When The Light of Summer Starts Shining…

After my short visit in Bosnia Herzegovina refreshing my mind from my long journey in Central Asia, I was ready to continue my journey exploring the remote areas of Tien Shan in Kyrgyzstan. I then received an important message from TV AlHijrah, the Malaysian TV Station that has been airing my travelogue documentary, right after I arrived Manas Airport in Bishkek. They needed me to be back in the country for a few days, to attend an important event in Kuala Lumpur. With the short notice, I then made a quick decision and brought my family back to Kuala Lumpur. The important event was only a day but since I had so many things to settle back home, we ended up staying for a few weeks. It was a good visit… spending quality time with family and friends back home, speaking my native language everyday. I almost missed the spring season in Kyrgyzstan. When I flew back to Kyrgyzstan, it was still spring… but it was at the end of it. The sky was still covered with thick clouds, raining a few times a week but local people started to wear short pants and tshirt. It was already warm in this mountainous country.

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filming a trailer for upcoming Kyrgyz feature film with some talented Kyrgyz directors on a beautiful evening

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I then went back to Issykkul Province to start planning my new adventure in the summer season. The weather is lovely now, the sun gives enough heat for me to wear only a tshirt and feel comfortable. I stayed in a new place in Karakol, in a yurt at the end of the town which is owned by a friend that I know through another friend from Bishkek. His sister graduated from New York Film Academy and is a film director together with her husband who owns a production company in Bishkek. They were doing a project filming a trailer for their upcoming feature film, a story about Kyrgyz people during the old Soviet times and I decided to help out and get involved in the project acting as a cinematographer.

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A few days later I got lucky when the owner of the yurt, Tynch told me that theres a Sal-Burun festival going on in the north shore of Issykkul Lake. Its a hunting festival where hunters from all over Kyrgyzstan come to show off their skills hunting with their eagles, taigan dogs and falcons. This festival also holds other traditional nomad games such as archery and horse riding. It is basically an Olympic games for the nomads. I then went to the place called Kirchin to capture the festival on film. It was impressive to see their skills and I was also surprised to see the taigan dog which is not so big but being used to hunt wolves.

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After a few days staying in Issykkul region, I took a marshrutka back to Bishkek since there was a Malaysian couple coming to Kyrgyzstan to visit this country for about 10 days and wanted me to guide them around here. So I met them in the Manas Airport here not so far from Bishkek and took them exploring the southern shores of Issykkul Lake. It was a good experience taking them exploring the valleys and the mountains in the Tien Shan here. They are both doctors, doing one of the toughest job… responsible with people’s lives. Listening to their stories gives me a new perspective, I learned so many things from them. They have seen many death from diseases and sickness that cannot be cured… and dealing with the family members requires a strong mind. After 15 years of experiences living their lives as doctors, they surely posses such a strong mind and I could see it in them here. Its their first time coming to a cold weather place and travelling to remote areas in Kyrgyzstan can be quite harsh but they never throw a single complain here and always smiling in any situation. The weather was quite grumpy in the mountains but they seem to manage it well.

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I guess Im quite lucky since this is my first time guiding someone from Malaysia and it was already a great experience. They are so friendly and I feel like theyre my own brother and sister instead of strangers. Most importantly, they are great chef so they cook very good Malaysian food for me. This is a good start and I think I will be guiding more groups from Malaysia/Singapore soon. I took them to live in a yurt in Karakol and also to the beach of Issykkul and the valley of Aksu. I also took them to the Arashan Mountains with horses with the help of my horsemaster, Almaz who took one of his guide to come with us to explore the surrounding mountains. It is their first time on horses but they seem to be fast learners. They managed to climb steep mountains and cross rivers with the horses. Most importantly, they really enjoy the view and experience. I suggest them to come again next time at the end of summer so that I can bring them to other places, to higher mountains because now it is too early to take them to higher altitude places since its still covered with thick snow. After all, they already feel like home here… perhaps the hospitality shown by the Kyrgyz people here in the countryside. I welcomed them in the airport as a stranger but when I send them off in the same airport theyre like my own family…

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It was at the end of May but it was still snowing up there in the mountains. The mountains has its own climate. It can be summer at noon and turned into autumn 2 hours later before change again to winter at sunset. But the grass is fully grown now, it is green everywhere, the valleys and the steppes are already filled with nomads… pitching their yurts all over the place. Sherperds already took their animals to the high mountains in search of good quality grass. The nomadic life has flourish once again… the light of summer already starts shining… my horses are ready for the adventure and my summer journey will soon begin…

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flying my drone hoping to get some good footage of Issykkul Lake

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sherperds started to take their animals to higher mountains

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nomads are flourishing all over under the light of summer

17 Comments on “When The Light of Summer Starts Shining…

  1. A great story from a great story teller :-) Not many people get to do work that they really enjoy. Jealous please … :-D

  2. Subhaanallah indah sungguh ciptaan Allah..wish I’ll be there one day ..tq 4 sharing foto bro!!

  3. Love your stories and adventures. Looking forward to more. And the photos are brilliant!! Love them.

  4. Truly truly an amazing worthy life journey blog … with indescribable beautiful pictures!
    Thks for sharing.
    May Allah swt protect and bless you always.

  5. Bestnya Hariz….wish I was there too….and yr pics are simply amazing. Bersabarlah wahai hati….tahun depan yer…tahun depan ;)

  6. Wow ! Stunning views of my mother country. Keep on posting your blogs. They are really interesting. Your posts opened for me my country from other side. Thank you very much for that.

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