Visit Arslanbob, Kyrgyzstan
The leafy village of Arslanbob (Arstanbap in Kyrgyz) nestles at 1600m beneath the granite cliffs of sacred Mt Babash-Ata (4,465m), some three to four hours drive from the southern city of Osh.
The temperate climate, warm welcome and spectacular setting make this sizeable settlement of 12,000, mainly Uzbek, inhabitants a delightful place to relax and experience a little local life.
Arslanbob is at the forefront of the excellent Kyrgyz Community Based Tourism (CBT) project, and boasts a professional information centre run by the ever-cheerful Hyat, the organisation's local manager. The CBT co-ordinate almost all the tourism in town, offering a number of excellent (if basic) homestays and arranging guides and transport (horses or donkeys) for exploration of the local area.
There are fantastic outdoor opportunities here, anything from gentle one-day walks through the celebrated walnut forests to local waterfalls and beauty spots, to more adventurous treks (up to 4 or 5 days) over the high passes of Mt Babash-Ata to Holy Lake.