In the most southern part of the country, 120 kilometers from the city of Osh, there is a wide intermontane valley, the locals call it Chon-Alai or Alai Valley. This is one of the largest mountain valleys in Kyrgyzstan. The Pamir highway passes through the Alai Valley.
Two large ridges form the valley – the Alai and the Zaalaisky Mountains. The average height of the valley is 3000 meters. At the widest point the mountains stretch 25 kilometers, in the narrowest places, the width fluctuates between 8 and 10 kilometers. In ancient times there was a giant glacier in this place, traces of it can be seen to this day – where the massive glacier leveled and smoothed the ground.
The Alai Valley is a truly amazing place, famous all over the world for its amazing landscapes and it is visited annually by thousands of tourists. The main object of tourist interest is Lenin Peak – the second largest peak in Kyrgyzstan – seen from almost every corner of the valley. The way to the base camps of the peak lies precisely through the Alai Valley. In addition to the peak, the valley is noteworthy for the fact that it passes the famous Pamir Tract – one of the highest mountain roads in the world, connecting Kyrgyz Osh and Tajik Khorog, beloved by bicyclists and moto tourists. Also along the Alai Valley was a part of the Great Silk Road.
Alay to this day remains the center of nomadic life. Numerous slopes of the mountains are dotted with yurts and livestock. In the Alai Valley, it is possible to learn about the Kyrgyz way of life and the nomadic culture that has not changed for centuries.
How to get to the Alai Valley
A good asphalt road is laid in this area. There is a taxi from the Osh Bus Station.