Where is this Paradise?
Ala-Kul Lake is a rock-dammed lake in the Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyztan with an altitude of 3560 meters. Interestingly, there’s another lake with a similar name with slight variation of spelling that is located in Kazakhstan. Tian Shan Mountain on the other hand, is known as the Heavenly Mountain. It is in the border of China and Kyrgyztan.
Who is this Hiker?
Rast’o is an experienced hiker from Slovakia who enjoys traveling to different places around the world while discovering new heights of excitement in the mountains.
Why did you choose to travel to Kyrgyztan?
Because I saw a presentation about this country. There were several travel photos and experiences along with it. There weren’t many tourists—almost none. I like the mountains and underdeveloped countries.
What’s the best part of your trip?
The best part was going on the hiking trail to Ala-Kul lake.
Can you tell me more about your hiking experience?
I traveled to Kyrgyztan with a friend. For the first 6 hours, we were walking on a flat surface. But the mountains around is really high. We then started to climb but it was really steep. I wore an old-style hiking boots. It was great! I felt excited going up, but when the sun set we started to worry and couldn’t see the path. We looked for a place to camp or a meadow where we can set up the tent. It was very dark and I couldn’t see anything. The good thing about it was the opportunity to see ten times the number of stars in Slovakia. It was amazing!
The next day started pretty early to avoid the bad weather in the afternoon. We were holding onto the big rocks for 4 hours. It wasn’t really climbing but it required some hiking as well. It was steep but it’s fine. We finally reached Ala-Kul lake. We did not mind the weight of the hiking backpacks we have. The lake is so beautiful. The lake had a turquoise color and it was surrounded with snow. We walked around the lake for a few hours and we went to another valley through the mountain pass. This was the highest point I have visited in my life, it was 4000 meters above sea level.
Then, we descended this rocky mountain til’ evening. We walked for about 15 km and finally met a few people after 2 days of hiking. They weren’t locals though. It was interesting to see Czech, which made it better because we were able to communicate.
At night, we saw a few houses and slept there. It was a sheperd’s house. It was funny. A drunk man opened the door for us. He allowed us to sleep on the floor for 1 night. And the biggest surprise was there’s a hot spring in the garden. We paid a small fee, but it was fine. It’s worth the stay. Good for travelers like me!
We went to Karakol, but we are tired doing hiking so we searched for alternatives to go there. A local helped us find a taxi that looked like a jeep. The road to the city was rough and it was exciting. It was a worrying moment for us. We were afraid for our lives as the road was leading into the abyss of death.
Despite the 2 hours it took to travel in that car, I am satisfied. Hiking to Ala-Kul is perfect for traveling and a hiking vacation. It’s an escape from the normal life.