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Vacation Activities ID: 2742
Culinary Tour
Offered by partner: ID 3833
Country : Kyrgyzstan
Destination's: bishkek (Bishkek)
Duration: 7 night(s)
Minimum Price: $1350 USD ( Per Person)
Maximum Price: $1500 USD ( Per Person)
Type : Group,Customized
Group Size : 2 - 15 People(s)
Season : August to September
Categories : Cultural Tours, Hobby Classes
Vacation Activities Highlight
Ak-Sai Travel Culinary Tour combines the best of Kyrgyzstan cuisine, culture and food with unique historic sights that highlight its location - on the Great Silk Road. The Culinary Tour visits several different families with various ethnic background, traditions and cooking rituals to combine elements of a historical tour with a culinary adventure! On the trip, you will not only have an opportunity to sample some of the finest food offerings from various nations, but also to meet the locals. Kyrgyzstan's historic appeal is well known. It boasts a large historic and culture district in Central Asia. It’s varied history, full of mystery, romance, charm and sometimes brutality, makes for an amazing historical vacations and culinary exploration. There are representatives of about 80 different nations and ethnic groups inhabiting this small country. Uzbeks, Tadjiks, Ukranians, Russians, Uighurs, Koreans, Dungans, Germans, etc. There are two mountain systems that cross its territory – the Pamirs and Tien Shans, which helped forming the culture, the lifestyle and the cuisine of the locals.
Vacation Activities Detail Information
Day 1 (Korean Cuisine): Airport – Bishkek city (30km)

Arrival in the International airport “Manas”. Meeting the guide and transfer to the hotel. After some rest and a good breakfast the group meets in the lobby.Short briefing is delivered by the local guide who distributes some printer materials, detailed tour program and so on. You may ask questions and express your expectations from the trip. We leave for the city center. A walking tour around the main square Ala Too to see the State History Musuem, Parliament, White House, Change of Guard, Lanin Statue, Manas Monument, Oak park, Marx and Engels monument, etc. After the city tour we are going to meet the first culture – representatives of Korean nation.(The Koreans moved to Kyrgyzstan mainly during the Soviet times. There were several reasons, but usually looking for a better life. The first Koreans appeared in the 1930’s during the Repressions. Nowadays there are about 20 thousand Koreans living in Kyrgyz Republic. This is only 0.30% of the total population, but Korean cuisine is so popular among the locals and you can find a Korean café in every town of the country. Some of the dishes became part of the usual menu in each family (for example, carrot salad or chimchi cabbage). We meet the chief of a Korean cafe in Bishkek city. You try one of the main dishes of this cuisine – Kuksi. But before, of course we will take a master class in cooking it! After dinner we return to the hotel.

Day 2 (Kazakh Cuisine): Full day in Bishkek city.

The morning we dedicate to an interesting visit – the house of CACSA. This is an Association of the women who are involved in handicrafts. We will meet some famous designers who combine in their masterpieces felt, silk, cotton and mix traditional ornaments with modern designs. These ladies will tell us about their activities during the master class – we cook our lunch from the organic products – vegetables and meat. After the lunch we have a dessert – ice cream and seasonal fruits while enjoying the fashion show – demonstration of the products of the Association. You will participate yourself as well, if you wish. After the session of art we will leave for an Oriental Bazaar (all bazaars are closed on Monday) where we choose and buy the ingredients for our evening meal. For dinner we will cook Pilov together with the members of an Uzbek family. (The Uzbeks is the second largest nation in Kyrgyzstan who inhabited the Southern-Western part of Fergana Valley long before Kokand Khanate. They settled down on the territory bordering with the modern regions – Osh and Jalal Abad. But with the time flow they mixed with the locals, moved further to the North and East and nowadays can be found in almost every village of the mountainous Kyrgyzstan.) After dinner with the family we return to our hotel.

Day 3 (Kyrgyz Cuisine): Bishkek city – Chon Kemin Valley (150km)

Drive to Chon Kemin Nature park. The drive takes us about 3 hours. The park is located at 1400-2800m above sea level and covers the territory of 500hektars. En route we will visit historical complex Burana tower located. These are the ruins of ancient settlement Balasagyn which existed in Silk Road times (UNESCO site). The lunch is served on the territory of the historical complex and while eating you will be able to enjoy magnificent view of the tower with mountains in the background. Today it is fish in the menu, the dishes are cooked on the open fire which gives them delicious smoky flavor. In the afternoon we continue the way to Chon Kemin valley. Today specially for you we organize the demonstration of lamb cooking. It is an old tradition which includes slaughtering with a pray, cutting and cooking. We will try various dishes – “byzhy”, “zhorogom”, “kuurdak”, etc. Tasting tea from the herbs gathered in the park. (The Kyrgyz are one of the oldest nations. They belong to Turkic family. According to the population census held by the Russian Empire in 1987 there were only about 600 thousand Kyrgyz people. You find them all over the territory of Kyrgyzstan, but Naryn region, Western part of Issyk Kul Lake, Eastern parts of Talas and Chui regions as well as foothills of Fergana valley are the most densely populated. The language they speak is Kyrgyz, it is the state language of the Republic.)
Today we cook on the open fire. The dish is called Kuurdak and consists of pieces of fried lamb, potatoes with spices and herbs. During the dinner we taste national drinks, such as Kymyz, Bozo, etc. Kymyz is the most popular drink at djailoo (summer pastures). It is made of fermented mare’s milk. The main ingredient of thick Bozo drink is millet, it is fizzy and very refreshing.

