the sky was a bit cloudy and the family's trailer was illuminated making it difficult for me. Here are a few shots I got:
Leaving the valley of flowers
After a very good night sleep, we enjoyed the peace of the valley for a couple of hours in the morning before saying goodbye to our hosting family. We were all sad to leave this place where we felt so relaxed and worry free but we were excited for what was coming next!
A very successful first experience in a yurt!
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.
Have you ever stayed in an unusual accomodation?
Sven Luckermans says
How can I book this yurt?
Claire Robinson says
I don’t know, I was on a tour.
A lot of yurt stays can be booked by the Community Based Tourism network – http://cbtkyrgyzstan.kg/
Have a great trip!
Vow!! Marvelous pictures.!! I felt being there myself spending the said amount and seeing nature. Thank you and congratulations for precise and to the point narration claire. The entire series was one of the best travel photos I have seen in blogs. Kudos
Which tour company did you travel to Jeti Oguz with? I would really like to find this specific yurt. If you remember the name of the yurt/family, that would also be helpful. Thanks in advance!
Claire, the Travel Planning Geek says
I am sorry, I was on a Wandering Earl Tour. I did not do any of the planning for this trip so I don’t have that information.