Taking a ’Stan

Helicopters and Headless Goats in Kyrgyzstan

None 4 Photos Kyrgyzstan: Celestial Mountain Action Adventure
And speaking of Kyrgyzstan...

Oh—sorry—you weren’t speaking of Kyrgyzstan.

You were talking about France, or Greece, or some other country with plenty of vowels, but not eagle hunters or yak steaks or mounted horse wrestlers.

So, speaking of eagle hunters...

Clear some passport space for Kyrgyzstan: Celestial Mountain Action Adventure, an epic two-week escapade across Central Asia’s most underrated (and mispronounced) country, taking reservations now.

This is a land of mountains and mystery. Basically, the landlocked, ex-Soviet version of New Zealand. Just Google Map it. There’s no time for a geography lesson.

Because you’ve got 16 days of biking across steppes, horseback riding through river valleys and helicoptering over 23,000-foot mountains to think about. You’ll meet your guides in the capital, but the rest of your journey has you crashing in the tents of local nomads, including the home of the country’s most legendary eagle hunter. (Meaning he hunts with the eagle, rather than putting it on your plate. But do expect to consume more yak than usual.)

And remember: although you’ll mostly be without Internet, it’ll make for an even more surprising and awesome Instagram album when you return. Especially the part involving the Kyrgyz national sport, kok-boru, where mounted riders wrestle each other for the corpse of a headless goat.

Don’t even ask what the loser gets.

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