All posts by Henry

Koltor Lake Horse Riding Day Trip

Koltor lake is one of Kyrgyzstan’s stunning lakes that features a pristine turquoise color that sparkles in bright sunlight. It’s surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna where a variety of forest berries and medicinal herbs grow in abundance during the warmer seasons. The lake is located in the beautiful Kegeti gorge at an altitude of 2,752m above sea level.

Let your eyes (and photos) be captivated by the majestic beauty of Koltor lake!

koltor lake

 

Day trip Itinerary

Depart from Bishkek at 8am to Koltor Lake in Kegeti Gorge.

Horse ride for 4-5 hours.

Arrive back at Bishkek by 5pm.

horse in a Kyrgyz valley

Costs

It costs 3,500 som (in a group of 3-4 people).

The cost includes transport there and back, a horse guide, horse rental and helmets.

To book this horse riding day trip, contact Apple Hostel (WhatsApp): +996 553 280 881

You can also sign up at Apple Hostel reception.

Kegeti to Shamshy Gorge 3-day trek

If you want a challenging hike with breath-taking views of mountains, valleys, and sweeping landscapes, this 3-day trek is for you. Starting at Kegeti Valley, you will be treated to stunning vistas that will only get better as you make your way to Shamshy gorge at nearly 4,000m above sea level. If you are an experienced hiker, this trek is not to be missed.

Kegeti valley

3-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Start from Kegeti, trekking up to 2,800m pass. Camp for the night.

Day 2: Trekking via Tuyuk Shamshy 3,700m pass to Shamshy gorge. Camp for the night.

Day 3: Trekking down the gorge. Transfer back to Bishkek. Dinner and overnight on your own.

Camping at kegeti

Costs

1 person: $330

2 persons: $390 ($195 per person)

3 persons: $420 ($140 per person)

4 persons: $460 ($115 per person)

The cost includes a tour guide service, transport to the starting point from Bishkek and from end point back to Bishkek, meals during the trek, camping equipment.

To book a place at this 3-day trekking tour, please book at Apple Hostel reception.

You can also contact us on WhatsApp:
+996 553 280 881

Cultural and National Show in Talas

Local people in Talas would like to formally invite you to our Cultural and National Show in Talas held at Kyzyl Moinok Jailoo.

Visitors will experience a true nomadic experience at the traditional Kyrgyz Jailoo!

Kok Boru Kyrgyz Traditional Games Festival - Trio of horse riders

Programme dates

Sunday 2nd May
Sunday 21st June
Sunday 12th July
Sunday 2nd August
Sunday 23rd August
Sunday 13th September

Programme

10:00 to 11:00:
Opening of the festival will start by Kyrgyz traditional games: Arkan Tartysh, Ak terek – Kok terek, Chukoo, Joluk salmai, Kurosh.

11:00 to 12:00:
Cooking master class of Boorsok, Kyrgyz fried bread and Vegetarian Plov, Kyrgyz rice dish.

12:00 to 13:00:
Lunch.

13:00 to 15:00:
Local horse games will begin with Ulak Tartysh, played with a goat carcass. After the game, visitors will be invited to take part in the game paired up with locals. The goat game will be followed by Kyz Kuumai, a horse chasing game. After showcase of the game, visitors will get a chance to participate as well. Tyin Engmei and Er Engish, wrestling on the horse, will complete the horse games.

15:00 to 16:00:
Eagle hunting show.

Costs

1,500 som per person.

Includes ticket to the festival and cooking master class participation (lunch).

Note: Costs do not include transport to and from Talas.

To book a ticket to this festival, please contact Apple Hostel on WhatsApp:

+996 553 280 881

Eagle Hunting Festival

Experience the traditional and beautiful art of eagle hunting in the Kyrgyz Traditional Games Festival in 2020. Central Asia is the birthplace of eagle hunting and has been in existence for around 6,000 years. At the festival, you will see expert eagle hunters and their majestic eagle companions display their perfected hunting skills.

