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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > February 2018 > Under canvas

Under canvas

Connecting with nature is always easier when you’re sleeping out, looking for falling stars, listening to the wildlife and cooking over an open fire


Like sometime yurt-dweller Genghis Khan, yurts have conquered all corners of the world – from music festivals to yoga retreats, glamping resorts to back gardens. Their spiritual heartland, however, is still the grassy steppe of Central Asia, with few pitches more sublime than beside the shores of Song Köl, Kyrgyzstan, a high-altitude lake, its surface mirroring the snowcapped Tian Shan mountains. Tour operator Silk Road Explore offers two-day yurt trips to the lake from the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek – driving up the switchbacks of mountain roads to an altitude of 3,000m, stopping so everyone can stretch their legs at highland villages, where locals weave traditional felt-silk blankets. After spending the night in a yurt, campers can spend a morning wandering the lake’s edelweiss-strewn alpine shores before returning to Bishkek in the afternoon (one-night packages from £200;

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February 2018 Issue of Lonely Planet