Only 3 hours by taxi from Bishkek and surrounded by magnificent jailoos, Kochkor for many travelers is the best place to taste the nomadic lifestyle, so important to Kyrgyzstan’s history and culture. Friendlier and quieter than Naryn, its oblast capital down the Torugart road, Kochkor has 17,000 inhabitants, most of whom are farmers and shepherds. They live in yurts on jailoos during the summer, and some of them are more than willing, with CBT Kochkor’s intercession, to welcome tourists into their midst. For the lucky traveler, this means meadows that seem to touch the heavens, speckled with just enough humans, horses, and sheep to provide a sense of scale. It means carpets of flowers and clouds of butterflies. It means Kyrgyz hospitality unleashed, in all its muttony glory. And at Song-Kol, the crown jewel of the jailoos, as well as at smaller Kol-Ukok, it means fish jumping and water gleaming like burnished gold under the first rays of the morning sun. Naryn oblast is studded with similar scenes of natural beauty, and Kochkor is a wonderful point of departure for excursions into this majestic terrain.