Eagle hunting close up

2-Day Itinerary

Departure date:
Friday 14th August 2020

Day 1:

Depart at 10am. Lunch on the way on your own. Arrive to the yurt camp. Dinner overnight.

Day 2:

Attend the festival from 10am to 4pm. Dinner on your own on the way. Drive back to Bishkek.

Costs

It costs 3,500 som per person.

The cost includes:
Transport there and back, tour guide, accommodation for one night in a yurt, entrance ticket to the festival, lunch at the festival.

Note: Minimum of 10 people is required to sign up to have the tour.

To book a place at this festival, please book at Apple Hostel reception.

You can also contact us on WhatsApp:
+996 553 280 881

Kok Boru & Kyrgyz Traditional Games Festival

Experience the excitement at the Kyrgyz Traditional Games Festival where you will discover the exhilarating sport of Kok Boru! It is a game where two competing teams of horse-mounted players attempt to place a goat or calf carcass in a goal. This festival is popular and full of energy. If you want to experience something local and traditional, this is for you!

Kok Boru Kyrgyz Traditional Games Festival - Trio of horse riders

Departure dates 2020

Saturday 23rd May
Saturday 20th June
Saturday 11th July
Saturday 1st August
Saturday 22nd August
Saturday 12th September

2-Day Itinerary

Day 1:

Depart Bishkek to Talas. Lunch on arrival in a homestay. Visit Manas Ordo, a sacred Burial site of a Kyrgyz Hero. Dinner & Overnight in a homestay.

Day 2:

Depart after breakfast to the festival. Festival is from 10 am to 4pm. Lunch/Dinner is on-site. Depart back to Bishkek. Arrive around 10pm.

Kok Boru Kyrgyz Traditional Games Festival - Woman horse rider

 

Costs

It costs 6,500 som per person.

The cost includes: a tour guide, transportation there and back, meals as per itinerary, accommodation in a homestay, entrance to the festival, and museum entrance fee.

Note: Minimum of 10 people is required to sign up to have the tour.

To book a place at this festival, please book at Apple Hostel reception.

You can also contact us on WhatsApp:
+996 553 280 881

Cultural Night at Apple Hostel

If you ever wanted to learn more about the unique culture of Kyrgyzstan, come to Apple Hostel for an evening of discovery.

Learn more about Kyrgyz culture in this FREE event.

Apple Hostel cultural night

Join Apple Hostel every Wednesday or Saturday night (18:00
to 19:00) during summer when you will learn about Kyrgyz culture
and traditions, such as etiquette for greetings and
meals, society do’s and don’ts and much more!

To sign up for this free event (2 person min.), call or message Apple Hostel (WhatsApp):
+996 553 280 881

You can also sign up at Apple Hostel Bishkek reception.

Email: applehostelkg@gmail.com
Phone number / WhatsApp: +996 553 280 881
Social media: Facebook | Instagram

Tajikistan Tours

Embark on adventures of your lifetime in these multi-day tours to and around Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

With a local driver in a four-wheel drive vehicle, on these tours you will experience wondrous scenery –  Vast beautiful landscapes, snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, wild life, stunning valleys and gorges, and much more.

The Details

The tours below are priced in US dollars.

The prices include the cost of the driver, including his petrol, meals and accommodation.

Transport is either a Mitsubishi Pajero or Toyota Land cruiser.

The prices do not include guest accommodation and meals. Accommodation is between $10-15 per night with breakfast. Meals are $5 per person.

