Since arriving in Kyrgyzstan I haven’t had the opportunity to thoroughly explore it, so a few weeks ago some friends of mine decided they wanted to show me around the Karakol area a bit. Any time we go on one of our adventures it always takes a significant amount of debating between all of them to decide where to go and what would be the best way to get there. I, still being new to the country and the area, rarely recognize any of the places they mention, but I enjoy the banter as they go back and forth between all of the tourist options around Karakol. After a location was decided upon and a date set I finally got to see some new (at least to me) places nearby. The place they decided to take me to this time was a village only about 40 minutes away from Karakol called Ak Cyy. This “village”(I would consider it a town based on its size, but everyone here calls it a village) is in the mountains and is apparently famous throughout all of Kyrgyzstan for its hot springs. The scenery was beautiful with the bigger mountains in the background and the river running through the middle of town. We began by walking through the town and exploring some of the rundown buildings and the hot springs, but then continued on towards the mountains for our picnic lunch we had packed. During our entire walk through town we kept running into spas and medicinal centers placed directly on the river to give paying customers a peaceful and relaxing experience (something I certainly wouldn’t mind doing at some point). Tons of people take the bus from Karakol to Ak Cyy just for the day to spend it in one of the health/spa facilities so we were all packed in the bus on our way out. After passing through town we continued on towards the higher mountains and spent the afternoon hiking and picnicking in some of the most beautiful mountain scenery I’ve ever seen. The whole day was spent relaxing and enjoying the beautiful nature around us and it just makes me even more excited about the next trip I’ll get to take with my friends….wherever that might be.