Exploring Karakol

We’ve posted quite a bit about Kyrgyzstan, but honestly—with over 5,000 photos, there are so many stories to tell!  Let me break it down for those of you who are just joining us (or those of you who are completely confused about our itinerary): We flew into Kyrgyzstan after a layover in NYC followed by 36+ hours of travel/layovers/no sleep. I posted some general pics from that first day, as well as some pictures of the following day when we woke up at the crack of dawn to see the Karakol animal market. I also told you a bit about the Eagle Man. The day after we met the Eagle Man, Sean came down with a serious case of Man Cold.

Yes, Man Cold.

Not an ordinary cold—oh no! Man cold—only bearable by the strongest of men. For Sean, it was debilitating. In all seriousness, the poor guy was down for the count for two solid days. What didn’t help was the culture shock, lack of sleep and lack of a normal diet. Sean proved that one can subside solely on Pringles and carbonated water for two days. We would have had normal bottled water, but we don’t speak or read the Kyrgyz language—thus, we bought six huge bottles of carbonated water instead of still water. Oops! So, we laid low, and lucky for us, had a comfortable guest house to lay low in. For anyone staying in Karakol looking for a comfortable stay where the staff speaks English, there’s internet (albeit pretty slow), they cook their local foods with a comforting western twist—definitely stay at Jamilia’s B&B.

On Man Cold Day Three, Sean and I ventured outdoors to walk around Karakol. This bright turquoise color was extremely common, especially in northern Kyrgyzstan. We’re not sure exactly why.


In the markets, women sell various versions of salad—I loved the bright colors.


This was one of many repurposed barns that now serves as a “mall” of sorts where people sell everything from the aforementioned salads to clothing.IMG_6245

On the other side of the wall was a makeshift meat market.

One thing Kyrgyz people do well is bread. It’s a staple there—served with every meal and every tea. IMG_6248

Rice and pasta were also staples—see where this is going? Carb overload!IMG_6249


Would you enjoy some fish with your fruit?IMG_6253

I’ve commented before on the architecture in the north of Kyrgyzstan… it’s incredible to see a newer house side by side with these extremely old buildings. People don’t value structural updates the way we do in the west. Our Kyrgyz friend, Kas put it well when he told us that Kyrgyz people—like their nomadic ancestors—are always one day away from picking up their lives and moving. Thus, many don’t invest in structural updates unless the roof actually falls in.IMG_6256

8 Comments. Leave new

Talked with your mom (Mary Lou Busby) yesterday at work and she told me to check out your blog. My son was adopted from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan 6 years ago. We have had fun looking at all your pictures. He has few actual memories from there and I have few pictures of the country since both of my trips there I was at the orphanage most of the time. Love your photos an your glimpse of life there!! I lived in Moscow for 2 years and traveling into the small towns in Russia is very similar to seeing the small towns of Kyrgyzstan. It was great to see all you experienced there. Best wishes on your upcoming trips.


Hey Deb–thanks so much for the comment… so cool that your son has memories from there! We can’t wait to go back 🙂 Best to you! —Mollie and Sean


I love the photos. Man Cold is going to be a staple in my phrase book from now on.


As it should be… ha! 🙂 —Mollie


It’s a real thing, Kate. Thank goodness women are susceptible… ha 🙂 Hope you are well!


Sounds like a great trip. I love the colors and cacophony of experiences. I’m looking forward to hearing more.


Thanks Kim!! Let me know when you want to catch up. We leave for Norway on Friday, so sometime this week would be ideal!!

Ibraim Almazbekov - Kyrgyzstan, Issyk-Kul, Karakol
December 24, 2013 1:57 am

Very good story and photos!
Thank you that you are visiting our city!
Next time, when come back to the Karakol you can contact a new, modern travel company Visit Karakol
Phone: +996 772 150951, +996 555 451515
E-mail: visitkarakol@gmail.com
Twitter: VisitKarakol
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web-site.: http://www.visitkarakol.com


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