Tour 1

Day 1: Osh – Sary Mogol – Tulpar-Kul
Day 2: Tulpar-Kul (Trek near Lenin Peak base camp )
Day 3: Tulpar-Kul – Kara Kul – Murgab
Day 4: Murgab – Bulun Kul – Langar
Day 5: Langar – Bi Bi Fatima hot springs – Iskashim
Day 6: Garimchashma – Khorog
Day 7: Khorog – Rushan – Vanj – Kalai-Kum
Day 8: Kalai-Kum – Nurek – Kulab – Dushanbe

Cost: $1,080

Tour 2

Day 1: Dushanbe – Kalaikum
Day 2: Kalaikum – Rushan – Khorog
Day 3: Khorog – Ishkashim – Langar
Day 4: Langar – Garimchashma – Khorog
Day 5: Khorog – Kalai-Kum
Day 6: Kalai-Kum – Dushanbe
Day 7: Dushanbe – Hissor – Dushanbe

Cost: $1,180

Tour 3

Day 1: Osh – Kara-Kul
Day 2: Kara-Kul – Murgab
Day 3: Murgab – Bulunkul – Langar
Day 4: Langar – Bibi Fatima hot springs– Ishkashim
Day 5: Ishkashim – Garimchashma – Khorog
Day 6: Khorog – Rushan – Darvoz
Day 7: Darvoz – Kalai-Kum – Dushanbe

Cost: $1,080

Tour 4

Day 1: Osh – Karakul
Day 2: Karakul – Murgab
Day 3: Murgab – Langar
Day 4: Langar – Ishkashim
Day 5: Ishkashim – Khorog

Cost: $680

Tour 5

Day 1: Bishkek – Toktogul
Day 2: Toktogul – Osh
Day 3: Osh – Murgab
Day 4: Murgab – Langar
Day 5: Langar – Khorog
Day 6: Khorog – Kalai-Kum
Day 7: Kalai-Kum – Dushanbe

Cost: $1,280

Tour 6

Day 1: Bishkek – Toktogul
Day 2: Toktogul – Osh
Day 3: Osh – Murgab
Day 4: Murgab – Langar
Day 5: Langar – Khorog

Cost: $930

Tour 7

Day 1: Osh – Murgab
Day 2: Murgab – Langar
Day 3: Langar – Khorog
Day 4: Khorog – Darvoz
Day 5: Darvoz – Dushanbe

Cost: $980

Tour 8

Day 1: Osh – Sary Mogol – Tulpar-Kul
Day 2: Tulpar-Kul – Karakul
Day 3: Karakul – Murgab
Day 4: Murgab (Trek, Pishart)
Day 5: Murgab – Bulunkul – Langar
Day 6: Langar – Khorog
Day 7: Khorog – Rushan – Jizef
Day 8: Jizef (Trek)
Day 9: Jizef – Rushan – Kalaikum
Day 10: Kalaikum – Dushanbe

Cost: $1,200


To book any of the Tajikistan tours above,  please contact us:

Email: applehostelkgr@gmail.com
Phone number / WhatsApp: +996 553 280 881

Social media: Facebook | Instagram

 

How to use Public Transport

To any new visitor to Bishkek, using public transport can first seem overwhelming but it’s incredibly easy to use where you’ll be using it like a local!

There are three main types of public transport in Bishkek:

Buses and Trolley buses

Trolley bus

These are traditional large buses that you can find in a typical urban city. Trolley buses are buses that are electric that draws power from dual overhead wires using two spring-loaded trolley poles. The buses serve main areas around the center.

A bus fare costs 8 som (2019 fare), a bit cheaper than marshrutkas. While cheaper, they tend to run less frequent than marshrutkas and waiting times can be long and unpredictable, especially during rush hour. Buses typically stop running after 10pm (22:00).

Mini buses, commonly known as a “marshrutka”

Marshrutkas at a bus stop

Marshrutkas are basically mini buses/vans that are common and service greater areas and run more frequent than regular buses.

They are more flexible in pick up and drop-off; They don’t just stop/pick up at designated bus stops. They can pick you up anywhere on the side of the road and drop you off anywhere, as long as it is on their route and if you ask them.

If you’re claustrophobic, you won’t like marshrutkas. They tend to be overstuffed with people (especially during rush hour to/from work) and it can be incredibly awkward trying to get out of the marshrutka if you’re squeezed in at the back and wanting to get out!

