Kyrgyzstan's second-most famous lake, after Issyk Kul, is Song Kul; the nearest town is Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan, a little farming village not yet fully adapted to tourism.
Once you enter Kochkor on the main street, you'll notice a different atmosphere. Taxi drivers and touts are more aggressive, and people in general show less inhibition towards foreigners. This can be unsettling at first, but once you leave the main street behind and enter the residential area, you'll meet the curious and cheeky inhabitants of Kochkor. Everyone will ask you whether you're English or Russian, and children will come up to you, just to say "hello." And then they all start giggling. It's great fun, though!
Once you arrive in Kochkor, you'll be looking for a place to stay, and there aren't that many options. The local tourism office promotes homestays, but these are a bit more expensive. If that doesn't please you, you can go to one of the Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan hostels. There are only a few, and the town is not used to backpackers, so you'd better not hold high expectations about the hostels in Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan. They are very basic, and you'll have a hard time finding English-speaking staff. Nevertheless, they are very friendly and helpful and you'll have a good stay. It's also possible to arrange tours in the Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan hostels.
In the town itself, there is absolutely nothing to do (there is a museum and some statues). The main reason people pass through Kochkor is because it's the main access point to Song Kul, where you can go hiking or horse-trekking for several days. It's also a good place to stock up on food, as there are several supermarkets.
Don't worry about getting stuck here -- there are plenty of taxis and marshrutkas that go to Bishkek.
Kochkor itself is not worth a visit, but if you want to go hiking, then this is the ideal place to start your trip to Song Kul. Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan hostels will take great care of you during your stay.
Hi, I'm Margaret,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Kochkor hostels. Welcome.