Kyrgyzstan in Pictures: Milking the Horses

28 07 2009

Kyrgyzstan is well-known for several things – traditional yurts, horses on green pastures, and kymyz (horse’s milk). The latter is quite a favorite among the locals – the drink has almost magical powers, having the ability to cure all illnesses and give you superhuman strength. Not to mention, a buzz from its alcoholic qualities.

If you’re visiting Kyrgyzstan, sooner or later, you will have to give the drink a shot and see what it’s like for yourself. To me, the experience was similar to trying out sushi. The first time you try it, you think – “god, this thing is weird. Take it away!”. The second time, you go “hmm, maybe there is something to it.” And the third, well – I haven’t quite reached the third stage yet, but I’ve been told, that you start to like it.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to come out to a jailoo – a green pasture where horses roam free and kymyz flows bountifully!

You'll find a handful of yurts on every jailoo. The locals live in them while watching over their horses. Beautiful backdrop, eh?

You'll find a handful of yurts on every jailoo. The locals live in them while watching over their horses. Beautiful backdrop, eh?

Dozens of horses are feeding on the pastures.

Dozens of horses are feeding on the pastures.

The jailoos are typically located near the rivers, such as this one (B&W for effect :))

The jailoos are typically located near the rivers, such as this one (B&W for effect :))

When you enter a yurt, you're immediately offered a traditional meal of bread and Kymyz.

When you enter a yurt, you're immediately offered a traditional meal of bread and Kymyz.

Whether you like it or not, you're expected to drink the whole bowl. The hosts will make sure of that.

Whether you like it or not, you're expected to drink the whole bowl. The hosts will make sure of that.

Fortunately, looks like Coca-Cola is getting in the Kymyz business, so look for it on shelves of your favorite supermarkets.

Fortunately, looks like Coca-Cola is getting in the Kymyz business, so look for it on shelves of your favorite supermarkets.

The road back over a mountain pass.

The road back over a mountain pass.

We spent the weekend at the house of the local chief of police, who was kind enough to send us back to Bishkek in a police car (well, they were going there anyway).

We spent the weekend at the house of the local chief of police, who was kind enough to send us back to Bishkek in a police car (well, they were going there anyway).

The ride was complete with sirens, running the red lights, and going 150 miles an hour... well, not quite that :) But it was still quite an experience!

The ride was complete with sirens, running the red lights, and going 150 miles an hour... well, not quite that :) But it was still quite an experience!

Interestingly enough, check out what it says on the side of the car: “Gift from the people of the USA.” I only wonder – if it's a gift from Uncle Sam, why it is a Volkswagen and not a Ford or a GM? :)

Interestingly enough, check out what it says on the side of the car: “Gift from the people of the USA.” I only wonder – if it's a gift from Uncle Sam, why it is a Volkswagen and not a Ford or a GM? :)

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11 responses

28 07 2009
Liliya

My head is spinning just looking at this road’s picture!

28 07 2009
Andrey

Cool pics.

As for the VWs, we just know that our cars wouldn’t last a week on those roads :)

28 07 2009
Boba

Hehe :)

28 07 2009
Des

Hey Boris are you going home via australia? If you do, I will teach you how to milk a kangaroo.

28 07 2009
Anuta

Borya the first time you had sushi, you got a chicken roll…so no wonder you thought it was weird!

28 07 2009
Boba

Vse ti pomnish, Anuta :)

Des – afraid the way back home doesn’t pass through Australia. But with such an appealing offer, I will do my best to swing by there over the next few years. Isn’t it hard to milk a kangaroo… with it trying to jump away all the time? :):)

29 07 2009
Ella

The pictures are soooo good!!! (chainik s lepeshkami – aj v nosy zachipalo :-))

29 07 2009
Gosha

God damn PR people…

29 07 2009
Frances

You’re just lucky the cultural tour ended with mare’s milk — in the olden days, when water was scarce, you would nick a vein of one of those horses and drink some blood to keep you hydrated. Genghis Khan Rides Again (but apparently now in a Volkswagen) …

5 01 2012
Saadat

oh, that’s me behind the police cars lol

15 07 2013
suliman ..

hi,
i’m now at Kg. – Bishkek.. since last march 2013 !.. its really nice trip..specially at spring & summer season ..i came for humaneterian work from middle east !..although am an arts journalist but i cant descover Kyrgyz more people & life !? couse of my human mission ..have you try another milk at KGZ.
how about a social & night life there ??..
….
(hoopoe@live.com)

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