Traveling through the Irkeshtam Pass, Kyrgyzstan

travel to Irkeshtam

The Irkeshtam Pass is an amazing and undiscovered destination that tourists are sure to love. This border, connecting Kyrgyzstan and China, has something to surprise vacationers, and Minzifa Travel will be happy to tell and show you where to start exploring the pass.

What to see at Irkeshtam?

The pass begins in the Kyrgyz town of Osh. The pass was first crossed in 128 BC. Zhang Qian. Qian crossed the Fergana Valley on a diplomatic assignment from the Chinese emperor: allies were needed for the war with the Hunnu, the nomadic tribes. At the end of the XIX century expanded the horse path between the pass and the Kyrgyz city and gave it the name “the road for the chariot. This path was used to transport pack animals – camels, donkeys and horses.

Until now the road through the pass is the shortest route to China from the Fergana Valley. There is also a border crossing point, which is suitable for both freight and tourists.

For what purpose do holidaymakers come to the Irkeshtam Pass? If not for the obvious – a short road to China – because of the wonderful views. The road to the pass is difficult to pass, unpaved, so there is an opportunity to admire the surroundings. On one side are mountains, on which traces of glaciation are visible, and on the other – boundless emerald meadows. One gets the impression that the mountains are very close to the highway: the combination of dust storms and sun in the clouds creates incredible shades.

Despite the fact that there are no special sights in the area of Irkeshtam transfer, tourists who have been here note that this is the most memorable part of the trip. Not only in Kyrgyzstan, but in general on any trip.

During the Soviet era, relations between the Soviet Union and China were strained, but today friendly relations are the priority. There are quite a few horses in this mountainous region that are actively involved in the daily life of the border services. The quality of roads leaves much to be desired, so soldiers patrolling the border do not travel in cars, but on sturdy Kyrgyz ponies. Dogs, particularly mutts and German shepherds, are no less important.

The pass has been open to passengers since 2002: previously it was only used for commercial purposes. No written permits are needed to cross the border, but you still have to prepare.

The crossing Irkeshtam works on weekdays: Saturday and Sunday are days off. An important point: the crossing is closed not only during Kyrgyz holidays, but also during Chinese holidays. For example, the first week of October and May.

At night the crossing is closed, you should also take into account the long lunch break. There are no hotels at the pass, but there are stalls where you can buy a chocolate bar, juice or other food for a snack.

Despite the difficult terrain and other features of the area, the Irkeshtam Pass attracts more and more tourists every year. There are no indifferent: this place fascinates both those who cross the border and those who have specially come to admire the views.

With Minzifa Travel tours you can enjoy the incredible scenery surrounding the Irkeshtam Pass. We will be happy to find you a tour suitable for your dates and do everything to make your trip to Kyrgyzstan unforgettable. For questions about booking tours and for prices please contact Minzifa Travel at, WhatsApp. Until new journeys!

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