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Tamga lies in the middle part of the south shore of Issyk Kul Lake, 1 km from the beach with red sand.



Tamga got its name from an old petroglyph text; its name can be translated as letter. Nobody translated the text yet, nobody knows how old it is, but there are speculations about old Tibetan language.

Get in[edit]

Either from Karakol by taxi, marshrutka, bus or hitch-hike, or from Balicnyi by the same ways.


  • Petroglyphs - you won't find it yourself, ask for a guide. It lies around 20 minutes by horse from the centre.
  • Christian/Muslim cemetery, on dry hills behind the village.
  • Sanatorium where Jurij Gagarin was preparing for the first cosmic flight ever. Open until September 15.


Behind the main sanatorium entrance there is cafe that serves common Kyrgyz stuff - lagman, manty, samse... and some other food. They have tasty pasta-style lagman.

At the main crossroad there is a cafe that serves food.


There are a few privately run guesthouses, but they are not cheap. Apparently they are using the fact that you have no choice.

Just next to the bazaar there is Tamaras Guesthouse B&B, in front of which there is a small shop run by Kyrgyz family. Tamara and her daughter Alia speak fluent English. Tamara was a teacher of Russian language and literature, her husband Akbar was journalist. Interesting and resourceful people to speak with. Tamara is able to organize horse tours with guide and old horses for inexperienced riders if needed. B&B costs 500 soms (September 2009). Do not accept the offer to eat in her place instead of kafe which is 50 meters away. Tamara charges 200 som for lagman with bread and tea, while in the cafe you would pay 70 only.

Close to the entrance of the village, on the left side, there is guesthouse run by a Russian. She does not negotiate and does not go lower than 600 per person. It's further from the centre.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Tamga is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.