Altan Arashan, Kyrgyzstan | 20 August, 2006 | $15.27
This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve stayed. I suppose some of the beauty was in the remoteness and emptiness of the valley. I spent two nights here and probably could have stayed longer, sitting halfway up the mountain drawing and reading. Most people were keen to go hiking, and I did follow along with a few others one day, stupidly jumping from wet rock-to-rock to cross the rushing river. I was glad that we ran into at least a few locals even if they were carrying pieces of horse in a bag with them.
This small house was owned by the same man who owned the hotel back in Karakol but you’re limited to visiting during summer, before the road becomes impassable and on his schedule since his jeep is the only way to get here. The price included a two-bed room to myself and three meals. We were charged $10.18 for a spot in the 3-hour rough jeep ride each way from Karakol.