A marshrutka bus fare costs 10 som (2019 fare) but after 9pm (21:00), the marshrutka fare is 12 som (2019 fare). Marshrutkas typically stop running after midnight and start again at 06:00.

Download 2GIS

Before you start using public transport, download the app ‘2GIS’ and download the Bishkek city map. 2GIS allows you to find and navigate to your destination using the public transport system, often with different route options (Google Maps currently does not have local public transport navigation available). The navigation app is available for iOS and Android devices.

How to use Bishkek’s public transport system

Buses/Trolley buses

Go to a local bus stop and wait for the bus number you want.

When the right bus arrives, hail the bus if necessary and enter onboard the bus from the back side door.

Stay on the bus until you are nearly at your destination. Start moving to the front of the bus, towards and next to the bus driver. This hints to the driver you want to depart at the next bus stop.

When the bus has come to a halt, pay the bus driver (Don’t expect a printed ticket) and leave the bus via the front door. Easy!

Marshrutka

Go to a local bus stop and wait for the bus number you want, or stand on the side of the road where the marshrutka can safely stop on their route.

Hail the marshrutka down. Enter the vehicle and pay the bus driver (No printed ticket will be given) then sit down or stand up.

When you are near your destination, move towards the front next to the driver. Tell the bus driver to stop and then exit when the marshrutka has come to a halt.

Public Transport Etiquette

Priority seating should be given to elderly people, pregnant women, disabled people, and young mothers with young children – If you see any of these people enter the bus, act like a local and kindly give up your seat for them.

Aigul and Apple Hostel for a better and greener Kyrgyzstan

As someone eager to promote the warm culture and green nature of Kyrgyzstan, Apple Hostel manager Aigul actively participates and volunteers in Kyrgyz social life and tourism.

Aigul organizes free dinner on Elderly day, donates school supplies to boarding schools where the majority of children’s parents are migrants abroad and cleaning the area by organizing social clean ups in and around Bishkek.

Apple Hostel is not only the first hostel in Kyrgyzstan but also one of the first organisations that started to recycle  paper, plastic and glass for a greener future of Kyrgyzstan and sustainable economy.

Recently Aigul was featured in a short video promoting  the beauty and tranquility of nomadic life as it resonates with her own life.

Aigul in Jean du Voyage - Exode

Aigul was born in a city but was courageous to choose the unpopular profession (among women) as a mountain guide in Kyrgyzstan.

Watch the stunning video below!

Navigating Western Bus Station

Bishkek’s Western Bus Station is confusing for both travelers and locals. It is a big area with multiple different bus bays with specific buses going to different areas of Krygyzstan and other countries.

To help you navigate and know where to get a specific bus/marshrutka to your planned destination (Such as Bishkek to Karakol, Osh, Naryn, Almaty and Tashkent), Apple Hostel has created an easy-to-understand map so you know where to go.

Please have a look at the Bishkek’s Western Bus Station map below:

Western Bus Station map

Night buses to Karakol and Tashkent

If you are planning to go to Karakol or Tashkent during the night, you can buy tickets in the main building (service counters are towards the back and on the east/right side of the building). It is recommended that you purchase the tickets in advance.

Website for Western Bus Station Schedule

To find out about common bus routes (and prices) at Bishkek Western Bus Station, visit the website ‘Avtobeket’ here.

(Note: Many scheduled bus times can be approximated times as most buses depart only when it is full.)

Note the website is not in English so you will need to translate it (via Google Chrome browser). Below is a translated page to give you an idea of the information provided (click on the image to enlarge it).

Bishkek Western Bus Station website schedule
Western Bus Schedule (and pricing) as of November 2019.

If you have any questions about transport at Bishkek Western Bus Station, please contact us.

Phone number / WhatsApp: +996 553 280 881

Email: applehostelkg@gmail.com

Apple Hostel Bishkek address: Chymkentskaya 1B, Bishkek 720030, Kyrgyzstan

Social media: Facebook | Instagram