Day 4 (Russian Cuisine): Chon Kemin valley – Cholpon Ata town at Issyk Kul Lake, Northern shore (160 km)

We drive through narrow Boom gorge along boisterous Chu river and further along the Northern lake shore. In Cholpon Ata town we will visit an open air museum of Petroglyphs. It dates back to the 8th century BC. Lunch is in a Russian family in Cholpon Ata town. We taste the Russian cuisine as well as homemade wine and honey. (The first Russians arrived to the Northern Kyrgyzstan in the 1960’s, and starting from 1893 started spreading to the South. These were the years of colonial policy in Russian Empire and numerous families were moved to the territory of Kyrgyzstan. The second wave of the mass colonization was in 1941-45 during the Great Patriotic war.The Russians live all over the Republic, but mostly in Chui oblast, western part of Talas oblast and eastern part of Issyk Kul region, especially Bishkek city.) We participate in jam cooking master class after buying fresh berries/fruit (depending on the season) at a local bazaar. Accommodation in a hotel about 15 km from Cholpon Ata town. You have some time to walk down to the beach. Option: one hour boat cruise.

Day 5 (Dungan Cuisine): Cholpon Ata town – Karakol town (150km)

Morning detarture to Karakol town – the biggest town at the lake located on the Eastern lake shore. En route we will stop at Scythian burial mounds (Kurgans) and in Grigorievskoe gorge where barbeque lunch is served for you. We try grilled vegetables and meat enjoying wonderful views of Tien Shan landscapes. Before entering Karakol town we visit Przhevalskii complex to see his grave and the memorial. Upon arrival in the town we visit Dungan mosque and Russian Orthodox Church, Central bazaar and Victory park. Transfer to the house of a local Dungan family to take a master class and have dinner.(The Dungans arrived to Kyrgyztsan in the end of 19th century (1877—78) from Northern-Western China. They were chased because of participating in Qin revolt. As the result they were forced to leave their Mortherland. The Dungans settled down in Chui valley, in Issyk kul region, namely in the towns of Tokmok and Karakol, in the villages Yrdyk, Aleksandrovka, Milyanfan, Ken-Bulun, etc. Their language is Chinese, their religion is Islam, their activity is agriculture and trade. Master class in cooking Lagman (home made noodles with vegetables and spicy sause) and Chuchpara (pelmeni or dumplings with broth) – all are traditional Dungan dishes.

Day 6 (Uighur Cuisine): Karakol town – Kochkor village (260 km)

After breakfast we leave for Uighur family to take a master class in cooking their national dish - Manty. It symbolizes the dish of Djigits (young horsemen), as they give a lot of energy. There are several varieties of the dish, depending on the way of cooking, dough ingredients and filling. It can be meat, fig, clover, chives, onion, vegetables, quince, etc. We also make Laza sause and bake a delicious cake! (The Uighurs arrived to Kyrgyzstan in 1920’s from Xinjiang province of China. The second wave of Uighur migration was in the beginning of 1950’s, especially during the Chinese “culture revolution”. Unlike the Dungans they belong to Turkic family and are very different form the main population of China. Today there are about 50,000 Uighurs living on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, mainly in Osh and Bishkek city, Jalal Abad town and Karakol town. Their main occupation is trade, cafes, agriculture.) After a good lunch with the Uighur family we leave Karakol town for Kochkor village. The drive goes along the Southern lake shore and passing by Orto Tokoi water reservoir. En route we stop at Jety Oguz gorge to see Golden Eagle hunting demonstration and take pictures of famous red rock formations – “Broken Heart” and “Seven Buls”. We will stop on the way to have some snacks and take a swim if you like the temperature. In Kochkor village we visit a women’s co-operative. The local ladies produce here felt. You can see their collection of old pieces in the local handicraft museum, the workshops where the whole procedure of wool pressing is shown to you. The ladies show us the traditional bread baking. Boorsok, Kattama, Chak Chak, etc. We have our dinner with the bread we made, honey, jams, sour cream and national drinks.

Day 7 (Kazakh Cuisine): Kochkor village – Bishkek city (230 km).

We drive to Bishkek city passing by Orto Tokoi water reservoir and through Boom gorge. In Tokmok town we stop for lunch. We visit a Kazakh family and try their national dish – Beshbarmak. From Turkic languages this word means “five fingers”, as the nomads never used any fork and knife, but ate with their hands. The technology of cooking makes it very special in taste and serving. (There are about 43,000 Kazakhs living in Chui and Talas regions. Some of them are originally from the area. Others arrivaed to the territory of modern Kyrgyzstan in 1930’s during the forced collectivization. It was really hard in Kazakhstan at the times and whole families moved into the mountains looking for help.) Upon arrival in Bishkek city we get accommodated and after some res visit Bishkek Factory of wines and Champagne (testing them, as well as Shoro dring and Toitolkan snacks). A short shopping tour in ZUM department store and return to the hotel. Traditional Kyrgyz dinner in a local restaurant with a brief summary of the tour.

Day 8: Bishkek city - airport (30km).

Transfer to the airport.
Notes for price Information
Price Includes:

* Accommodation on twin base in hotels – 8 N
* Meals – Full Board
* Tour escort guide
* Transport from arrival till departure.
* Mineral water (1 liter)
*shows/events and master classes indicated in the tour
* Entrance and ecological fees during all the tour

Price Excludes:

*All derivations from the itinerary
* Airfares
* All personal expenses
* Alcohol drinks
* Tips for guide and driver
* Photo/video fees at museums
* International flights
* Porter fee
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